Building cabin all by myself – experience and tips for next time

I have just moved to San Francisco, and have been working as a entry-level programmer at big tech firm. Outsider might think that programmers make ton of money, but when you substract sky-high living costs of SF, at entry level, you don’t make that much. So i didn’t have any money saved for travel, and felt a seeing all my friends on Europe and exotic islands felt a little depressing. I did have few thousand dollars and could borrow few more, but it was too late to buy tickets at decent price and splurging thousands of dollars into few nights didn’t make sense. But what i did have, was inherited family lot near lake tahoe, which is few hours ride from SF. It was pretty good location, and i had nothing planned for my vacation, so it only seemed obvious to go out and build it myself. I was always fond of tools and building things, but i’ve never built a house or cabin. I figured that i should have figured out theories of building small cabin before doing anything serious, and headed over to Google. Read every piece of information i found on building a cabin, collected all my tools – circular saw, grinder, axe, nails, screwdrivers, pancake compressor (which turned out to be the best pancake compressor i’ve ever had) – and headed over to lake tahoe.

So lack of funds and surplus of experience led me to decide to build my own vacation home. I know it sounds crazy, and it was even crazier back then, but i just wanted to do it – didn’t care about risks or possibly lost money. Once i got there, i stayed at my parents’ place, and started my little construction very next day. With help of some of my friends and siblings, my hut was done in 20 days. It wasn’t big or classy, but i was so proud to see something i’ve built. Something that i made a reality. I stayed there for the rest of the summer. In september, i posted it on Airbnb and occasionally even get a visitor, which is great – i’m seeing return on my investment.

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