I have given some thought to the total cost of this mid-life crisis (aka “retirement dream”) of mine. For those who have built cabins, feel free to comment on my unrealistic projections! For those who haven’t, understand that this is VERY rough…I’m sure that I’m in for some expensive surprises along the way.
If you visit Friesen’s website, you will see that the Plan 5 in a 20×24 with T-111 siding starts at $20,120.00. If I’m reading the specs correctly, this includes the pilings, the floor, basic framing of outer walls, door(s), windows, and a metal roof.
It does not include: insulation under the floors (approx $1368), one extra 4×4’ window ($368), 8×24’ deck ($3409), and a 4’ extended overhang at one end of the roof ($855). It also doesn’t include installation of a chimney (no cost given) or the added costs due to the remote off-road location (I assume a number in the $1000’s).
All told, I’m looking at right around $30,000 for the shell of a cabin. Other expenses I will have to manage piecemeal (doing most of the work myself) will include: interior insulation, drywall and paint, the new woodstove, flooring, appliances, cupboards and fixtures for kitchen and bath, and lastly, furniture.
For plumbing, I am researching eco-friendly grey-water disposal systems that won’t necessitate a septic tank. This will be another Do-It-Yourself project. The composting toilet is – so far – working out just fine which will save the need for a “black water” disposal system. (For an amusing review of the Nature’s Head toilet that I currently use, visit the Good Luck Duck. They use theirs in a big RV and have enjoyed not having to deal with the icky splish splash dumping of black water!)
Research is on-going as to feasibility and costs for electric but it will also be eco-friendly as far as I’m able. Solar panels (iffy in winter with 4 hours per day of daylight!) and possibly a thermo-electric generator are possibilities, supplemented by my propane generator. (The Kimberly Woodstove that I want supposedly has an optional thermo-electric accessory.) Off-grid living isn’t a matter of choice on my property!
As I review and edit this post I realize that I’m going to be sitting at a desk for a few years yet to pay for all of this stuff…but as with any pleasant destination, planning the journey is often half of the fun!