Friday, January 28, 2011

A Cabin in the Woods

There has not been much progress on the homestead this winter.  Its has either been too cold, to much snow, or we are to tired to get out.  We have not been totally idle as we have found a design for the house we like.  It is a passive solar design which is totally the way to go.  You know how I feel about our sun, might as well use it since it is going to shine anyways!

We had thoughts of buying a used travel trailer to take out to the land.  We thought we could pick up something cheap as it is always nice to be able to get out of the sun and relax after spending the day working.  We looked at several older campers and really became discouraged.  If it was in good condition it was to much money, if the price was good the condition was poor.  You know the routine.  I got to thinking about what it is we really need.  The first is basic shelter.  We also need storage.  A multipurpose building would be the better option.  I spent hours on-line looking at tiny house, shed, and cabin designs and I think we found the answer!

We are going to build a 12x18' cabin!  It will have a 4' covered front porch and a loft at either end.  It is relatively inexpensive and should be easy to build.  We spent a couple of days making the rounds checking prices at the big box lumber stores and let me tell you we scored big time!  I managed to buy most of the lumber I need to frame the cabin for $250.  We got a super deal on 2x12's that are 12 feet long.  It will entail re-sawing the boards into the proper sizes but considering we saved $500 I don't mind spending some time on the saw.

The lumber is "cull lumber."  This means there is something wrong with it and it can not be sold as #1 lumber.  It may mean the lumber has knots, cracks, is bowed, or cupped.  This makes no difference to me as I am re-sawing it.  Today my daughter and I managed to cut enough 2x6 boards to frame the floor and rim joists, the 2x8 loft joists, the roof rafters, and 2x4's.  Tomorrow we plan on building the beams that will hold up the floor joists.  If we can get some decent weather that lasts more than a day or two we can actually get the concrete piers poured and started getting the cabin erected.  Rest assured you will be with us every step of the ways because we will take pictures of the event.  That way you can take what you learn and build a cabin for yourself.

The cabin will be situated in the woods near a wet weather stream.  I am purchasing a couple of solar kits from Harbor Freight to power the cabin.  Those kits along with an inverter and a couple of batteries should provide plenty of power for lighting, TV, radio, etc.  We will use the cabin for rest and relaxation on the weekends, a place to get out of the weather while we are building or tending our blue berry plants, and when the house is finished it will be my shop and later it will serve as our store for selling our berries and the other items we produce.

Keep your fingers crossed that we have an early spring, I know we are ready for it.  Till next time...Michael

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