Final Cabin Reveal

2 materials
48 Months
Several years ago my husband and I started on our cabin-building adventure on our 15-acre property near Capitol Reef National Park in the scenic San Rafael Swell area in south-central Utah. We had to build a dwelling almost immediately after we purchased our property to comply with conditions in our water permit. Because of time and money considerations, we decided to build a tiny cabin, which will one day become the guest room for a larger 'main' house.

Our journey started in July 2014...
final cabin reveal, View north from our property
View north from our property
Our property had no water or power when we bought it, so we had to bring both in from the main road a half mile away.  We hired a contractor to help us dig and install water pipes and utility lines, however my husband also completed quite a bit of the excavation work himself using rented equipment. I'm still amazed that we managed to dig a half-mile long trench, get all the pipe and utility lines in place, get it inspected and approved, bury everything, and actually end up with running water on our property in one week. 
After getting water and power to our property, the next step was to build the cabin. Originally my husband had wanted to build the cabin structure himself, but luckily the voice of reason prevailed and we hired a contractor to build the foundation and finished 'weathertight' shell.  
Once the weathertight cabin was finished, it was our turn to step in and get to work on finishing the interior and installing the septic system and water tank and pump.  This was over two years ago-- at that time we both thought we were almost done! We rented a large excavator and while my husband completed all the heavy-duty septic/water system installation work, I 'aged' hundreds of planks for the vaulted ceiling (see photo collage below).
It took several additional trips to finish the interior, including the small kitchen, bathroom, and main living/bedroom area. We passed our final inspection fall 2016.
It was another whole year before we got back to the cabin to furnish it. We spent last Thanksgiving in the cabin after several days of furniture moving and power decorating.

Most of the furniture was either vintage pieces I found at local antique malls or furniture that we had on hand (improved with a little bit of pain).
We have a small, but fully functional kitchen filled with lots of fun, vintage finds and upcycled pieces.
We created a custom kitchen sink using a galvanized metal feed tub. My husband re-wired an old barn light to create a one-of-a-kind pendant light over the sink.
More fun DIY projects in the bathroom, including a small table converted to a bathroom vanity and sink...
...and custom pebble shower pan with corrugated metal shower surround.
Please click on the links below for more details on the many steps of this very long, but rewarding journey!

Suggested materials:

  • Hardie boards, dimension lumber   (Lowes, Home Depot, other sources)
  • Antique, vintage, upcycled furniture   (various antique malls)
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Questions on this post

Have a question about this project?

Your question...


Join the conversation

Your comment...