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Assembling the Arched Cabin House Kit

What is a house kit, and why should I consider one?

This week we are assembling our arched cabin house kit! So just what is an Arched Cabin? And what is a house kit?
An Arched Cabin is a steel construction kit that you put together like you would a set of tinker toys or legos Except you would use screws instead of the pieces just snapping together. Shed kits are commonly purchased from any big box, home improvement store, and the average handyman can stand up a shed in a weekend. The difference between a shed kit and the arched cabin house kit is that these are made from steel, and also have customizable floor plans for a little extra money. You should consider a house kit if you have a relatively small budget, and a little know how because it can save you a significant amount of money in the long run.

Watch the video embedded above to see how we went about assembling our Arched Cabin House Kit!

assembling the arched cabin house kit
The arched cabin house kit assembled, and ready to add the supports for the end caps

Why did you choose this type of kit?

The arched cabin house kit was one of the most affordable house kits on the market , and when we started researching what type of home that we wanted to put on our property this one really jumped out at us.
Not only was it a unique and visually appealing, but it seemed to be the most cost effective way to place a house on our property.
The nice thing about this kit, is that you can fine tune your costs by spending less on the things that aren’t as important to you, and save up to spend on the larger ticket items that you feel will suit you best. In essence, it’s like having a custom build without the custom build price tag. Because of this, it is steadily becoming a popular option for those who wish to pack up and move away from the city, but don’t have a huge budget to do so.

What is next for the build?

Next up for the build we need to save up and purchase the 3″ square tube that will be welded across the front and back of the house kit. Those sections of steel are needed to help sturdy up the frame, and to help make this structure strong. Once we finish that step, then we’ll have a partial framing inspection, and then we will begin the process of framing in the end caps. The end caps are the front and back of the cabin which will close in the structure and it will be on its way to becoming our home.

In conclusion

If you can take some time to learn some new skill, or have someone working with you who has basic handyman skills, then you have an affordable option for building a home. They are a fantastic choice for those looking to build a home, and do it at a reduced cost. A custom build without the custom price.

How much does building your own house cost?

Total Cost for this week

Total costs for assembling the Arched Cabin House Kit over the weekend:
Self Tapping Lag Screws – 2 boxes of 100 ($22.99 each) $45.98
Hillman Lag bolts – 3″ – ($.40 each x 12) $4.80
DeWalt Impact 5/32″ drill bit ($5.99 each x 3) $17.97
Ace Drill bit for wood and metal $1.79 (best drill bit we used)
TEKS #14 2 1/2″ socket hex head Sheet metal screws from Lowe’s (sheared off and worked like garbage for this application) 120 screws $20.68
Safety Harness $49.99
Rope for Safety Harness $33.85

Total for materials this week: $175.06

Previously Purchased, but not previously mentioned:

Sonotubes $302
3″ Square Tube for the Piers $1250
Rebar $31
Misc Lumber for assembling post and pier foundation $54.56

Total missed cost from foundation: $1637.56

Previously Tallied Costs:

20 X 32 Arched Cabin House Kit: $13,032.50. (paid in 2017 and includes the delivery cost)
Architect to finish plans for permits & help navigate some building department stuff. $1570
Initial Soil Testing $1550
Open Hole Inspection $325
Driveway Permit $50
Pre-Site Inspection $40
Permits $1797
Excavation $14,062.70 (we ran into the septic line at one point, plus there’s also an easement being installed between our place and Mike’s Mom’s place)
Power Drop $3026
Concrete $1020.40
Shipping Container $3344.25 – Will become a workshop after the build
Tile & Sink for downstairs bathroom $563.10
Meter Box Install – $448.20
Septic Line to the house $164.48 or $3.46/foot.
Water line from the control pit to the house  $321.15 or about $7.14/linear foot
Power line from the pole to the house $596.54 or about $4.77/linear foot
Beams & Supports tied together (Welding & Materials) – $275.60
2″ Angle Iron x 3/16″ thick – 32′ $56.07
Labor (cutting steel to fit in the bed of the truck) $6
Lag Bolts for all of the floor joists, and I believe this also includes the lost 1/4′ x 1 1/2″ – 80 of them $.21 each – $16.80
Floor joists 2x10c16 Pressure treated #2 – 60 of them @$22.48 (Price is already up to $38.67 4 months later!) – $1348.80

Total Cost (excluding land) $45,427.21 (including this week’s supplies as well as the sonotubes, 3″ square tubes, and rebar for the foundation)

Products used during this week’s adventure of raising the kit!

Arched Cabin House Kit
Affiliate Link:
Hillman Fasteners that worked VERY well
Impact Driver (recommend one for each person screwing or drilling)
Greg’s Cordless Milwaukee Set
Bob’s Cordless Makita Set
Drill bits from Ace (not affiliate)
Dewalt Impact Drill bits (not affiliate)
Fubar III
Come Along
Giant Tow Strap

Ways to support our journey if you wish

This Week’s Guest Stars! – Bunny Butt Acres
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Want to build your own Arched Cabin? Visit their website! (we receive nothing from Arched Cabins)

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Raised Bed Garden – Pt 1 The framework Ep#108

Ali's Garden at Sunset

We decided with all the craziness going on that it was really important to get our raised bed garden in full swing this year.

I constructed 2’x3′ raised beds out of corrugated metal and 2x4s. Each raised bed cost about $43 to make, and will cost the average handy-person even less because I made several errors which resulted in me using half again the amount of wood originally required.

Cut and supply list for 7 raised beds:

2x4x19.5″ x 38 and rip 14 of those into 2x2s. (four 2x4s and four 2x2s per bed)
2x4x25″ x 14 – rip to 2x2s (four per bed)
Inside corners 25″ X 14 (two per bed)
45 degrees inside corners 36″ X 14 (two per bed)
Corrugated metal
*please note actual size is 26″ even if sold as 24″
Purchased six of the 24″x12′ and cut to fit the inside dimensions of each box.
Assembled with #10 x 3 1/2″ coarse auger thread construction screws for the wood, and pan head sheet metal screws #8 x 1″ (went through 1+ boxes of 100)


We assembled the tops and bottoms first using a #10 3 1/2″ construction screw*, and then we cut the sheet metal to fit each box individually. After we cut the sheet metal, we pre-drilled the holes into the sheet metal. 4 holes for the side panels (2 top, 2 bottom), and 6 holes for the front and back panels (3 top, 3 bottom).
Next, we used a 8×1 pan head sheet metal screw** to attach the sheet metal to the top and bottom frames of the bed.
Once the sheet metal was attached to both the tops and bottoms of the boards, we secured the inside corners using a 2″x2″x25″ piece of wood on the inside corner and then a 19.5″ 2×4 on the outside corner spanning the joint for the boards on the top and the bottom for increased strength) and then a 19.5″ 2×2 on the other side of the corner for symmetry and additional strength on the corner.

The joint will end up looking like this.
and here is a photo after we attach the mitered pieces to the top of the frame. You will want to trim those up so the corners meet up. You can also see the 2×2 on the inside corner in this image as well. The rocks on the ground are because that was how I marked out the layout of the garden on the ground.

Hardware images



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Ep 79 – Signs

Ali was super sick this week, and was on light duty as a result. Signs were made in August while Mike’s mom was here to visit, and we put the sign post up yesterday. This weekend we’ll be putting up the forms and inspections early next week. #archedcabin #archedcabins #DIY #woods #colorado #woodworking #archedcabinbuild #sideprojects
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Holiday Project: Part 1: The GlueUp

glueup for a cutting board

This covers ripping apart pallets, learning to deal with the hand plane, cutting, and the glue up portion of the project. You can probably guess what it’s going to be by the end, but we’re keeping it kind of quiet since recipients may see these videos. I’ll spell it out completely after the holidays.

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Making of a Mallet – A Fail Story (Video)

ali makes a mallet

I attempted to make my first tool recently, but it didn’t go as I’d planned. That’s okay though because I learned a lot from the experience, and I discovered that this is something that I really want to keep pursuing. I found the experience to be relaxing in spite of set backs. I have so many ideas that I want to try. Most likely I will do this again in the not too distant future with either a different kind of wood or else I might try my hand at gluing something up and learning more techniques. 10/10 will do again.

You can watch the video by clicking here, or you can go to our YouTube channel by clicking on that YouTube link in the menu at the top of the screen. Don’t forget to hit that like button and consider subscribing if you’re enjoying our videos. Thanks for watching!

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Chisels and Memorials (Video)


A little bonus video this week. This was a few months ago, maybe June? I was learning to use chisels and such and carved a little recess for the plaque on William’s bench. A lot of it is Mike teaching me to use tools.

You can click here to go directly to the video. Don’t forget to like and if you’re enjoying our channel, please consider subscribing!

Thanks for watching!

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Weekly Video is posted!

compost bin

It’s time for the weekly video! Click here for the latest video of the week!

Alternatively, you can also click on YouTube in the upper right hand corner of the page to be taken to our YouTube Channel. From there, you can click on any of our videos. Why not subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss out, and if you enjoy our videos, please don’t forget to hit that thumbs up button! Thanks for watching! We appreciate you!

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New Video Alert!

Mike taking photos

I’ve been going through some of the older footage I had, now that I’m able to actually edit stuff, and I’ve put together a small video of Mike helping me out and dragging up possible teepee poles on his mom’s property. I think most of these were more firewood candidates than teepee poles, but a couple of them should be pretty good. The teepee obviously never materialized this summer. Depression and grief combined with the heat and pain issues just made things fizzle out for me.

I view it as a good thing though. Looking back, it was kind of a desperate push forward to do things rather than deal with the stuff life handed to me in this past year. Now I plan to do more research on the project and to be better prepared for next spring. Winters are pretty mild so far, so I can do some harvesting and stripping of poles during the warmer days, and I can experiment with some sewing stuff and then really decide whether it makes more sense to purchase a pre-made cover from someone local or if I want to make it myself. There are pros and cons to each method. I may also visit the possibility of creating more of a pavilion type setup instead. I have options.

So without further ado, click on the link here or you can click here to visit our channel.

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Side Projects

heart with Mike + Ali

While I’m doing administrative stuff (poorly) for the build, I am also working on a side project or two in the meantime to begin my hands on time with some tools and learn a whole bunch of stuff.  I say poorly because my mental state has been a bit scattered after our loss in December, and I’ve just been doing a shit job of pulling myself back together enough to really focus on the crap that I NEED to do and just do it. Instead, anxiety and sadness are whittling away at the fucks I had to give. So, perhaps a little TMI for this audience, but I’m feeling guilty that we’re kind of stalled out at the moment, and this process has been emotional in its own right without the added heaviness that comes with dealing with the losses that we have over the past few years, and I’m in this place where I am just sharing my feelings in an effort to just move past them and keep moving in a forward direction. So anyhoo, that’s not why I was here to post. I was here to post about the teepee side project and the upcoming compost bin side project.  In my previous post, I had linked to a video from a day that I had been working on skinning logs. I’m still doing this.

Actually, over the weekend it turned into assessing the entire project again.  Basically, this has just been my project. I got a wild hair and decided that I need outdoor sleeping accommodations, and instead of being normal and just putting up a tent, I’ve gone mental and decided I need to build a larger structure. Why? Glamping? I joke and say glamping, but the reality is that I’m a very large woman with some annoying health stuff that makes regular old camping just not possible. If I get down on the ground there’s always a chance that I’m not getting back up off of the ground without assistance. So I wanted something that I could put what initially was planned as a cot into and maybe a little side table and a little camp chair to sit in… I really could just make a large medieval style pavilion such as a friend of mine had discussed with me during this process, but I really do want to just DO something. So it became a tipi and a rope bed and maybe some camp furniture. I’m going to go back and forth between teepee and tipi until I figure out which one is actually appropriate to what the hell I’m doing, because I don’t actually know yet.

So, I started out here. Mother Earth News Plains Tipi plans, and also WikiHow for plans. My initial research was ridiculously light before I went full tilt. A novice mistake, for I am eager. After a couple days of wrecking myself a bit, and a week and a half of migraine as a result, I have made the wise decision to take a breath, and dig into this a little more.  Also in my initial search, I found this company, who had a fantastic video to get me all fired up for this, and also made me wonder whether I should save up the money and purchase the tipi cover, or if I want to learn to sew and do the entire thing myself. I don’t know how to sew, so I think that just about everything that I’m doing on this project is brand new to me.

So that’s where I was. Now let’s go to where I’m at in the process now. Over the weekend, I went to do some work on the poles, and to pick the brain of my dear partner, whom I lovingly call “MikeGyver”, about my setup. The jaw horse that I’m using is too heavy and I get a headache when I have to unload/load into the vehicle. So we’re discussing a few options including just dragging it to a location where we can just leave it set up so I don’t have to worry about loading and unloading it, using saw horses, and creating some other sort of semi-permanent setup for me to process stuff. I am also clumsy, so the kinds of things that we have to think about when setting up something is how to make it “Ali-resistant” and also “Ali-Safe”.

This means basically that I am a human wrecking ball, and I also fall down a lot. So we consider those things along with whether or not it can be set up in a way that I am able to do it, or if we have to consider this a task that is simply not sensible for me to wreck myself doing. I’m all about self empowerment and setting out to prove to yourself that you CAN accomplish this monumental task, but I’m at a point in my life where just because I can push myself well past my comfort zone doesn’t really mean I should. I have to be smart. I don’t want to seriously injure myself because I was too stubborn to just ask for help, and also it’s OKAY to ask for help. Just because I want to do this entire thing all by myself doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen that way, and why should it?

Yet none of that is really any of your concern, but I figure since this is a new blog perhaps a little background info so you can get to know us a bit and kind of see why we may do some of the things that we do. In the process of helping me, he lopped off the really rough ends of logs and some were a bit too soft for what we needed so we cut some down a bit, and somewhere in this process I realized that I’m not sure how long or how thick any of this is supposed to be, so I ran back to the house and internet to look at the various plans and look at the tipi website that I was pondering ordering from and I realized that first and foremost I needed to settle on a size because all of these things were different sizes. The mother earth plans are for an 18 1/2 foot tipi, and the ones we were looking at to purchase were 14 feet. We settled on 14 feet. I looked up the size of the poles from the website where you can purchase the tipi because you do have the option of doing your own poles, and then I went back to measure my poles and a couple are short by a foot or just dead on so there’s no room to do any shaving and stuff. I’m also realizing I’ll need to mark the poles and some will need to be trimmed down a bit, plus I need to get more. I’m worried about using standing dead and fallen because it looks like green wood may be better in this application. So I’m back online and researching now. I started out by being a complete moron and googling tipi plans for 14 foot tipis, and realized that the plan is basically the same freaking plan, it’s just doing some math to change the dimensions. At this point, I’m on this website doing some research and a little more careful planning. I found yet another tool I’m going to be purchasing soon for my personal tool box. This will be a nice, long tape measure. My current one is 16 feet. My poles are supposed to be about 20 feet. I’m not saving tons of time by having a longer tape measure, but it’s going to keep me more sane. I’m still debating whether or not to learn to sew and sew my own or purchase one of those ridiculously gorgeous tipis that they have for sale and just doing the poles. I haven’t had a single person who thinks I should sew it myself, which in a way makes me want to do it myself even more, but I also want to sleep in it this year.

So that’s where I’m at. Doing some more research, gathering more logs, skinning the ones that will definitely work, and going over my options for the tipi project. I think we’re just going to stick with the tipi spelling, it feels right.

As far as camp furniture goes, I’ve been looking at some rope bed stuff here, and some general information on furnishing a period encampment. Obviously it’s not the same period and I’m doing a bit of a mash up, but I am not going full SCA on anything. I want a functional space, an opportunity to try a handful of new things, and an end result that is going to work for what we need.

Thanks for reading!