26 August 2012
Some bragging about our new tiny back forty retreat
A few months ago, Luc saw the cover of a gardening magazine I'd borrowed from the library. It had a picture of a cute garden shed and a headline about backyard retreats. Of course, the article was a dud, but the seed had been planted. Luc figured we could build a little cabin back in our woods and I thought it was a great idea, so we started browsing books and the interwebs looking for inspiration, and pricing out various options.
We figured out pretty quickly that there are a lot of people who would be happy to sell you a shed. Especially if you're not all that fussy about quality, appearance or price. Luckily, we found a company (Timely Touchups) that sells Amish-built structures in pretty much any configuration you want, for less than the cost of materials at Home Depot. Luc built all the windows, because we wanted wood windows, and we couldn't find them to purchase anywhere. We had to order the cabin as a kit, rather than completely built, because we were placing it back in the woods where a truck couldn't go, and with the 12:12 roof pitch it would have been too high anyway. The cabin rests on skids which are sitting on patio stones that we placed and levelled in advance.
Three weeks ago, our cabin arrived - the floor and walls were assembled and the roof trusses pre-cut. We hauled everything up to our site with my dad's tractor and a utility trailer. After many trips back and forth, and two days later, we started building. The whole thing went remarkably smoothly. It took a couple of weeks, but it's finished. Yay for small buildings (8 x 12, plus the porch)!
We've spent lots of time here just sitting and enjoying the woods in a way we never did before when we were only back here while walking. Sitting quietly allows you to hear and see things that you either miss or scare off when you're walking. Sitting here quietly at night is another experience altogether. The drought has enabled us to sit on our porch until well after dark without being pestered by mosquitoes - a very unusual state of affairs in this part of the world.
The cabin is so far unfurnished except for some folding lawn chairs. We intend to put in a bed, a table, a couple of chairs and eventually, a little wood stove. It is not within range of our wireless internet signal, so it is a true distraction-free zone.