Cabin Construction begins!

Cabin construction has finally begun! About 3 weeks ago the crew showed up and began interior work on our little 1,000 square foot cabin.  Here are some pics to share the progress!


construction begins

That cute little stump in front is our new water heater, which is getting tucked underneath the stairs to save room. The wall behind the water heater is the new back kitchen wall and they are working on the new stairs to the left.


assembling ikea cabinets

We thought we’d save some money and go with IKEA cabinets (plus we just liked the look) so we spent a weekend putting them together. Tip: All drawers are not alike.

Steven assembled most of the outside frames while I worked on the interior drawers.  We had a pretty good assembly line and all was going well until we went to install the side hinges for the drawers.  Turns out the nifty little doo-dad used to attach the drawer front to the drawer has 3 different setting options, which effects how the drawers sit in the cabinet. I learned this after I had assembled all the drawers.  I got cocky after the first cabinet went together smoothly and stopped reading the directions.  :( My bad.  Fortunately we only had to redo 4 cabinet drawers.

The cabin was still without heat at this point, so we borrowed the propane heater from the construction crew.  Tip number 2:  Don’t stand in front of a propane heater while fiddling with the propane adjustment knob because it turns it into a flame thrower. 

drywall is up

Cabinets finished and drywall up.


construction on the cabin begins

Standing in the bathroom looking out. Oh the beautiful mess of a construction site!


This will be our sink area.  They’ve framed out for the medicine cabinet, pulled electrical wires and stubbed out the plumbing.


Our tub. (Please, oh please let that clean up nicely.)  Still no water turned on.  That’s our tiny laundry/storage room through the door.


septic tank

This is our septic tank which hasn’t been used in about 6 years and hasn’t been cleaned out in forever. (If you don’t know what a septic tank is, it’s buried underneath that pile of dirt. When you flush your toilet, that where the um…waste goes. The metal box in the lower right of the pic is for our ductless heater/air conditioner.) So we called a septic company to have them come out and take a look.  Dwayne (super nice guy) dug around, found the hole and shoved in this hose which leads to

septic truck

this truck which is sucking out all of the, um, waste. When Dwayne finished he said the baffle was bad (which filters out stuff like toilet paper chunks) and that he would buy a new one, come back tomorrow and change it. So. He did. He climbed into the septic tank, changed the baffle and saw that a large tree root had grown into the line and cut it out. And he did it all with a smile. Dwayne is my hero.



stairs finished

The wood plaques that you see on the beams were put there by the original owners.  Wines, fruits, nuts – really cute printed wood labels. I love the character they add!


olive oil

I’ve only seen it done on TV, so it was fun to watch them make the concrete countertops. First they made the forms, then applied a thin layer of olive oil as a resist.

mixing the concrete for countertops

Mixing it up.

forms for concrete counters

This shot is taken from our loft looking down on the kitchen cabinets. Here they are starting to pour the concrete into the smallest form.

settling the concrete

They inserted a piece of metal grid (there is an uncut one in front of the picture) for reinforcement and are now using a sander to vibrate the form to get the air bubbles out of the concrete.

pouring the concrete

And now they are pouring in the rest. We went with a little bit darker than usual concrete color for contrast against the cabinets – so I’m excited (and a little nervous) to see them when they dry!


And finally, here is our beautiful new mantle (it will be painted to match the cabinets) and our wood burning stove. Which I can’t wait to try out since it’s been really cold!

There’s a bit more interior work to do, but then the construction crew has to wait until it warms up a bit more so they can work on the BIG things – like the new windows and doors. When those go in they will completely change everything…can’t wait… and I’ll keep you posted!


  1. Good Grief!!! What a beautiful mess!! It’s going to be wonderful!!

  2. Julie Foster says:

    Watching your progress will be such fun! We completed a complete home renovation last year and although it was exhausting…I have never loved a home more. Keep ’em coming!

  3. I would be a perfect place for a Thimble Retreat! I can’t wait to see the finished cement counters.

  4. Oh, your cabin is going to be so beautiful! Thanks for showing everything and giving handy propane tank tips!

  5. Susan Nelson says:

    You are making things happen and it looks great! How exciting to be making it just the way you want it. Good luck on smooth progress ahead!

  6. Very nice progress indeed. What brand of wood stove did you go with?

    • US STOVE company. They had a “burn trailor” come to town and it had all of their stoves inside so you can see how each of them burn. I think this particular model is discontinued and we were able to purchase it at a large discount. Excited to try it out, but it’s still not hooked up!

  7. Nice progress Karen. Looking good. My cousin Becky has a concrete counter company in KC. Not sure of the name. Maybe you used them. Hope all continues smoothly. Take care.

  8. Even more in love! I loved having concrete counters in our last home, they looked so wonderful!

    • Fingers crossed they turn out! Now a question for you, what did you use to clean them with?

      • Ours was sealed and polished, and was a fairly light creamy grey colour with little spakly and black bits through it. It was beautiful, one of my favourite things in that house. From memory, we mostly used an all purpose cleaner, but then had a “green” kick and used diltuted vinegar on it and sometimes a little tea tree or eucalyptus. After researching them a bit I think we should have used something more gentle. BUT what we did never affected them, they were stain free, smooth and shiny almost always, but that probably had more to do with the sealing and polishing than my efforts. I do remember though that we always used trivets and towels under hot pots and pans and chopping boards. When we first moved my mum put a boiling kettle down on them and that place was never as shiny as the rest of it again, we could have repaired it but we left it as a reminder and called it patina :)

        • Wow! Thank you for these wonderful tips! Our counters will be a little darker grey with sparkles and black and white bits throughout. It looks like I need to find some trivets and towels for hot items. And I’ll keep my eyes open for a “green” cleaner similar to yours. Thank you again for all your suggestions and tips!!

          • My pleasure! I am loving your blog and your little cabin! We used to make ours with white vinegar and distilled water in a spray bottle :) you are going to be in love with your counters when they polish them! Those little flecks of extra stuff make it so appealing! Are you staying with the idea for black exteriors?

          • Yes! Sticking to my guns on the black exterior. A little nervous about it, but I think when it’s all finished it will look great! I’m going out today to check the progress, so hopefully the counters will be finished. And thank you again for the cleaning tips!

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