Can a city boy build his dream homestead on a mountain, by himself and with no mortgage?

a weatherproofing rush warrants an update

paper windows

All this hammer swinging has given me a pretty bad case of carpal tunnel pain, my fingers have been numb all week. Lots of rest, ice, compression and elevation have finally brought back feeling to both hands. In spite of my own personal whining and hand-tingling, the local weather report at my ranch shows night temps in the low 30’s this week. The threat of snow is rearing it’s fluffy white head so I need to step it up and finish the lock-out asap.

I move boldly forward…


I ordered a one-lite glass and steel door at the Lowe’s, should be ready to pick up tomorrow (Thurs Oct 29).


Lowe’s also has some really good-looking galvalume panels that I’m going to use on the roof. The panels come in 12′ and 8′ lengths, I’ll need to overlap them on the vertical side to get the full 16′ of coverage. They’re fairly inexpensive, about $275 to cover the roof (including trim and screws).

I’m a little stuck on my siding choices.

Ipe (aka Ironwood) is what I really want to use on the glass wall, it’s hard to find already routed for siding and it’s quite expensive.


Rocio Romero’s LV House

The Kithaus K-1

Rocio Romero and Kithuas both use these materials beautifully, I need to take some time with Photoshop to come up with an affordable and great looking design.


a GREAT shed comp from

I like this Shomera comp I found online at shedworking, the vertical wood feels very masculine and modern. I’m experimenting with using the inexpensive engineered wood panels and corrugated galvalume that Home Depot and Lowe’s both sell but I really want a bit more glamour.

Soon as I get my idea together I’ll post it for review (or just build it if I’m up there, LOL!)

Click HERE to read my entire cabin blog…

11 responses

  1. John

    I would say it is better to go ahead and get the siding you would really like than always wish you had every time you look at the cabin. If it will last as well or better, it is justified in my book. Good luck deciding and great job so far! Is the cabin in a safe area? It looks kinda vulnerable with all of that unprotected glass. Maybe think of lock-out panel doors that you could put up when you leave and take off when you are there. something similar to how you can board up a house in hurricane areas… just a thought.

    October 28, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    • I agree, I should bite the bullet and spend more on some items. I’m sourcing Ipe wood right now, trying to figure how to afford it!

      October 31, 2009 at 11:06 am

  2. Rich

    Great job! I’ve had Carpel Tunnel and two operations, I now have weak hands and trigger finger in several fingers… so don’t abuse your hands. My Doctor told me that if I had gotten a brace early enough I could have avoided the operations.
    On another note, I was standing in my 10 x 12 tool shed and thinking about how it would be laid out as a cabin, challenging but doable.

    Keep on posting.

    October 29, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    • Soon as my fingers went numb I ran to the Internet. I have all the classic symptoms of “hand tool overuse”. I bought the ice pack and neoprene braces immediately and they seem to be working well.

      I’ve decided to use the cabin as a bedroom since my trailer already has a kitchen and bathroom. 10 x 12 is an average bedroom size and if I place the bed so I wake up looking out the wall of windows, I can easily fit some storage furniture, a small desk and a chair. I’ve been looking at electric fireplaces every time I go to the Lowe’s, am tempted to put one in as well.

      October 31, 2009 at 11:11 am

  3. Claudia

    Here’s a link to that shed you didn’t have info on: 🙂

    October 30, 2009 at 3:38 am

    • thanks Claudia, I’ll update my post!

      October 30, 2009 at 10:45 pm

  4. I agree with John. Get what you want and what looks best. Its going to be hard enough to get chicks to come to a 100sf house without it looking crappy. Unless it looks good, they’ll think you are the unabomber and run away.

    October 30, 2009 at 6:14 am

  5. Vic

    What about bamboo? They’re doing some great stuff with this in terms of flooring, I wonder what they’re doing in terms of siding? It could be pretty cool. It looks great, it’s a sustainable resource and is contemporary. Might be a route to check out. Place is looking great though. Super inspiring. Good luck and way to go man.

    October 30, 2009 at 7:48 am

    • That’s a great idea, I’ll do some research on bamboo!

      October 31, 2009 at 11:12 am

  6. Ipe, no matter what they say, is not an environmentally responsible choice, since it’s a rainforest hardwood from Brazil. Being in California you have some of the world’s best woods right in your backyard – Western red cedar and redwood. Here in New Zealand we trip over ourselves to get imported US cedar and redwood!

    My recommendation – go local! With proper care, your local species will last a very long time. How can you go wrong with a tree which calls California its home, too?

    November 10, 2009 at 5:19 am

    • Yes Steve, I have been looking at Cedar and Redwood, Ipe is WAY too expensive for me!

      November 10, 2009 at 9:47 am

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