Goings On

I had intended to read more Elizabethan Plays and to write more posts about them, but there have been goings on: namely, my novel and building a cabin with my daughter. We just started the cabin about a month ago and steadily work at it. The cabin is in our back yard, out in the back field. We buried electric (180 feet) so that it would be a four season cabin and are tightly wrapping it in insulation—two inches of EPS (an envelope over the  2×4 framing) with foam and Rocksul between the studs. Ironically, the cabin will need an air exchange system for all that tightness, but it should be very inexpensive to heat during the winter (with two 2000 watt forced hot air blowers).


The back story is twofold. First, for years I’ve wanted a little writing cabin out in the back field (among the wild flowers). The second is that I’ve always wanted to build a Tiny House and so did my daughter. She found out in the end of June that her Freshman year university courses would be online. Once we realized she would be stuck here, we began to take the idea of a Tiny House seriously. (We also call the cabin her “dorm room”). By that point, however, finding a dedicated Tiny House trailer to build on would have pushed back construction into September (at the earliest). Mainly, manufactures of trailers have been slowed by the Coronvirus and have fallen behind demand. We decided to build a cabin on skids instead—something we can sell at a later date. We also decided to forego a bathroom and kitchenette (for her first project). It’s strictly a cabin with a fold down bed and an outlet for a mini-fridge. It will also have WIFI connectivity thanks to a powerline adapter.


Above is the view from the cabin. Although the cabin is wider than 8’4″, the maximum for transport without a permit, the roof’s rear overhang would be relatively easy to cut off or, if the buyer chose, they could simply pay for the permit. We decided to opt for the overhang given the amount of snow we usually get during winters. The overhang additionally protects the cabin from splash.

Anyway, this little cabin, writing studio and dorm room has been keeping me busy. I hope to have it done by mid September or so. If we eventually sell it for a profit, we’ll put the money into a real Tiny House. Or maybe we’ll fall in love with it and keep it around.

August 15 2020 | upinVermont

6 responses

    • We ran 4 Gauge Aluminum. My local electrical supplier always talks me into over-supplying for later expansion. I like him for that. Truth is, I had calculated the voltage drop for a maximum load of 4500 Watts or roughly 22 Amps. The voltage drop with a 10 AWG Copper wire would have been too close to 3% for comfort. Okay, but not if we ever wanted to add to the service. That and the fact that 4 AWG AL is about the same price/cheaper than 10 AWG CU convinced me. All this is to say that one could get away with 10 gauge, but I think any professional electrician would have opted for a minimum of 8 AWG and talked us into 4 AWG Aluminum. :)


  1. Makes sense for that application. But would you recommend aluminum for wiring houses too? Finally, is there any poet in your memory you’d allow to retire there?


    • There was a brief period in the late 60’s and early 70’s when single strand aluminum wiring was used. A few year ago I was on a job where the house had been wired with aluminum. Bad news. The electrician wouldn’t do any work on the electric until the owner agreed to replace all the aluminum with copper (for code reasons). You can read more about it here. So, in brief, no. Bad idea. That said, I’ve also read that part of the reason aluminum during that period is 50% more likely to cause house fires is because the industry hadn’t yet refined the alloys introduced into the aluminum.

      I probably wouldn’t let any poets retire out there. They’re all useless.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: