$3,000 Dream Cabin

1. Do all the work yourselves, although we had lots of invaluable free help from friends, relatives and strangers.

2. Cut your own “house logs” and material for lumber from your property.

3. Have access to a local sawmill or find/purchase and, when finished, resell a small bandsaw/timbermill.

4. Use recycled materials and seconds as much as possible.

5. Your local cement plant will (maybe) sell you cement for the foundation-in bulk. Use an old 55 gal. barrel to store it.

6. You need a 4X4 pickup, good tools (I made my own log scribe) so I bought a new chainsaw, found a cant hook, adze, drawknives and a broadaxe in antique stores. Learn to weld and buy a new winch for your pickup. You will be glad you did. Craigslist didn’t exist then, but has great potential now.

7. Talk to people. Neighbors and supply house employees can be very helpful if you ask for their help/explanations. Read a lot, but don’t believe everything you read.

8. Have patience. Don’t borrow money. It took me three years to finish the cabin.

9. Retain your sense of humor.

This article originally published in THE NEW PIONEER® Summer 2014 issue. Print and Digital Subscriptions to THE NEW PIONEER magazine are available here.

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