Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I have a good friend in Boulder who has a similar respect for small space living and she has been a great inspiration for a lot of the creative aspects of this cabin project. My primary influence has been my long time neighbor and good friend Mike. He was the first to pioneer the particular solar panel we are using, and he has helped greatly with most of the major construction ideas.(putting the cabin on barrels to keep it away from the bears, putting in a new floor to replace the sagging one, and re-roofing the cabin with new OSB and roll on shingles) What I have learned through the process is that small details can greatly improve living in a small cabin and sunlight matters greatly. As you can see, I have replaced all the windows with ones that Mike donated from his home remodel. This involved cutting out studs and reconstructing all four walls to various extents. This last trip I installed a new window courtesy of my friends at doors and windows in the eastern gable end. With the help of friends, we hauled in all the tongue and groove for the walls and ceiling and I installed it all with a finish nailer and compressor donated by a friend. My goal was to create a small space that would be comfortable, modern, and bright. Just because the outside is a little rough, doesn't mean the interior can't be bright and energetic. The wood stove was custom built in soldotna and heats up the well insulated cabin very quickly. The electrical system consists of a solar panel purchased from cabelas($100) which comes with an in line regulator that will prevent the panel from over-charging the marine battery which stores my energy. The battery was donated by a friend who happened to come across it at the dump and snagged it, Chad also helped install my new roofing. The solar panel is supported on a 1.5" pipe about 13 feet high and articulates to different angles to best capture the sunlight as the seasons change. My interior lighting was purchased at and ran 15 dollars a light. They are small LED can lights that are countersunk into my ceiling tongue and groove. My exterior lights are all LED flood lights purchased on Ebay. I have a cigarette lighter to plug in cell phones and two USB ports for other electronics. All the electronics run through a switch panel and then through a fuse panel. My entire solar system cost roughly $200. The latest addition to the cabin was the front deck. 10 X 6 deck is great for keeping the cabin clean and is a great way to get out of the cabin and bbq or hang out. The deck frame is 2x6's and is decked with treated 2X4's. The deck is supported by 2 glue lam beams sitting on concrete blocks. When I look back at the progress so far i'm amazed at how much crap we have packed from the airstrip, over the beaver dam to the cabin. It's not an easy trip with a bunch of lumber on your shoulder.


Linda said...

WoW! You have done an amazing amount of work! It will be nice and cozy this winter. I hope I can see it next summer.

Elizabeth said...

Your cabin project is almost done! Glad to hear that you have a lot of friends who willingly helped you in all ways to put up your cabin. Hope to see more from your energy-efficient cabin once it's done.

-Elizabeth Hoffnung @ Roof Pro Memphis

Ernestine Wollard said...

I'm amazed at how energy-efficient your cabin is! It seems like you planned it well; from its exterior - roof, up to its interior - lights. I can only imagine how comfy this place is. Plus, it makes the work less tiring to have supportive friends willing to lend a hand.

-Ernestine Wollard @ WestFallRoofing

Tamara Stanley said...

House construction is really a tough and challenging job, no matter what size you’re building. But thanks to your friend Mike for all the help he has given to you. Somehow, house construction became less stressful for you. How is it by the way? – Tamara @