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Creative solutions

This whole homesteading & sustainable living thing works best if you’re flexible & creative, rather than boxed in by conventional ideas of what things are “supposed” to be like. Instead, figure out what is needed & find a solution that works best—best being defined as meeting the needs without excess costs or waste, whenever possible.

For example, I needed a solution to close in underneath The Cottage, to keep raccoons, stray dogs, etc. from moving in under there. I had considered several types of materials and was looking at how to also ensure proper venting. However, someone gifted me several panels of practically new vinyl lattice that they were going to throw away.

Normally, I hate lattice, but this was a good solution that solved my problem. It’s not quite the look I had in mind but, since I plan to play bushes along the sides, it ultimately doesn’t matter because it will be hidden.

As for the ugly green stuff on the windows, that’s that awful fake ivy privacy screening. It’s hideous but it does a good job of blocking sun—thus preventing heat build up—while allowing the breeze through the windows and, by the time it wears out, those bushes I mentioned should be tall enough to do the job.

We also had the unique need of creating a separate space for 14, so that was factored into the decision making when designing The Cottage and the outdoor living space.

So we built a one room cabin for her so that she has a separate space that opens up in our outdoor living space, with our summer kitchen & dining.

As you can see, the door opens into the archway that was built to espalier fruit trees. This way, the door is shaded & it keeps heat down, as well as os a nice proximity to lounging in the hammock.

This cabin was built from a Allwood Outlet kit & was relatively easy, once we accepted that the instructions made no sense in any language, so would be entirely unhelpful.

We finished the build in about 4 days (well, except for the metal to be added to the roof, obviously). It would’ve been 2 if we hadn’t been working in 100 degree heat, in full sun, resulting in heat exhaustion. So, be safe, y’all, for real.

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