Last week, I wrote about watching the Minimalist documentary. This week I bring you an article contributed by Adam Clark with tips on building a minimalist cabin. The idea of living simply, using what nature provides and living a evasive lifestyle appeals to me – though I must admit, I love my internet connection. I doubt that I will ever truly be off-the-grid or be able to live with a minimal amount of items, but at least I can make an effort to try to think about what I do.
My boyfriend actually helped a friend of his build a cabin back in the day. He said that it was a long process, but rewarding when you took a step back and realized that this is something you created with your own hands.
There are many affordable ways of constructing your own cabin. However, there’s always ways to make things even more budget-friendly. With that in mind, here are a few tips on how you can build a low-cost cabin.
Only use dead-standing trees and leave the living ones in the forest. Chopping down a tree means a lot of physical labor due to trees carrying a lot of water weight. Also, a tree that has been freshly chopped down will have a tendency to split when drying and during cold seasons, can form ice inside of a heated edifice.
If you use dead-standing trees, make sure to inspect them for rotting and insects as they make logs less durable. Also, while removing tree branches, watch out for those that can be used as dowel pins.
Use alternative energy
As part of your pre-building process, consider using solar energy. Solar panel installations are cheaper now compared to 5 years ago. They also yield more electricity now thanks to advancements in solar panel technology.
However, you really need to use traditional electricity for your plumbing, you can use the Incinolet electric incinerating toilet, which uses very little energy.
Keep your finishes consistent
Cutting corners to spend more on something unnecessary should be avoided at all costs. As a general rule of thumb, never compromise something as important as a window just so you can afford extra materials for something like making a fireplace. If you want to keep the costs low, use fewer windows but never compromise on the quality.
Reinforce openings smartly
Log cabins are extensions to your home so make sure to reinforce them properly. Use interlocking logs and safety glass for your windows for added strength and security. Screwfix shows among their extensive range of log cabins that there are two industry standard types of glass commonly used: horticultural and toughened glass for doors and windows. It’s also worth using draught seals for doors and windows, as well as a wind blocking system to waterproof openings. This is the easiest and smartest way to reinforce openings in a cost-effective manner.
Before building a cabin, be aware of what works for you and what doesn’t. The best thing about building a cabin is that you get to design and construct it the way you want but that shouldn’t mean you approach it in a unpractical manner. Remember that constructing one for the first time is a learning curve and you will ultimately learn from your mistakes. However, if you undertake enough research beforehand, the chances of your making any major mistakes will be minimal.
What would miss about your current lifestyle if you went off-grid?