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July 8, 2016

Building Off The Grid: Big Sky Ranch.

After years spent traveling and working around the globe, Jon and Etta Smith are settling down with their 18-month-old daughter, Syndi. In one of the most remote corners of northwestern Montana, they are building a home and bison ranch off the grid.
Building Off The Grid - S01E07 - Big Sky Ranch - Pt 01.mp4

Pt 1 of 6: The Build Begins:
While neighbors are few and far between, Jon and Etta's new house will have no shortage of visitors, from mountain lions, to badgers, to wolves. With the harsh Montana winter right around the corner, these first-time home builders are in a race against time to finish their dream home sooner, rather than later.

Pt 2 of 6: The Race Against Winter:
Jon and Etta Smith's build is under way, and they're working to balance ranch and build duties. After a slow start waiting for pre-fabricated wall panels, Jon and Etta finally have what they need to kick this build into high gear. In Montana's northwest, they have little time to waste, winter is severe, and it's coming fast. So Jon and Etta are working hard to get their house dried in as soon as possible. Will wrong measurements derail their plans?

Pt 3 of 6: The Bison Come Home:
Jon and Etta are in a race against time on their Montana house build. But it's not just the house that has them working around the clock, they're also building a bison ranch from the ground up. They finally get to bring their new bison home to their ranch, but not without a treacherous drive standing in their way. Between ranch chores and waiting for delivery of materials, Jon and Etta take advantage of their acres of land to source their own build materials. Taking a cue from Montana's early settlers, they're using natural and reclaimed materials to add history and Montana charm to their new home.

Pt 4 of 6: Montana Time:
In the foothills of the Mission Mountains in Western Central Montana, Jon and Etta Smith have built their off the grid house from the foundation up to the roof, but this late into the winter, forces them to deal with bitter cold and high winds every day. They're anxious to get started on the new well, but once again, 'Montana time' has set them back, and they're stuck waiting for the well drillers. In the meantime, they still need to work on the windmill, which will eventually pump their well, and take care of their new investment, the bison.

Pt 5 of 6: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work:
For better or for worse, winter has taken a firm hold in Montana, which makes for less than ideal working conditions on Jon and Etta's off the grid house and ranch. In a mad dash to finish the exterior of their house before yet another big Montana storm hits, interior work has been put on hold. With cold temperatures and little daylight to work with, every baby step they make is a victory in its own right.

Pt 6 of 6: Dreams Become Reality:
After construction delays pushed construction into the dead of winter, Jon and Etta Smith are finally nearing the end of their house and bison ranch build. Now, the finishing touches are falling into place, including the custom stone fireplace, solar panels and furniture. After all the delays and hard work, Jon and Etta will finally get to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

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