Single Mom Builds Off-Grid Lakeside Cabin Near Columbus, Ohio

The following is a guest post from Kelley. Thanks again for sharing your story Kelley!

We’ve been building a 192 sq ft cabin with a sleeping loft and front and back porch right on our lake shore.

Our cabin sits on the shore line of a small lake in the woods just west outside if Columbus, Ohio. The building is 16’x12′ with 16′ ceilings, a 4′ front porch and 8′ back porch that overlooks the lake. The sleeping loft is 12’x8′ and has 2 full sized beds. The downstairs is complete with an open great room, kitchen with bar, and bathroom with a sink, standup shower, and composting toilet.

I am building this cabin myself with help from friends and we are slowly but surely making progress! Our cabin is off grid and powered by a gas generator and will have a water pump and filtration system with water being pulled from the lake. We also have a woodburning stove and are building a stone hearth, of course complete with a small flatscreen TVย that hangs above the stove.

All of our windows and a lot of our building supplies have come from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, as well as Craigslist! I am a single mom of 3 young children and we are building this together as a family while I am teaching my children what it means to work for something and then be able to enjoy your hard work when it’s completed. This project is a labor of love and serves as a getaway from busy city life and a place where we can just focus on being a family and enjoy what life is all about; complete with fishing off of our back porch!

We will utilize this cabin as a weekend getaway, which in turn has already made us appreciate our small home in Columbus, a home we were feeling was too small, but is greatly larger than our 192 sq ft cabin! Our 1,100 sq ft Columbus home is definitely more than enough and I even go as far as to say I think our 192 sq ft cabin feels even larger!

We are a “go-get-her” kinda family. Working hard together and inviting neighbors over along the way and throughout the process. Building small houses becomes a community event and that’s my favorite part about it!

I started this project when I became a single mom of 3; to give my 3 children and I an opportunity to begin starting over and moving forward. Throughout this process, we have more than moved forward, we have grown closer as a now family of 4 and have empowered ourselves by learning how to do things we never thought we could ever do, such as my 6 year old can help frame walls, my 3 year old can help paint, and my 2 year old loves to help clean.

Me, well I’m learning being a single parent doesn’t limit me and my abilities AND I can build a cabin! I am creating a very special space for my family and I, a space we built together, created so many memories together, and will have around to enjoy as a family for years to come.

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