HOW TO BUILD A CABIN: THE SIX POINT PLAN

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It’s been a little while since I first posted about How To Build A Cabin but that doesn’t mean my plans to purchase land in the Australian wilderness and build a cabin have fallen by the wayside. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. Over the last few months I’ve been focusing on saving, researching and sharing this experience using my Six Point Plan below. START SAVING The first step in the right direction is to start saving, and seriously. I’ve always had savings for travel and a rainy day, but I’ve never had a lifelong end goal. Well I do now. Over the last few months I’ve buckled down and saved $18k for my deposit. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve stopped buying clothes and I rarely catch up with friends over dinner. I don’t drink coffee, I don’t smoke and I rarely drink so that’s a big bonus. I will reassess how much more I need before I buy land and put the cabin to build.

START SHARING I find that if I commit to an idea publicly then I am more likely to see it through; especially if I give it a name, like How To Build A Cabin. I also want to share the experience and create a likeminded community so I started a dedicated Instagram account. In just a few short months I’ve now got over 1,500 people following me on this journey. Their words of encouragement and support knows no bounds. I love getting tagged in photos and I love the cabin community. They keep inspiring me to work  hard and save.

START RESEARCHING Right now I'm spending a lot of time researching where to buy land. Originally I wanted to build in Tasmania, but it just isn’t going to be feasible. Well, not for the first cabin anyway. Yes, I have plans to build a few cabins and own the cabin hotelier space. Currently I am looking at the Byron hinterland in New South Wales and the Sunshine Coast hinterland in Queensland for my cabin project. I’d love a big block of land on top of a hill with complete privacy and close to the ocean. I will find this dream block of land, it’s just going to take time and a lot of perseverance. The latter, I have plenty of. My big dream is to build another cabin in Tasmania, Australia and Lake Wanaka, New Zealand and put these cabins up on Airbnb everyone can experience the joys of staying in a cabin #oneday.

START PLANNING Whilst I am researching where to buy, looking at various blocks of land and getting an idea of space versus price, I am also toiling over the design plan. I originally wanted the cabin to be one bedroom, but let’s face it I want friends and family to stay over. I want to start a little family and have room for the kids. So for now it looks like a two bedroom or possibly a third bedroom Scandinavian inspired cabin. I have the basic floor plan and its based on cabins I’ve seen, places I've stayed and books I read, which I’ve been told is a fantastic start. I am also torn between the idea of a prefabricated cabin or shipping containers or a straightforward build. I love them all and this will inevitably come down to price.

START TALKING I’ve already got a few Australian design, prefabricated and shipping container design firms in mind. If you know of any, I'd love to hear from you! I’ve called a few and got an idea on cost and preference. What I am doing IS possible, hurrah! Additionally I’ve started a dedicated Pinterest account to collect cabin and interiors inspiration. Some of my boards include Cabins, Flooring, Kitchens and Bathrooms. I do have a few private boards because I want there to be a few surprises when I go to build. I’m also going to work with one of my closest and dearest friends Christina Symes, one half of Triibe, to help with the interiors when I go to build. She understands my Scandinavian taste and appreciation for form and function. I can’t wait to see what we come up with.

START COLLECTING As I am a complete novice to this experience, I have been spending a lot of time in my favourite book stores and online, buying and collecting as many books as possible on cabins, prefabrication, shipping containers, interiors and eco-conscience design. I am amassing a nice little collection, but they are more than nice coffee table books. I’ve been collating notes, writing in the books, using my highlighter and pencil, writing to the authors asking various questions and developing my knowledge. And I think that’s the key to ensure How To Build A Cabin is a success. Whilst I have this time to save for the deposit, I'm going to continue to use it wisely and soak up as much information and detail as possible so I am best prepared when I buy land and start to build the cabin. I'm also laying down the foundations and documenting the journey for my own cabin book.

Image: Property built at Muriwai Beach in New Zealand. Designed by The Block contestants Alex and Corban and found via New Zealand Design Blog. More on this amazing shipping container house soon!