Cabin restoration project – Introduction

Earlier this year, I made mention of an old homestead in the Woodsbabe’s family which we were hoping to be able to use for things like gardening, canning/smoking/preserving food, cooking/heating with wood, working on projects and also for camping, fishing, bushcraft etc. Then in June, my hopes were dashed when, upon visiting it, the 120-year-old house seemed to be in unusable shape. Fortunately, some recent findings have put the possibility of using the place firmly back on the table. But I’ll get to that later on. First, I’ll give you a little info and a quick tour of the place.

The old homestead is located on a dirt road in a rural area in Eastern Finland where the population density is very low. It was a working farm for many years, but hasn’t been inhabited year-round for 40+ years (though there is a small sauna building there which has been used sporadically since then). There are roughly 12.5 acres (5 hectares) of woods, 5 acres (2 hectares) of old fields and a little more than an acre (0.5 hectares) for the buildings, yard and garden. The house was heated by several wood stoves and has one large living room/kitchen and four smaller rooms. There’s a barn/storage building with old tools, horse tack, fishing nets and lots of other interesting stuff. The last time we were there, the Woodsbabe took some pictures.

The old barn/storage building:

And a few pictures of the main room inside. Unfortunately, this really cool stone fireplace will have to go:

Old-timey picture of some of the house’s past occupants:

The good news I mentioned earlier is that the house isn’t as dilapidated as we all thought. Well, one side of it is, the side with the living room/kitchen. This side is not usable as-is. But removing some of the paneling from the walls on the side of the house with the smaller rooms showed that the logs of that part are in great condition and still very usable. The floors are iffy, but the walls, windows and even the roof (replaced in the 1940s) are in comparatively great shape. This being the case, the owner has decided to restore this part of the house as a rustic cabin with exposed log walls, and we have volunteered to help get the place into shape. In exchange, we’ll be able to use the cabin, yard etc. for recreation. 🙂

So over the coming months, I will be periodically reporting back to you with pictures of the restoration as it progresses, and I’ll also show you some of the old tools and other equipment of this old farm. Then when the place is fully usable, which will probably be next spring, I’ll show you how we spend our time there!

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13 comments on “Cabin restoration project – Introduction

  1. Ron says:

    Good luck!
    Looks like plenty of work, but will give a lot of fun and satisfaction.

  2. I’ve read a lot of Fins maintain these cabins and stockpile guns and ammo in them. Apparently it’s in reaction to the “Winter War” with the Soviets. Sean Connery has a famous story where he went with a Finnish film director to his cabin and the guy had a few tanks!

  3. Duncan says:

    Sounds like a great project. It would definitely be nice to have access to a cabin, especially one that you helped restore. Good luck!

  4. This is beyond stellar. I look forward to reading more!

  5. This looks like a fantastic project – how exciting for you.

    Can’t wait to see the progress you make, and I look forward to seeing the finished product

    🙂

  6. American Grouch says:

    What a great opportunity! Looks like the place has a tremendous amount of potential, I’m looking forward to reading along as you bring the place up to meet your requirements.

    • Thanks! Our requirements aren’t very high at all, but the place does have to be sturdy, safe and clean. The majority of the work will be to gut the place, fix what’s broken, shrink the indoor part by half (the big room will become an outside terrace) and install a wood stove etc. We’re hoping that things’ll be in order by spring. 🙂

  7. […] been quite some time since I’ve mentioned the cabin restoration project (“Introduction“, “Out with the old“) because frankly, nothing had been happening with it. Well, […]

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