June Cabin Update

Leelanau County, MI – June 25, 2022 – Written by Jim

What a busy month it has been! When we last wrote, we had just taken a well-deserved day off for Diana’s birthday. We spent that day checking out our favorite Sleeping Bear Dunes spots, followed by a visit to Shady Lane Winery with Lane and Patti!

We followed that up with dinner at Nittolo’s in the town of Lake Leelanau. It was a fun day indeed!

The next day, it was back to work. Diana painted the carsiding that was going around the sides of the island, while I finished the tile.

We are really happy the way it came out! Next up was the top, which we decided to build in place. Our neighbor Jeff helped us bring the L-shaped top in from the barn (thanks Jeff!) and I knew this one was more than we could handle.

Once I cut out and assembled the top pieces, I attached 1/4” x 2” steel to the underside to support the overhang.

I then sandwiched it into the cleating and painted the underside white before Diana and I flipped it over.

Once it was flipped, we screwed it down and spread on the contact adhesive. You can see the laminate all glued up beyond the top.

We then put in the prep sink and we were done!

Time to head outside and work on those two decks! First up was our 12 x 12 deck off the kitchen.

The first project was to spread the gravel under the deck. There is weed block underneath that.

After all the posts were in place, I skirted it with white PVC and put the decking on. I put a single picture frame on this deck on three sides, so as to conceal the edges of the grooved Trex boards. I then stained the posts and built and stained the railing.

A huge thank you to our friends Fred and Bonnie for giving us their leftover railing parts from their deck project last year in New York!

One week after I started, we had a completed deck! Next up was our big 18 x 30 deck on the other side. We are going for the same look, with one difference:

This one is triple picture framed. The reason for that? The boards are running the 18 foot direction, and a 20 foot piece of Trex is over $100 each! A 16 footer is around $40 each. Plus, the picture frame looks kinda cool!

Once I had the main field of 16 foot boards on, I trimmed off the other ends of them, which I left long.

I snapped a chalk line on the path I wanted to cut.

I measured from the edge of the saw to the blade, which was 1-1/4”. I snapped a second chalk line that distance off the other line.

Using one of my aluminum scaffold platforms as a straight edge on that second line, I was able to cut a true line across the entire 30 foot deck.

And just like that, it was done.

Next, I’ll get the posts trimmed to the correct height and stain them. I’ll then put the outer triple picture frame on. After that is the railing and stairs before we can call it complete.

But first we are going to take a few afternoons off, because our friends Jodee and Bill are here for a few days!

We went to Music in the Park in Northport and also to a few spots in Traverse City so far.

No pictures of the four of us yet, but I did manage to get one of Tessa and me!

After the deck gets finished, we concentrate on finishing the inside of the cabin. Stay tuned for that. Until next time, safe and happy travels to all!

23 thoughts on “June Cabin Update”

  1. Having seen it all in person now, I can’t believe the kitchen island and front deck were just done a week or so ago!! Like the rest of this beautiful home, they are perfect! That big deck is going to be another work of art when finished 🙂 You two have built a perfect oasis in the dancing trees – we love our spot with full amentities, and the very best neighbors. Tessa’s in heaven and we’re all looking forward to a couple more days with you and Diana.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We want to meet up with you two, too!! We’re spending a couple of weeks in the Traverse City/Sleeping Bear/Petoskey area…but not until mid-September. Will you still be there? I hope so. You can email me directly. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Spectacular, Jim and Diana!! The kitchen is beautiful (Love those cabinets!). Great job on that island. Love the picture frame deck pattern and that very pretty railing. John built our deck which was seven feet off the ground. He even made his own steps doing all kinds of math to cut the pattern. He is not a carpenter at all but when your budget is limited you do what you have to. He had a hand saw and a hand circular saw that was my grandfather’s. Twenty two years later when we sold the house, the deck was all original and in perfect shape. We eventually had a roof and screening put on and the fellow that did it couldn’t get over how square the deck was. So I can appreciate all your beautiful, hard work. Your blog makes all sound so easy. That it isn’t. Have a wonderful time with Bill, Jodie, and Tessa!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Pam! You are correct that it is definitely hard work. I actually spent a lot of time in Florida contemplating how to do the big deck, and what to use as a straight edge for that cut. One look in the barn and that scaffold platform became evident. Worked like a charm!


  4. Everything looks great! I can see the pride you take in your work and know the sense of accomplishment with each project that is finished. Those decks are going to be perfect for happy hours!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rick! That piece of laminate is 5 feet by 10 feet. It is always a little scary to lay down a piece that big, as once it makes contact, there isn’t any moving it. Remember my buddy Richie from work who died a few years back? He used to lay 5 x 12’s one handed. It was amazing to watch him do it. He also could pick up a quarter off the floor with a forklift, but thats a whole other blog post!


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 )

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.