The Cabin Projects

When you last heard of our cabin, our rocking chairs were glad to have a new home and I was glad to have a home out of the heat!  

We really liked the cabin when we bought it but almost immediately started thinking of tweaks we could make to make it ours.  The first tweak didn’t seem like a huge deal but absolutely dominated our first few days of occupancy.

I was not a fan of this corner unit.  I wanted to move it out to slide the desk into that space. 

That meant removing the bottom cupboard, moving some wiring, repairing-texturing-and-painting the walls and those weren’t the bad parts of the project.

The worst part was the hours Randy spent trying to build an insert to fill the floor space.  There was some leftover material from the two floors that had gone over the original and he did the best he could.  It is not up to his usual standard but is also something no one would notice if we didn’t tell you about it.

We both like the desk moved into that space and Randy likes that we decided to keep the shelves above it.

The second thing I thought I wanted was to remove these upper cabinets in the bedroom.  This picture is how we first saw the bedroom and it seemed small and dark with that big cupboard above the bed.

In the end we decided to keep the cupboards and hide the shelf storage with canvas prints of colorful flowers we had photographed over the years.  It is nice to use the quilt my Grandma Dee made us as a wedding gift all those years ago.  We have had a dog on the bed for most of our marriage so rarely had the quilt on top.  One side of the room is mirrored closet doors and usually the shades are open so the room doesn’t feel small at all.

We finished that first trip with a new kitchen faucet, bathroom light fixture and a new shower fixture.

The focus of our second trip was to replace this vinyl accordion door going into the bathroom.  Yeah, it is tacky. We didn’t have a lot of options and decided on a barn door.  Great idea but tricky to implement in this miniature space. Barn door kits were too large and too heavy for our park model construction.

A saleswoman at Lowes suggested a 30″ interior door that cost $5 on clearance and separate barn door hardware.Randy had to use his engineering skills and his camera scope to get placement positioning and we measured and measured and re-measured.

Randy sanded, painted, touched up and installed the barn door and it looks MARVELOUS!  

The previous owners came over to see the barn door and asked if we wanted to sell the cabin back to them.  It is that great!

We took up a new entertainment stand with an electric fireplace and put that together.  It was time consuming but low drama!

Randy took down the previous owner’s satellite dishes and put up our DISH dish from the RV.   He set the dish and configured all the wires inside so it is a five minute task to hook up our home receiver and wireless Joey for the TVs in the cabin.

Then he installed our new bedroom TV.  It s a little big for the room but better too big than too small!

He installed a Lazy Susan triple shelf in one of the kitchen cupboards.

The sliding door lock was marginal so he replaced that.  It was another project that doesn’t sound like it would take all day but did.  He eventually won the battle.

I spent most of those first trips assisting Randy when needed, weeding our walkways and little forest and sitting on the deck.  I love reading on the deck.  The weather was superb and we have been very glad for our cabin in the woods.

Our little vacuum robot, Eufy, thought she wanted to escape to the deck as well.

By the time we went up for our third trip to the cabin, I was glad for Randy that we had come to the end of our list!   He could now enjoy life on the deck as well.  He sat there for a couple hours and dreamed up his own list.  I was not responsible for anything in this part of the blog.

He discovered that the stair supports (stringers) for both the front and back stairs to the deck were rotting and needed to be replaced.  

He wanted to have a ten foot section of rain gutter put up at the rear of the cabin.  He called the company who had put in another section in the front and found they were scheduling twelve weeks out and the cost would be $350, their minimum charge. That is a lot for a ten foot section of gutter.

He decided to do both projects himself but was unable to get supplies anywhere close.  He spent half a day driving to Payson and back but got what he needed.

I wouldn’t say the rain gutter project was quite as bad as the desk floor project but it was close.  At one point he considered abandoning his efforts and just letting the professionals do it for $350.

He eventually prevailed over the gutter demons and it works very well. It’s too bad that something that took so much time and energy isn’t supposed to be noticed.

He hadn’t been able to find stringers that weren’t already cracked so he got to buy a new saw to cut his own from 2″ by12″ pressure treated boards.

He prepped and painted the supports so our stairs should be safe and stable for a long time.

Randy was able to spend a lot of time inside his little storage cabin seeing what he has and organizing things. 

Then he decided it needed to be painted with a stain protectant!

When we left the cabin last week, the aspen leaves were starting to turn color.  Randy winterized the cabin and we heard that it snowed a day or two later.  We have tentative plans to drive up for a few days this winter and see how it is to be there with snow.  We bought a snow shovel just in case.

Randy installed a new thermostat with wifi to be able to monitor things but wifi is a problem.  We left our AT&T wifi device there from our RVing days but it is very marginal.  In fact, our biggest challenge going forward with the cabin is internet availability.  Cell phone coverage is also bad and there really aren’t any good choices given our location.   So, we are in the queue for Elon Musk’s Starlink. It is still in Beta testing phase but we know it is working well for a few people in our community. Randy has paid our deposit and we are hoping our equipment will be shipped to us sometime over the winter so we will be good to go next spring.

We love our little cabin. It is too small for overnight guests but there is a hotel a couple miles away and a couple community cabins available on Airbnb. We hope to see you in Show Low sometime in the future.

PS  Our fifth-wheel is still on the consignment lot.  We are a little surprised it is still there but the lot people set the price and they haven’t reduced it yet.  It will take as long as it takes and we are still content with letting it go.

About Serene

Former full time RVers, transitioned to homeowners and travelers. We've still got a map to finish! Home is the Phoenix area desert and a small cabin in the White Mountains of Arizona.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to The Cabin Projects

  1. Mark McClelland says:

    Thank you for the great cabin update! That barn door project came out really nice. All of those projects add up to a lot of work, but they make it “your” cabin and will be enjoyed for years to come. It seems amazing that the first snow of the season has already fallen in Show Low!

    • Serene says:

      Randy here:
      The projects took a lot of time, mainly because I haven’t built stair stringers from scratch or done a rain gutter before, etc. When I am in those situations, I slow way down as I only want to do the project once. I am happy with how each project turned out except the floor wedge. The angles were weird, there were three layers of floor to cover of different thicknesses (so I had to shim the floor piece with scraps I had laying around) and the only tools I had were a tape measure, straight edge and a small hand saw.

  2. Cheryl Monson says:

    Looking great! So many nice changes and you both look great:) I could use a Handy Randy on a daily basis! We may be getting ready to sell the Hickory House in the near future.

  3. Cynthia Mammenga says:

    You had me at Lazy Susan triple shelf!
    I love the quilt from your grandmother, so colorful and bright.
    I also feel a little guilty that I haven’t named my vacuum:). Eufy is a great name.

    • Serene says:

      “Eufy” is actually her brand name but we liked it. We have an Eufy at home and the one at the cabin is really “Eufy Tu”(2).

      Missing our old dog so much kind of turned them into pseudo-pets!

  4. Catie says:

    Your cabin looks perfect for the two of you. Randy has his “ playhouse” and you have yours. 😏 So nice to reap your rewards from now on and that deck looks fabulous. Lovely spot to escape the heat in.
    Gord and I also put our 40 ft 5th wheel on a consignment lot a few years ago. The lot had it marked so high that we had lots of interests but no sales. We pulled it back home and reduced the price to what we thought was reasonable and the couple that bought it had been in it on the consignment lot and wanted it and had tried to negotiate with the lot but they were not willing to come down. They immediately pulled it down to Yuma for the winter and pulled it back to the Island for a few years and we became friends. 😄 We are much happier with our Outdoors Creekside 23RKS travelling around now. We stayed in a couple of Provincial campgrounds this summer which we could never do with the 5th wheel due to trees etc. Unfortunately it will stay in Canada this winter as we are not comfortable with the Covid numbers in AZ just yet. In future we will do a little more “ wandering” and less staying put in the winters going forward.
    Love your updates. Hugs to you both. Catie and Gord

  5. Love your place! I hope we get to see it one of these days. I also love that quilt. From what I can see of it (hint), it’s beautiful. Getting everything fixed up just the way you want it is as much fun as actually buying the place.

  6. Jim Kazakoff says:

    As I would expect for Randy, I am sure all of these projects have been done to top notch quality levels. I am thinking it is time to start looking for another cabin, maybe a bigger one, that has more opportunities for projects for Randy :-). If that is not appealing, then you can come to Boise and work down some of my project list.

    Looks great– enjoy life!

  7. I love all of the tweaks y’all have made to make it your own. The barn door is my favorite; I want to install something like that at our home.

  8. Jan McMillan says:

    Thanks for the update. it’s a very cute and cozy cabin. Was so good to see you this summer. I’m going to spend time with Kim in Dec and we’ll have lunch with your mom.

  9. Jim, thanks for the compliments. But right back at you for doing quality work.

    The cabin flipping idea has crossed my mind. It is hard to get others to do things in Show Low. The area is exploding in growth from all those boomers from Phoenix (like us?!😳). I think buying a fixer upper and rehab it might be in my future. This might work better in Surprise though. The house right behind us was flipped last year and I should have done that one. The flipper made about 100k profit in three months.

  10. Jean Nate, Reed Nate says:

    You two absolutely amaze us!! There is absolutely nothing that Randy doesn’t know how to do.
    Love your new home in the mountains.

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 )

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s