Monday, April 30, 2012


I’ve been told by some people to write about our cabin, mainly my sister, who is curious to see pictures and hear about the place. 

The seventies are one of those decades they could easily delete and nobody would really mind too much. What do we really cherish from that era, certainly not disco, bell-bottom paints or that puffed up buffo hairstyle.  The renovations in the housing industry were equally as bad, out with the classy Victorian style in the renovations and in with the modern cheap nouveau plastics.  Most houses, like ours in the historic Avenues area were gutted, all that fine oak trim thrown out to be replaced with lovely green wall-to-wall shag carpet and dark wood paneling.  Let’s not forget the large wallpapered living rooms depicting lavish Mediterranean scenes, the olive toilets and sinks decorated with yellow or brown tile in every bathroom.  How quickly they could erase 100 years of tradition in the name of modern renovation.

We spent a decade removing and correcting the faux pas of the seventies with our house from the 1890’s.  Our cabin was, unfortunately build in the 70’s, built to save costs, built to save on labor, aesthetics and functionality. Starting with the foundation that is shy eighteen inches above the frost line, because they wanted to save money and not dig down deep enough.  At 7000 feet the foundation should have been at five feet, ours is only three.  This may explain why the southwest corned is sinking down three inches; maybe also why the floors are so ice cold lacking insulation.

Why is it that one has to sit sideways on the toilet because your knees hit the wall in front of you, the floor laminate cut around the bathroom fixtures and filled with some off white, yellowed with aged caulking to fill in the gaps?  The cheapest of trim used around all the doors and windows.  This is why the cabin really needs to be leveled and re-built again. A process that I am not looking forward to since I have done it all before and know exactly just what it entails. The endless hours and labor involved, unless you happen to win the lottery and can afford to have some contractors do it all for you. 

With that in mind I am driving up to Idaho to buy a lottery ticket !!!

It’s nice to hang out there, but we all realize that it could use some major fixing-up, someday.

The best thing about it is the view!
Richard Boyer   


  1. A mountain cabin at 7000 feet with a breathtaking view.

    Some folks have a lot to complain about. :)

    regarding cold floors:

    Have you considered using rigid foam insulation boards -- either under the floor if accessible or directly on top (covered with plywood and then snap-together laminate flooring). The rigid foam is superior to fiberglass (batt) insulation in that it is impervious to moisture (some can actually be installed directly in the ground and is used around foundation walls).

    I used rigid foam boards to insulate the walls in our basement and it works very well (tested this winter). The stuff i used (TUFF-R) has a silver coating, which acts as a vapor barrier and radiant heat reflector, as well.

    The 2-inch TUFF R has an R value of 13, but it also reflects virtually all of the radiant heat back into the room, which is actually not figured into the R value.

    Regarding your settling problem.

    Can't change the depth of the foundation of course, but sometimes just getting the water away from the house (which is the real problem, at any rate, since dry soil does not heave from frost) can make a huge difference.

    This can sometimes be done relatively cheaply. We had some water "issues" in the basement here that I 'greatly mitigated" (I also installed a sump pump just in case!) by extending the downspout runouts and burying plastic around the house just under the dirt to divert the water away from the foundation.

    Larry Darkness

  2. Actually, just installing laminate flooring over an insulated pad might make a big difference, especially if the pad has a reflective coating.

    --Larry darkness

  3. I still think in this case it might be better to tear down, re-design and build better. But thanks for the flooring ideas, I have actually used that material before


  4. So, Richard.

    You do read the comments after all.

    Well, tearing down has the added advantage of being fun, too.

    Maybe you could put an old boat (or two) in its place.

    I just saw one on craigslist (a 24 foot sailboat) that someone was giving away. of course, you'd have to transport it from the east coast to Utah and then get it up to 7000 feet. But it sure would be the talk of the neighborhood!

    -- Larry Darkness