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wvumtnbkr UberDork
9/16/19 10:17 a.m.

Very cool!


Good work!

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UberDork
9/16/19 10:42 a.m.

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

Thanks! I'm hoping I'll be able to spend the whole day out there Friday with the nail gun and knock out the rest of the top wood trim so we can figure out if we need to source the barnwood to trim around it or if I can get the cuts close enough to the beams to not need it and save on the time and money. 

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UberDork
9/25/19 1:31 p.m.

Spent much of Thursday and Friday out at the cabin playing carpenter and got the wall in the loft and living room finished up. Unfortunately both bathrooms and the bedroom still remain- but hopefully they'll go more quickly as I've learned how to speed things up a bit.

On the good side of things assuming all goes well today everything but the plumbing will be done utility-wise.  The well is up and running, the final electrical inspection should be completed today, and all the telecom should have been up and running yesterday. The plumbing SHOULD have been done already and being inspected tomorrow, but despite saying they'd be there Monday the plumber texted this morning to say he'd been having manpower problems and it would be next Monday before they will get to it and thus as week from tomorrow before it could be inspected (inspector in the county is only around Thursday mornings).

Still... despite not being able to stay there (no toilets...) for another week or so everything else should be pretty much done and we just need to move everything in, which we'll probably get a start on this weekend.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UberDork
10/7/19 10:00 a.m.

So, for the first time in the nearly 17 months that this project has been underway we were able to spend the night out at the cabin on Saturday. There's still a whole host of things that still need to be done- the shower isn't fully grouted and thus unusable, the water is cloudy and undrinkable (and can't be used to fill the hot tub yet), the underside needs to be enclosed and insulated (though we now have someone to do that, and for about half what we expected it to cost), and a laundry list of other things- but it was really nice to actually be able to spend the night there and enjoy it finally. 

With some luck the remaining work won't take past the end of the month. It really sucks that we'll miss the majority of the fall tourism season out in the gorge, but at least we should have it rentable for the holiday seasons (though we're planning on staying there ourselves over Thanksgiving, so won't make anything then...) and can at least enjoy it ourselves.

I've still got a number of things left myself to take care of, like putting the stone on the fireplace (may be doing that tonight), installing a crap-ton of long structural screws to stiffen up the supports underneath, and lots and lots of cleanup of debris around the lot... but the end is actually in sight it seems!

The Dancer took a number of pictures while we were there of the more finished areas:

Powar UltraDork
10/7/19 10:17 a.m.

Oh man. That's lovely. We've not been to that part of the state in a while. Be sure to post up the rental deets when it hits the market. Maybe I can drag my wife there for a weekend getaway at some point.

eastsideTim UberDork
10/7/19 10:18 a.m.

Looks like Marley wore himself out walking up those steps laugh

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UberDork
10/7/19 10:24 a.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

Naw, he wore himself out when we hiked around to look at the adjacent treehouses (and climbing back up the stairs). :P

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UberDork
10/8/19 9:47 a.m.

Inching forward and ticking of some of the last things on the cabin that we can do ourselves. Last night it was putting the stacked stone 'tile' on the fireplace I built. It was more of a hassle than planned, and I'll be holding my breath when I go out there tonight that half the stone hasn't fallen off, but assuming it stays together we're pretty happy with how it turned out: 

Tonight I'll be heading out with a contractor pack (400) of 4" structural screws to reinforce the stiffening boards under the cabin before they start on enclosing it. *sigh* At some point in the next few weeks I also need to get a trailer, get, and take out the 500 gallon tank we're going to use for water storage for the hot tub. There's pretty much no way I will be able to get all of the screws I need to install put in tonight (I will have about 2 hours or so to work, so I'd have to be putting in a screw every 15 seconds to use them all- though I may not need all of them) but I can at least knock out as many as possible.

I'd like to get the last of the trim in the main living area put up (there should be barnwood trim on the corner to the left of the fireplace for example), but it's not that pressing of an issues- I'd just like to have another room completely done.

SaltyDog HalfDork
10/8/19 10:50 a.m.

Congrats on making it through this ordeal!

Beautiful looking cabin, I hope you get many years of enjoyment (And rent $$) out of it.

jnoiles New Reader
10/20/19 8:22 a.m.

That is awesome.  I don't think I'd want to go back to a normal house in the city.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UberDork
10/21/19 8:53 a.m.

In reply to jnoiles :

Thanks! We don't like having to come home overall, though from the two nights we've stayed out there we definitely miss our bed at home. We think we may have accidentally put the mattress for the loft bed in the bedroom though, we'll see if we like the other one better when we get the upstairs finished up.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UberDork
10/21/19 9:08 a.m.

We spent our second night out at the cabin Saturday night. As I noted above, the mattress isn't as comfortable as our bed at home (but then our Sleepnumber bed at home is REALLY nice and cost more than both mattresses for the cabin combined...), but I slept well enough (the cold medicine I was on likely helped :P). Otherwise we're still loving it.

We spent some time yesterday throwing all the scrap wood off the decks down to a pile by the street below- it was far more fun and cathartic than expected, and now the decks look much nicer. As of Saturday the hot water heater is actually hooked up and running so we had hot water, and we could have filled up and used the hot tub were it not for the problem with the cloudy water not being resolved yet. 

On the 'good' side of things, the guy who is taking care of enclosing the underside of the cabin is supposed to start on that today and will hopefully be done by the weekend.

On the other side of things, the contractor who 'finished' the cabin was supposed to come out over the weekend to look at the problem with the bathroom floor in person and explain how he's going to fix it, but to our complete lack of surprised he didn't ever show up Saturday (claimed he spent too much time working on his adult son's truck) and then didn't show up when he rescheduled to Sunday. This after claiming we still owed him $900 for work over what was in the contract and that he HAD to get a check for it on Saturday. Frankly at this point we're pretty close to telling him to berk off and we'll fix the remaining issues with the cabin ourselves and that we never want to see or hear from him again.

I'll likely be heading out tomorrow to do some work on the shower and do some prep for putting the urethane on the upstairs floor & stairs. We found out over the weekend that the tile guy did NOT put tile on the 'ceiling' of the inset soap dish/shelf in the shower- it's just exposed wood on the top, so I need to cut a few of the leftover tiles to install there. Frankly I'm now a bit worried about how he build that shelf since I think there SHOULD be cement backer board there and not just wood, and if he just built it out of wood it will eventually rot out and require a lot of work to fix. But for now all I can do is put the tile in, wait for the mortar to dry, and come back later in the week to grout it and fix the grout on the rest of the shower so we'll hopefully finally actually be able to use the shower. 

BUT... if things go remotely well, we could have the cabin essentially ready to be rented by the end of the month. We need to resolve the water issue, but there are other cabins where you're directed to bring your own water to drink out there so that shouldn't stop it from being rented (technically ours is safe to drink, it just looks bad...).

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UberDork
10/23/19 10:58 a.m.

Was out yesterday to work on things- the guy enclosing the underside has almost all of the insulation done and is just waiting on the sawmill to get the wood for the outside to him. If they get it to him today he may be done with all of it by the weekend which would be fantastic. It looks rather weird enclosed though...

I had HOPED to get both the tile in the soapdish done as well as fixing the screen doors, but ultimately only got one door done and found that I'd not cut the tiles quite right so need to re-cut them. The one door I got done is an improvement over how they'd been installed before, but it is TOUGH to cut a straight line with my circular saw over the 80-inches or so of the height of the screen doors...

I may end up running back out tomorrow after work to try and get the tile installed so I can potentially get out there Saturday morning to grout it and the rest of the shower that needs it such that if we stay there Saturday night I can take care of caulking the shower on Sunday so after that the whole thing would be done and usable.

At this point if the contractor would take care of the bathroom floor the place is on track to be ready to rent by the 1st of November- but so far we don't have any confidence in him getting out there and doing it (and still think that when he actually sees it in person and realizes what a task it will be that he'll just walk away- which at this point may be preferable). 

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UberDork
10/25/19 10:58 a.m.

Just got word that the plumbing passed the final inspection- so as far as the county is concerned, the cabin is now fully habitable.

Unfortunately the sawmill won't have the wood for the underside of the cabin done until next week, so that is disappointing, but it should hopefully be done by the end of the week.

Screen doors are done and on, and the only tongue & groove wood left to be put up is the ceiling of the bathroom which I was waiting to do until the plumber was all done since it will cover up a lot of his pipes- now that the inspection is done I still need to work out the routing for and install a dryer vent to the outside before putting the ceiling up.

Missing tiles for the shower soap dish were put in last night. Will probably try and get out tomorrow morning to grout the new tiles and the areas that didn't have sufficient grout before, and possibly will be able to caulk it on Sunday meaning that the shower might actually be usable after this weekend. 

Water is still really cloudy- am going to try swapping the filter the well guy put in for a finer (5-micron) filter and seeing if that helps. Would be nice to be able to handle it with inexpensive filters and not need to spend $1k+ on a fancier RO system, but we'll see.

Main thing remaining on the interior is sanding down the upstairs floors and the stairs and getting the clear on them. Depending on what we do this weekend, that might get done as well- if we don't spend the night Saturday (and thus, don't have the dog there...) we might be able to get this done which would mean that the only real problem left to be resolved would be the bathroom floor. Which the contractor is still dragging his feet on (he hasn't even been out to look at it in person yet that we can tell- and is essentially not answering our texts either). 

fanfoy SuperDork
10/25/19 11:28 a.m.

It is a really nice cabin and a great inspiration. I inherited land on the side of a mountain and I'd like to eventually build a cabin there similar to yours.

And your stories with the contractor are exactly why I think I'll build it myself.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UberDork
10/25/19 2:28 p.m.

In reply to fanfoy :


If we do something like this again (which in spite of it all we kind of do- we REALLY love the area where the cabin is and would love to retire there, but this cabin is NOT suited for retiring to at all- for one, there is not currently nor is there a place to put a garage...) we will either a) do the bulk of it ourselves with things we just can't handle subbed out, b) hire a general contractor with a crew that will do most of the work from local to us here in Lexington and deal with the premium for them driving out there and back, or c) have The Dancer's brother- a contractor up in WI- come down and do/lead the bulk of the work on it.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UberDork
10/28/19 11:01 a.m.

So yesterday afternoon the Dancer and I headed out to the cabin to get some work done and to meet up with the guy who owns the cabin rental company we're planning on listing the cabin through. While the meeting unfortunately didn't happen (he never read our text confirming the meeting... frown) and had to be rescheduled for next Sunday, we did get a fair amount done...

  • Installed a 5-micron filter on the system from the well, which cleared the water up AT LOT- enough that it is essentially clear now. I fear that the filter won't least NEARLY the 6-months that they say they will, but I do plan to add another filter in line with it so the water has to go through a courser filter (25-micron most likely) before the 5-micron in a bid to extend the life of the filters. Another encouraging thing was that the well didn't seem to have any trouble with filling up the 225-gallon or so hot tub, so hopefully it's putting out a bit more water now than what it was initially.
  • Got a coat of clear polyurethane on all of the wall boards that I've put up. The rest of the walls have 2 coats- but honestly unless you're REALLY looking closely you can't tell the difference, so we're likely not going to put a second coat on them
  • Put up the rest of the decor that the Dancer had picked up
  • Filled the hot tub and threw the breaker and got it starting to warm up to temperature. It's running the old filter for now but a new one will be in from Amazon tomorrow and I'll check and adjust the chlorine levels when I'm out there tomorrow so it'll be good to go when we spend the night Saturday.
  • Re-grouted the shower, which was what took the majority of my time. It now looks a LOT better than it did before with all of the holes filled in and gaps eliminated. It's just wrong that I can do it right the first time but the alleged 'tile guy' who did the shower did such a crappy job.
  • The Dancer tried out using the HF buffing wheels on the bathroom floor tile that had the grout left on them, and it works exceptionally well without even needing to use the 'stripping' wheel. Granted, it takes a minute or two per rock- and there are probably a thousand or more total rocks in the floor- but it at least works and we know that the method can be used to fix the floor.

There's still a LOT of little things to be done in addition to the one 'big' thing- sanding and putting the urethane down on the upstairs floor and the stairs- but we're inching closer to having everything done and the cabin rentable. If all goes remotely well by the time we meet with the cabin company guy next Sunday the underside of the cabin will be done and the floor will be urethaned and the furniture put in upstairs and only small things and cleanup will remain.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UberDork
11/4/19 9:17 a.m.

Spent the night out this Saturday again and met with the guy who runs the cabin company we're planning on listing the cabin through. Good news is he unsurprisingly really likes the place... the bad news is that he doesn't think it's worth putting the cabin up and available for rental until the Spring season starts in March next year. The reason being that apparently it's just too slow to make sense (I'm guessing they have people going out and cleaning/dusting even when the cabins aren't rented). So, another 4 months of it not really making any money. They do plan to have it up on the site and available to make reservations for the Spring though in mid-December since a lot of people take advantage of the only real sale they do around Christmas to pre-book reservations for later in the year. On the good side it means we're not rushed in getting things done- we just really need to have everything set for Thanksgiving when we plan to have family out there (finally). But it will suck not having any income coming in from it (save perhaps from some friends who have really wanted to stay out there- though at least one thought that she and her husband would be staying out there for free...).

On the good side, the wood on the underside is almost done and we're getting much closer on the interior as well. I'll likely be out there several evenings this week putting more layers of clear on the upstairs floor & stairs and knocking on small things that need to be taken care of. If the sawmill gets the last bit of the wood (they delivered the board, but not the batten...) for the underside delivered soon and I don't dawdle with my stuff there's a decent chance that it will be essentially done by this weekend.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UberDork
11/11/19 9:38 a.m.

Things have moved forward pretty well over the last week- the underside is essentially finished, and it looks great (and cost a lot less than we had expected). The big news is that this weekend the first people other than the Dancer, myself, and the Dog will be staying at the cabin! A good friend/co-worker of the Dancer has been really wanting to stay there so we're renting it to them for the weekend at a discount as a 'beta test' of the cabin to see how everything works when it's not us there. As such, we've been scrambling a bit to get everything finished up for them to stay there. We did a lot of cleaning and picking up of the decks yesterday, and I will hopefully be finishing up the work on the trim tomorrow evening so there's not any materials sitting around the cabin any more.

Most of the work by the different subcontractors is done, but there are still small things that need to be resolved- really low water pressure at the upstairs vanity faucet (when we tested the overall pressure at that height using a garden hose and the back deck faucet and it was fine) in particular plumbing-wise and a few missing switch plates and an outside outlet not having any power that we can tell on the electrical side of things, but they're generally minor issues. The biggest thing that needs to be done is replacing the upstairs toilet... but that's not because of a problem with its installation but rather that I kind of dropped the dryer on the front of the base when moving things around and cracked the hell out of it. blush

I'll be starting another thread with a poll regarding what to call the cabin- we will need to have a name for it before they list it on the rental site.

TRoglodyte UltraDork
11/11/19 10:02 a.m.

"Loafers Glory" ?  Congratulations sir, you have far more patience than I  could imagine. I  was stressed just reading about your saga.

Mad_Ratel Dork
11/11/19 10:09 a.m.


Stairway to Heaven?

Stairway to Haven?




AngryCorvair MegaDork
11/11/19 10:13 a.m.

with that open cave so close, i'd call it "a great place to dump a body"

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UberDork
11/11/19 10:40 a.m.
Mad_Ratel said:


Stairway to Heaven?

Stairway to Haven?




Actually, "Stairway to Heaven" IS one of the two names in the final running... going to post that poll now...

eastsideTim UberDork
11/11/19 11:15 a.m.

It's got a cave - how about Wayne Manor?

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UberDork
11/11/19 12:05 p.m.
eastsideTim said:

It's got a cave - how about Wayne Manor?

That would be hilarious, but it's a little bit too rustic for that. :P

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