At the end of a long, winding and incredibly rocky road, there is a little yellow cottage. It’s on .8 of an acre and is surrounded by coniferous and deciduous tress, offering privacy in the summer, colours in the fall and a wonderland in the winter. The land is varied and though small, has enough change in terrain to make it interesting. It is not waterfront but it is only a short walk to the small clearing that is labelled the beach. From the front door, there is a treed view of the stark beauty of the marsh. At the farthest corner of the property, across the access road, there is an easement trail.
But what made our minds up to buy this property was based on the fact that it was a blank canvas. The structure was sound and usable as it is now. But enough needs to be done that we can take our time to build it into our perfect cabin, the way we want it to be. There are a lot of things that we need to do. But all we see is potential.
The cottage has two distinct parts. The first part – the main living area and kitchen – is long and narrow. It has 4 window on one end that face the marshy part of the lake. There is a small wood-burning cook stove in the middle and at the other end is the kitchen. In the kitchen, there is a propane stove and fridge that no longer work, as well as ample cupboard space and a sink to run off of rain water.
- The structure is sound.
- Lots of sleeping space.
- Wood-burning cook stove provides off-grid heat, cooking and hot water.
- Natural light from the skylight.
- The capacity to connect propane to a stove, fridge and BBQ.
- The installed (though not yet working) indoor compost toilet.
- Lots of windows on all sides, allowing for cross breeze and heat management in the summer.
- Basic solar panel system already in place.
- A solid deck near the side door that can be added on to.
- Spring-fed lake, clean enough to drink, is a source of water.
- Build a bigger deck and eventually add roof and screens in order to be outdoors in all weather.
- Re-do roof and add skylights to main room, kitchen and bedrooms (in the next 5 years).
- Insulate the roof.
- Get the cook stove safetied and certified.
- Re-do the ceilings in the bedrooms to repair the extensive water damage.
- Find out where the water damage came from and make sure it’s fixed.
- Figure out what is happening with the indoor compost toilet.
- Re-install the rain barrels and water system. (It has fallen into disrepair and the barrels were left on the ground.)
- Build on the solar energy system.
- Repaint the kitchen and put new, clean vinyl flooring down.
- Repaint the outhouse (and work on controlling the smell)
- Build an outdoor rain barrel shower.
- Re-cover the floors in the bedrooms and hallway.
- Clean and reposition the fire pit. (It’s very close to the access road right now.)
- Paint the bedrooms.
- Create and outdoor cat run. (Otherwise, we’d have to hire a cat-sitter in the city for when we’re at the cottage. Expensive!)
- Add a small section of inexpensive fencing (I see a lot of things made from free pallets in our future) to make a small dog run. We have hounds and they have no idea what recall is.