Building a Cabin on Stilts

Stilts are what keeps your house standing — they are one of the most crucial parts of the entire structure. Our cabin stands on wooden stilts, but thinking back, we realize that a steel construction might have been a better choice in terms of stability and endurance. Learn from us about the benefits and potential problems of building a house on stilts.

Building with Physical Limitations

Living with injury is a constant struggle for everyone, especially someone aiming to homestead. Even a simple thing such as getting a sack of chicken feed out of the car can be a problem, and we often ask a neighbor for help with that. Here is what to do when health issues interfere with building the home of your dreams.

Homesteading With Code Requirements

When we built our current home in 1992, there were very few rules and codes that could damage or destroy our dream of doing most of the work in building our cabin ourselves. Times like that are rapidly disappearing and those who build now must endure permits, inspections, delays and forced compliance. The dream of building your own home could be more complicated than just knowing construction techniques nowadays. Read our story.

Building a Cabin with a Portable Sawmill

By sawing his own lumber from fallen trees, Billy Reeder not only built his cabin debt-free on family land, he also built a new life — a deliberate life. A good life.

Tiny Homes, Bigger Lives

Steve Maxwell explains why living the bootstrap lifestyle and living with less leaves you with more in the end.

What We Do Around the Homestead in February

February can be a hit or miss for us here at Deer Isle Hostel - snow and cold demands more creativity to stay busy, but also provides a great chance not to do much. Planting onions from seed, shoveling snow and planning for the Hostel season 2015 are some things I do to keep the cabin fever under control.

The Recycled Log Cabin

I love my two-story log cabin, which combines recycled and an array of green building materials.

Breaking Trail

Using snowshoes to keep our paths and trails open as the snow piles up.

Cabin Fever: Reality Or Myth?

Cabin Fever: noun, ‘Boredom, restlessness, or irritability that results from a lack of environmental stimulation, as from a prolonged stay in a remote, sparsely populated region or a confined indoor area‘.

Uncle Dave

Sheepskin rug keeps a childhood story alive.

Noting the Time

Noting the time and marking its passing, keeping us in the present.

Walking Home

Making the most of a winter walk to home.

Walking Water

We haul our water from the river - walking water!

Our Little House

The thrill continues living in our handmade house.

Ode to a Hand Saw

Ode to our hand saw...why we choose to live without power, and what we've accomplished by hand.

Putting in Windows

again, rushing to beat the weather as we close in our finishing our hand-built cabin

Making Music on the Front Porch

Michael Johnathon is a folksinger, songwriter, author and playwright. He also created and hosts the weekly national broadcast of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, heard on over 509 public radio stations, American Forces Radio network in 173 nations. In this blog, Michael muses on discovering the joys of folk music and songwriting.

Truck Love

The importance of a good pickup truck for the modern homesteader.

Using Professionals -VS- Doing It Yourself

The virtues and wisdom of having some projects done by professionals -vs- rather than attempting them yourself. While many can and do their own installation, occasionally it is better to have professionals do the job.

Downsizing The Sequel

New wood stove, another unexpected advantage of downsizing, and Murphy's Law.

Stumps Why So Tall?

Tree stumps, reminders of special moments and birds contribution to life.

Thank you Mother

If you have questions on how we accomplished our dream - ask us maybe our experience will help you. We welcome questions on how life is in the high mountains of S. Colorado. Please visit our personal blog for more information on us.

What's Lurking in Your Cabinet?

Simran Sethi discusses the "wood" that makes up our kitchen cabinets, as well as more eco-friendly (and people-friendly) alternatives.

Photo of the Week: Simple Solar Cabin

Weekly user photo of a simple solar homestead. Don't forget to submit your photos to our CU photo-sharing website. Maybe one of your favorite moments will pop up on the homepage for all the world to see!