A Simple Cabin in the Woods

Our Vershire crew spent the last month of summer 2019 raising and enclosing an off-grid cabin in Strafford, Vermont. The 500 square foot cabin sits on the site of an old homestead, and is designed with a minimalist eye. It’s a space to retreat to, for the family who owns it; they come here to write, bike, ski, and enjoy the woods. As such, it has all the basics, and not much more. There is a loft sleeping space, solar powered lighting, a propane cooking setup, a composting toilet, and eventually, a spring-fed well will be tapped for water.

Getting the Core of the Cabin Designed and Built

TimberHomes’ role in raising this off-grid cabin was to take it from concept to enclosure. We worked with the client to design a prow-roof cabin with king post trusses, that frame and open floor plan. Curving cherry struts in the trusses add a fitting amount of pizazz, for this cabin-in-the-woods. Large windows and French doors form the bulk of the south-facing facade, bringing in natural light.

After raising the frame, our crew wrapped the outside of the cabin in pine tongue & groove boards, a breathable Intello air / moisture wrap, Roxul (aka rock wool) insulation, and a final layer of pine shiplap siding. This simple wall and roof construction will keep things toasty when the woodstove is cranking, even in Vermont’s chilly winters. Our work concluded by installing red channel drain metal roofing, and the client took it from there. Since our work on the cabin was completed in 2019, they have framed out a bathroom with a composting toilet, installed the finished floor, trim details, and a woodstove, and gotten the solar up and running. Plans for a deck over the summer of 2021 will complete the build.

Adventures in Off-Grid Construction

The building site is at the top of a beautiful open meadow, a mile up a class IV logging road. Our usual truck-and-trailer system wasn’t going to work for hauling up timbers, tools and the crew. We were able to contract a logger to use their forwarder to transport everything to the secluded site. It was quite an adventure!