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X Marks The Spot

Having a place to stay on the farm has been a dream of mine since we bought the place seven years ago. So I type this post with great excitement. I have taken a lot of time over the last seven years researching ways to get a cabin on the farm without breaking our pocketbook. We have looked at the manufactured buildings, pop-up campers, mobile homes, and the list goes on. But in the end, my husband and I think it would be grand to be able to say that we built our own cabin for the farm. Now my husband and I have no formal training what so ever in building anything. Our first attempt to build a shelter was the chicken coop. It is a functional building, you might say, so we hold some pride in the coop. After this, my daughter saw our great building skills and began to ask for her daddy to build her a tree house. This too was a stretch in our knowledge but also in our pocketbook! We learned that lumber is EXPENSIVE and play set accessories such as slides and swings add up pretty quickly.  

First steps to building the tree house

So we needed to find another source for the building supplies. The tree house project showed us the power of recycled materials. As we were building our daughter's dream tree house, my husband looked up used play sets on Craigslist. I was greatly surprised at all the posts containing requests for people to come tear down their old sets for free or very small sums of money. A quarter of the wood that we made use of was from the recycled play set. Not to mention all the equipment like swings, slide, and monkey bars that was brought into play while assembling the tree house. As we were wrapping up the tree house project, I mentioned again how great it would be to have a cabin on the farm. My husband was quick to agree and said, we should really look into how we might use recycled material.  

And so the challenge has begun.     

Step one: Where? 

This month we marked the spot of our future cabin on Stoffels Family Farm. Our goal is to have small living quarters where we can get out of the elements when needed.  We don't want anything to big and we need it to convert to a barn once again if the need ever arises. 

Future Building Site  

Step two: Plans? 

I have found multiple sites that sell cabin plans, but I also stumbled across some that were free. Here are two sites that I found helpful and even printed off a set of plans from the sites. 

Possible plan resources:

Step three: Supplies?

I am a huge fan of reusing, upcycling, recycling, and things of this nature. So when my husband suggested we post on Craigslist and Yahoo Group Freecycle I was thrilled. We typed up a simple ad that stated we were looking for used or unwanted building supplies and were willing to come and haul the supplies away. So far we have gotten a full trailer load of supplies. We have done the back-breaking work of hauling off the unwanted materials for the individuals and we get to keep it! A win-win situation if you ask me.

First Trailer of building materials

Next step: Breaking ground – when it's not frozen.

nebraskadave
2/9/2014 9:26:38 AM

Amanda, I too have discovered the gold mine of materials from Craig's list free. I haven't been to Free Cycle yet. I have acquired so much stuff that I had to quit until I use up some of the materials. Wooden pallets are abundant and every week could can be found on Craig's List. Most of it is hard wood like rough oak. As you say there's always swing sets on the list from time to time. I always thought the A frame could be used for small green houses in the spring and fall to extend the season or just as a support for climbing plants. So many ideas and not enough time to pursue them all. Good luck with your adventure in cabin building. ***** Have a great X marks the spot day.