A Tree Top Oasis

I’ve had a lovely morning, I’ve just been out on the water with a friend looking at a plot of land to purchase. It’s a strange feeling when you think about just how accessible a quaint weekend getaway, so close to Sydney, actually is. Being a serious Grand Designs man my mind was going bonkers standing on the steep slope today looking out over the river. We were like two 17 year olds out our first Parklife, it was pure childhood excitement as we pictured ourselves sitting on the deck after an early morning fishing adventure, sipping instant coffee and soaking up the morning sun.

Of course I’ve just arrived home and hopped on the net straight away to envisage what the hill top cabin could possibly look like. Along my way I stumbled across this awesome mirco pre-fab cabin in the North Eastern Oregon called ‘Signal Shed’. The most fascinating thing about this cabin aside from its seamless integration into it’s surroundings is the price, $57,000US for the whole package. Yep, including the land, $10,000 on the build! Sure it’s rustic with no running water, no electricity and a wood stove for heat but it certainly opens your eyes as to what is possible with such little money.

The man who built it is an architect and this would have played a big part in his optimism for the previously unwanted site, but it just shows that attitude is everything, seeing weaknesses as opportunities to take advantage. The materials were sourced thriftily with windows from a center that recycles building parts, Ikea cabi­netry, laminate flooring and the barn door and stove on Craigslist. After two years of planning and extended weekend camping trips to the site, the couple, together with family and friends, completed construction in two weeks.

It baffles me how cheap this is, but excites me as to what can be done for the money. Today I felt this excitement and it was for a friend, I can’t imagine how he felt. This is how we should be spending our money as young men, not out on weekend long benders spending 1/50th of what this couple spent to build a magical weekend cabin.


James is the Founder and Editor of The Versatile Gent.

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