Weekend Homestead: Countdown to Summer

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Installing Board and Batten Siding

We’re back from another weekend of working on our weekend homestead. As you may remember, we’ve been rehabbing an unfinished cabin that was abandoned 12 years ago. We started work in October, and we’ve been making slow, but steady progress ever since. Here’s what we’ve done so far:

  • Replaced all the broken windows
  • Replaced the missing roofing tin (stolen while it sat empty)
  • Closed in the back of the cabin (wide open when we bought it)
  • Tore down the side wall and rebuilt it
  • Added a second door and several more windows
  • Tore out the existing subfloor, and replaced it with new
Back Door
Side Wall – Before
Side Wall of House Torn Out
Side Wall Midway Through – Torn Down and Ready to be Rebuilt
Side of Cabin Being Sided
Side Wall Now – In the Process of Being Sided
Inside of New Side Wall
Side Wall Now- Interior View

So, it’s starting to look a lot better, but there’s still a ton to do. We plan to spend a significant chunk of our summer on our weekend homestead, but in order for that to happen, we have a lot to get done.

The kids get out of school towards the end of May, so the countdown is on!

Here’s what needs to happen over the next three and a half months:

  • Replace a portion of the front wall
  • Frame in the wall between the kitchen and the bedroom
  • Hire someone to wire the cabin
  • Plumb the kitchen sink
  • Hire someone to dig the well deeper
  • Paint the floor
  • Build a solar shower
  • Insulate the walls
  • Have the phone line brought to the cabin, and sign up for Internet access (so I can work)
  • Build a coop for our chickens

We shouldn’t have any trouble finishing our building projects, but we’re going to have to hustle to make the electrical work and well happen. Both of those projects are going to take some moolah. We’d like to clear about five acres of land for an orchard, so we may be able to raise the funds by selling some timber. We talked to an Amish logger about it, but he hasn’t been out to look at the land yet. If that doesn’t work out, we’re going to have to get busy saving.

There’s already an electric box on the property (a huge plus). It just needs a couple breakers and a new GFCI plug, and then we’ll be able to have it turned on. So, while we don’t have a wired cabin yet, we should have electricity within the next couple weeks. Just run an extension cord to the cabin, and dinner can be cooking in the crockpot while we work. Sounds like a major upgrade to me.

Aside from all that work, we still have some things that we need to curb shop or buy for the cabin.

Here’s what I’m looking for:

  • kitchen chairs
  • Wall-mount kitchen faucet
  • Butcher block for the kitchen counters
  • Refrigerator
  • Four metal stools
  • Shower head
  • Water tank (for our solar hot water heater)
  • (3) outdoor-rated ceiling fans
  • A full-size mattress
  • (2) screen doors
  • Electric panel

We’ll tackle all of the finishing work after we move in, but I’m already on the lookout for barn wood and vintage doors for some projects that I have planned.

Bath House - Week 1

Since we plan to rehab the old tack house that we’re using as our bathhouse this summer, I’m also collecting building materials for that. I snagged a window from a curb pile a few weeks ago. Now, I need to find some decking scraps to fix the front porch.

Wringer Washer

And check out our latest addition to our bath house. A fully-functional wringer washer! A homesteading family was getting rid of it, and our friends asked if we wanted it. They just dropped it off yesterday. I’ll pick up a can of white spray paint to take care of the rust, and it’ll be as good as new.

So, I can’t exactly say the weather has been on our side this winter. It’s pretty much been the winter of bitter cold, rain and mud, but we’re getting things done, and I’m getting really excited about this summer. I’ll keep you posted on our progress.

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  1. I absolutely love this project. Sounds like something the hubby and I would tackle. My favorite part is that you are doing it all on a budget and using reclaimed products. We just purchased a “new to us” farm that has a summer kitchen and root cellar. They have both been neglected for years. However, we plan to bring them back to life this spring. Your project has given me inspiration. Thank you for sharing!!!

    1. Oooh … sounds like you have some fun spring projects planned. A root cellar is on my list, too. I’d like to build one into the side of the hill so it also doubles as a storm shelter. Bring on the warm weather, I say 🙂

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