We all want to get away from it all once in a while. This is the case even if we are extremely happy with our home lives. Even if we really love our jobs, taking time away is important. It allows us to center ourselves, to do something a little different and to not live by a clock. Getting some time away from the routine is essential – even if you’re not the type to get stressed, the battery-farm routine is not good.We all have our own different ways of doing this, too. A break from the routine can be a two or three day staycation. Load up some family viewing to watch on TV, have some snacks instead of cooking full meals? Sounds fun. Some of us get away, physically, and take a foreign holiday. At the end of a flight, in a hotel or on a beach, whatever is bothering you at home feels small and insignificant.
When we are kids, most of us have a hiding place. What we forget as adults is that childhood can be hard and frightening. And during the times when it is, kids like to have a place they can go and get away from the tough times. This doesn’t really change when we are adults. All that happens is that we stop calling it a hiding place. It’s still good to have it, though. Having a getaway can be hugely beneficial.
It has been proven, time and again, that if you want to get away from the hustle and the bustle of everyday life, it helps to get into nature. You can go for a road trip through forest or rural terrain and actually feel stress levels drop. You can take a hiking trip and listen to the world around you. If you haven’t got as much time, you can just get in the garden and feel the stresses melt away.
But you can also combine these two ideas – the getaway and the countryside and if you have the time and the money, have a rural retreat – this is Mr ESLT’s dream! The great news is that it doesn’t even need to cost very much. You can build yourself a rural getaway for not much more than a basic home remodel. And at the end of it you don’t just have a new kitchen or a living room that looks different. You have a whole new place!
Sure, it is a project that takes commitment. If you want to keep costs down, you’ll be doing a lot of work yourself. If you want to have a getaway with some of the comforts of home, that can be a challenge. But at the end of it, you’ll have a rural getaway – a log cabin is the most popular way to go. And the great thing is, you won’t need to book it or share it, it’s yours to use when you want.
Location, Location, Location
It’s often said that the three most important things in real estate are Location, Location and Location. Certainly, identical houses in two different locations can vary considerably in price. But if you’re building it yourself, then the price is static, right?
Well, maybe not so much. Sure, the materials for a log cabin of a certain size will largely be the same wherever it’s going. However, for some locations you’re going to have a lot more work to do. And depending on that location, you might need some more materials to make the cabin feel secure and warm. So location is still very important – for the price and for the amount of work you’ll be doing.
Ideally, you want to find a place that has fairly flat terrain. Leveling out bumpy land can take a lot of time and effort. If you’re trying to put down foundations – and even a log cabin needs foundations – you’ll need to find the right land. Also, for all that this is going to be a getaway, you need to consider power supply. Do you want to have a fridge there? TV? Do you want to use the internet?
Of course, if it is a break from civilisation you want, you might not need all of the above. Just drive out there with a cooler full of drinks and sandwiches on the Friday, and go dark for the weekend. Studies show that a break from gadgets and devices can be beneficial.
Can You Do It All Yourself?
Building your own cabin getaway is an interesting project and a challenging one. If you built your own house, it will be a breeze compared to that. It’s on a smaller scale and will need fewer rooms, fewer supplies and less land. If you haven’t, then you’re probably expecting it to be tough. Well, it will be, but it’s not going to be a nightmare.
Make sure you research the land where you’re building. How much space do you have in which to build? What will you need in terms of materials to build the kind of cabin you want? What is the area like in terms of climate and shelter? What kind of building do you need, to be sure it will stand up to rain storms and other harsh conditions? All this information is stuff you need to get on top of before you even buy anything – land, building materials, labour and so on.
Labour is the other question here. People who have built a property before will know what it takes, but if you never have there are questions to satisfy. Can you safely (and that’s the key here) build a cabin that will stand up to time, to conditions and use? Or will you need to hire contractors to do part of the work? It’s not going to be the same as building a full house, but it’s not going to be easy.
It costs more than doing it yourself, BUT: If you’re not a trained electrician, hire one. If you aren’t a plumber, hire one. There are technical jobs to do here, and they require technicians. This is an excellent time to speak to friends who are in the above trades and who might do the work in return for a favor. Maybe they’ll do it for a couple of weekends in the cabin, or for beer money.
There will be plenty that you can do. Flooring, installing appliances and painting indoors aren’t going to be too tough. Source the right cabin stain and you’ll be able to paint the outdoor area of the cabin too. It’s a learning experience, as is any home remodelling project, and you will pick up a lot as you go along. Only you will know exactly what parts of the job you can do.
Building Codes And Regulations
The regulations that you have to live and work within will depend upon the area that you are building in. Sticking to the building code is essential – if you don’t, you can be ordered to take down the cabin. But those regulations aren’t just there to make it hard for you. They’re not even just there to protect the environment. They’re there also to protect you and anyone who steps inside the cabin.
Familiarise yourself with the building code (or relevant regulations) for the area in which you are building the cabin. It may well differ from the one in which you currently live. It may have allowances for cabins that are different from those which exist for larger houses. When you know what you are working within, you’ll have a better idea of what time, money and human resources you’ll need to budget for.
One of the main attractions of having a log cabin out in the wilderness is that it is so close to nature. You can wake up to the sounds of the forest or a stream running by your property.
By the same token, you need to be cognisant of the fact that building in the countryside can take a toll on that very countryside. Build close to a stream and you can risk polluting that water. Build in a habitat where birds and woodland mammals live, and you can affect their lives negatively. If you see yourself as a lover of the great outdoors, make sure that you aren’t doing it a lot of damage.
Building your own retreat has a lot going for it. You will be able to wake in the morning and go for a walk in the very fresh air that you usually have to drive for an hour to breathe. You can take a holiday and get away from it all without needing to touch your credit card. You can get close to nature and stay there for a few nights. And if you want to work on something creative, you can be completely without distraction.
It’s going to be a tough job, and probably make demands on you that you didn’t expect (along with all the ones you did). But when you put the effort in, you’ll come away from it with something real and tangible. And everyone envies the person who has their own log cabin in the wilderness.
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