Blog Cabin

Jan 7

Starting from Scratch: Why We Reframed

Reframing Blog Cabin 2013

For those who’ve been glued to the Cabin Cam over the last 48 hours, your eyes do not deceive you. We made a decision in the 11th hour to completely reframe Blog Cabin 2013. Why, you ask? Project manager Dylan Eastman and the design/build team deemed wall studs too short, floor joists (previously ceiling joists — a big no-no) too small, roof rafters too small and termite damage beyond repair.

We counted at least six renovations (highlighted in the above photo), which were pieced together and clad inside and out with very forgiving coverings that could be easily patched, caulked and/or renailed as needed. We certainly don’t want the lucky winner of Blog Cabin 2013 to worry about shifting/sagging, cracking walls and the subsequent repair work. To properly install new, efficient roofing, siding, flooring and drywall and achieve code requirement, we had no choice but to replace studs/joists. We could have retained the original studs, but they would have served no structural purpose, as all door and window locations and sizes have changed.

We salvaged wood from the original house and will reuse where we can. Our goal at this time is to maintain the charm and character of the original structure and honor the history of the home and the entire region as we rebuild.

  • Posted at 4:12 pm on January 1, 2013
  • Permalink


  1. Hooray! I did notice some very enthusiastic removal going on. I am very happy to see it, I was really concerned about the out-of-current-code status of the structure as it was revealed, and termite problems are almost always way more extensive than appears at first. If there were codes when this house was originally built, I am not sure it would have even met those at the time.

    Windsmurf on January 7, 2013 at 4:25 pm
    • My personal opinion is that this is a good thing, much like yours. Structurally, it appeared not in any shape to handle the loads needed for the new construction.

      seskier on January 12, 2013 at 1:59 pm
    • Yes Codes must be current and up to date. And DIY is always ahead in their services and Constructual process! Starting from scratch was the right way to go! Out with the old and in with the New! This will make some Blessed persons Dream come True!

      RonnieJames6182 on February 10, 2013 at 12:21 pm
  2. I just looked at the live cam and see they are putting up the new construction already. I see they are keeping with the 2 sets of double windows and one french door on the southern elevation. I had hoped they might change that to 3 sets of french doors. If I win, that will be one of the first changes I make, the second will be to screen in the whole porch so that entire area can function as one large open space, blurring the inside and outside boundaries. I believe that would be fairly easy to do and not too expensive and in my opinion would enhance the charm immensely.

    Windsmurf on January 7, 2013 at 4:41 pm
    • I agree, three sets of south facing french doors would provide awesome water views, and shouldn't add very much to the final budget line.:D

      SID on January 7, 2013 at 4:47 pm
    • It might be more practical for furniture placement to keep it the way it is. I would love to see a porch swing in front of the water front windows and a picnic table on the other side straight across from the dining room. I rented a house last year which was like that with a huge front screened porch facing the water and we spent our evenings there.

      zulumom on January 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm
    • They probably are going to stick to their original plans because they are probably on a real tight budget if not over budget now due to the unexpected cost like raising the house in the first place due to the storm, tearing the entire thing down, having to purchase more wood because they can't use a lot of the old stuff due to damage. It just seems to me there were a lot of unexpected costs associated with this one. I like it just as they have designed it anyway. Who ever gets the home will be more than pleased with it. It is beautiful!

      Rebecca on January 8, 2013 at 10:41 am
    • I agree, ESPECIALLY about screening in the whole porch!! I'm a mosquito MAGNET, and I've been to that area! Even in spring, they were HORRIBLE!!!

      Sally on January 12, 2013 at 11:24 am
    • Hi Sally, I know what you mean, I can go outside and 5 mins. I'm covered with those pesty little things….
      Here in Florida, the mosquitos' are a pest almost all year round…You would think in December and January they would sleep or hide or die !! But Noooo, they attached me yesterday when I was working in the yard…So we don't get much a break from the little pest here in Florida unless the temp. goes down to 40 degrees or lower. I do have a screened Porch and wouldn't be without it. Even Alicia who lived there in the Cottage has blogged that it is necessary to screen the Porch, that is why it was screened before…I hope Mr. Eastman and Mary are reading our comments!

      Jennie/Florida on January 12, 2013 at 12:09 pm
    • OK, so maybe I would change the order of changes and screen in the porch area first and then replace the double windows with french doors. I am sure it is not as simple or inexpensive as I make it out to be, but that is what I would do if it belonged to me. I too am a smorgasbord for mosquitoes, and would want to be able to enjoy the outdoors and the view without providing the feast for those critters.

      Windsmurf on January 14, 2013 at 10:05 am
    • Sally, I have found, that after years and years of golfing, early in the morning, or after supper, the best way to make mosquitos stay away, is to take Vitamin B-12 every day. I did that all the time, and all my golfing buddies ask how come the bugs don't bite me. Somehow, by using this vitamin, the skin secretes something that repels bugs. Yes, it may sound silly, but it really works for me. Another method is to just keep a sheet of fabric softner in your back pocket at all times. It not only repels bug, but it smells good.Have a fabulous bug free day.:)

      Woodworker from MN on January 14, 2013 at 10:20 am
    • Thanks for the tricks. Ill try them

      zulumom on January 14, 2013 at 7:23 pm
  3. Mary Thank You for getting this information to the blog so quickly, and letting us know with certainty the many reasons this project could no longer proceed as a renovation.
    No doubt Cap'n Dylan made the right call….and the lucky winner will be grateful for it.

    Mel on January 7, 2013 at 4:52 pm
    • Shiver me timbers, Mel! Well, blow me down! I came aboard on the BC location announcement
      with the idea of listening and learning! The decision to start new is a good choice because
      we wouldn't want the timbers of the home shivering and the winds blowing it down!

      DeerSpring on January 8, 2013 at 8:42 am
    • I agree, they have their reputation to think of as well.

      Rebecca on January 8, 2013 at 10:42 am
    • I'm glad that we have the cabin cam to see the process as it develops. As the features of
      the house started disappearing it seems like a logical conclusion that the new framing
      would be necessary.

      DeerSpring on January 9, 2013 at 1:45 pm
    • Deerspring–Hi again! Your writing is in classic form! So glad to see you posting! :D B):p^_^<3<3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on January 9, 2013 at 8:05 pm
    • Hi, Kitty! I'm really enjoying the details of the building and reading the blog. All of you
      are giving me insights on planning a project like this one. It's fun reading the blog
      and watching the progress on the cabin cam. Then, I enjoy ending the blog visit with the
      view of the sound. <3 <3 <3

      DeerSpring on January 10, 2013 at 8:03 am
    • Love you and miss you
      <3 Please come see me! <3

      fromtheheart5 on January 9, 2013 at 7:14 am
  4. It maybe all new material in the building of it, with touches of the old wood put back here & there in the home, but it's still on the same spot of land with same views, size and shape as the cottage was before. History will still be there just not in the cottage it's self but with the things that will be going back into the home. With each piece of wood, funiture, books or the toys that they put back into it.
    Maybe Alicia's family will win it back and then they can pick up where they left off and give it all kinds of new memories for the next generations to come in the new cottage.
    They can have a picture painted by local artist of the old home and have it put in the living room over the fireplace to remember the old cottage by. If I was a good artist I would paint one and give it to them so they could hang one in the home, but I am not so much for that.

    home_girl on January 7, 2013 at 4:59 pm
    • You are a sweetheart, home_girl. How are things going in Maine ? :)

      LLColeman on January 8, 2013 at 4:48 am
    • LLColeman things are going well here in Maine looks like the snow will stay for a while. Must be pretty at the 2012 BC with the snow covered fields. Would be nice sitting in front of that stove right now looking at the fields of white, just sad no one is…
      Been Hard for a lot of families here, there a cough going around that is hard to shake. My family been hit by it, started around Christmas and is just now starting to leave. I Hope it stays away and don't come back. Thanks for asking…
      The dream home this year remind me of the family cabin on an island almost the same view, I love looking at it reminds me of my days when I was a teen and living there during the summer months. Not the same any more once the state got hold of the land, little water out there any more so view not as pretty or as much to do anymore, but still nice and peaceful there. Cabin just about gone now too, from storms and people breaking in and little care since my father passing in 1999. He's the one that lived the closest and kept it up. Belongs to my brother now and he don't have the time to spend there, so things are falling apart.

      home_girl on January 8, 2013 at 2:06 pm
    • Home-girl, sounds like you've had a great life. Sorry to hear about your brother's cabin.

      Lessie on January 8, 2013 at 9:23 pm
    • That's a lovely idea!

      Laurie_March on January 10, 2013 at 12:22 pm
    • Your idea is a wonderful one.

      andrea on January 11, 2013 at 11:58 am
  5. Mary thank you for the post, and comments from Dylan Eastman. Many of us have indeed been watching, and several were indeed saddened to see the structure gone. :( All of us who regularly follow this blog know how much heart and soul DIY, HGTV and it's builders, designers and contractors put into each project, so we never doubted that as difficult a decision as the tear down must have been, it must have been the right decision. Thank you for taking the trouble to explain the decision. I am thrilled for the opportunity to follow the build on that wonderful live camera, help select features, and thus contribute even in a small way to another wonderful BC! <3<3<3

    SID on January 7, 2013 at 5:04 pm
    • Sticking my neck out here and re-copying this to it's own post–hope you don't mind, Sid, but it doesn't seem to be read and time is of the essence…<3 I am in agreement with Sid and others, who have posted on this thread. It had to be a bittersweet decision to tear down those outer walls, after DIY's trying so evidently well to preserve their charm. :D Dylan and Mary and Design Team–you made the right choice, even though, I am certain, it bit into budget. Please do hear your Bloggers regarding what's important to the majority, for our thoughts could make a marked difference in where you spend your money upon this project. A smaller, less vamped up media room is all needed by the majority, if at all–NO complaint against Anitra, who is an awesome designer!!! For property and resale values, utilization and living and privacy reasons, however, a third bedroom is really necessary, even if small. As a former Realtor and land Developer, I recommend making the Family media room more of an intimate smaller game/media room (like was done in 2011 Matthews, VA, BC–or put media downstairs in Living room. Do keep the wonderful Murphy Bed–great idea! I have some Kitchen/downstairs process-flow ideas which I shall mention separately and which will blow open the downstairs with inexpensive, but rich-looking conveniences…. Other than the media room's being too large and # bedrooms too small, outdoor storage is a major concern of mine, for I live in SE Virginia Coastal area and we usually get the same nor'easters and hurricanes as does the NC Outer Banks, so I have much experience here: please, please attach to the NORTH back part of house, now, while you are framing, at least 150++ sq ft. of lockable storage area for lawn tractor, garden tools, boogie boards, kayaks, outdoor furniture and cushions, grill, and such other items which could become lethal projectiles during storms, should they not be locked up! Behind the master bedroom is a perfect place to add such a place. And such a storage are with withstand storms FAR, FAR BETTER if attached to the house structure, rather than built separately, like a stand-alone storage shed!!! I am not even asking for a carport or garage—just an enclosed, unheated /uncooled large enough space to secure porch and lawn items, far enough from the waterfront, which could be too close for harm's way. The roof could be built exactly symmetrically to existing design. The interior needs no painting nor special finish, only a concrete floor–just security–a blessing to whoever wins the Blog Cabin??? PLEASE DIY–THIS IS THE TIME TO DO IT!!! From my heart, I thank you!!! :) <3 <3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on January 8, 2013 at 4:13 pm
    • Kitty
      Your ideas are always good & well thought out. I agree with the media room being too big& taking away from a bedrm space. I must admit I am not a big fan of huge media rooms (sorry) It worked well for a place like Maine where you have long periods of time inside during the severe winters-even then when possible I would be hiking around in nature:) at most I will read&watch a few movies inside when bad weather hits. I do not like living in a media rm. Now this home I for sure will not be sitting&watch a big screen TV&playing video games-too many things to be active doing outside! You would have more opportunities to take advantage of the outdoors here:)<3 If they do a media rm they certainly should make ways for bedding up house quests-which they have done in the past. I would be on the porch taking in the breezes, even if it rains-would really like that screened in porch<3 I like the porch swing too!<3 The porch would be great as previously stated to have an area to sleep on the porch-can be done with screens:) I agree with your idea about the storage area for toys& equipment, a must. Can't wait to see this develope. I also love the great communication this year, more timely&informative-thank you <3

      ruffybc on January 9, 2013 at 9:45 am
    • Hi Kitty Ditto for me on storage and I will repeat what I have said in a few of my comments..The Media Room is great to have, but to have more bedrooms that are needed for family or guest up stairs, I think is more important and Anitra could do a "Mega Porch"— screened in, with a game table, loungers, day beds, a swing, TV Center and everything the Mega Den would have up stairs, plus be able to enjoy the beautiful outdoors….As long as it has the basis of what Mega Den is all about, that should work and everyone would be happy…Just My Thoughts

      Jennie/Florida on January 9, 2013 at 11:52 am
    • I was thinking….Scary…. What about a Seaside "Mega Porch" decorated in Nautical Design with Wooden Decor of a Lighthouse made from the cottage finds, a Pelican, Rope and a Net on the outer wall. Plus the things I listed above…Really a Tropical Cozy Paradise. It would be nice to have a two way fireplace from the living room…Just a dreamers' thought!!! What do you Bloggers think???

      Jennie/Florida on January 9, 2013 at 5:08 pm
    • I like your idea, Jennie Just please tell me this–were you scared of your idea or scared 'cause you were thinking? Actually I think you think pretty well my dear! :D I always say, if you're going to dream, dream BIG!:*B)<3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on January 9, 2013 at 5:39 pm
    • Hi Kitty…I'm glad you like my idea, I was doing some serious "thinking" and that's hard for me sometimes and it did scare me! Now I have a headache!!! o-we.. I have mentioned the "Mega Porch" before, but never got any response from anyone, so I dropped it for a while, I did mention it to Clive and he thought it was a good idea, but it was dropped after that. I'm back to it again because I think that is the answer to more bedrooms..and maybe another powder room…I like the idea of a "Nautical Mega Porch" if DIY would go for it..Anitra would do a great job and I think it would be a fun Project!! Bloggers are expressing their concern over the budget, some are thinking the well is going dry with the drawbacks of the "new" build. Don't know, but surely they would plan for that, but I hope they don't cut back on all the necessities for the Cottage..I sure hope Mary or Mr. Eastman are reading all the bloggers' comments!
      To tell you the truth Kitty, I have been on Cloud NINE ever since ALABAMA rolled over Notre Dame for the National Championship…ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!!…Yeah! Don't Get Me Started, I have been doing the Happy Dance ever since..I am worn out…I have finally calmed down…
      A little!!!

      Jennie/Florida on January 9, 2013 at 6:53 pm
    • Woooo…Hoooo….Yay Alabama! Crimson Tide….That's what I'm talkin' about, Jennie! I should have mentioned my jubilation too, but I've been trying to focus upon carving out space, storage and improving upon convenience–and yes, even cost issues, thinking that we're going to run into some cost overruns here, like last year. Unless donated, I don't think DIY needs to be buying $1000 ++ trees, hot tubs, several expensive TVs. They DO hurt the value of the property by removing powder room downstairs, or making a family vacation home with only 2 bedrooms–that's like a NO-SALE death knell. That alone will affect value, even though they put in that cool Murphy bed. I have been a realtor/property developer–I know of which i speak and I don't wish to hurt the pocketbooks of any here–not even DIY! Being in an area prone to nor'easters and hurricanes–and you know this because you are too–it is absolutely necessary to have a place to put away and secure all outdoor furniture, items, etc. which can become dangerous projectiles in the wind! So I wrote about an attached storage shed. Trying also to focus upon necessities that will open the place up, like the kitchen suggestions I made: simple, but very useful and will create a very open area, which camouflages what really is an apartment sized kitchen. By giving Anitra a smaller Media room upstairs and, let's say a game porch/bar downstairs such as you suggest, she would knock those spaces into the stratosphere, she is so good! Oh, I do hope the Design/Build Team reads our Blog, along with Mary and Dylan!!! There's a lot of great brains and experience here–lots of brains =better than one or two!!! I should have commented sooner on your mega porch, but for a while there, my mind was sort of prepping for that major cancer surgery, getting my affairs in order, and I didn't do too much input. But Praise God! I am HEALED OF PANCREATIC & LIVER CANCER and I can't explain it, but my neuroendocrinologist confirmed it on Friday and I am ecstatic and, Lord willing I'm on the Blog to stay–this time, a week ago, I thought maybe if I lived through the surgery, according to my team of doctors, I would have maybe 1-5 years' left, if I was lucky. My doc and I are still shaking our heads. So There is HOPE for everyone! Never, ever give up! :p^_^<3<3<3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on January 9, 2013 at 7:37 pm
    • Kitty the news had to be so overwhelming and such an enormous relief…I believe what has happened is truly a Miracle from God and he still has great plans for You!!!
      I do believe there is Hope…If we didn't have Hope, We all would just give up…I am a positive person and happy go lucky most of the time..When my girls come home, they ask where do I get all my Energy and I say Life, OK Health, Beautiful Daughters, great Son in laws, Wonderful Grandchildren, Good friends and my kitty, Whiskers and a nice home!!! What more could I want?
      I am so Happy for you and know that you have so much to offer others who will better their lives from knowing you…..You are so Kind, Sweet and Thoughtful to others and Full of knowledge and you are so wise for someone so young, to have all that inside your head, it's amazing!! Your Mom had to be so proud of you. I hope you did give your "Doc" a big hug for all of us who care so much for you and want you to be around for a long time…
      Just a note: "Bama" has won 3 National Championships in the last 4 years!! Isn't that Wonderful??? I'm still doing the Happy Dance and it's been 2 days now… My little Whiskers thinks I'm crazy…During the ballgame she tried to sit in my lap and I would jump up and dump her not realizing she was in my lap, so after a while she said my Mom has lost it, she finally gave up and got in her bed and laid there and watched me..she was so funny!! My football friends was laughing at me because I play every play and really get verbal…I was so exhausted by the end of the game….Fun Evening for all us Alabama Crimson Tide Fans!!
      Kitty I also agree…I hope Diy doesn't buy lavish items this time and be more practical with their spending, so practical things can be bought for this "Cottage." I think that was really wasteful to pay over a thousand $ for a tree that probably died from lack of care…and no Owner,,,So sad! I still can't believe that one!!!! Have a good evening!!!

      Jennie/Florida on January 9, 2013 at 10:07 pm
    • Maybe their success can rub off on my Badgers who have contrived to loose 4 Rose Bowls in succession. :'(:(

      Clive on January 9, 2013 at 10:13 pm
    • Hi Clive, so sorry your Badgers lost at the Rose Bowl…but I thought that was 3 yrs
      in a row, but anyway they played better than Notre Dame who was #1 on the polls! Maybe next season it will be the Badgers turn at the R/B…I'm so proud of the Alabama Crimson Tide…They are truly a team that has their act together, plus Coach Saban is an excellent Teacher and Coach…Roll Tide Roll…Happy,
      Happy, Happy!!!

      Jennie/Florida on January 10, 2013 at 12:37 pm
    • I don't know why my sentences jump around, I don't type them like that, they just jump around when I submit them! Go figure!

      Jennie/Florida on January 10, 2013 at 12:43 pm
    • Woooo Hoooo…Rooooooll Tide Roll!! :pxD:*<3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on January 10, 2013 at 8:15 pm
    • Awwwww Clive…So sorry for your Badgers!:'( We Bloggies still love you anyhow!;) Tomorrow…Next Year… Another Chance! HOPE! xD<3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on January 10, 2013 at 8:13 pm
    • "There's always next year" is getting to sound like a cracked record in Badgerland. :( :'(

      However, in the words of Alexander Pope "Hope springs eternal in the human breast" – and, I may add, in Badgerland too. ;)

      Clive on January 10, 2013 at 8:52 pm
    • <3<3Kitty<3<3
      I cannot tell you how happy I am to hear you are cancer free-Praise God! always but for sure now! I agree with Jennie that God loves you and knows the good you do and how very, very special you are. You are so sweet, thoughtful and caring. You are an example of God's love and faith message.
      Big hugs and best wishes for your continued healing

      ruffybc on January 11, 2013 at 9:50 am
    • Jennie
      I really like the Mega Porch idea. I have pushed for a great porch on this home from the beginning. Screen in wrap-around porch possibly, with maybe the two way fireplace, swing, daybeds, gaming things, even a TV? People want to visit and take in the outdoors even if it is semi-it will be a protected area. Besides the bug issue, there is weather, and UV rays-not everyone can be outdoors for great lengths of time. A porch fits this home historically and practically:):) Please DIY I am starting my plea:) a screen in Mega Porch:)<3o.0

      ruffybc on January 12, 2013 at 10:01 am
    • Hi Ruffy, I thought the "Mega Porch" would solve the problem with the space needed for more Bedrooms and possibly another powder room because when someone is showering and 2 bedrooms are being used, a powder room would be handy for others upstairs especially for children…I think the screened porch would solve that problem and a fun place for all…The porch
      will be big enough to have all those things mentioned and be outdoors to enjoy the scenery..
      I think Anitra would have a good time creating a Nautical Beach theme, don't you??? Something different for her!

      Jennie/Florida on January 12, 2013 at 11:11 am
  6. I was afraid that was going to happen, so sad that this had to happen, but glad it was addressed as soon as it was. I hope now it will be smooth "sailing" from here…You guys are A-1 in my book…I have so much confidence in your ability to turn out a beautiful little Cozy Cottage for some lucky Winner…

    Just one important request please!!! Mr Eastman would you or would you have someone to Please read all our Blogs on the last 2 Threads because there are concerns in the layout of some of the rooms and before it gets to far, we Bloggers would really appreciate it, if you would see if these changes are possible.
    Thank you!

    Jennie/Florida on January 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm
  7. Thank you Mary for the update. I was happy to read the explanation.

    vicki_in_Utah on January 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm
  8. I sure hope those windows are hurricane rated. Take it from someone who's seen what a good storm can do at the NC coast, they will receive some weather.

    DebiKaye on January 7, 2013 at 5:30 pm
  9. In the end, the house will still have some of the "old charm" that has always been there. If something can't work, then it can't work, and the problem has to be faced. Some of the old wood is going to be reused in the new place, and I think this is great! It will be nice to see it when it is all framed in.

    nmdeman on January 7, 2013 at 5:47 pm
  10. Thanks so much for the update, and I agree with all previous posts. It had to be done. We still love it, and will always remember the original. I love the idea of having an artist rendering of the original house hang in the new. It's like having the best of both worlds. I didn't get to watch the cam today, life got in the Don't ya hate it when that happens! So I was glad of the comments here so I could catch up!:* Hugs to DIY!

    Mindy_Lou on January 7, 2013 at 8:13 pm

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Blog Cabin is the groundbreaking multimedia experience based on a very simple idea: You Design It, We Build It, You Could Win It! This truly interactive series asks Internet users to vote on the design features for a real vacation getaway. Expert hosts will transform a 1990s waterfront home in Panacea, Florida that will become a luxurious home for a lucky sweepstakes winner. Plus, a one-hour Blog Cabin special, hosted by tool expert Chris Grundy, will highlight the incredible transformation.
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