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

What a tool…

Shed… tool shed that is.

Before I can finish the interior of my tiny cabin, I need to clear out all the building supplies, ladders and tools. My plan is to re-build the small tool shed behind the cabin and use it as a workshop/storage/windmill battery hut.

I arrive at the mountain and the weather is blustery, cold and simply gorgeous. I decide to sit and stare at the view for a while.

That while turns into dusk, which turns into night.

The morning brings sun and the sun brings me out to the shed.

My tool shed has become a favored toilet destination for every rodent on the mountain. Mouse feces and urine have formed small mounds which cover the entire shed floor (6’x8′) and rise about 4″-6″ high.


To avoid catching Hanta virus, I don my gloves, respirator, long sleeves, long pants, bandana and large floppy hat. I empty the shed and try to scrape away the feces mounds. WTF? This is disgusting and yet, even a shovel cannot dislodge the caked-on excrement. It seems to have bonded with the OSB floor. My solution? A solution of 100% chlorine bleach. I dump a full gallon of bleach over the entire floor. It sizzles, it fumes, it freaks me out, I run.

Five minutes later, I return with my shovel and voila, the feces piles begin to dislodge and disintegrate into a yellowish-green-ish-brownish soup. Oh, and it gives off the most wretched fumes.

I’ll spare the gory details except to say that eventually the floor is scraped clean. I wash it out with a bleach/water solution, prop open the doors and let it dry in the warm, clean mountain air.

My next step is to sheath the walls with OSB, then I’ll lay down a new plywood floor over the old feces-stained OSB one. By sheathing the inside, I’ll eliminate any access point for varmints and critters.

When building my cabin, it really paid off for me to save and store the left-over lumber and scraps in a well-organized pile. I covered it with a tarp so that the wood pile could breathe and not rot or get mouldy.  I now have enough left-over lumber to skin the interior, replace some cracked siding, replace the door frame and close in the gables on each side!

I close up the eaves with 2×8 blocks and stuff steel wool in all the cracks I can find. I re-built the door frame so when the French Doors (found them for free on a sidewalk in LA) are closed, they completely seal off the interior. Cost to finish this project? $0.00!

I took some time to cut back all the overgrowth around the shed and now all that’s left is to stain/seal the outside to match the color scheme of the new cabin! I have no more wood stain so I turn my attention to the cooler of cold beer waiting in the cabin.

In order to get to the cooler, I have to move THE BRAND NEW WIND TURBINE I WON!!!!!

It arrived a few days ago and it’s AWESOME!

There is a perfect clearing up behind both buildings where the wind comes right on through the valley. I survey the area and find a perfect spot to put the turbine, right behind the cabin. All I need now is the 30′ tower kit (and $400 to pay for it, LOL).

I Photoshop-ed in what I think it will look like when installed!

I need to knock off early and head back down to LA before dark, missing what I’m sure will be another glorious sunset on my mountain (and if you look carefully, there’s still some great lumber left in that pile!).

6 responses

  1. It’s going to look really good. Nice photoshop job 🙂

    June 2, 2010 at 5:04 pm

  2. Excellent work! I know that was disgusting.

    As for the tower, have you considered the DIY solution? 3 x 10′ lengths of 2″ galvanized steel pipe with standard couplers will get the mast, some steel wire for the guy lines, and an t-joint at the bottom with a 1.5″ U made by two longer pieces, one 6″ piece, and two angle brackets will make for a good base. I used a similar setup for my Chispito. Even with all new parts, you’re looking at less than $100.

    June 3, 2010 at 6:48 am

    • that’s a GREAT idea Grant! The online instructions are clear and simple, I’m gonna go for it man

      June 3, 2010 at 1:44 pm

  3. RDLong70

    Your place is really coming together. Looking forward to the interior updates. Best Regards, ~Ron

    June 3, 2010 at 5:28 pm

  4. Amazing what you can do with leftover stuff, isn’t it? Check out my screen job in the shed. We sleep there on weekends now. We pull the tractor out and we move in!
    Can’t wait to see what you do inside! Jeff won’t let me hang curtains yet! I’m ready to move into the shed and give up suburbia altogether!

    June 6, 2010 at 7:24 pm

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