DECIDING ON LOG CONSTRUCTION
When weighing cabin construction options. Mike and Kristi agreed on log. “The terrain is so wild and natural that it seemed that log would fit well there. says Kristi.
Tin design was “based on plans we had seen over time in magazines,” Kristi explains. “We sited it for views of the lake.
The shell of the 14 x 14-foot structure was erected in May; by September, it was mostly finished. The one-room retreat held a futon, dresser, table and chairs, plus a loft that could be used for either sleeping or storage. Mike built a 256-square-foot deck the following May.
The Portugues enjoyed their ofF-grid getaway, hauling water from home in five-gal-lon jugs and cooking on a propane camp stove on the deck. Upon arrival, they’d cart luggage and water jugs down the boardwalk in a wheelbarrow. With an outdoor living space larger than indoor, meal prep, cooking, and dishes were typically handled on the deck. A propane camp stove and grill supplied the cooking space, while a Coleman Hot Water On Demand H20asis Portable Water heater supplied hot water for dishwashing. Mike also built an outdoor sun shower for al fresco bathing.
MOVING ON UP
Eventually, the time was right to start building the main cabin on the highest portion of their property. “Kainz told us he knew of a stand of forty- to fifty-foot-tall red pine in Isabella [Minnesota.]. He said it was a close-growing stand, so the logs would be great for a cabin,” Mike recalls.
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An open-plan design was drawn up by brother-in-law Mike Wilkus of Wilkus Architecture in the Twin Cities. (Mike is married to Kristi’s older sister, Barb.) Mat Roderick of Evergreen Construction in Ely signed on as contractor.
In the kitchen, the cabinets and beadboard are painted red with a black glaze. Bam lights Illuminate the countertop.
In October, the building site was excavated and a slab poured, complete with provisions lor future hookups for plumbing and a radiant-floor heating system.
A flatbed semi-trailer truck delivered the logs the following June, and the shell was erected.