Design The Pines

(We’ve had some new friends coming to visit and offer links on the cabin/cottage topic, so I’ve brought this post back up to the top. Thanks, Friends and Visitors!)

When I checked out a book at the library today, the librarian saw my info on the computer screen and told me I carry my age very well. Isn’t that the kind of librarian we all hope for?!

I ran across a gem today. Perhaps a life-changing one. Long-time readers probably know that I’ve looked at everything concerning building your own cottage or cabin. Last year, I finally decided that a solid walkthrough of the whole building process, from soup to nuts, simply didn’t exist. Not one that I like and understand, anyway.

This is why I love our library. It wouldn’t be unusual to stumble upon a fascinating tome printed in the 1930s or so. This morning, I stumbled on “How to Build a Vacation or Retirement House” (1968). I took a look, and I got it. I understand every word. As they say, it spoke to me.

This book takes you through every single step of building a small home, in order, with drawings. I still needed to test it. “Foundations are tricky,” I thought. So, I read the chapter about foundations. I looked at the diagrams. Huh. Perfectly clear.

Change of plans. As if you’re surprised, I’m going to build the house myself. I kind of forgot I could do that. (Duh.) It’s perfect. Don’t care how many seasons it takes, and this way, we can do it a little at a time, on our own schedule. Foundation one season, framing the next, finish the next. That sort of thing. It’s permissible with our local codes, so heck. Why not?

Best part – a bank slate. No blueprints, no prefabs. Just an idea that I’d like it to be old-fashioned-like.

So, Friends, I’d like your help. Let’s Design The Pines together. Seriously. I’d like to look at as many gorgeous cottages as possible. Wanna help me look? What do you find beautiful in an old-fashioned way? I hope you’ll look around and send me some cottage images/links that you really love. Please post links in the comments section here. There are only three requirements – small, gorgeous, and old-fashioned.

Alpine style? Bring it on. Rustic? Awesome. English countryside? Um … perfect.

As long as pics and links are coming in, I’ll post them for us to comment on and chat about, along with a link to your blog. If you send me a bunch of them? Repeatedly? I’ll link to you repeatedly. Let’s up each other’s blog participation during these dark days, and have some fun. No blog? Play along anyway! Pass it on! I’d love it if you’d mention it on your blog or to friends – the more pics and links, the better!

* * * * *



Filed under adirondacks

12 responses to “Design The Pines

  1. ADKtricollie

    Great idea, love the Adirondack Style & English Cottages. Just make sure when building, that you leave room for one of these. A good soaker!

  2. Hm… the little red one looks a little Scandinavian! Very nice..



  3. We are planning on doing the same thing. This is our “go to” site.

  4. Fell in love with these cottages when I saw them on the Rowdy Kittens blog. I love that they’re built from recycled materials – they have so much more character. They’re here:
    and here:

  5. This is way over the top, but I just ran across it today and I’m in love. I’m thinking of tucking a small version of this into the woods behind our house.

  6. go green, and do cordwood

    Cordwood construction utilizes short, round pieces of wood, similar to what would normally be considered firewood. For this reason this method of building can be very resource efficient, since it makes use of wood that might not have much other value.

    If properly built, a cordwood structure provides natural, fire-retardant, mortgage-free shelter, is easy to build and will last at least one hundred years. It has been cited that cordwood buildings estimated at 1,000 years old are still standing in Siberia and Greece. Many new and older cordwood homes can be seen around North America, particularly in Wisconsin, Quebec and Ontario’s Ottawa valley.

  7. oldladymac

    Delurking to link you to this. you seen these? Looking into it myself. Enjoy your blog.

  8. Sandy

    My ex- and I built a house back in the 1970’s. It took us 3 years, but it was worth it. 3 years of most evenings, every weekend, and every holiday. Saved tons and tons of money. 1700 square foot house.

    You know exactly what goes into it. We did get help with the roof, cabinets, carpets, and vinyl floors. He did the plumbing and wiring.

    We had a grader come out and use a backhoe type grader to do a rough grade. (Then we had to correct that grade; the guy wasn’t too experienced, so get experienced help.) Then we used shovels to make the footing area level for making wooden forms to pour the concrete footing. He used a surveyor thing to check how level the forms were. Be sure to put re-bar in the concrete.

    Then made wooden forms for the foundation walls, on top of the footing. (use re-bar).

    To mouse proof: used discarded tin plates from newspaper printing. Cut them a little wider than foundation walls, then bent down each side about 2 inches, in a 45 degree angle. Put them on top of the foundation wall. This kept all mice from coming into the house. Lived in the middle of a big field; never had a single mouse in the house.

    First requirement: make a big mud room for a back door entry.

    2nd: make sure all water pipes to and from well (or water service line) are buried 4 feet deep; that way they will never freeze.

    Oh you will have fun.

    I remember we framed up walls on the sub-floor, using diagonal 2 x 4’s to keep them steady while raising them up. Then used a plumb, then adjusted the diagonal brace, then nailed them down.

    You don’t have to have a full basement–but a tall crawl-space, of 4 to 5 feet, is great for both insulation and storage.

    Seemed like it took us the longest just to build a small storage shed for tools before we began. Then next longest–took forever to get all the electrical wiring into this pipe-thing to start with, a vertical pipe–don’t remember what exactly this was for now. It was temporary, I think.

    Slow work. But you will get there.

  9. themac

    I suggest 2×6 exterior wall – more insulation = better heating/cooling. Mud room by the entry is a must! 2 bathrooms (1.5 bathrooms), basement or crawl space. Metal roof so the snow sheds itself. LOTS of windows!

    It’ll be beautiful! Think outside of the box!!!

  10. One of my favorite reads
    The new March /April issue has a great article on a home

  11. Pingback: Cottage Conceptions « Small Pines

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s