Let the fun begin- Assembly!
All of the windows and doors are already assembled in the pre-made wall sections that arrive from the company. During the ordering process you can choose where you would like windows/doors. We had a rough idea how we wanted to set up the living space, with kitchen, living room, bathroom and loft (bedroom). The only place we didn't put a window, but maybe should have, was in the bathroom.
A Few Words of advice...
INSULATION. The package we bought included floor and roof insulation only. We opted not to insulate the walls because of the extra cost, and we were happy with our choice. Because of the wood burning stove we put in, we stayed in the cabin up to -40 degrees C, however I wouldn't recommend that for everyone. More on that below...
Tinning the Roof
The roof was bit tricky to install because of the high degree of slope. The batting insulation went in between the roof joists first, followed by a layer of plastic to keep the rain out. Finally we put the tin on top to finish. This took some acrobatics and risky maneuvers on the boys' part, because of the slippery tin. But they managed!
With Knotty Pine we were supposed to be able to choose between red and green tin for the roof, but they just sent us green (although I would have picked red). So be sure to check the colors before the delivery date.
Because we aren't tin experts we did have some uneven sheets that were noticeable at the eaves trough level. Clay ended up drawing a straight line with a chalk string and cutting the edge of the tin all the way around the exterior for a clean edge.
Staining the Exterior
For the exterior of the cabin we went with a home made clear coat recommended by Knotty Pine Cabins:
4.0L Linseed Oil
1.0L Diesel Fuel
0.5L Automatic Transmission Fluid (red in color)
Mix together and brush on. Apply two coats using a 4" Dutch brush.
Because the ingredients were things we already had on the farm, the price was very affordable (yay for cheap!), but we didn't feel we wanted to use that same mixture on the interior, due to the smell from the diesel. To be fair however, the clear coat only smelled until it dried, so it probably would have been fine to use on the interior as well.
To make the staining easier we also used a roller, instead of the 4" brush. Clay rolled the stain on (even going against the grain, you couldn't notice any streaks) and then I followed with a brush to ensure the stain reached all of the crevices and cracks. It took me an afternoon to do the entire exterior which really wasn't bad!
Staining the Interior
The loft, ladder & interior wall you can see in the picture to the left are the only interior features included in the Knotty Pine packages. The stain and all interior finishes we completed ourselves for an extra cost.
Because the interior is obviously safe from the elements, we chose to use a store bought interior stain, as we knew we wouldn't have to re-stain for many years to come.
Now of course, for the life of me, I cannot find the extra can of stain to know what color exactly we use (sorry!). But we chose an inexpensive interior stain with no sheen. It initially went on very dark, even though our sample swatch didn't look dark at all, as you can tell by the ceiling in the photo on the left. I was definitely panicking at first, but it dried much lighter, like the walls in the bottom portion of the picture.
When I took the above picture I was done for the day. I had been sitting in the loft and staining as far out as I could reach. DO NOT DO THIS! When I came back to start again the next day, I had a VERY VISIBLE dark line from the overlap of the day's before stain and where I had stained that day. I never could fix it and it bothered me the entire time we had the cabin. Always stain an entire section at a time to avoid lines!!
The Knotty Pine Cabin package does not include flooring, just a plywood base. We decided to install a (cheap!) laminate flooring on top of the plywood for easier cleaning. To get the best deal, we went to all of our local home improvement stores and looked for the cheapest option. Because the floor is such a small area (288 sq ft) we had a lot of left over inventory options. We ended up finding a click together dark laminate for $0.50/ sq ft, costing only $200 all said and done with underlay. We installed it ourselves and were quite pleased with the look. We then used 1" x 2' boards, routered with a round edge and stained the same color as our walls for baseboards.
Cupboards & Countertops
Continuing with our wood theme, we made the countertops out of pine board, gluing two sheets together, sanding them and filling the cracks with wood filler. We then added the same 1"x2" rounded pine trim around the edges. While that wouldn't be ideal in a kitchen to be used daily, it was more than enough for what we needed. We did oil it with canola oil once a year to keep it from drying out. All together, our cupboards and countertops cost us about $50!
Wood Burning Stove
Note that the pedestal was built specifically to support the weight of the stove, which was quite heavy with all the piping installed.
We had planned to eventually put water & sewer in the cabin as well, but never got around to it. We did designate a 'closet', as we called it, for our bathroom, but never ended up doing any work to it before we sold the cabin.
Because the cabin was on skids and had no permanent utilities, our municipality did not require us to purchase any building or utility permits. It would be important to check out the requirements in your area before doing any work.
We truly enjoyed our cabin and had big plans for more renovations, however once we were able to move to Hanna for good, we had no use for it anymore. With very sad hearts, we sold the cabin to new owners that moved it to a wooded hunting spot in the mountains.
Our advice to anyone building a small cabin would be to take your time- this cabin definitely didn't come together over night. It was a labor of love, which made the whole process so much more enjoyable. Clay and I were able to try our hand at lots of different carpentry techniques, learning lots along the way, and many that we will use in the renovation of our new home.