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Stunning Cabin Made From Recycled Windows Costing Only $500

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In the mountains of West Virginia, photographer Nick Olson and designer Lilah Horwitz built their very own enchanting retreat.

Nick and Lilah had a date in the summer, a camping trip to Nick’s favorite spot on his family’s property. Nick wanted Lilah to experience the awesome sunsets over the West Virginia Mountains from the edge of the forest, fronting a fantastic lake.

Credit: YouTube/

Their idea emerged right there, and then, the beautiful setting prompted them to start talking about their first home. They spoke about building a home away from home, which boasts an original facade made of various size windows, giving it a rustic modern artistic flair. The couple’s symbol of careful penny-pinching efforts came into play.

The couple met at an artist residency in Pennsylvania. Nick, a carpenter and photographer, and Lilah, an artist with a passion for sewing. It was the beginning of a beautiful romance and an incredible adventure. It was fate that brought them together. It is all about timing, being at the right time and right place.

They hadn’t known each other for long, yet the idea of home and shared space became central in their relationship, Lilah had said. They both agreed not to move into someones else’s home. They wanted to create their own home together.

Nick and Lilah quit their jobs and decided to build a home from scratch. They used whatever material they could with the least amount of money to spend, which meant living off of beans and rice while committing their time and energy to construct their one-of-a-kind home.

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They planned to construct the front wall to face the lake and the mountains so that they could watch the sunset daily. The front would consist of old windows that they bought at antique shops or salvage yards. They also found plenty of old barns where they could get materials such as beams, roofing materials, boards, nails, and windows to use.

Relying on YouTube tutorials and the public library to aid them, the project took around seven months to complete and cost a mere $500, as 90% of the materials were from the abandoned barns. The cabin does not include electricity and plumbing, it does offer a refreshing oneness with the environment. Theirs is a simple cabin project built less from a builder’s perspective and more from an artist’s perspective with stunning results. 

Credit: YouTube/

Admittingly they don’t spend most of their time there, as they spend it primarily in Milwaukee. They do enjoy to escape there from time to time amidst nature and adding little mementos to their cabin home. 

As the project ignited the couples yearning to create more DIY builds, they plan to add a kitchen and outdoor bathroom and eventually purchase some land to create a village of these homes. Time will tell if their dreams become a reality.

When building a log cabin, bear in mind that you should have a durable and robust base on which to build. The best wood is Douglas fir, which is one of the most durable softwoods available. It’s the right choice for timber frames and traditional log homes. Other log types would be yellow cedar, spruce, and pine, as they make good log cabins.

The easiest cabin to build would be a simple stick-framed cabin.

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