The Tiny House Project

The weather fit the opening scene.
The weather fit the opening scene.

When we bought our place in this little mountain town, we fell in love with the ragged, run down cabin we could see from our bedroom window. It looked like it was in need of some major love… The front door was tied shut, a couple of windows were broken out, the roof was falling off, and the property itself looked like a war zone if the battle had occurred between self-actualized pine trees.

I had heard a few neighbors talk about trying to buy the cabin in the past, but things fell through for one reason or another. Word on the street was that nobody had really been there in about a decade, so I found out who owned it and reached out to her. To my surprise (and total delight), she was willing to sell, and made it super easy. We met her at the courthouse with cash, and she signed the house over on a quitclaim deed. With just a couple weeks of legwork, that bad boy was ours.

Inside view before the great clean!

Over the course of the spring and summer we removed about 20 truckloads of downed branches, dead trees, pine needles, and trash from the property. Slowly, the grass started to regrow and you could see life being breathed back into the space. Our neighbors were relieved to see the eyesore make some progress. We were relieved when we finally took our last load to slash collection. The cabin itself had old furniture, unused dishes, coolers of water, a stove with dead birds in it, and no less than 60 wasp nests.

My favorite touch - Hubs made a handle for the outhouse with an axe he found inside.
My favorite touch – Hubs made a handle for the outhouse with an axe he found inside.

In all honesty, the most labor went into the cleanup process. Once we had that done, changing the aesthetics of the place seemed like a delightful task. We started by painting the outside of the cabin, trading out the dingy yellow sides for a clean charcoal color. Next came the roof, which was replaced with metal rather than shingles, giving it better longevity and saving it from hail damage. The broken windows were replaced and all were reglazed. I’ll admit, that’s not one of my strongest skill sets, but it looked palpable once the windows were painted. Hubs built a frame for a small front deck, which fits perfectly on the side of the house and was (miraculously) almost completely straight the whole way around.


Up close and personal with the floors.
Up close and personal with the floors.

The most satisfying project, and the one that really tied the whole place together, was the flooring. While we had access to cheap hardwood flooring, it still would have cost close to $1,000 to install them. After searching for alternatives, we settled on making our own floors out of plywood. Yep, you read that right: we made plywood floors. The guys in the lumber department at Home Depot were less than thrilled with my request to cut eight sheets into 8″ strips, but they did it, and it turned out perfect. I would be remiss if I didn’t pat myself on the back a little bit for those floors. Having never done them before, I got everything laid out and cut to perfection while my husband was at work. A little stain and some polyurethane later, and you’d never guess the floor cost less than $200.

Inside view from the back wall.
Inside view from the back wall.

Our original plan was to keep the cabin as a little guest house. Losing my job was a double-edged sword in that regard. While the opportunity gave me ample time to put into the cabin, it ultimately meant we need to sell it. Next week, this bad boy goes up for sale, and I can’t wait to see who we get to add to the fold of our awesome little mountain community!


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