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Building a Cabin? How to Do it Right the First Time

Building a rustic cabin on a remote piece of land is a dream for many people. Having a quiet place to go for some rest among the beautiful trees and wildlife is a great way to decompress. Of course, like any other project, it can go wrong if it’s not properly planned. Follow these four steps to make sure that your cabin relieves stress instead of creating it.

Choose a Good Site

Cabins are all about being out in nature and enjoying the great outdoors, but the wrong site for your cabin can let that nature move indoors. Make sure you select a site for your cabin that easily drains during even the heaviest rainfall. Check the area for trees that could fall on your cabin during windy conditions. Be especially mindful of evergreens, which catch more wind and snow.

Use Modern Construction Materials

Don’t get discouraged by this idea. No one is saying you have to build a 3BR, 2BA brick ranch. However, there’s a reason that very few old cabins still exist, and that reason is that they used techniques and materials that are now out of date. Assemble the “bones” of the house, floor trusses, foundation, and so forth from durable materials that will keep the structure strong. After that, you can go with rough-cut lumber and other more natural finish materials to create the rugged look you want.

Talk to Insurance Providers

Sometimes it’s difficult to get coverage on a property that isn’t occupied year-round. You may also not be able to get a policy without meeting certain code or construction requirements. The property’s distance from fire protection could also factor into your premiums, as could the amount of clear ground between the cabin and nearby wooded areas. Make sure your plans will work with what your provider requires.

Anticipate Pests

Plenty of insects love wood. Termites top the list, of course, but carpenter bees and many other species can do a lot of damage as well. Have your cabin treated for as many pests as possible. If you don’t, you may see a lot of expensive damage showing up after your last visit. Pressure-treated lumber can resist some invaders, and it’s also helpful to create a large gap between the soil and the wood.

Your cabin can be a terrific refuge for your family from the daily routines of work, school, and keeping up your full-time home. With good planning and careful design, you can build it right the first time.

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