By Paisley Hansen
Moving into any new home can be a challenge, but moving into cabins can often be a bigger challenge than usual. Not only are you taking on a home that may not look or feel conventional, but you may also be faced with refurbishment challenges. It can be tough to know where to start, let alone feel like you’ve come home at the end of the day. If this describes your situation, here are a few tips for making your cabin feel homier.
When you’re living in a cabin, whether you’re in the mountains or by a lake, you’re generally at risk for more types of dangers than you would be in the middle of the suburbs. Not only are you smack dab in the middle of nature, but you’re farther away from emergency response services. For cabins in the woods, fireproofing is an essential part of settling into your new home, since any wildfires that break out could easily wipe out any houses in the surrounding area. Fireproofing involves things like trimming back the treeline around the house a good distance, creating a type of fire break around the perimeter of your home with fireproof material, and doing things like tidying up dead leaves or pine needles that drop into your yard. It’s also a good idea to have a landline installed – caller ID spoofing may be annoying, but it’s worth the annoyance in case of an emergency when your cell phone service isn’t working.
The Right Tools
Any type of renovation project is going to be expensive, and it’s important to just accept that at the beginning. Buying cheap tools is only going to set you back down the road when they break or ruin a project, so make sure you’re investing in high-quality tools that are right for your needs. Safety gear should be invested in as well (goggles, ear protectors, etc.), especially if you’re planning on using power tools on your property. A cabin home has more requirements for homeowners than the average house would, so it’s important to make sure you’re investing in things that are built to last.
Get to Know the Wildlife
If you’ve never lived in the middle of nature before, you’re probably unfamiliar with how wildlife can interact with humans. It’s important to know how to deal with any creatures that make their way onto your property, both for your safety and for the upkeep of your home. For example, leaving trash out on the curb with food inside is guaranteed to attract all kinds of animals, not all of which will just take what they need and leave. Pet waste, grills, and even food left in the car are all ways to inadvertently attract anything from raccoons to bears. You’ll also become familiar with the particular bugs in your area and learn how to mitigate any irritation that comes from them. Cabins often have a reputation for being buggy, and that’s because there might be holes in your screens or gaps in areas of the ceilings and walls. Take some time to make sure all your screens are intact and that the sealant around your doors and windows isn’t letting anyone through.
Take it One Season At a Time
When you first move into your new cabin, you’ll probably be fired up with all kinds of ideas for what to renovate. Eventually, your energy is going to run out, so it’s important to start with whatever needs to be done to prepare you for the upcoming season. Summertime renovations might include bug-proofing and installing ventilation while preparing for winter could be cleaning out your wood stove and getting insulated. Taking it one season at a time will help you stay on top of renovations without getting burnt out. Enjoying cabin life is going to require letting go of your “ideal” cabin and accepting the unique home you have right in front of you.