Is it terribly irresponsible of my husband and I to be hatching a plan to buy and build a cabin before we have a house or a 401K? Maybe. Probably Yes. However, we do believe that we will be metropolitan center dwellers for many years to come, which, our career paths not laid with golden bricks, will necessarily involve remaining apartment-renters for a long while yet. Before you judge us as irresponsible dreamers, you should probably know that as long as what you want from a cabin is truly a rustic natural getaway, this can be had for remarkably less than you might guess. My personal tastes do run a bit high; I would love to find a squared-log frontier cabin circa 1790 (see the mountain listing near Bald Knob for just $1.1M), but there are some really beautiful modern (and green) designs out there that get the rustic-union-with-the-land thing just right. I really like the modern lines and extreme simplicity of this structure. It works beautifully in the forest setting amidst the tall trees.
via Sunset magazine
This Oregon couple managed to buy and build this cabin for $57,000 including a small wilderness parcel of land. This little abode, the Signal Shed, is off the grid with views of Wallowa Lake six hours northeast of Portland. Mariah Morrow and Ryan Lingard designed the building to be a simple one-room outpost nearby Forest Service trails and surrounded by wilderness; perfect to hike and bike in summer and snowshoe or cross-country ski in winter. The cabin features an 8-foot tall barn door that slides open onto a porch, creating additional living space. The structure cost them just $10,000! Mind you, Ryan happens to have a background in architecture. I do love to swing a hammer and use a table saw, but this project might require some schooling (and a posse of handy & constructive friends and family)…
They sell plans for the cabin for $1000 or a prefab version for $18,000. See the plans at Signal-Shed.
Here’s how they did it:
color images by Thomas J. Story for Sunset
So, if we follow this couple’s lead, we’ll be driving the dirt county roads out to our cabin from our rental apartment in the city before too long! Little DIY Cabin, here we come!