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Small Cabin Forum / Member's Projects and Photos / My story, and the 10x12 Shabin (phase-1)
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gwindhurst
Member
# Posted: 5 Apr 2020 14:06
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First and foremost I’d like to thank all those who’ve shared their stories, knowledge and experiences before me on this Forum. It truly has been inspiring and motivating. As I write this, as promised in a previous post, I have yet again been reminded to live life to the fullest and as if it were your last. You never know what tomorrow may bring. So follow your heart and your dreams, and do your best to accomplish them.

Although this paragraph is not directly related to my story, it’s a stark reminder of those words above. Just over a week ago on Friday, March 27, 2020 I lost a very dear friend in a tragic accident. And during this time with the Covid-19 pandemic, normal ways of living are changing by the hour. As such, my friend will not receive the proper arrangements he so rightfully deserves. This world has lost a great man.

So here is my story dedicated to my father, John, my brother David, and dear friend Alan.
My Dad, John
My Dad, John
Brother Dave
Brother Dave
Alan.jpeg
Alan.jpeg


gwindhurst
Member
# Posted: 5 Apr 2020 14:10 - Edited by: gwindhurst
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“Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be again”
~Eleanor Roosevelt

I was born the third child of five boys, and together as a family we did a lot of camping over the years. My Dad had always dreamt of buying a piece of property and starting a family compound. A place we could all go too at will. That was a long time ago, and a dream I held dear to my heart. Over the years I’d periodically browse the internet for properties however, I never inspected any of them until recently. I suddenly realized I wasn’t getting any younger, and that cabin dream was beginning to fade. My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and passed away in June 2016. Back in September of 2008, I had lost my older brother to cancer.

I have two young sons of my own and began to think, making this happen would not only fulfill my father’s dreams, but mine as well. This would be my legacy. A place for my family and friends to enjoy and reminisce. So began discussions with my loving wife and to my surprise, she looked at me and said, “So go find some property and make it happen”…

Flashback to January 2018: The hunt was on. After browsing countless properties online and visiting several with careful consideration we found it. The “Camp” property. A property that met all our requirements; Within 200 miles of home, had a water source/feature (stream), sizable acreage (14.4ac) with plenty of frontage (not just a 100 foot wide landing strip), on a town maintained (gravel) road off the beaten path, and close to 4-season recreation.
Stream through property
Stream through property


gwindhurst
Member
# Posted: 5 Apr 2020 14:14
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July 26, 2018: I drove the 200 miles north and closed on the property. Then, took a drive for a quick visit to the property before turning around and heading back home. It was a long but worthwhile day. A few more trips over the remainder of the summer/fall of 2018, tent camping to scout the property for potential site location(s). A lot of research and planning through winter and preparations for mud-season (aka Spring).
First camp on property
First camp on property


gwindhurst
Member
# Posted: 5 Apr 2020 14:16
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April 2019: I unexpectedly acquired two large loads of free lumber from a friend of my father-in law (a work shop clean-out). Now what? A change in plans of course… (You can read original post here: https://www.small-cabin.com/forum/6_8888_0.html) IMO It’s easier to plan, purchase and build to said plan, than acquire a pile of sticks and try to figure out what you can make of it. But after careful inspection and inventory, there was enough material to build most of the bones for a 10x12 Shabin with loft. It beats sleeping in a tent (especially in inclement weather), and offers security for tools I don’t have to schlep back-n-fourth.
First of two loads
First of two loads


gwindhurst
Member
# Posted: 5 Apr 2020 14:17
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August 2019: After a busy summer (not all cabin plan related), I drafted plans and purchased the additional materials needed to complete a dried in structure. Measure twice, cut once! I began to cut and pre-build what I could at home; pre-cutting roof rafters, rim and floor joists, blocking, making window and door frame kits (headers, jack-studs, cripples etc.). I temporarily pre-fit and assembled the critical components in my yard, then disassembled and transported everything on two separate trips north…
Prefab in my backyard
Prefab in my backyard


gwindhurst
Member
# Posted: 5 Apr 2020 14:21
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September 21-24, 2019: Perfect Saturday morning-- Happy Birthday to Me! My list of objectives in hand, truck loaded to the hilt with building materials and tools, I embark on an extended solo weekend mission. Hours later, I arrive at my adjoining neighbor’s property to barrow his tractor/loader he so graciously offered me to use anytime I needed. With the tractor bucket filled to the brim with implements of destruction (chainsaw, brush-cutter, plenty of gas/oil, bar-oil, rakes, shovels etc) I gain clear access into my property. Next, I shuttle several loads of building materials to the remote build site. Over the next couple days I manage to remove all the organic material from footing locations, construct the piers and build the floor system. Mission one complete…
First load ready to go
First load ready to go
Neighbors tractor
Neighbors tractor
First open access
First open access
Completed rim/floor joists
Completed rim/floor joists


gwindhurst
Member
# Posted: 5 Apr 2020 14:24
Reply 


October 4-6, 2019: Friday morning, another trip north loaded to the gills. Upon arrival I’m surprised by a “Grand Re-Opening!” Apparently my adjoining neighbor from down the road has greater skills with his tractor than I do. Turns out he inspected my work at some point during the week and decided I needed help. So he returned with his machine and thoroughly perfected my hack-job. Well done! Thank you Wyatt! (A Cabela’s GC is on its way for you!) Okay, back to the plan. For this trip I’ll have help for one day. My brother plans on leaving later this afternoon after work and making the trek up. He arrived at approximately 9:30 p.m. We discussed the mornings plan over a couple of beers before retiring for the night. Early Saturday—a big day ahead, the walls were being assembled, going up and sheathing begins. The days end brings us to dinner at a local restaurant before he makes his trip back home. The following morning I proceeded to finish the sheathing, house-wrap and securing the Tyvek with strapping (furring strip) so it doesn’t get destroyed until I return the following weekend…
Grand Re-opening!
Grand Re-opening!
Second at the property
Second at the property
Walls going up
Walls going up
Tyvek secured
Tyvek secured


gwindhurst
Member
# Posted: 5 Apr 2020 14:26
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October 12-14, 2019: Columbus Day weekend, with the help from my brother for the duration we started on the roof system. Despite all the rafters being pre-cut, progress was still slow but steady. The uneven terrain and lack of staging around the outside the building made things difficult. Slow and steady wins the race and, I was determined to get dried in before the snow started to fly. Safety is always paramount and of great concern. Nearly 2 miles off the paved highway up a dirt mountain road, help is not around the corner and cell service is sketchy at best. By the end of the weekend the roof was complete with exception to a few minor details. A great sense of accomplishment which would not have been possible without the tremendous help of my brother (Sweat equity!). Thanks Pablo! ;o)
Rafters and purlins
Rafters and purlins
Me roofing
Me roofing
The Shabin
The Shabin


gwindhurst
Member
# Posted: 5 Apr 2020 14:28 - Edited by: gwindhurst
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November 18-19, 2019; Beautiful Monday morning and another solo trip to finish up a few items from the last trip. I also brought up some basic provisions and a temporary heat source. Installed one of three windows and buttoned everything up until spring. It’s been snowing all morning, and as I make my departure I think to myself-- Success! Can’t wait to get back next Spring, lots of projects to work-on…
First snow
First snow
From across the stream
From across the stream
The stream
The stream


Hangblague
Member
# Posted: 6 Apr 2020 10:44
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Well done! Thanks for sharing. What part of the world?

gwindhurst
Member
# Posted: 6 Apr 2020 11:36
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TY, just east of Ludlow, VT

jsahara24
Member
# Posted: 7 Apr 2020 12:00
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Nice! Look forward to seeing the progress! How does the size feel now that its built? Trying to decide what size cabin to go with....

gwindhurst
Member
# Posted: 7 Apr 2020 12:24
Reply 


Small... I was originally planning on a 12x16 but working with what I had acquired I scaled down. I am planning a larger cabin (16x20 or 16x24) in the next year or two. Either way, this will serve as my getaway until then and during the future build. I would go as big as you can however, it’s better to have something small, manageable and affordable than nothing at all. On a final note, I’m in a town without zoning. Something else to consider in you decision...

gwindhurst
Member
# Posted: 7 Jun 2020 10:04
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Finally made it back up to get some work done last weekend 5/30-6/1. Drove up Saturday morning with my 11 y.o. son and we left Monday afternoon. Installed two windows, built loft, sealed some gaps with Great Stuff and fiddled with my new solar components/system. Planning another trip soon now that I can freely move across state lines...
Hauling in materials
Hauling in materials
At the Shabin
At the Shabin
Loft & kitchenette
Loft & kitchenette
Loft
Loft


Hangblague
Member
# Posted: 7 Jun 2020 11:34
Reply 


Looking great!

gwindhurst
Member
# Posted: 7 Jun 2020 12:32
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Thank you. Not as nice as yours but it'll do for now. Hope you are feeling well after your marathon build. Stay safe and healthy.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 9 Jun 2020 09:38
Reply 


Looking good gwindhurst

Are you having to bring everything in via the UTV? Acess was a major issue I tackled early on in our pre build. It's nice being able to drive upto the site.

gwindhurst
Member
# Posted: 9 Jun 2020 10:07
Reply 


Thank you. Yes, I use the UTV to haul everything in via old logging roads which are in poor shape. For now I like the remote access, keeps others from driving right in and adds to the adventure. Eventually I’ll improve the roads (and build a bridge over the stream) for easier access but not until absolutely necessary. Maybe in phase-2 when I build the larger cabin.

gwindhurst
Member
# Posted: 25 Jun 2020 16:19 - Edited by: gwindhurst
Reply 


A beautiful extended weekend at the Shabin for Fathers Day with my boys (4 days!). A little work, mostly play. Traveled up Saturday morning, unloaded and relaxed. Sunday we started with setting up my repurposed drafting table for the solar panels. Then worked on the control center for a little bit. The rest was pure relaxation...

Except for the close encounter with a Black Bear. I walked out of the cabin and as soon as I closed the door behind me and looked up, there he was. By the time I collected myself and got my phone out, he was making his way through the woods... I posted a video on YouTube if you’d like to check it out.

https://youtu.be/uU3t_mczxh8

Cheers!
Repurposed drafting table
Repurposed drafting table
MPPT Controller
MPPT Controller


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