5 Things to Have in Your Cabin

by Paisley Hansen

A cabin is a place where you can relax and get away from the world. Whether it is near a lake or a mountain, your cabin should be a place that expresses your style and the environment around you. If you are thinking about owning your own cabin, there are some things you need to make sure you have.

Basic Necessities

Prior to buying your cabin, you should ensure that you have the basic necessities. This means good drinking water and access to electricity. Some cabins will have well water while others may have access to city water. These taste different and can be either hard or soft water. If you are particular about your water, you should get a water softener prior to moving into your cabin. Electricity is also important and necessary, even if you are planning to go off-grid. You can easily get solar panels or a small wind turbine to power your cabin, but ensure that those are up and running prior to your move-in date.

Warm Elements

Cabins are meant to feel homey, warm, and comfortable. For that reason, you need to be sure to include warm elements in your home. Things like rugs, fireplaces, and blankets can really warm up a room both literally and figuratively. If you plan on living in your cabin during the winter, a fireplace is a must. This can be something grand if you have a mountain cabin or something small if you have a cabin by a lake. Even if your cabin doesn’t get very cold, a heating element can still be a cozy feature on a rainy or dreary day. Rugs and blankets can help to add color and texture to a room, also creating moments of warmth.

Fun Style

Since this is a cabin, it might be nice to add in a touch of where you are. Whether this is through wood elements in a mountain cabin or with shells and nautical themes in a lake cabin, adding a touch of your location can make your cabin extra special. If this cabin is not your primary residence, these fun style items can help to give your cabin purpose and flair. It will remind you every time you walk in that you are somewhere special.

Adequate Lighting

When you go to a cabin, it is typically to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Cabins are usually placed in beautiful, serene areas, so it is important to be able to fully experience the nature around you. To do so, large windows are almost always a must have. Regardless of where your cabin is located, large windows will let you see the view even when you are stuck inside. Natural light, such as that given off by the sun, can help you feel happier, more focused, and can even improve your sleeping patterns. However, if you are in a community of cabins or in a more populated area where large windows would be an invasion of privacy, adequate lighting is still important. Look towards purchasing chandeliers and large lighting elements to brighten up a room rather than floor or table lamps. Large lighting fixtures are an easy way to make a room look more grand and interesting.

Unique Items

Finally, make sure you have at least one unique conversation piece. This could be anything, from a table made from beechwood found outside to a painting of the mountains you are living in. It is extra special if you are able to link that conversation piece to your location because, not only does that make it a fun style item, it also makes it something special for only your place. A unique item is typically something handcrafted and truly one of a kind.

If you are planning on moving into a cabin, congratulations. Be sure to use these tips to create the perfect cabin, wherever it may be.


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, he enjoys hiking and traveling with her husband.

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5 Ways to Keep Your Cabin Safe While You’re Gone

By Mikkie Mills

Living off the grid in the mountains is the goal of a lot of people these days. Sure, the city life has its virtues, but we like to have that escape to the quiet of the countryside. Many are choosing the best of both worlds, spending summer in their rural paradise and returning to the suburbs when the weather turns cold. Keeping that home away from home safe over the winter can present unique challenges. Here are 5 ways you can keep your cabin safe while you’re away.

1. Secure Your Electrical Systems

One of the most common causes of household disasters is an electrical issue. Before you leave, turn off all non-essential circuits (meaning anything other than ones controlling security systems, heating  or outside lighting). Fires can develop from circuits easily if they’re left unmonitored. As well, be sure to actually unplug appliances, otherwise, they can spark a blaze even if they’re not turned on. Find out whether you have fixed-mounted breakers or drawout circuit breakers, which are often easier to replace, service and test. Regardless, keep electrical equipment clean and clear of flammable objects.

2. Clear Your Water Lines

Second, only to the danger posed by faulty electrical systems are the problems caused by water systems that haven’t been properly winterized. First, make certain that you’ve turned the main valves off. Then drain the water heater and turn off the gas to it if it’s a gas heater. Remember not to turn on the electricity to an empty electric water heater, nor turn on the power to the gas or oil ones. That can cause serious damage. Next, make sure to blow all water out of the pipes and faucets until nothing but air comes out. The last step is to put non-toxic RV antifreeze (the kind that’s safe for use with drinkable water systems) into sinks, tubs, drains and dishwashers. Make sure not to neglect any of your outdoor water lines; drain the hoses and outside water connections too.

3. Think Energy Efficiency

Another important consideration before leaving your cabin is energy loss. If you plan to leave the heating system on over the winter, check to make sure that your cabin isn’t leaking an undue amount of heat. Energy leaks can happen when insulation is damaged or improperly installed or if there is caulking and sealing which is starting to decay. Log cabins are especially susceptible to heating inefficiency from gaps in the logs. Make sure to check the space around electrical outlets and wiring to make sure that cold air isn’t seeping in. This is a good time to consider an energy audit of your cabin. Don’t forget to clean the furnace filter to prevent the risk of fires.

4. Prepare Your Dock for Winter

The status of the dock during winter is a paramount concern for lake cabins. Ice can easily ruin docks and watercraft because as the lake freezes, the water expands, slowly crushing objects that are stuck on the frozen surface. Pack ice movement can do the same thing. Temporary docks such as pipe docks or floating docks should be removed entirely. Permanent docks are more robust but should incorporate an agitator or a bubbler, both of which churn the water around the dock and keep the ice from encroaching.

5. Take Valuable Items With You

You may feel like your cabin is your castle, but even with a good security system in place, thieves have months while you’re away to plan a way to get to your valuables. Don’t just take obviously expensive things like jewelry and electronics; bring exercise gear with you as well, and never leave any weapons in your cabin while you’re not around to keep them secured. If you do leave anything of value in your cabin, make sure that it’s not visible from the windows.

Whether your dream cabin is in the hills or on the water, there’s a lot more to life off the grid than many people realize. By having a checklist of all the steps needed for maintenance, you’ll keep the ravages of nature at bay, and have your sanctuary for years to come.


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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Elements To Consider Before Building a Pool at Your Cabin

By Mikkie Mills

Having a cabin in the mountains or by a lake is like having a personal vacation destination at your disposal. When the daunting tasks of your career and the daily chores of life get to be overwhelming, the cabin is your place to retreat from the world, either alone or by enjoying quality time with family and friends. As your escape from the day-to-day grind, your cabin should include features that offer enjoyment and entertainment, such as an inground pool. Whether you are spending the weekend by yourself or throwing a party, a pool is a terrific outlet for fun and relaxation. If you are considering adding an inground pool to your cabin grounds, read on for some factors to first consider.


One of the primary elements to review is the inground pool cost. This is going to play a major factor in what features and elements you can include. Before you start looking at pools, sit down, and evaluate your budget. There are a number of customizations you can add on and if you do not have a spending limit, it is easy to get swept up in all the exciting details; before you know it, you will be well past what you can spend. To prevent falling in love with your dream pool only to realize you cannot afford it, set a budget prior to shopping.

HOA Rules

Your cabin may be in a secluded area where you do not have to worry about a list of rules to comply with. However, it is always best to check if there are any homeowner’s association rules governing your property. HOAs set rules and restrictions for a specific community. These rules can range from the color of your cabin’s door to the maintenance of your front lawn.

Therefore, if you are considering a large outdoor change, such as a pool, review your HOA regulations to make sure you are not violating any rules. If you have questions or want to make your case as to why the pool should be allowed, reach out to the HOA point of contact to get clarification and determine the best approach for moving your request forward.


The weather at your property is also a factor to review. If your cabin is in a hot location, especially one that is warm year-round, a pool is a feature that can be utilized all the time. However, if you are in a cold location such as high up in the mountains or a place that is warm only a couple of months out of the year, you could not use your pool near as often. You can still make the purchase if you believe you will use it frequently, but just make sure you are taking the weather into consideration.

Renting Out

Another important detail to contemplate is if you are or intend to rent out your cabin when you are not there. Many people rent their cabins to visitors on sites like AirBNB or Vrbo. This is an amazing way to make a profit off your property when you are not using it.

If you regularly rent out your cabin, an inground pool should be looked at as an investment. Not only could you and your family use the pool when you are there, but it would be a bonus feature you could advertise to potential guests. As such, you would be able to charge a higher cost per night and potentially bring in more revenue each year.

No matter where your cabin is located, the most important thing is that it is a place you can turn to for relaxing, de-stressing, and having a good time. An inground pool is a fantastic way to elevate your level of enjoyment during your time there. Before you start shopping, take time to reflect on the above recommendations to see if purchasing this addition is right for you.


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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Factors To Consider Before Purchasing a Cabin

By Paisley Hansen

If you have ever spent time at a cabin, you know what a fantastic getaway it is. Whether by a lake, in the mountains or a secluded part of nature, spending time at a cabin gives you the chance to leave behind the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Perhaps you are even considering purchasing a cabin. After all, who wouldn’t want round-the-clock access to their own personal vacation spot? If this is you, read on to learn some key factors to take into account when purchasing a cabin.


As with any major purchase, it is important that you set a budget prior to shopping around. If you do not, chances are you are going to fall in love with a cabin that is far outside your financial means. Save yourself the heartache and make sure you have a budget before you start touring properties. After your purchase is complete, make sure you keep an eye on a mortgage refinance rates; if the rates go down, refinancing may be an excellent option for saving on your monthly budget and overall cost.


Another element to keep in mind is the location of the cabin. It goes without saying, you will want to find a location near pastimes that you enjoy. If you love swimming, a cabin in the mountains probably is not the best choice. However, a factor that might not be as obvious is the activity of the surrounding properties and businesses.

If the businesses and surrounding properties are selling quickly and flourishing, this will impact the value of your cabin. High demand for homes and companies will drive up the value of your home. If, however, properties are taking a long time to sell and businesses are shutting down, this will likely decrease the value of your property. Keep the activity of neighboring cabins and businesses in mind when purchasing; how they are performing will impact your real estate’s value.

Homeowner Association

Not all properties will have a homeowner association or HOA, but it is important to check if your cabin is part of one. An HOA is basically a committee that sets the rules, guidelines, and fees for properties within that community. This can be anything from lawn ornaments in your front yard to what type of material is used to build your fence to whether visitors can park overnight in the streets. There is typically a fee that is paid to the HOA, either on a monthly or quarterly basis. This cost covers maintenance and updates to shared community properties, such as parks and clubhouses. Do your research to determine if the cabin you are interested in has an HOA and ask any questions you have prior to purchasing the property.


Keep in mind the age of the cabins when you are going on tours. If the community has an HOA, chances are there are maintenance requirements related to the age of the cabin. For example, they may require the roof to be replaced, or at least inspected, on a regular basis to keep up appearances of the community properties. If the house is older, you will probably have to get this done shortly after moving in, which will not be a cheap expense.

Other major pieces of the home are impacted by the cabin’s age. How old is the AC unit? Was the plumbing or electricity wired differently when the house was built? What is the condition of the wood used to build the home? Make sure you confirm the age of the house and if it is older, get some more information surrounding these major details.

Owning a cabin gives you the power to go on a vacation at your convenience. No need to book a hotel in advance; when you need a break from the hectic tasks of everyday life, simply head over to your own private getaway. If you are considering this exciting purchase, ensure you are taking the above factors into consideration before buying.


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, he enjoys hiking and traveling with her husband.

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Common Hurdles to Owning a Lake Home and How to Overcome Them

by Beau Peters

Owning a lake home is a dream for many people. Whether you’re considering it as a second home/vacation house, or you want to move there permanently, there is nothing more relaxing than waking up each morning to look out at the water.

There are many benefits to owning a lakehouse. It’s a good investment, it’s private, and it always feels like you’re on vacation.

But, there are some hurdles that you may have to overcome. Being as informed as possible can help you to understand what you might be facing throughout your ownership, so you can be better prepared.

Let’s take a look at some of those common hurdles to owning a lake home and how you can work through them to enjoy your home for everything it’s worth.

Getting a Loan to Buy a Lake Home
One of the stereotypes surrounding lake homes is that they’re quite expensive. Unfortunately, that’s a stereotype that is often true for a reason. No matter the size or features of a house on the lake, it’s the location of the property itself that tends to raise the price.

A house that has an unobstructed view of the water can range anywhere from $500,000-$1 million more than a house in the same spot with no view of the lake. Since most people can’t afford that kind of home out of their own pockets, a loan is often necessary.

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy. A home loan is a big investment, and you may be denied after your initial application. If so, it’s important to understand some of the possible reasons your application wasn’t accepted. Some of the most common include:

Low income
Low/no credit
Job change
Unexplained deposits

Thankfully, there are things you can do to improve your chances of getting your application approved. Build up your credit score as much as possible, for starters. That requires paying off debts and paying your bills on time.

Additionally, it’s important to make sure you’re financially secure enough to afford a lake home. You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew. Remember, the home itself costs more than just the listing price. Maybe you can afford to buy it, but is there work that needs to be done? Will you want to make any upgrades like a breakfast nook, or a new fireplace?

If you do feel as though you can afford a lakefront property, make sure you have your finances in order and a high credit score before applying for a loan.

Remote Living

Many people want a lake house because it feels relaxing, quiet, and remote. You probably won’t have to worry about noisy neighbors or feeling “cramped” next to a bunch of other houses. But, remote living has its disadvantages, as well.

First, because you’re not in the center of a community or city, you might have to get creative when it comes to basic things like buying food, supplies or even receiving medical care. Thankfully, technology can be your best friend when you’re living remotely. You can order food online from a local store if you plan on making a trip into town. You can have supplies delivered to your home. You can even partake in telehealth sessions with your doctor if you need to check-in, or if anyone gets sick or injured. It’s becoming a more popular practice than ever in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, so don’t be afraid to take advantage of it, as needed.

While you may not be able to walk next door and ask your neighbor to borrow a cup of sugar, living remotely can be relaxing. Weigh out the pros and cons of that kind of solitude before you make a final decision. It isn’t for everyone.

That’s why some people choose not to live in their lake homes full-time. Instead, they are often used as vacation homes or getaways. If you choose to go that route, don’t assume that its remote location means it’s safe. It’s important to protect your lake home whenever you’re away. You can do that by:

Installing motion sensor lights
Installing outdoor cameras
Keeping valuable items hidden from windows
Getting an alarm system

Whether you stay in your lake home full-time or only for vacation purposes, you can choose how to respond to the remote location, and make the most of the solitude.

Wear, Tear, and Repairs

One of the reasons lake houses are so popular is because of the views they provide. There are typically very few things blocking the actual house’s view of the water. That’s the point, right? While that design makes for a beautiful backdrop, it also can contribute to a lot of natural wear and tear on the home.

Because of the water and limited protection from trees and shrubs, there isn’t much to keep lake homes safe from the elements.

As a result, you might find yourself needing to make repairs to your home more often than you originally expected. Additionally, the insurance rates of lake homes tend to be much higher than traditional homes because of these risks, including flood insurance.

Before you buy lakefront property, it’s a good idea to have a home inspector check everything out and alert you to any issues you might expect, or any damage that is already starting to occur.

None of these hurdles are meant to keep you from buying the lake home of your dreams. Lake houses are popular for a reason, and they’re great places to live and/or play! As long as you educate yourself on some of these potential issues ahead of time, you should have no problem finding a lake home that works for you, your budget, and your lifestyle.

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10 Reasons To Invest in Solar Power for Your Lake Home

By Mikkie Mills

The impending climate crisis has been at the forefront of the news for much of the past several years. Reversing the damage before it is too late will take effort from everyone. As a bonus, the benefits of using solar power in your lake home has for the environment can also pay off in a variety of other ways. Consider these 10 reasons to invest in solar power for your lake home.

1. Practical Energy Savings

Solar panels for home use are not the only green technology out there that can save you energy, but they are one of the most practical. Some options, such as biomass fuels, are significantly more expensive. Wind power is more dependent on location and geothermal and hydroelectric power requires your home to be near flowing water. By contrast, the sun shines everywhere for at least half the day.

2. Cost Savings

Using solar panels in your lake home can significantly reduce or even eliminate the amount of electricity you need to purchase from the power company. In some places, you can even sell excess solar energy to your neighbors. Solar panels also hold their value well, which may increase the resale value of your home.

3. Durability

Most solar panels come with at least a 25-year warranty and many are still operational for years beyond that point. As solar technology continues to improve, newer panels can be expected to last even longer than the already durable older models.

4. Self-reliance

If your lake home is in an out-of-the-way location, you do not have to worry about unreliable utility connections when you install solar panels. You also have some protection if your home is located in an area with frequent severe weather events that may cause power outages.

5. Minimal Impact on the Environment

Solar panels generate electricity without the harmful greenhouse gas emissions produced by burning fossil fuels. Using solar power, instead of GHG producing power sources helps reduce carbon dioxide in the air, which is a major contributor to climate change.

6. You Might Get a Tax Break

The government has extended the solar Investment Tax Credit through 2021 for some homeowners. If your home qualifies for this tax credit, you may be able to deduct 22% of the cost of your solar system from your taxes.

7. Less Air Pollution

Burning fossil fuels releases a lot of pollution into the air and is largely responsible for the smog in places like China, New York, and California. Smog doesn’t just look bad, it is also bad for human health. Using solar panels instead of fossil fuels helps reduce the amount of pollution in the air.

8. Saves Water

Hydropower and nuclear energy are two of the main alternatives to burning fossil fuels for energy and they both consume large amounts of water. The dams required to operate these facilities can also harm the local ecosystem. Solar panels neither consume water nor negatively impact local ecosystems.

9. Sustainability

Not only does burning fossil fuels harm the environment, but eventually those fuels will run out. As fossil fuels become more scarce, prices will rise and energy shortages will become an increasing problem if more people do not migrate to sustainable energy sources, such as solar energy.

10. Falling Costs

The cost to install a solar power system has dropped more than 70% in the past ten years, making solar energy a very affordable option. Because solar panels have no moving parts, they are also very economical to maintain. Additionally, the price of solar batteries has also decreased by about a third, making it affordable to ensure you always have access to energy.

Installing a solar energy system in your lake house comes with benefits that range from cost savings to reduced air pollution and a positive impact on climate change. Solar panels are long-lasting, can provide you with freedom from utility connections, and can increase the value of your home.


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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How to Keep Your Cabin Running Naturally

By Craig Middleton

Living off the grid in a mountain cabin is becoming quite popular these days. Besides just the health-related reasons for living the country life, many people enjoy just having a part-time escape from the madding hustle of urban life. There’s nothing simple about the simple life though, and it’s easy to get in over your head by forgetting the effort it takes to keep things running in even a simple cabin. Here are three things to remember when making long-term plans for your home away from home.

Choose Sustainable Power Systems

A vital concern about living away from civilization involves how to bring energy to your dwelling. Unless your cabin is in an area that’s connected to commercial power providers, you’re on your own when it comes to generating power. The good news is that there are multiple options available, including wind turbines, geothermal energy and solar power. The last of these options is becoming incredibly popular as the price of photovoltaic cells continues to drop and the technology becomes more robust. Remember not to skimp on power storage! A good solar panel battery is necessary in order to ensure the continuous availability of power if solar is your choice.

Make sure to do your homework regarding your own rate of energy consumption. Last year the average annual energy use per person was 10,649 kilowatt-hours. Learn how much power your energy system produces in the summer versus the winter as well and be aware of your peak usage times. Look for weak spots in your cabin’s insulation which might be wasting your energy. Learning to crunch those numbers is the key to DIY success.

Remember to Winterize 

A lot of cabins are built in parts of the country where winter hits hard. Winterization is especially important for people who live in their cabins on a seasonal basis. Arguably the most important concern in regards to winterizing is water. When water freezes it expands, and this expansion can burst pipes if the water isn’t removed before the first major freeze. If you’re not already an expert, consult with a plumber or homesteader to learn exactly what to do and what not to do when preparing your cabin’s hot and cold water systems for those cold winter months. Even if you keep your cabin’s thermostat set above freezing over the winter, that’s no guarantee that pipes in the walls won’t freeze or that the heating system itself won’t fail due to lack of maintenance. Also remember to take actions to winterize the outside of your cabin, such as bringing in the dock if you have a cabin on a lake and the dock isn’t strong enough to resist the pressure of ice, and make sure to drain outdoor faucets and remove the hoses so they don’t rupture.

Grow Your Own Food to Reduce Grocery Bills

A perennial concern involved in living in the wilds is getting food and storing it. Many cabins are located in at least semi-developed areas so hauling loads of groceries to your cabin is certainly doable in most cases. However, acquiring food takes gas and storing it takes energy (unless you plan to live on freeze-dried meals). You can at least blunt these costs by growing some of your own food in areas where the climate cooperates. So-called “Victory Gardens” were actually encouraged by the government during the Second World War when food supplies were in danger of being interrupted. Check out the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map and use that to help optimize both the types of crops you can sow as well as planting times for them based on long-term climatology data. A garden won’t completely satisfy your food needs unless you operate a full-fledged farm, but every extra meal it provides will make you more sustainable.

Living in splendid isolation inside your dream cabin is all about learning the mindset. You have to be prepared to consider necessities that you might not have thought about before in order to be self-sufficient. Do your research and learn the tricks of the trade, and your off the grid dream can become a reality.


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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Finding the Perfect Spot to Build the Cabin of Your Dreams

by Paisley Hansen

A cabin is the best hiding and retreat spot away from all the hustle and bustle of city life. However, a cabin is a substantial investment; therefore, you have to understand all the vital information involved in building a cabin. Similar to any form of real estate, when building a cabin, you have to find the most suitable location to render your investment valuable.

Additionally, you have to consider other factors influenced by your personal preferences, such as the views and location you wish to build your cabin. Here are useful tips on finding the best spot for your dream cabin.

Area is Important

The location you wish your cabin to be situated is down to your preferences and personal choice. When looking for a piece of land, evaluate the following factors to narrow down your hunt.

  • Purpose – You have to consider the purpose of your cabin as various locations have distinct features. Some areas are suitable for individuals who want a quiet time to relax and unwind, while others prefer areas close to adventure sites like ski slopes. Furthermore, some individuals prefer locations that have access to outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and fishing. The purpose of constructing your cabin will help you find the most suitable location.
  • Access – The tranquility and seclusion of cabin homes are what make them so popular. Nevertheless, you should ensure the location you wish to build your cabin home has convenient access to local amenities and roads. No matter how attractive the area is, it will be difficult to appreciate that if the trip to reach it is laborious and difficult. The right area should be accessible throughout the year.
  • Type of land – The land’s purpose is vital, especially if you plan to use the land for various purposes. If you want to grow crops or cultivate a garden, search for agricultural land where you can construct your cabin. If you are looking for a timber source, you should opt for a good woodland.
  • View – The views of nature you enjoy from a cabin are one of the substantial considerations when constructing cabin homes. The main objective of constructing a cabin home is to unwind and rejuvenate. Select an area with natural beauty to get the most out of your cabin home. Do you want your cabin home in the middle of the forest surrounded by trees or in an elevated location overlooking beautiful landscapes?

Legalities and Practicalities

After choosing a suitable area, you should consult with a home builder advisor. Local real estate agents and land developers understand the legalities of their specific locations. You should also consult with local experts about permits and regulations that you have to comply with. Evaluate future development plans, zoning, development restrictions, code restrictions, and other procedural issues.

On top of the legal issues, you also have to consider the practicalities of constructing a home cabin. When buying land for your cabin, you should consider the structural foundation, type of land, and soil type. You should consult a home builder advisor on these issues. Slopes and soil conditions are vital considerations that dictate the suitability of the location you wish to build your cabin.

Check the Amenities and Resources

After finding an area where you can legally and practically construct your cabin home, you must consider the amenities and resources situated on your land. Some of the amenities to consider are water sources, utility lines, and local drainage systems.

Cabin Orientation

Once you know the area where you will build your cabin, consider cabin orientation. To maximize the sun’s energy, you need to site your cabin facing south. Your windows should also face south if your cabin is situated in an area with a cold climate. If your cabin is located in a hot climate, your windows should face north to save on cooling and heating expenses.

A cabin home will give you the peace you desire. Ideally, when you consider all these factors, you will decide the best area to buy land and where precisely to position your cabin home on your land. With these tips, you will have a fantastic cabin experience.


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, he enjoys hiking and traveling with her husband.

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Hosting Friends and Family at Your Cabin

By Mikkie Mills

Preparing a vacation cabin for guests is similar to preparing your home for guests. The biggest difference is the expectations of the visitors. When they arrive at your house, they expect it to have the qualities of most homes. When they arrive at your cabin, however, they are looking for magic. Create some cabin magic with a few simple décor and furnishing ideas.

The Best Night’s Sleep

Many people hope to catch up on their sleep while on vacation. Away from the hustle and bustle of city living and the bright streetlights, vacationers imagine falling into a blissful sleep after a full day of breathing in unpolluted air. Help your guests achieve their goal by providing them with an excellent bed set-up. Start with a nice mattress covered in 100% cotton sheets, soft pillows, and a fluffy comforter. Keep a cedar chest of extra blankets in the room for both the clean cedar smell and the warmth. Stay away from bright colors and stick with earthy browns and greens to blend in with the natural surroundings.

A Country Breakfast

Whether your cabin is in the mountains, woods or on the shores of the lake, awaken your guests with a good old-fashioned country breakfast cooked (at least in part) on an iron skillet. The smell of bacon sizzling in the pan and biscuits rising in the oven will get your guests out of bed early to get on with the day’s activities. Coffee should be strong and ground fresh, releasing an aroma of comfort throughout the entire cabin.

Outdoor Activities

You may go to your cabin just to relax but be sure to have plenty of outdoor activities available for guests who like to be active. Stock up on binoculars for birdwatchers, extra fishing poles and baskets for youngsters to collect treasures in such as beautiful leaves or unusual shells. A croquet or badminton set is fun to have around because all ages can play. If there are good places to hike around your cabin, consider keeping extra gloves, scarves and jackets on hand for folks who show up without the proper outdoor gear.

Games to Play

Even those friends and family who normally eschew games might not be able to help themselves away from their technology. Introduce a new generation to dominoes or card games like gin rummy and hearts. Board games are a great way for the old and young to come together in a way that Xbox and PlayStation aren’t. Make a scoreboard for a weekend-long tournament of all the different games you play from horseshoes to Chutes and Ladders so that all ages have an equal chance of winning. The grand prize can be a golden pinecone or jar of homemade jam from a nearby country fair.

Quiet Time

After the kids have gone to bed is a great time for adults to relax with a glass of wine and a good book or around a fire pit with a glass of whiskey. Imagine how your guests will want to spend their downtime after a busy day in nature. Keep a bookshelf full of reading material of all genres such as local history, nature studies, mysteries, and thrillers and romance. One fun shelf could be filled with any book with the word “cabin” in it that you find at garage sales or used books stores. Create reading nooks with comfortable places to sit, lamps and extra blankets to wrap around cold toes. For those who like to sit under the stars at night, purchase sturdy outdoor seating, an attractive fire pit and more blankets that you don’t mind getting dragged through the dirt a bit.

Hosting guests in your cabin doesn’t have to be any more strenuous than having them at your house. Just remember that away from the city, first-timers tend to be both excited and trepidatious. They aren’t sure what to expect and might possibly be unprepared. With a little planning, it’s easy to give them a vacation to remember.

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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Cozy Decorating Ideas For Your Lake Cottage

by Holly Welles

Nothing is more cozy and relaxing than spending a weekend in a lake cottage. When you have the decorations to go with it, you can transform a lake home into a cottage paradise, making it warm and inviting for anyone who enters.

A traditional cottage home pairs a rustic, natural vibe with bursts of color and texture. Each room of a cottage offers unique features and decor, but they all provide comfort.

If you’re looking to add cozy decoration ideas for a lake cottage, you’ve come to the right place. Take a look at these eight ways you can make your lake home look even more comfortable.

Bring in Bouquets

Since cottage homes embrace the natural, what’s better than bringing in seasonal flowers? Add your favorite bouquet of blooms to make any room shine. Place your flowers in an old watering can and put it on your dining room table for the perfect centerpiece to elevate the cottage look.

If you would rather have living plants in your home, plant some ferns in a small barrel for the freshest green accents.

Paint It White

White brings feelings of freshness and openness. Plus, painting any wall white makes the perfect backdrop for your colorful decor. Choose to adorn your couches and chairs with white pillows and throw blankets if the painting isn’t an option. Dash your home with touches of white to give that cozy cottage feeling.

Light Some Candles

Any way you can add warmth to your lake cottage will make it all the more welcoming. Candles provide a soft glow that will make you and your family or guests want to curl up, and the scents will be delightful. It’s a bonus if you have a fireplace to set the romantic, storybook mood that most cottages radiate on their own.

If candles aren’t your thing, opt for elegant lamps and softer lighting to accentuate the walls and make your cottage look homey.

Take Advantage of Small Spaces

Cottages typically include a mixture of open rooms and small spaces. Make the most out of those small spaces with smarter decor. Use them for added storage, like for towels or toiletry items in a bathroom, or turn an alcove into a reading nook.

The best part of the cottage-style decor is that it doesn’t need to look modern to be trendy. Even in your smallest of spaces, you can add floral wallpaper or a colorful rug to amplify the cottage look.

Mix Patterns

Because color is an essential aspect of cottage homes, feel free to mix colors and patterns in your lake house. Get creative and pair stripes with florals — layer quilts and blankets on beds. Since most cottage homes will have white walls and furniture, you can easily add any color or pattern you choose with your decor.

Rope It In

To bring the lake into your home, include rope as a decoration. On the lake, rope is essential for keeping your boat from floating away. It’s very sturdy, so fashion some macrame plant holders and hang your greenery from the walls or ceiling.

Rope varies in thickness, so get some thicker rope and use it for trim around an accent wall.

Accent With Memories

Bring in nostalgia by hanging pictures of you and your family or friends around the cottage. Even when you’re at home by yourself, you’ll have constant reminders of the people that you love most, comforting you.

Another way to accent with memories is to decorate with antique family items. They’ll bring uniqueness to your lake cottage with stories passed down from one generation to the next.

Repurpose Lake Equipment

Any cottage you step into is bound to have antique or repurposed decorations. Living by a lake, you likely have old boating or lake equipment lying around.

Take an oar and sand it down to give it a weathered look, and hang it on your wall above your couch. Use half of a canoe to act as a corner bookshelf. Plus, when you repurpose materials into decor for your home, you’re helping the environment!

There are endless options to infuse your lake home with character and style. The best way to make your lake cottage cozy is to make it yours. Every aspect of your home will reflect you and your family, and you will swoon over the decorations for years to come.


Holly Welles is a writer and decorating enthusiast. She shares tips on home improvements and design for homeowners on her own blog, The Estate Update. She’s also a regular contributor to industry publications including Build Magazine and Today’s Homeowner.

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