Cabins: A Guide to Building Your Own Nature Retreat

Overview

Cabins: A Guide to Building Your Own Nature Retreat is a cabin-building manual which includes everything you need to know about building your own getaway. Color photographs help you choose between a variety of cabins to suit your lifestyle and preference. Do you dream of a log cabin, pole built cabin, lakeside cabin or A-frame retreat?

Over 400 detailed illustrations including designs, floor plans and architectural details complement the text which takes you through the entire ...

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Overview

Cabins: A Guide to Building Your Own Nature Retreat is a cabin-building manual which includes everything you need to know about building your own getaway. Color photographs help you choose between a variety of cabins to suit your lifestyle and preference. Do you dream of a log cabin, pole built cabin, lakeside cabin or A-frame retreat?

Over 400 detailed illustrations including designs, floor plans and architectural details complement the text which takes you through the entire building process from construction basics to finished cabin. Learn how to select the right site, build your foundation, install a water supply system, heating and electricity.

A chapter on outfitting includes rustic cabin furniture, cooking gear, wood-burning stoves and lanterns, and a list of sources makes it easy to find suppliers. Whether you are building a cabin in the wilderness or in your backyard, this book has something for you.

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Editorial Reviews

New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal
If you've ever thought of building a little retreat somewhere ... you will probably enjoy this book.
Kandis Carper
You'll find not only the practical issues ... but also the inspiration to help select the cabin that is perfect. —Spokane Spokesman-Review
Stacie Gentile
An invaluable resource ... step-by-step instructions starting with basic planning. —Calgary Sun
Lexington Herald-Leader
The kind of book that stirs the imagination.
Log Homes Illustrated
Clear, practical book ... full-color photos help do-it-yourselfers realize their dreams.
Library Journal
Cabins have come a long way from the 19th-century rustic structures familiar to all school children. The Stileses, a husband-and-wife team who have collaborated on a number of woodworking titles, show how to build a cabin that reflects the builder's lifestyle; some are simple, while others contain multiple rooms and utilities. Although the authors make it look easy, the amount of work that goes into a log cabin is staggering (even small cabins require 60 or more logs that each take five to seven hours to hew by hand). Other designs include a Japanese moon-gazing cabin, a pyramid-shaped cabin, and an A-frame cabin. A section on cabin accessories (including brief construction hints for rustic wood furniture) and a list of sources (including web addresses) completes this title. It should be part of in-depth public library collections. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal
If you've ever thought of building a little retreat somewhere ... you will probably enjoy this book ... Cabins is geared to the modern homebuilder — homes have to meet modern building codes, after all — and examines a variety of building techniques.
Spokane Spokesman-Review - Kandis Carper
You'll find not only the practical issues ... but also the inspiration to help select the cabin that is perfect.
Calgary Sun - Stacie Gentile
An invaluable resource ... step-by-step instructions starting with basic planning.
Lexington Herald-Leader
The kind of book that stirs the imagination.
Saskatoon Star Phoenix - Ted Hainworth
A primer for anyone with dreams of 'getting away from it all.'
Log Homes Illustrated
Clear, practical book ... full-color photos help do-it-yourselfers realize their dreams.
ForeWord - Patrick A. Smith
With this study of the what, when, where, and how of cabin building, anyone's yearning for the last great place can be satiated.
Adirondack Life - Annie Stoltie
[The book will] lead the clumsiest carpenter through the necessary steps to build a cozy getaway.
Cottage Living - Rebecca Sawyer-Fay
You can do it!... For tips read Cabins: A Guide to Building Your Own Nature Retreat.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552095645
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/3/2001
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

David Stiles is a designer/builder who, together with his wife, Jeanie Stiles, has written articles for publications such as Better Homes and Gardens and the New York Times and authored 15 books, including Sheds and The Treehouse Book (which won the ALA Notable Children's Book Award). The Stiles divide their time between New York City and East Hampton, New York.

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Read an Excerpt

Foreword

by Don Metz, architect

In North American culture, the cabin holds a unique place in our collective consciousness. Enshrined in the best traditions of grassrooted nostalgia, the cabin symbolizes those bedrock frontier virtues of self-reliance, sturdiness, simplicity, humility and —-by inference — honesty. By its very lack of pretension, the cabin connotes a purity of life whose loss we yearn to recall. As a genre, it stands at the moral center of a particularly American ethos defined by a cast of characters as diverse as Abe Lincoln, Davy Crockett and Henry David Thoreau.

During the colonial era, the cabin was home on much of the frontier, and is still remembered in folklore, song and verse as a safe and cozy haven. Today, the notion of the cabin as Home Sweet Home persists in literature and film. Whether in the mountains, on the prairie or by the lake, it remains a symbol of all that we value.

Today, the cabin has become the place we get away to when the place we're in has worn us out, a retreat from anxiety, a place dedicated to renewal. From the moment we lift the latch, push open the door and inhale that smoky-creosote-camphor cabin scent, we are altered for the better. More than a home away from home, the cabin reminds us of how — we like to think — life used to be lived in simpler times. It provides us with an opportunity to be closer to nature, and closer still to one another. The cabin is where we go to replace the hum of technology with the buzzing of insects, where cyberspace is out of place, where a mouse still has two ears and four legs. The cabin is a simple, sacred place where food and drink always taste better, where music sounds brighter, where evenings with loved ones linger longer into pleasure, where sleep is deep and dawn is fresh with wonders we've elsewhere forgotten.

Cabins seeks to address not only the practical issues involved in the design and building of a cabin, but also to encourage the impulse. Life is long, but need it be so hectic?

Imagine: After a long drive into nightfall, you step out of your car onto familiar footing — not asphalt, not concrete — but the stuff of millennial forests and plains and shorelines, the earth itself. You stretch your tired body, and you know immediately that every traveled mile was worth it as long as the trip ended here. Within moments of your arrival, it seems as if a blanket of peacefulness has gently covered you. An owl calls from a distant treetop, the same hoot-hoot, hoot-hoooot you remember from the last time — welcome back. You breathe the night in deeply and look up at the stars. How could you forget they could be so dazzlingly bright? And the pines, the fragrance — the scent of sage or the salty air.

You drag your duffel bag up onto the porch and reach for the key hidden in the abandoned wren's nest above the door. The lock has its eccentricities, but even in the dark, you know how to coax it open; after all you installed it yourself. When the groceries have been put away and the lamps are lit low, you light a fire. And as you sit back in that comfy, old chair and look into the lazily flickering flames, you can't begin to imagine what life would be like without the elemental pleasures of a cabin.

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Table of Contents

Foreward 7
Introduction 9
Chapter 1 Cabin Planning 15
Chapter 2 Types of Cabin Construction 23
Pole Built Cabins 24
Stick Built Cabins 27
Post and Beam Cabins 29
Stone Cabins 30
Cordwood Cabins 32
Wood Siding 34
Chapter 3 Cabin Construction 43
Hand Cart 46
Site Preparation 50
Foundations 51
Windows and Doors 59
Ladders and Stairs 71
Insulation and Roofing 77
Electricity 84
Water 88
Plumbing & Sanitary Systems 91
Heating 96
Chapter 4 Log Cabins 107
Log Joints 109
Cutting Your Own Logs 112
Working with Logs 117
Two-Bedroom Log Cabin 124
Chapter 5 Cabin Designs 139
Helen's Writing Cabin 139
Pyramid Cabin 148
A-Frame Cabin 155
Pole Built Cabin 166
Timber-Framed Guest Cabin 174
Lakeside Cabin 177
Japanese Moongazing Cabin 180
Mediterranean Cabin 184
Chapter 6 Outfitting a Cabin 189
Classic Cabin Accessories 211
Protecting Your Cabin 218
Bibliography 223
Sources 224
Index 229
Notes 233
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Preface

Foreword by Don Metz, architect

In North American culture, the cabin holds a unique place in our collective consciousness. Enshrined in the best traditions of grassrooted nostalgia, the cabin symbolizes those bedrock frontier virtues of self-reliance, sturdiness, simplicity, humility and —-by inference — honesty. By its very lack of pretension, the cabin connotes a purity of life whose loss we yearn to recall. As a genre, it stands at the moral center of a particularly American ethos defined by a cast of characters as diverse as Abe Lincoln, Davy Crockett and Henry David Thoreau.

During the colonial era, the cabin was home on much of the frontier, and is still remembered in folklore, song and verse as a safe and cozy haven. Today, the notion of the cabin as Home Sweet Home persists in literature and film. Whether in the mountains, on the prairie or by the lake, it remains a symbol of all that we value.

Today, the cabin has become the place we get away to when the place we're in has worn us out, a retreat from anxiety, a place dedicated to renewal. From the moment we lift the latch, push open the door and inhale that smoky-creosote-camphor cabin scent, we are altered for the better. More than a home away from home, the cabin reminds us of how — we like to think — life used to be lived in simpler times. It provides us with an opportunity to be closer to nature, and closer still to one another. The cabin is where we go to replace the hum of technology with the buzzing of insects, where cyberspace is out of place, where a mouse still has two ears and four legs. The cabin is a simple, sacred place where food and drink always taste better, where music sounds brighter, where evenings with loved ones linger longer into pleasure, where sleep is deep and dawn is fresh with wonders we've elsewhere forgotten.

Cabins seeks to address not only the practical issues involved in the design and building of a cabin, but also to encourage the impulse. Life is long, but need it be so hectic?

Imagine: After a long drive into nightfall, you step out of your car onto familiar footing — not asphalt, not concrete — but the stuff of millennial forests and plains and shorelines, the earth itself. You stretch your tired body, and you know immediately that every traveled mile was worth it as long as the trip ended here. Within moments of your arrival, it seems as if a blanket of peacefulness has gently covered you. An owl calls from a distant treetop, the same hoot-hoot, hoot-hoooot you remember from the last time — welcome back. You breathe the night in deeply and look up at the stars. How could you forget they could be so dazzlingly bright? And the pines, the fragrance — the scent of sage or the salty air.

You drag your duffel bag up onto the porch and reach for the key hidden in the abandoned wren's nest above the door. The lock has its eccentricities, but even in the dark, you know how to coax it open; after all you installed it yourself. When the groceries have been put away and the lamps are lit low, you light a fire. And as you sit back in that comfy, old chair and look into the lazily flickering flames, you can't begin to imagine what life would be like without the elemental pleasures of a cabin.

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Foreword

by Don Metz, architect

In North American culture, the cabin holds a unique place in our collective consciousness. Enshrined in the best traditions of grassrooted nostalgia, the cabin symbolizes those bedrock frontier virtues of self-reliance, sturdiness, simplicity, humility and ---by inference -- honesty. By its very lack of pretension, the cabin connotes a purity of life whose loss we yearn to recall. As a genre, it stands at the moral center of a particularly American ethos defined by a cast of characters as diverse as Abe Lincoln, Davy Crockett and Henry David Thoreau.

During the colonial era, the cabin was home on much of the frontier, and is still remembered in folklore, song and verse as a safe and cozy haven. Today, the notion of the cabin as Home Sweet Home persists in literature and film. Whether in the mountains, on the prairie or by the lake, it remains a symbol of all that we value.

Today, the cabin has become the place we get away to when the place we're in has worn us out, a retreat from anxiety, a place dedicated to renewal. From the moment we lift the latch, push open the door and inhale that smoky-creosote-camphor cabin scent, we are altered for the better. More than a home away from home, the cabin reminds us of how -- we like to think -- life used to be lived in simpler times. It provides us with an opportunity to be closer to nature, and closer still to one another. The cabin is where we go to replace the hum of technology with the buzzing of insects, where cyberspace is out of place, where a mouse still has two ears and four legs. The cabin is a simple, sacred place where food and drink always taste better, where music soundsbrighter, where evenings with loved ones linger longer into pleasure, where sleep is deep and dawn is fresh with wonders we've elsewhere forgotten.

Cabins seeks to address not only the practical issues involved in the design and building of a cabin, but also to encourage the impulse. Life is long, but need it be so hectic?

Imagine: After a long drive into nightfall, you step out of your car onto familiar footing -- not asphalt, not concrete -- but the stuff of millennial forests and plains and shorelines, the earth itself. You stretch your tired body, and you know immediately that every traveled mile was worth it as long as the trip ended here. Within moments of your arrival, it seems as if a blanket of peacefulness has gently covered you. An owl calls from a distant treetop, the same hoot-hoot, hoot-hoooot you remember from the last time -- welcome back. You breathe the night in deeply and look up at the stars. How could you forget they could be so dazzlingly bright? And the pines, the fragrance -- the scent of sage or the salty air.

You drag your duffel bag up onto the porch and reach for the key hidden in the abandoned wren's nest above the door. The lock has its eccentricities, but even in the dark, you know how to coax it open; after all you installed it yourself. When the groceries have been put away and the lamps are lit low, you light a fire. And as you sit back in that comfy, old chair and look into the lazily flickering flames, you can't begin to imagine what life would be like without the elemental pleasures of a cabin.

Read More Show Less

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