And the road goes on forever...

Tuesday, April 12, 2022



Do any others besides myself find websites like Pinterest and Houzz to be both a blessing and a curse? A blessing of course, for all the wonderful and unique ideas they can give you when you’re building, and a curse, because let’s face it: 90% of the ideas shown might be out of the reach of the average person building just a simple cabin/house.

We are facing some tough choices with this build. For ourselves, we don’t need things too fancy or extravagant and we are purposely keeping this place small. The reality though, is that it will not be our final home (unless we die prematurely), given the harsh weather. I somehow can’t imagine being mid to late 80’s and wanting to plow snow for six months of the year and feed a wood stove every day. At some point this home will come up for sale, so to some extent we need to be mindful of its resale value in the choices we make. 

Thus, the conundrum of the granite kitchen. We got the quote from the stone yard and to do both the perimeters and island (rough quote as we don’t have exact size of island as yet) is around $8000! Man, that’s a lot of money when an equally serviceable laminate could be had for probably around $2000 or less. We could do just the island for about $3000 so that is in contention, but for now, the granite idea is tabled while I’ve sent away for all sorts of Formica and Wilsonart samples to play with.

We made it up to the property for a quick trip yesterday; Marc wanted the Mule left there in our storage unit to be able to work with as we tackle the beginning work of clearing. The ground was still soft and there were still spots of snow in the trees and totally filling the boggy portions of property and the lake is still frozen. 

We stopped in and obtained library cards, stopped by the post office to arrange for them to determine where our mailbox will be set, and visited the county building offices to obtain the application paperwork for our initial permits for both the RV storage shed and our pole barn. Ya gotta love small Wisconsin towns: all accessory buildings over 80 square feet require a permit and the cost is only 10/cents/square foot. Even the house will only run 22/cents which means the permit for that will be under $300. Compare that to Bend, OR where last I heard a building permit ranged around $30,000+. Insane. Plus, there’s no taking six months to acquire it either; they will be ready in less than two weeks once submitted. I guess some municipalities actually want to foster building more houses and then enjoy the future tax benefit that accrues to the county, rather than find all sorts of impediments to throw in people’s way in the form of high fees and cumbersome rules and regs. 

Back at the property, we were finally able to do a full walk-around to better visualize placement of our buildings. In addition to the RV shed, house and shop, Marc wants an 8x10 shed and maybe also a small wood shed/lean-to. We had purchased the property under snow so this was the first time we saw what we actually purchased! It was a very windy day so it was nice to hear the wind passing through the tall, swaying pines. We did determine where we want to set our RV this summer to enjoy maximum beautiful views, which will allow the large picture window in the RV to look out at this:

We definitely agreed that the current stairway has to go! It is very uneven, has huge distance between steps, no handrail and is a terrible accident waiting to happen. Marc will tear it out and build a normal house style stairway, making them much less steep and far safer.

Our bog area is still snow covered so we didn’t venture to lake’s edge. We determined we’ll need waders to fully explore it at a later time if we wish and probably would be better served taking the boat down the shoreline to try and find our property pin. We have 1000 foot of shoreline. You may recall that the bulk of our property is in bog, with probably around three acres out of the fifteen sitting on top the knoll as the usable portion. This works perfectly for us because it allows us the 360 degrees of total privacy we were looking for with no other building around us possible, and also three acres is plenty for us to maintain and care for.

This is the lower end of our dry portion which then joins the bog.

This is the area where the pole barn will likely go; yes we have a ton of clearing to do! 

And here’s where the RV shed will go; we kind of want it tucked unobtrusively into the trees: 

We have an appointment with the power company field guy on April 26th so we’re hopeful to move up to the lot around the 23rd. The library has free highspeed internet but we won’t have access to much from our lot all summer. My phone will do a hotspot but I don’t have many gigs of use and we are shutting down our cable internet at our home since we won’t be here much at all. I’ll plan on doing updates to the blog as I can so thanks for following along! This should be fun!