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

is that wood in your cabin or are you just happy to see me?

A long holiday weekend = me spending 4 days working on the cabin in the sweltering sun! (and I wouldn’t have it any other way)

Day One: 90 degrees and sunny,  I spackle the drywall and drink plenty of fluids, do some fire dept mandated brush clearance, fix a leaky water line in the trailer, drink plenty of fluids.

Day Two: I do a second coat of spackle (my lame-o drywall technique demands it) and escape the sweltering cabin for a nearby lake, lunch on the shore, mmmmm! Head to the hardware store for primer and a paint roller kit.

Upon my return, a blue jay sits and watches me.  It’s unafraid. I must be loosing my edge or am I becoming one with the animals? I love all God’s creatures, we share the earth, we are brethren. Except the steer and the lobster, they are delicious.

The spackle is dry after lunch so I suit up with big hat, respirator mask, bandana, and goggles. With sandpaper in hand, I begin to sand and smooth out the joints. This is fun, I sweat and the spackle dust mixes with sweat on my exposed body, creating a covering of white goop. I am a live mummy in progress. Kinky and fun. I sweat and drink more water. Since the water lines in the trailer are fixed, I shower off the layer of white goop. I am clean, my walls are smooth. Like a baby’s bottom.

I prime the walls with a $9 can of Zinsser primer (big 4th of July sale at the hardware store). Works like a charm! My love interest arrives at dusk, I am not alone and can finally stop talking to the large pine tree.

After a visit I break out a can of Benjamin Moore’s Slate Blue (color #1648) and slap a coat of gorgeous on dem walls! The heat gets oppressive so we break for cocktails, cake and holiday ice cream. It’s great having a working freezer and a love interest!

Ooooooooh, looks sassy!

Day Three, July 4: Morning comes and I make us country breakfast…eggs & sausage on french bread with whipped butter, coffee in that strange aluminum pot, good to the last drop, mmmmmmm!  Before the heat becomes unbearable, I put a second coat of paint on the sheetrock. The generator stalls, it’s out of oil, no a/c in the trailer today.

I stop work early and we head over the mountain to a holiday BBQ with some new local friends. Pork roast on the grill, delicious!

Day Four: Love interest heads back to LA to work. I am sad. I am not listening to any more trash talk from that pine tree, though.

I’ve brought up a stash of wood flooring left over from a movie set. It’s in perfect condition and it’s more than enough to cover the floor. The foam underlayment pad rolls out, the pieces snap together, I am impressed. I thought installing laminate flooring would be a giant pain-in-the-biatch but it is remarkably simple and it looks GREAT!

Two hours later, the floor is down. I tack down some salvaged baseboard (also from a movie set), install a mini-blind on the side window and hang curtains on the window wall. I clean up, move the furniture back in and even though it only has an air mattress and some cheap-o Ikea furniture, a (tiny) house is now a home!

The ceiling is still plastic over insulation but I’m saving my pennies for some good clear pine t&g when I can afford it (should set me back about $250).

For now I am thrilled that the cabin is now livable, my new bedroom away from home. The trailer’s a/c is cranked up, the fridge is stocked with beer, the sun is setting and there is no sign of the mountain lion.

Alex, I’ll take D.I.Y. for $3,600…the question is “could I be any happier today?”


12 responses

  1. developingdangerously

    had to come by and say Rock ON!
    well done! Yippe hooray.

    July 6, 2010 at 9:09 pm

  2. Nice! Now that is looking very civilized.

    July 6, 2010 at 9:17 pm

  3. Looking like a proper home there, congratulations, that must feel very good indeed.

    July 7, 2010 at 1:07 am

  4. Wayne White

    I’ve followed you for the past few months…Good job…A quick suggestion, if I may be permitted…Regarding the clear pine on the ceiling…If you have access to more of the free flooring, maybe a slightly different color or pattern, give that a shot…I’ve seen some ceilings done with the laminate flooring and it looks grand…

    Regardless, you’re doing a great job…

    Eager for the next installment…

    July 7, 2010 at 10:44 am

    • I had the same thought about the similarity of wood tones on the ceiling. The overhead boards will be laid out perpendicular to the floor and there will be more furniture, built-ins and an area rug. That will tone down the strong look of the floor and cover much of the walls. I’m not sure how I’d attach laminate to the ceiling as the strips are only 4′ long. I’ll give it some consideration though!

      July 7, 2010 at 11:34 am

  5. Wayne White

    Put staples through the tongue into the rafters/joists, a bit of glue (a light application of Gorilla ™ glue) on the tongue, slip the next one in and repeat…You’ll likely need to face nail the starting and ending edges, but that can be covered easily with a bit of trim…

    Perpendicular placement is a good idea, breaks it up nicely…

    Anyway, whatever you do, rest assured, it’ll be just right…

    Best wishes and kind regards…

    July 9, 2010 at 9:50 am

  6. Looks great! We have laminate flooring in our tiny house, too, and we love it. Really easy to clean and wears well. Good job on your progress!

    July 15, 2010 at 12:15 pm

  7. Excellent ! thank you so much for taking the time to share the adventure 🙂

    July 20, 2010 at 11:49 am

  8. Oh my, your home is beautiful! While the kid and I live in 700 s.f at present and I am hoping to downsize into something considerably smaller when she grows up and moves out. Reading your blog really inspires me on that subject.

    July 23, 2010 at 8:30 am

  9. Dude, you are my hero.

    I live in Australia and am currently building an off the grid dwelling for the family and me to holiday in – your blog has been a great inspiration.

    If you have time check out my just starting blog
    and let me know what you think.

    Keep up the good work.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    • aw, thanks!

      loved your blog man, keep it up. the framing part is awesome, it all goes up pretty fast and you feel like you can build anything. Don’t get discouraged by what comes next though, the long process of getting all the little details done.

      btw, I like the idea of staining the shed black or letting it go grey, it’s VERY organic look for the wood!

      September 7, 2010 at 10:46 pm

  10. Thanks for the reply – this is just the shed! The hard part is coming – building a type of dog trot pavilion thing set on a huge 12m x 12m deck – will post plans soon.

    Just a question have you set up your wind turbine yet and if so, is it noisy? And how much can it power?

    Cheers Anthony

    September 14, 2010 at 11:37 pm

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