A Cheap Mountain Getaway - Build Your Own Log Cabin

Written by Posted On Friday, 18 April 2014 06:32

There are not many better ways of spending some quality time with your partner, friends or family than hitting the road and going to a secluded spot in the mountains. It’s less noisy, the air is cleaner, you have a lot of privacy, and being close to nature just brings a smile to your face. However, mountain resorts and popular forest vacation spots can be a bit pricey and crowded so, unless you have a cozy little vacation house of your own tucked away somewhere in the hills, you won’t really get all the peace and quiet you were hoping for. Well, you don’t have to be an oil tycoon or a film star to afford a rustic little home in the wilderness – with some careful planning and hard work, you can build your very own log cabin on a relatively small budget.

Determine the complexity of the project

There are several different types of log cabin that vary in size, complexity and available amenities. In its simplest form, the log cabin is a small, single story affair – with a door, a small window and a roof with a small chimney. The interior consists of a single big room with a fireplace, but medium-sized cabins often have a separate bedroom and a wood-burning stove in the common area. Larger cabins can have two floors and a number of rooms with running water and electricity. It all depends on what level of comfort you desire and how much you want to spend.

Deal with the bureaucratic side of things first

Some important things to consider when planning on building your own cabin are:

  • Finding and buying the right property
  • Drawing up floor plans
  • Getting a building permit

What you can build and where you can build it, as well as the permits that you’ll need, may vary from place to place so, be sure to check out your local laws and regulations. Having running water – a well, generator, electric or solar-powered pump and holding tank will be required - as well as a septic system will classify it as real estate, which means paying property taxes. The alternative involves having no running water, which means you will be bringing your own water. A 55 gallon water storage barrel (or several 5-10 gallon jugs) will last you several days, but you’ll need to pour the water over the dishes in order to wash them, run baths, etc. It takes a bit to get used to conserving water, but it is a much simpler and a lot cheaper solution.

You will need to invest in some good tools

The essential building materials are logs, concrete, stone, mortar, roof tiles and insulating material. If you decide to undertake the project yourself, assuming it is a smaller cabin, your biggest expense will be the materials and the power tools required for the task.

A good chainsaw is essential for this project. It can be used for a number of tasks including felling (if you own the land on which the trees grow and you have the right paperwork from the authorities), pruning and bucking. There are plenty of different shapes, sizes and brands, so make sure to do your research before buying a chainsaw. They are a dangerous tool, so the right safety equipment and the proper, safe cutting techniques need to be used when operating them. You will also need a cordless power drill with various accessories, handheld circular saw, a draw knife for peeling the logs, a chisel, hammer and a number of your standard tool box items. Good tools will help make the work much easier and faster, so don’t try to cut any corners here.

It takes time and patience, but it is worth the wait

The logs need to be cut to size, peeled (a lot of hard work) and treated with protective coating that prevents cracking, damage from insects, etc. The space between each log must be insulated and you’ll need insulation on the inner walls, the floor and roof. The floor should be slightly elevated from the ground and leveled precisely. Everything needs to fit together tightly and the construction may take some time. You will need to put in quite a bit of work and be patient, but in the end, it will all be worth it. You will end up with a beautiful, cozy cabin out in the wilderness – a great vacation place for a very small price.

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