Spring Break at the Homestead

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Living Room Floor

The kids were out on spring break this week, so we dropped them off at their grandparents for their annual visit, and headed up to our weekend homestead to squeeze in six days of work. I think that’s the longest stretch that we’ve had to work on the cabin since we bought it, and we have lots to show for it. Here’s a look at the progress:

When we started working on the cabin back in October, our first order of business was to close in the living room, so we’d have a place to stay while we worked. That meant building a back wall (since there wasn’t one), replacing all of the broken windows, tearing out the subfloor and temporarily closing the room off to the rest of the cabin. We managed to tackle all of that in one weekend, but we ran out of time when it came to laying a new sub floor. So, we just laid some plywood down, and called it good.

On this trip, we finally got a chance to finish the floor. It’s just pressure-treated plywood, nothing fancy, but it should hold up well to heavy foot traffic. I plan to porch paint it, so it’ll be easy to clean.

Final Window Installed

I’m also happy to report that we installed the final window on this trip. Someone had broken out all the windows in the cabin while it sat abandoned for 11 years, so they all had to be replaced. And since there had never been a back wall to the cabin, we also added three more windows when we framed in the wall. The window that you see here is one that we scored second-hand. Fully half of the windows in the cabin were rescued from curb piles or snagged from yard sales.

Installing Cedar Shakes

Since we didn’t have the kids with us on this trip, we stuffed the back seat of the Jeep with boxes of cedar shakes. We still have a bunch to bring up, but my husband got a good start on the back of the cabin. Every one of those shakes has to be hand nailed (two nails each), so it’s a pretty labor-intense job, but it should last a long time, and it looks great. It’ll eventually weather out to match the oak siding that’s on the rest of the cabin.

Side of Cabin

And speaking of oak siding … we tracked down a saw mill while we were up there, and bought the boards that we need to finish the siding on this side of the cabin. There’s actually an Amish saw mill that just opened a few miles down the road, so we won’t have to go far for lumber in the future. Pretty cool.

Fire Pit

There’s a TON of rock on the property, so I ventured into the woods with my little utility wagon, and hauled enough out to build a fire pit. Hauling it back up the ridge was pretty exhausting work, but I’m excited to be able to cross this project off my to-do list. The metal piece that you see in the middle is the base of one of those fire pits with the bowl that we rescued from a curb pile a while back. It worked nicely as a framework to our pit.


And I’m happy to say we finally got this little plaque installed by the front door. I used an L.L. Bean $10 off $10 promo code to get it for free, and gave it to my husband for Christmas. Just kind of a fun detail to mark the start of our crazy adventure.

On our next trip up, we plan to tear out and replace a small section of the front wall of the cabin and to frame in the wall between the kitchen and the bedroom. If we get that done, we’ll be ready to paint the floor on the following trip. I’m starting to get really excited!

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  1. Good Gollies…your doing one great job on that little “cabin in the woods”. You sure have lots of energy and some great ideals. Can’t wait to see it completed ..Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks, Ester. I can’t wait until we’re at the point where we can move furniture in. I’ve been saving stuff for this for years. It’ll be fun to share it with you guys.

  2. FANTASTIC JOB!!! wow, you guys are doing a splendid job and quickly too. It’s fun to see how much you get done, and how you save on supplies too. Keep us posted!

    1. Will do. April should be an exciting month for cabin updates. I can’t wait to paint the floors and get some furniture moved in. Our poor basement is bursting at the seams with all the stuff that I’ve been saving for that day. Lots of thrift store and yard sale treasures and curb finds to put to use 🙂

  3. You have me all excited waiting to see all the updates on the work you are doing on your cabin. The work you have done is really good. Looking forward to more postings.

    1. Thanks, Nancy. I’ve enjoyed documenting the process for you guys. It’s fun to look back at those before photos. I don’t think anyone but us would have deemed the cabin saveable … lol 🙂 I should have a really exciting update in a couple weeks.

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