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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
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529 Comments

  1. Well I am sorry to hear they couldn't save any of the wood from the old framed house to reuse. I really think they are probably over budgeted at this point so I don't think they will make any changes that some have been asking for. They may screen something in because that wouldn't cost much but funds just might not be there. You have to think about then unexpected costs of raising the house due to the storm, not being able to reuse most of the wood, etc. All of that really eats up a budget. Me personally, I love it as they designed it anyway. I am just sorry they have a lot of unexpected problems that I am sure have cost way more than projected. Much Love!

    Rebecca on January 8, 2013 at 10:49 am
    • We must hope that any budget shortfall doesn't result in cuts in design, furnishing or exterior landscaping and design. I mean, these guys have done a fantastic job every year, but this concerns me deeply. You'd think the network has the assets to cover such eventualities. I mean, they take a risk every time they go into a project like this. There must be some buffer to cover that…

      jerseycaptain on January 9, 2013 at 4:25 pm
    • Hi Rebecca, it sounds like you and I and a very few others like the cabin just way it was planned. I have said this before, so many people cannot visualize the actual size of this cottage, and there is simply not enough room to add all these extras. Like I told Vicki, I would use some of the old salvaged material to build a nice out building, with a small loft, plus cupola, for storage. All the extra cost would be is the labor and concrete for the floor. One additional thing that could be made out of the old materiall, would be small lighthouse, accent thois seaside location. Just some ideas, without adding very much cost. Usually in construction, half the cost will be material, and the other half for labor. I missed all the action, 'cause three of the kids had doctor appts. I have been on the road since 8:30 this morning, returning at 6:00.

      Woodworker from MN on January 9, 2013 at 8:47 pm
    • I’m in the 'like it the way they have planned it' group too. When the plans were published I blogged that this was (IMO) the best reno yet – possibly the best cabin of all – and a fantastic design. I stick by that. It's fun to read other peoples great ideas too and no one's wrong, just different. ;) I would also make some personal preference changes (media room split into a bedroom and library / lounge -possibly a 5th bedroom if needed- and an outdoor TV on a screened porch with the foyer doubling as another bedroom) but there's nothing that I can't live with or that can't be altered easily. The overall design is very good and extremely versatile. (IMHO). ^_^ .

      This is, primarily, a TV show about what an experienced DIY'er can do in an already framed house. It's not about total house building. The shows highlight ideas in room upgrades and decorating not how to frame the house or construct the foundation etc. That went out after the 2009 Blog Cabin.:( With a little imagination this small house has 4-5 possible bedrooms and could easily sleep 10 to 12 people even before using the porch. A fantastic 2nd home and great potential for operating it as a vacation let.

      Clive on January 9, 2013 at 10:53 pm
  2. I see this morning they have begun laying the block foundation for both the Foyer and the Laundry,P.R. and Master Bath wing. All is looking great!:* Thank you DIY and sponsors so very much for the live camera!<3<3 I am so addicted!

    SID on January 8, 2013 at 11:03 am
    • Yep SID I think we need the 12 step program, I am so addicted to the Cabin Cam. It is the first thing I look at in the morning.

      vicki_in_Utah on January 8, 2013 at 12:01 pm
    • Sid and Vicki, add me to the list too!! I can't get Any chores or yard work done! I want to watch everything they do…I don't want to miss anything…I wonder if they can feel someone watching them…
      If they only knew that thousands of eyes are watching everything they do, would it bother them..nah!!
      This is time for these guys to shine and show their expertise and they are doing a great job so far. It's so interesting to watch the once Cozy Cottage turn into a Beautiful "New Cozy Cottage" with a Grand Porch and a touch of History all over the Cottage by adding some of the wonderful Antiques and Collectables and special wood items back to their home, where they belong!!!
      I'm sure It's Sad times during this sudden change but was necessary to save the Cottage and make
      it safe for the New Owners. Once the Cottage is done, I think we will be in Awe of another one-of -a- kind DIY Blog Cabin..A "Beach Cottage" on the coast of North Carolina…My favorite State, I might add.

      Jennie/Florida on January 8, 2013 at 1:47 pm
    • PS…..Just an observation, when looking at the Cottage and foundation, the Red brick blends in with the dirt it sits on and doesn't do anything for the Cottage..You have to look twice to see the house is sitting on a foundation.. Clive has said maybe they will paint the foundation the same color as the siding! At least that would look better! We shall see what they have in store!

      Jennie/Florida on January 8, 2013 at 3:57 pm
  3. How amazing to see the phoenix arise from the ashes of the past!
    It is a shame it had to be a total rebuild rather than a revision but this will be a lovely place to spend Carolina afternoons on the porch. Screens are a necessity and would make porch space more useable and that cool drink in my hand is coming into view as I swing gently in the breeze on a warm day.

    grammagail on January 8, 2013 at 12:23 pm
  4. That is good to know. Now it will have a higher Herican rating too!!!

    asandmancan on January 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm
    • Hurricane rating !!

      average bear on January 11, 2013 at 12:34 pm
  5. Thanks for the update, Mary. I agree with what's been said above. Better to cut your losses now than wait until you are too far in to make good changes. Safety is very important.

    NancyBee on January 8, 2013 at 1:51 pm
  6. I hope they can use the old wood on the inside and outside design similar to the 2012 Blog Cabin.

    Ozzie on January 8, 2013 at 2:14 pm
  7. Sure glad to see them using plywood on the exterior, rather than OSB, like most of today's houses have on the exterior. OSB is good, but really gets weak if it gets wet.

    Woodworker from MN on January 8, 2013 at 4:43 pm
  8. OK I am confused. I was just looking at the cam and see that they put up plywood covering where the windows were going to be by the french doors. Did they make a change or are they just tacking up some plywood for other reasons and plan on removing it later?

    Rebecca on January 8, 2013 at 4:47 pm
    • Carpenters usually always put outside sheeting on the entire wall, then cut the window openings later.

      Woodworker from MN on January 8, 2013 at 5:15 pm
    • I c, I was wondering if maybe plans have changed the plan. You see I know nothing about the construction part. lol I know how to use autocad and do drawings but as far as the build not so much. Thanks Woodworker!

      Rebecca on January 8, 2013 at 5:52 pm
    • OK I really see now. I just went back and looked at the cam and it seems they have cut a couple of the windows from the plywood. I am glad it wasn't a change because I love the way the front of the house looks in the design pictures. See Woodworker you have to keep me straight! lol;)

      Rebecca on January 8, 2013 at 5:58 pm
    • Yes, Rebecca, I have been around carpentry and construction all my life, as well as having my own woodworking business the past 20+ years. It is always easier to use a sawzall to cut around the inside of the window frame, so everything is nice and flush. Saves time in measuring, too. This new construction is sooooooooooo much easier than remodeling an old structure, where nothing is square, and the walls are not plumb.

      Woodworker from MN on January 8, 2013 at 8:08 pm
  9. I also happen to think this is wise, given all you've revealed so far. But I am, like everyone else, on pins & needles to see how this plays out over time! I think if you can incorporate some of that existing wood and other materials, repurposed, into some project in the house, then so much the better! The spirit of the old house will remain.

    I am also eager, given what I have seen of past Blog Cabin properties, to see what you guys do with the exterior spaces…whether or not there will be a patio or other sitting area; hot tub; perhaps turning that wooden structure secluded a short walk from the house into some place to store water sports-related things (kayaks, fishing poles and such). I am sure the exterior landscaping and garden work you guys will do will be as excellent as always, and it's great to hear (from another blog entry) that you have plans for the old dock! I just wish some of the decking around the master bedroom could be a bit more extensive, or that maybe a "splash pool", similar to the one in the HGTV 2013 Dream Home, could be considered. Most coastal (and especially beach) homes in the Outer Banks of NC, and the southern banks, have pools and hot tubs as well as their accessibility to the ocean and waterways. Just a thought…

    jerseycaptain on January 8, 2013 at 5:32 pm
  10. So glad that the renovation is progressing. The house will still have charm, just updated to code charm. I am glad to see DIY tackling these problems now. If you live in an old house you know the trouble you run into when you try to renovate. so far everything looks great to me.

    Noreen on January 8, 2013 at 5:46 pm
    • I totally agree! <3

      Rebecca on January 8, 2013 at 6:01 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 from DIY Network series will be on hand to rebuild the 1920s lakeside house 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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