I have been a cabin owner for just over 4 years now and it has been an awesome experience, but being a previous real estate owner does not necessarily prepare you to be a new cabin owner. This is exactly why I wanted to put together this quick guide for cabin remodeling in 2020.
In the same way having experience with previous home renovation doesn’t fully prepare you for a cabin renovation and design. Cabins tend to have different requirements that usually come with cabin life such; as ground that isn’t very flat, wildlife concerns, accessibility, location/space, water and sewer availability.
Hopefully this new guide, well, GUIDES you through your remodel. FYI: I don’t own a log cabin which can come with its own difficulties.
8 Steps to Prepare for a Cabin Remodel
1. Contractor Scarcity
It may be nearly impossible to find a qualified contractor because the possible pool of options to choose from is smaller and they are already busy remodeling cabins. Consider finding a contractor that is willing to travel from a nearby more populated area to do your cabin remodels.
Depending on what is being done as well as if you have proper working facilities and a kitchen, they may be able to stay at your cabin home while they finish the renovation project to reduce time.
The more unique your job is, the more you may want to consider waiting for a local person who, for example, has experience with log cabins.
2. Small Towns and Counties are Different
When it comes to renovating a cabin you are normally working with a small municipality and it is a different process. Some of their previous records may quite literally be in notebooks sitting on shelves still, so you may need a little patience.
However, they also don’t always have the red tape that larger cities do, so it may not actually take that long.
3. Understand your Septic System
Chances are that your cabin uses some sort of septic system rather than a traditional sewer system. Everything from your kitchen drain to toilets usually runs through the septic. There are multiple types of septic systems and waste management systems.
The size of your septic also dictates how many plumbing fixtures can be supported and what you can add.
4. Weather can be a Factor
When you are building or remodeling in a more remote area, weather can be more of a factor. The weather can limit travel from one job sight to another, or limit access on the job site itself.
For many experienced contractors some snow isn’t a deal breaker, but heavy rain or weather that leads to road closures could be. Discuss with your contractors what their concerns are and what factors might slow down your project.
5. Consider your Style
You might know exactly what your style is when it comes to your clothes and your current home, but cabin styles are a little different.
You might want to do some research online to get some ideas and come to a conclusion on your design choices. Those design plans will ultimately drive your overall project.
6. Keep Resale Value in Mind
The reality is that cabins tend to turn over faster than a regular neighborhood. Someone might buy a cabin and within a few years move for their job, change the size of their family or realize they don’t like the responsibility of a 2nd home.
Therefore, even though you may be in LOVE with your cabin today, don’t personalize it so much that you have trouble selling it later. And just like any investment, be aware of your potential return.
Not everyone is going to have the same appreciation for your heated bathroom floors and you might not see the ROI in the end.
7. There are a lot of Wood Choices
Not only are there a lot of different types of wood that you might be needing to match, but there are a lot more stains as well.
Then, when you add in laminates, the options are endless. If you need to match your wood exactly, you may drive yourself crazy, so be aware of that potential pitfall when you make your design choices.
The way I see it, is anyone really going to notice that the wood trim in the living room is a little different than the one in the kitchen? The answer is probably no, so if you can live with it, don’t kill yourself. If you can’t, YouTube gives lots of ideas for matching wood stains.
8. Cabin Remodel = Special Order
Home improvement stores only have so much room, so while the most common items are available in store or for quick delivery, a special order is often needed for cabin finishes.
That means you need room in your lead times to get the wood siding, new interior doors and custom windows to complete your job. The need to special order can also increase the cost of the project, so plan ahead as much as possible to get what you need when you need it.
No matter how long your project takes, if it makes you happy and makes your cabin living more enjoyable, then it’s worth it. I would love to hear about some of your ideas and some cool things you did with your cabin home.
We will probably be doing a new kitchen in the next few years so let’s see what ideas you have that i can steal for my space!