What To Include When Building a Cabin

by Mikkie Mills

Building a cabin in Texas can be exciting in theory and far more stressful in practice. The planning process alone can take months or years or even more time if you underestimate your budgetary needs. If you’re looking to build a cabin for yourself, here are some things you should seriously consider including.


For some people, a log cabin in the middle of nowhere is entertainment enough. On the other hand, if you’re like most people, there are plenty of things you can think of that will make your life more enjoyable, like a swimming pool. These added amenities give you more ways to enjoy the outdoors and the solitude cabin lovers tend to crave. Instead of pursuing one project at a time and living your life in a state of constant renovation and remodeling, you may want to try and install everything at once. Pool builders in Austin can help you pick the perfect pool for your budget and aesthetic needs. Maybe a pool is a little much for you, and you’d rather enjoy those mountain sunsets and sunrises from the comfort of a hot tub you can use throughout the year. If you’re building your own cabin, everything can be custom to suit your desired lifestyle.


Even if you’re in the middle of nowhere, you should still consider installing some security measures. People in isolated areas tend to think they’re at lower risk of burglaries and other incidents, but this is exactly the reason criminals may creep around looking for people at ease enough to leave their doors unlocked. Make sure you can see the road and driveway closest to you so that you can see anyone approaching, and install some flood lights. Sometimes this is enough to persuade criminals to stay away. A gravel driveway is difficult to step quietly on, and even a fake security camera can be intimidating. Make sure you’ve got strong locks and consider an alarm system so that you can be alerted to any unwanted guests.

Solar Panels

Building a new cabin is the perfect opportunity to consider reliable alternative sources of energy. Solar panels may feel like a significant investment at first, but they can save you some serious money in the long run. You should especially consider solar panels if you’re thinking about building in an area with an unstable power grid or will need to pay to have electricity brought to your cabin. If the starting costs are a little too high for you, try installing eco-friendly appliances and thermostats to lessen your energy use and your energy bills.

A View

Part of the reason many people build their own cabin out in the middle of nowhere is to enjoy the surrounding nature. When you visit potential building sites, think critically about the potential each one presents. Do you want to be completely surrounded by trees, or would you rather have a view of the lake or mountains? Trees close to your home can be dangerous in storms, and water sources can raise your flood risk. You can also think about how you’d like to cultivate your view by adding a garden or features like stone walkways.


Many modern cabins are being built with open floor plans, which means they can appear cluttered fast. Give yourself plenty of options for storage to help yourself stay organized and protect things that are important to you. Plus, the additional guest room, extra space in the garage, the basement or even the attic could be the perfect space for those new hobbies you want to discover alone out in nature, and it’s a good idea to give yourself room to grow.

Planning the design for your dream cabin can be stressful, but taking the time to consider exactly what you want from your new home can save you a lot of time and money once you finally begin to build.


Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She is a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on natural health cures and news, budgeting hacks, and favorite DIY projects. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing her little ones around or can be found rock climbing at her local climbing gym.


Posted in Building and Renovation, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Buying a Lakefront Cabin: Top Insurance Questions Answered


By Susan Doktor

You’ve put a lot of thought into purchasing a lakeside getaway. Maybe years and years of thought! Owning a waterfront retreat is a dream that inspires people of all ages and from all walks of life.

Like everything we cherish, a cabin, Cape, or Colonial at the water’s edge deserves protection. Have you owned a home before? Then you may know a fair bit about homeowner’s insurance. But waterfront homes—especially when they’re purchased as second homes—are separate animals. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to homeowner’s insurance. We’ll explain how your insurance needs may differ if you’re buying a waterfront property, how first-home and second-home policies compare, and, while we’re at it, start out by covering the basics of homeowner’s insurance. Let’s call it Homeowners’ Insurance 101. All told, you’ll have the information you need to select the best homeowners policy for your waterfront property.

The First Thing You Need to Know

If you have a mortgage on your lakeside home, carrying homeowners insurance isn’t optional. Your mortgage lender will insist you have a policy in place before agreeing to loan you money. Technically, even with a mortgage, you do own your home, so long as you keep up with your payments. You’re free to install a pool in your yard, paint your home purple, or rent it if you please. But your lender has a financial interest in your property because it serves as collateral for the loan they extend to you. So unless you own your home outright, you must carry an insurance policy that’s at least equal to the amount of money you borrow. But most people insure their property for far more than they borrow. They insure it for what their home is actually worth and then some, for reasons we’ll discuss in a moment.

Of course, even if you own your cabin free and clear, it’s important to have homeowners’ insurance. Chances are that your home is one of your largest financial assets and losing it to a fire or other calamity would represent financial disaster. That’s the second thing you need to know. Not carrying homeowners’ insurance is reckless—as you’ll see, for a number of reasons.

Homeowners’ Insurance Doesn’t Just Protect You and Your Bank

One standard part of every homeowners’ policy is liability insurance. Liability insurance protects people. More specifically, it protects people who may be injured on your property. If your neighbor trips and breaks an ankle on some icy stairs you neglected to shovel and salt, your liability policy will cover his or her medical bills. It also protects other people’s property—for example when the camper your brother parks in your driveway is crushed by a fallen tree limb. Other accidents can be much more serious and some result in death. That’s why you should carry liability insurance with high coverage limits—higher than your mortgage company typically requires. Juries routinely award million-dollar verdicts in death cases.  Without adequate insurance, you could be liable for a tremendous amount of money. In the event you’re sued, your legal fees alone can amount to tens of thousands of dollars. Liability insurance will cover the cost of hiring an attorney to represent you. We should note that liability won’t cover your medical bills if you’re hurt on your property or the cost of repairing damage to your camper. That’s what your health and auto insurance policies are meant for.

The Ins and Outs of Property Insurance

Property insurance is designed to protect the property you own. It protects the structure of your home, the garage and other outbuildings that may surround it, and the belongings you keep inside your home. If lightning strikes your home, property insurance will cover the cost of repairing it or even rebuilding it, depending on your policy limits. That’s another reason you should insure your home for more than your lender requires. If you only owe $20,000 on your house and take out a policy to match, your insurance company will reimburse you $20,000—hardly enough to rebuild the home you love and replace the treasures inside it.

Property insurance covers your home under other circumstances, too, including fire, wind damage, the cost of replacing your carpeting if it’s ruined by a burst pipe, and more. But even policies with identical coverage limits won’t pay you the same amount. When you purchase property damage insurance, you have a choice to make. You can select actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cost value (RCV) insurance. Here’s the difference. If your 5-year-old leather sofa is damaged in a fire, an ACV policy will reimburse you for the cost of buying a 5-year-old sofa—essentially what your couch would fetch at a thrift or consignment store. RCV coverage, on the other hand, would pay you the cost of buying a brand-new sofa of similar quality. RCV coverage is more expensive, but it makes sense for many people. Those who own historic homes that feature old-world craftsmanship or modern homes with custom upgrades, for example, should consider RCV coverage.

Personal property insurance is a sub-feature of overall property insurance. It protects your prized vinyl collection, your custom window furnishings, and your designer-label clothing, among other things. Here again, it’s important to select coverage limits that match the value of your belongings. However, even if you select high coverage limits, certain items will likely not be covered. Jewelry, antiques, and similar high-value items typically are covered under separate riders at an additional cost. This item must be appraised and scheduled when your purchase a rider.

Special Considerations for Second Homes and Waterfront Properties

Insurers are in the business of managing risk. Most insurance carriers consider waterfront and vacation homes riskier than other properties. Waterfront properties are more prone to flooding, for example. Flood insurance is not part of standard property insurance but can be purchased separately. Depending on your home’s proximity to the shore, climate concerns, and other factors, carrying flood insurance may be a smart decision.

Since second homes are frequently vacant for extended periods, they are subject to a greater risk of theft and vandalism. Compared to coverage on your primary residence, your vacation home insurance costs may be higher. Certain vacation home features—pools and hot tubs among them—though lovely to enjoy, can increase your cost of coverage, too.

If you plan on renting your second home when you’re not using it, you must report that to your insurance company. Most will require you to purchase business insurance that’s specifically designed for rental properties. It’s not a good idea to try to skirt this extra expense. If you carry a standard homeowners’ policy on a rental home, your insurance company can deny your claims, even if there are no renters on the premises when a covered event happens.

The Importance of Proper Insurance Planning

No matter what type of home you’re purchasing, it’s critical to go in with your eyes wide open. Just as you’ll want to consider how much it will cost to heat and maintain your home, you should also be aware of what your insurance will cost you each year. Your lender will consider all these costs, plus such factors as your credit score and your debt-to-income ratio when deciding whether to lend to you and at what interest rate. They—and of course, you—want to be sure you can manage all of the expenses associated with it. You may also want to keep all of these costs in mind when you make an offer on a home and adjust your bid to account for them. A licensed insurance agent can help you estimate coverage costs before you purchase. And an experienced realtor is in a great position to recommend a reputable agent to you.


Susan Doktor is a journalist, business strategist, and principal at Branddoktor. She writes on a wide range of subjects, including real estate, mortgage financing, insurance, and legal affairs. Follow her on Twitter @branddoktor.






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Rainy Day Activity Ideas for Kids at the Cabin


By Donald Fomby

Spending time outdoors and enjoying all the beautiful things nature has to give us is truly a pleasure. Those of you who have cabins and vacation homes know exactly what we’re talking about. There’s nothing like disconnecting from your busy schedules, gathering your family, and spending quality time practicing all kinds of outdoor activities. And the best part is – kids love these little adventures when they can explore, have fun, and enjoy their favorite activities.

But what happens if a rainy day spoils your plans and the kids start to get bored inside the cabin? Well, all you need to do is suggest they try out some of the fun activities we’ve listed below. Here are our top picks for rainy day activity ideas your kids will love.

1.     Indoor Gardening

Just because the kids are indoors, doesn’t mean they can’t still be in touch with nature. Plus, you don’t want them in front of the screen, watching videos, or playing games.

Instead, they should try out something new.

Some indoor gardening could be really fun for them since they’ll be learning and getting their hands into action. If your cabin has a patio, you can still enjoy the fresh air while you and the kids:

  • nurture the plants you keep in your cabins
  • wash their leaves
  • add plant food to each one
  • water them properly
  • move them from a smaller pot to a bigger one
  • share gardening lessons

Indoor gardening can be super fun for kids, so make the most out of a rainy day by trying it out.

2.     Treasure Hunt

When it starts raining, most adults dread getting wet and having their clothes soaked. But kids are always up for a rainy challenge. It means you could suggest a fun outdoor treasure hunt for kids.

Of course, this is only a good idea if it’s hot outside and getting wet won’t be too much of a problem. Here’s what you can do:

  • give the kids 10 minutes to run outside the cabin and find their treasure
  • it should be something from nature- a rock, a funny-looking leaf, or a peculiar branch
  • the more unique the treasure the better
  • after 10 minutes, each of them has to present their treasure
  • each kid and parent votes for one treasure, and the winner is announced

This activity is best for the summer period when kids can have all the fun in the rain, and the parents don’t need to worry.

While they’re at it, parents can get a lot of things done – from responding to business emails to cleaning the cabin. In case you have trouble with business writing of any kind, TrustMyPaper can help you overcome them easily and have more free time to enjoy at the cabin.

3.     Kids’ Microscope Observation

Buying a kids’ microscope is not an expensive idea, but it’s great to have it around the cabin when a rainy day catches you by surprise. Kids who are adventurous and love experimenting will enjoy microscope observations inside the cabin.

You can challenge the kids to find different things inside or around the cabin, and bring them in for microscope observation. They can each report on what they saw:

  • the colors
  • the shapes
  • the textures
  • the microorganisms

This allows them to be spontaneous, explore, and exchange ideas and conclusions. It can be both fun and educational for them.

4.     DIY Animal Masks

For those kids who are creative and love crafts, making animal masks to play with can be super fun and engaging. All you need to do is provide the basic materials and show your kids how to do it. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • some blank paper
  • pencils and crayons
  • scissors
  • elastic string

Each of the kids can draw their favorite animal’s head on a piece of paper. Help them make it approximately the size of their own head. Then, they’ll color it and make wholes for their eyes.

Once they cut out the mask, you help them tie the elastic string to hold the mask to their head. After that, let them play any games they like, pretending to be the animals they’re disguised in.

5.     Make Mud Pies

Suit your kids up in raincoats, boots, and old clothes, and send them outdoors to play with the dirt and mud. If there’s any dirt around your cabin, kids will easily find mud to play with and bake little mud pies.

It’s almost like playing with clay, but it’s outside and way more liberating.

Suggest the kids that they:

  • bring out some plastic containers
  • don’t be afraid to get filthy
  • find leaves, flowers, or rocks to decorate their mud pies

Baking in the mud will allow your kids to be in touch with nature, breathe in the fresh air, and learn how to enjoy rainy days. You will have a lot of washing to do afterward, but it’ll be worth it.

6.     Patio Painting

Like, true little artists, your kids can enjoy the patio view over the rainy lake or cabin surroundings and paint as they observe. Set up a table outside and chairs overseeing the natural environment.

Gregory Chapman, an art expert, and editor at Supreme Dissertations suggests: Ask your kids to choose a particular angle, landscape, or rainy detail to paint or draw. Have them learn about nature observation, details, creativity, and creative expression.”

They’ll be able to chat while they paint, share ideas, and talk about the things they see. In the end, you’ll have little pieces of kids’ art that you can hang around the cabin as a lovely memory.

Final Thoughts

A rainy day at the cabin can be as fun as any sunny day your kids can spend outdoors. There are fun and educational activities that the whole family can take part in.

Did you like the rainy day activities we’ve listed above? Share your favorite idea in the comment section and tell us if you’ve tried it out!




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Tips for Decorating Your Cabin

by Craig Middleton

Tips for Decorating Your Cabin

Cabins can be the perfect getaway, but not everyone knows how to transform a new home into a personal oasis. Decorating a cabin is a lot like decorating any other home, but with a few special considerations. If you’re ready to add your own personal touch to your new abode, here are a few tips to start.


If you want a cohesive, personalized look for your cabin decor, you need to do some planning first. Check with your partner about any preferences. This can help you weed out styles and price points from the start so you don’t waste your time or money. Make a list of all the furniture you want, and make sure you know the difference between a king vs California king bed. It will also help if your appliances are in neutral shades to go with your style preferences.

However, don’t get so caught up in the planning that you don’t ever start. If you wait till the perfect time to begin decorating, you could be waiting years and wasting time in your dream home.


Budget is an essential element of your decor mission. If you spend too much too early, you’ll wind up with an only partially decorated cabin. Or, perhaps worse, you’ll wind up with a cabin that is partially decorated with the things you really enjoy, and partially decorated with things you could find in your lingering budget that you threw together at the last minute. It’s a good idea to decide early what items you want to splurge on and which ones you can compromise on. For example, the duvet set from a company you like is expensive, so the lamps you choose will be on the more affordable side.

With this in mind, don’t waste your money on things that don’t excite you and fit your vision. Think of decorating as more of a long-term goal than a short-term one. It’s better to wait and save your money for when you come across that perfect item than to quickly fill your space to complete the project. With this mindset, it can take years to finish decorating. It may even be something you do the rest of your life, but this is how you curate a space that is uniquely yours, and wouldn’t you rather be excited every time you see the items you picked, instead of feeling just okay about them?

Add Plants

For a splash of color and an element of nature indoors, add some plants to your home. These can be great by your front door as a transitional element from going outdoor to indoors. They can also add depth and dimension to otherwise drab rooms. Plus, plants can help filter air in rooms that may not have as much circulation. If you kill every plant you touch, there are fake options that look very real, but there are also plenty of plants that don’t require much attention. Adding plants also forces you to think about how to utilize natural light, which can open up an otherwise cramped room.

 Mix Textures

A cabin is a perfect environment to utilize different textures in. Many new cabins mix the rugged natural elements with the sleek and modern elements for a truly comforting atmosphere. Faux furs and leather can be a satisfying mix of both textures and colors. They are also extremely versatile, especially if you are leaning into the cozy cabin aesthetic. Throw pillows and blankets are other great options for combining function with style, and you can change them out easily. You can also purchase new ones without breaking your budget for a quick style change.

Decorating your cabin may seem intimidating, but an ambitious project and also be an immensely satisfying one. When you consider your starting elements and combine your personal style preferences, you can come up with something truly timeless and unique that you’re happy to live in for years to come.


Craig has worked in health, real estate, and HR businesses for most of his professional career. He graduated from the University of California – Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. When he’s not creating content or advising clients, he enjoys hiking and traveling with his wife. 


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Simple Ways to Enhance Family Trips to the Cabin

By Beau Peters

By having a cabin for family retreats, you’re already set up to create an endless stream of amazing memories for you and your loved ones. However, visiting the same cabin over and over again can become a bit repetitive at times — especially for the kids.

Here are a few suggestions for different ways that you can enhance visits to the family cabin to make each trip a less stressful, more fun, and supremely memorable occasion.

Stay Organized

Before you get too lost in creative ideas (plenty of which are included below), take some time to set the stage. Family vacations always sound fun in theory. Once put into action, though, they can be quite stressful — especially if you dive into the activity unprepared.

If you want to pave the way for an enjoyable trip, take some time before you leave home or even start packing to thoroughly plan and organize the event. Create packing lists for clothing, food, and other items. Also, choose proper luggage, get a spacious cooler, and make sure to have a diaper caddy on hand that keeps all of the little one’s items in the same place.

Be Thoughtful About Your Decor

The thoughtfulness and creativity of your vacation space shouldn’t stop with the way that you initially build your cabin. It should continue to impact your family’s trips year after year. You can do this by steering into deliberate decorative themes each time you go on vacation.

This is easy to overlook since you’re already enjoying the whole cabin vibe. However, there are many ways to make each trip’s decor specific to that occasion.

For instance, one year can focus on wildlife. You can use photographs, nicknacks, and other animal-themed decors to fully embrace the nature that surrounds you. Another year you could focus on creating a cozy hygge atmosphere with things like bringing the fixings for mulled wine, using the fireplace, and including plenty of warm blankets at night.

Set Up a “Digital Detox” Challenge

Smartphones, tablets, televisions, computers, and other forms of tech can really have a way of ruining a peaceful vacation. They invade that otherwise sacred space with notifications, mindless entertainment, and other useless and distracting activities.

If you want to truly enhance your family’s experience (rather than simply fill it up with busyness), consider challenging your loved ones to a digital detox while you’re away. This doesn’t have to mean fully unplugging from your devices, although that certainly is a more dramatic way to truly detox.

Even if ditching the electronics completely is too much, though, there are many other ways to reduce your electronic usage while you’re away from home, such as:

  • Limiting screen time while you’re away.
  • Deleting distracting apps;
  • Turning your phones on “do not disturb” mode;
  • Leaving your phones in one place as you go about your various activities.

Removing devices from the equation is a great way to capitalize on the “less is more” philosophy while you’re on vacation.

Make Meals Special

Another simple way to spice up pre-existing activities is to make meals a family affair. It’s easy to bond with one another over food. Do your best to plan consistent mealtimes and make sure that everyone is present when you sit down to eat.

You can even go beyond the mere activity of consuming the food. Invite your partner and kids in on the planning and meal prep, too. Including children in these kinds of activities isn’t just fun. It’s also a great way to teach them about physical health and wellness, too.

Plan Outdoor Group Activities

At this point, you’ve considered organization, removing distractions, setting up decor, and capitalizing on existing activities. If you find that your vacation still needs a little bit more pizazz, you can always plan out some proactive group activities that are cabin-friendly. A few suggestions of fun cottage activities include:

  • Going on a group hike together;
  • Creating a scavenger hunt that is appropriate for your children’s age level;
  • Visiting the nearest town for some ice cream or a trip to a local country store;
  • Painting rocks, creating a bug collection and steering into other nature-themed activities.
  • Exploring the nearby nature and teaching your kids about the flora and fauna.

There are neverending ways to enjoy time spent at a cabin. All you need to do is brainstorm some ideas and bring any necessary items that you may need to turn into reality.

You may even want to invite your family in on the planning action. By coming up with activities together, you can make them more inviting and engaging.

Enhancing Trips to the Family Cabin

If you have a family cabin to retreat to, you’re already in a prime position to have consistently restful family vacations. However, if you want each trip to the cabin to also be fun and memorable, you may need to put a little bit of creative effort in, as well.

So review the tips above and consider which ones fit with your family’s style the most. Then plan out what needs to be done to take your next trip to the cabin from good to great.


Beau Peters is a creative professional with a lifetime of experience in service and care. As a manager, he’s learned a slew of tricks of the trade that he enjoys sharing with others who have the same passion and dedication that he brings to his work. When he is not writing, he enjoys reading and trying new things.


Posted in Cabin Living | Leave a comment

Why Should Students Go Camping Regularly

By John Peterson

Going camping is an activity worth pursuing as a student. when you camp, you learn many lessons worth sharing. First of all, you learn how to be responsible for your own safety, how to respect nature and its beauty, and how to solve problems more easily.

Camping is not only about hanging out with your fellow students next to an ice cooler but about much more. Here are the top reasons why going camping regularly should become one of your favorite activities. If you already tried it (and liked it), let us know why by leaving a comment!

The fresh air keeps you connected to nature

When you’re camping, you’re obviously far away from the city, the car sounds, the pollution. You are inhaling fresh air every second of your trip, and this is incredibly helpful for your brain.

By taking care of your body, you are helping your mind focus better on the task at hand (since exposure to oxygen helps you concentrate better). “Think about it – what better time to ace your schoolwork than after a trip to the mountains?” argues Superior Papers CEO, John Travesty.

Socializing at its best

You’re probably not going to camp alone, so this is another benefit that works in your favor. Camping helps you create new relationships and strengthen those that you already have. Spending time in nature connects individuals in unknown ways. Having fun outdoors is one of the best ways to increase your serotonin level and create long-lasting friendships.

Your mood improves and your energy lifts

Since nature is such a great source of positive energy, your mood will quickly improve. The first day or two might be a bit slower, but you’ll revitalize quickly. The sunlight will boost the level of melatonin in your brain and make you feel less tired. After a camping trip, you’ll be ready to go!

You’ll feel less stress than before

Camping is also a great way to cope with stress, especially when exam time comes. We all know how stress can interfere with our ability to focus. So, instead of stressing out about stressing out, camp and disconnect. Spend some quality time in nature, reading, writing, cooking, or dancing! And if you might find it hard to concentrate on these activities while your schoolwork is pending, consult with specialists at Essaymama or any other writing service online. They might be able to help you destress.

This is a good way to exercise

Exercise, good sleep, and good food are all essential to improving your student lifestyle. Camping helps you stay active. You must always do something when you’re camping, whether is gathering woods for the bonfire, cooking a light meal, or hiking through the woods to reach a peak.

You’ll cook healthy food

Good food is included in the camping menu, other types of food won’t do the job. You’ve only got so many options when you’re camping. Bring potatoes, apples, carrots, and onions with you. Cook them on the bonfire. Pair those veggies with some protein (peanut butter for example), and you got yourself a delicious meal. Read more about what nutrients you must take in each day on this professional writing services webpage.

You’ll get plenty of good sleep

Camping outdoors helps your body rest better. After a full day of jumping around, climbing trees, or hiking mountains, you will be tired and ready to get a good night’s sleep. Sleeping well can help you stay focused on your school assignments when you’re back from your trip, so it’s a win-win situation.

Testing your limits

Camping is not predictable, it’s an activity that requires a constant upgrade. You will continue to experience new things each time you’re doing it. You will encounter new challenges and test your limits in new ways every single time you camp, argue essay writers Kenny & Johnson. If some days are more challenging, don’t give up. Learn from those opportunities and discover new ones! You will be surprised how awesome that feels.

Learning how to meditate in nature

Last but not least, there is one more activity you should try while camping – meditation. Meditation relaxes your body and keeps your mind in good shape. It helps you focus on your schoolwork and destress after a long day. One of the easiest ways to get into this routine is by connecting to nature as often as you can, according to essay writing services psychologist, Dana Marjory. Meditation opens up new perspectives and changes the way you look at the world. Definitely a must-do.


John Peterson is an essay writer with 4 years of experience working for a custom essay service in London. He is a professional mini-tennis player and writes part-time for other paper writing websites. John has written a novel “His heart”. You can find him on Facebook.



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Increase The Value Of Your Cabin

By Paisley Hansen

Part of the appeal of a log cabin is that it feels like a throwback to another era. However, there is a difference between rustic and outdated. There are plenty of updates that you can make to your cabin to improve its value without diminishing its charm.

Exterior Stain

Generally speaking, logs are very sturdy and durable for the construction of a cabin. However, an organic material such as wood is susceptible to water, rot, fungal growth, and insect infestation. You don’t need casualty underwriting to know that eventually those forces can lead to extensive structural damage.

If you want to protect the walls of your cabin while retaining their natural look, staining them is the answer. Be sure that you choose an appropriate product for the exterior walls. In other words, don’t use an interior stain on the outside of your cabin.

Solar Thermal Heater

Making green energy updates can significantly increase the value of any house, whether it is a vacation home or your permanent residence. Regardless of how much time you spend in your log cabin, it makes you feel closer to nature, and green energy plays right into that. You don’t have to rely on burning fossil fuels, such as natural gas, to heat the water in your cabin. You can harness the power of the sun to do so with a solar thermal heater. Solar power has lots of possible applications for your cabin. It can also be used to generate electricity. It’s the latest in technological innovation, but it still makes your cabin feel more natural.

New Windows

In the old days, the gaps between the logs of the cabin walls could let in cold drafts. Construction techniques have improved since then, so if you are still experiencing drafts in your cabin, your windows may be to blame. Replacing the windows of your log cabin with new, energy-efficient models can help you save on heating and cooling and keep you more comfortable.

Granite Countertops

Granite countertops are extremely popular, and it is easy to see why. They are durable, beautiful, and add a touch of elegance to any home. You may wonder whether granite countertops will really match your log cabin, but the two natural materials typically complement each other very well. A granite countertop adds variety and an element of visual interest to a room in which most of the finishes are wood. Most importantly, homebuyers place a premium on granite countertops, meaning that it can give your home value a significant boost.

Dual Sinks

If you’re redoing countertops in the bathroom, you might as well consider adding two sinks rather than the traditional one. Sharing a bathroom, whether with a spouse, sibling, roommate, or whomever, is much easier when you can each have your own sink and the accompanying storage.

Interior Paint

Interior paint is one of the cheapest and relatively easiest updates you can make to improve the look of a home and increase its value. Previous owners may have had dubious taste in paint colors, or the paint might be scratched or chipped, or you may just be ready for a change. The colors and shades of paint you choose depend on the effect you want to create in a room. Dark, warm colors make a room feel small and cozy, while cool, light colors make it feel larger and more open. Neutral colors are less distracting from architectural features and structural aspects and are easier to paint over later. If you are planning to sell the cabin, it is recommended that you favor neutral colors over the more garish hues that may be off-putting to potential buyers because they are more difficult to see past.

The upgrades you make now can improve your cabin’s value if you intend to sell sooner or later. However, they can also enhance the enjoyment you get out of the home if you intend to remain indefinitely.


Paisley Hansen has worked in real estate most of her professional career. She graduated from the University of California – Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. When she’s not creating content or working with clients, she enjoys hiking and traveling with her husband.

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Summertime Activities To Do at Your Cabin


By Paisley Hansen

Many people say that summer is the best time of the year. The air is fresh, the sun is shining and there are numerous outdoor activities at your fingertips. This is especially true when you own a cabin. If this describes you, read on for six activities to try this summer at your cabin.


Whether you are a diehard Cubs fan or simply enjoy a game of catch, baseball is a great summer pastime at your cabin. If you own a good portion of land, you may even have enough space to create a baseball field. Simply grab your gloves, balls, bat and some markers to use as bases. If you have children, be sure they are using youth baseball gloves, as they will struggle to play with an adult-sized glove.


One of the reasons many people purchase a cabin is to be closer to the water. Summer is the best season to participate in water-based activities. If you have a boat, now is the time to sweep the deck and lift the anchor!

Take advantage of the warm weather and set sail as much as you can. What you do will vary depending on your mood. Maybe you just want to drive the boat around the lake a few times. Maybe you park it for a while and catch some rays on the deck. Maybe you invite some friends and have drinks and snacks while parked in the middle of the lake. Whatever your taste, use the boat as much as you can during the summer.


Another water-based activity that is ideal in the summertime is swimming. If you have a cabin right by the water, simply throw on your suit, grab some sunblock and set up a lawn chair. You can spend countless hours swimming when the water is only a few steps away. If you are not close to the water, chances are there is a beach nearby. Pack your gear and head over to the closest beach for a day in the sun. Don’t forget an umbrella, beach towels and any beach toys for the kids.


Fishing is another activity you can do at your cabin in summer. If you do not have fishing gear, look for a store close by that rents out equipment. If you live by the lake, that might be the perfect spot to set up. Otherwise, do some research to see what areas other people recommend for fishing. If you have a boat or can rent one, you can drive around and fish in different locations until you find the sweet spot.


Depending on the location, many cabins are located right by camping grounds. If this is you, pack up the tent and head over to your local grounds. Camping is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of life and enjoy nature. If you do not live close to campgrounds, no problem. Simply utilize your backyard. Especially if you have kids, they will love the idea of transforming the backyard into a campsite. Plus, mom and dad will love the idea of not having to walk a mile each time they need to use the restroom.


Picnicking is an excellent way to do something out of the ordinary without having to spend extra money. To add to the excitement, let your kids pick out what everyone will eat on the picnic and help them pack the lunches. A picnic can be as basic as spreading a blanket down in your backyard. If you have a favorite beach, head over there for lunch. Otherwise, find a park to picnic at. Doing this will double-up on the activities for the kids. Not only do they get to enjoy a meal in the great outdoors but they have swings, slides, and monkey bars to burn off some energy.

There are many advantages to owning a cabin. One of them being, there are so many summer activities available at your fingertips. Plan on trying some of these activities at your cabin this summer.

Paisley Hansen has worked in real estate most of her professional career. She graduated from the University of California – Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. When she’s not creating content or working with clients, she enjoys hiking and traveling with her husband.


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3 Ways To Make Your Vacation Cabin Your Dream Getaway

By Mikkie Mills

Vacation cabins are such a treasure that they are often passed down from generation to generation. Those who are lucky enough to have grown up with a vacation cabin often find that their most cherished memories were made there. They go hand in hand with the wonders of nature, simple pleasures, and time spent with family.

Even though these getaways provide so much joy, they often get overlooked when a family is considering home improvements. Most families focus their renovation budget on their primary home, but the cabin is where you will spend many of your most magical moments. Here are a few ways you can make your home-away-from-home even better.

Let the Sunshine In

Vacation homes are special places because they represent a break from the day-to-day hustle and bustle of everyday life. A cabin is doubly special as it has usually been chosen for the beauty of its surroundings. If you are looking to improve your cabin home, perhaps you should start by making the most of the setting you’re in.

Enlarging the existing windows in your cabin or having additional windows put in is a no-brainer when you’re lucky enough to be surrounded by nature. It will brighten the cabin – and your mood – and help you feel that you’re outside even when you’re snuggled up on the couch.

If you absolutely love the view outside your vacation cabin, you may even want to consider upgrading to a window wall or French doors. You’ll get all the benefits of expansive windows with the additional perk of being able to open your home to the natural world outside.

Skylights are another way to take advantage of your sunny locale. And if you have a lot of sun exposure, you might even want to have solar panels installed. Solar is increasing in popularity and you might have some of the top solar companies in the US just down the road.

Add a Water Feature

Being in nature has been proven to stimulate relaxation, reduce stress and give significant help for mood disorders. The sound of water is shown to be amongst the most relaxing of all. natural sounds.  You can add smaller water fountains throughout your home, or choose a larger water feature to add to your deck or patio area.

Adding a pool to your cabin can make your getaway complete. Especially if you have children, it can add an option for exercise and a fun activity without having to leave your home. For the grownups, you could consider putting in a hot tub. An outdoor spa can seriously increase your home’s relaxation potential and ease those muscles that might be a bit tired after your afternoon hike.

Upgrade the Furnishings

You only spend a fraction of your time at your cabin retreat, should you really spend the money to get better quality furnishings? Yes! A vacation home is all about comfort and relaxation. It’s hard to get comfy on a lumpy couch or, even worse, a lumpy bed.

Focus your efforts on the pieces of furniture that are most essential to comfort. Couches and chairs are cherished lounging spots. You might hesitate to get that overstuffed sofa for your permanent home, but for a vacation home, it’s a perfect choice.  Curling up to read a good book in a deliciously comfortable chair is its own little luxury.

Why does everyone love spending the night in a great hotel? It’s the plush mattresses! It feels so extravagant and indulgent. You should expect nothing less in your own vacation oasis. Even though you won’t be spending the bulk of your nights at the cabin, make the ones you do spend there a bit more wonderful by furnishing the bedrooms with the best beds you can buy.

A vacation cabin is a restorative break from the stresses that frequently fill our everyday world. The more you invest to enhance and upgrade your home, the more it will become your own little slice of heaven.


Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She is a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on natural health cures and news, budgeting hacks, and favorite DIY projects. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing her little ones around or can be found rock climbing at her local climbing gym.





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Build Your Arizona Getaway

By Craig Middleton

From the San Francisco Peaks north of Flagstaff to the Sky Islands of Southern Arizona, the state known for its desert landscapes and saguaros has a surprising number of spots perfect for vacationing. You can ski in the winter and get away from the boiling desert floor in the summer. Even better than a quick vacation is knowing that you’ve got your own dream cabin waiting for you, no matter when you need to getaway. Here are a few tips on designing and building the cabin home getaway you’ve always wanted.


The first item on your planning agenda is finding a property. There’s plenty of property out there, but you need to take into account what you’re willing to invest or willing to go without. If the property is not on a county sewer system, you’ll need to install a septic system and a well. On the other hand, even if your property isn’t set up for electricity, you can install a solar system with backup battery generators. Property that is already connected to the grid can still benefit from solar with a bidirectional meter which allows for net metering Arizona. Net metering means your excess solar electricity goes back to your utility provider and is credited against the power you use above and beyond your solar needs. You’ll need to know if there are waste management services as well and have plans for trash removal if there aren’t. The more developed the land is, the more likely there will be restrictions on use and the land may be close to other areas that have been purchased by developers. Always find out who owns the land around you if you don’t want to end up with a cabin next to a brand new subdivision.


Once you’ve got your ideal location and know all about any improvements you’ll have to make to the property to make your cabin liveable in the long term it’s time to build. Cabins can really be as inexpensive or lavish as your dreams and budget allow. Kits are available with the plans and basics, requiring you to buy your own lumber, all the way to all-inclusive kits. Most of these kits allow you to build on a slab or create an elevated cabin, depending on your preferences and budget. There is so much help available on the internet that if you so wish you can literally build your cabin from scratch with the help of purchased architectural plans. If you aren’t a carpenter and have no interest in learning to be one it is probably better to hire builders for your getaway.


One thing many people aren’t prepared for is that funding your vacation home is not the same as getting a loan for your primary residence. Qualification is more difficult and the interest rate will be quite a bit higher than a standard home loan. It’s one of the reasons that going less grand is probably a good idea. However, if you go DIY, the bank may ask you to prove that you have the qualifications to build a safe residence safely. Not having the skills, or telling them you plan on learning on the job may feel too risky to a lender. If the property is collateral, they aren’t really interested in owning a death trap, even if it was your pride and joy.

Remember too that you’ll be paying property tax and insurance on all those improvements you’ve made to the property. In fact, owning a vacation property can be downright expensive, so most planners don’t recommend making the leap if you won’t hold on to the property for at least five years. You can sell your property but you’ll have to wait for the right buyer and market, making all the necessary payments in the meantime.

So owning a cabin isn’t a sinecure but it can be your perfect second home if you go in with your eyes open.



Craig has worked in health, real estate, and HR businesses for most of his professional career. He graduated from the University of California – Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. When he’s not creating content or advising clients, he enjoys hiking and traveling with his wife. 


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