DIY cabin in the woods
See how one couple built a retreat in the Oregon wilderness for $10,000
By the time they’ve lit the woodstove and rolled open the 8-foot-high barn door to reveal a view of Wallowa Lake, it’s evident why. This cozy adventure outpost—just 130 square feet plus a deck—is the perfect jumping-off point into the wilderness near Joseph, Oregon.
Ryan Lingard and Mariah Morrow built their tiny cabin for $57,000, including the land. They call it The Signal Shed.
Click ahead to see how they did it.
“In winter, we ski and snowshoe,” Ryan says. “It’s peaceful here, and spending time off the grid resets your priorities.”
“Where most people would have seen a steep, partially burned, partially logged slope that didn’t have utilities, we just saw possibilities,” Mariah recalls.
Building the platform, left: The one-room cabin floats on piers to minimize its impact on the site.
At left: Raising the walls with the help of friends and family.
At left: Cutting the cedar siding around the cabin
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’s a bit like camping, according to Ryan. Small solar chargers power cell phones. Oil lamps brighten the interior.
“We don’t think of this as a vacation house. Wherever else we live, this will always be home,” Mariah says.
Look for land that doesn’t require traditional bank financing (banks typically require you to build within a tight timetable or else incur very high interest rates). Ryan and Mariah were able to buy their land through seller financing (the seller agreed to carry the loan).
Shown: Outdoor focused
Form & Forest’s Cowboy squeezes lots of loungy areas into its 635 square feet, which doesn’t include the expansive deck, courtyard, and covered porch. The flat-pack home even has a soaker tub at the center of its plan. From about $66,000.
Upgrades available include Heath Ceramics tile, a kitchen island, and polished concrete flooring. When your second home starts to sound better than your first, it’s time to move. From $179,000.