Monday, January 25, 2021

The Quonset Cabin At The Country House

Hi, Friends, 
How are you? I sincerely hope that you are well. Staying hopeful and encouraged during this time is so important. 
When we looked at three houses this past August, I didn't give this house much thought. We really thought another house was the one but it wasn't and the deal fell through. In fact, that house has been taken off the market. It needs so much work. 
The owner of our country house was home the first time we looked at it. House hunting was weird during the pandemic. We were from the big city where there were a lot of cases. We were trying to get in and out of the houses quickly in order for everyone to be protected. The owner didn't seem concerned about us infecting her and she chatted on about this and that. I was distracted but my ears perked up when she said that she had a guest house. Fast forward to a few weeks ago when she stopped by to check for any mail. I asked about the floors in the guest house. She said, "What guest house?" Hmmm. As we suspected she was overselling the guest house. There were renters living in the structure out back so we only saw it once. It looks like a shed from the outside so the inspector didn't look in it. We didn't get a chance to really see it until after we closed. Let me say that anything you read in this post would not have been a deal breaker. It's a bit disappointing but it's not the end of the world. 
As we were chatting a few weeks ago, the former owner told me that the structure had been a garage and that she and her brother added on to it to make the cabin as it is right now. 
The garage portion is the quonset hut.
The quonset portion is the building with the problems. The shed portion only needs cosmetic updates. 
Bill has named this the cabin.  Let's tour it, shall we? 

The screen door needs some structural repair. The door is fine. It just needs paint since it still has the factory primer. The rocker has been power washed and repaired. It's now on the front porch of the main house. The bricks were pilfered for my little garden walkway. Bill took out the air conditioners. 
We like the light. The underneath portion of the roof needs something. 

There is a nice sized living area. Bill loves the beam but not the finish. The curtains, rods and light fixtures were all taken out. The floor will be taken out as well or covered over. 

To the right of the living area is the old front porch, door and window to the original quonset hut. 

I think with new paint it will be darling and quirky. This is one of my favorite features. 

There is a stove, sink and refrigerator. The cabinets don't look bad do they? 
They are bad. There are no backs or sides. 

There is spray insulation where the sides meet the wall. Why? It is for warmth or to keep something out? 
I found all the grocery bags the other day. They are stuffed behind the drawers. 

I can't see evidence of mice, though. Thank goodness. 
Giant grasshoppers but no other gross critters. 
I'm itching to get in and tear these cabinets out. I already pilfered the pulls for the kitchen in the main house. This is my project on the next warm day. 

A little dining area is opposite the kitchen. 

There is a little bedroom at the back. It has the same slant ceiling as the dining room but there is a window. 
The wall between the two rooms is weird. The florescent lighting has to go. 

There's a roof leak. 

There is storage made out of live edge wood. The guy who built this also build the screened doors. I think he did our mantel surround too. 

Bill wants to reuse the wood. 

We had to use the bathroom the evening of our closing since the former owner wasn't moved out of the main house. 

I was a little scared of it. 

We discovered that the toilet leaks so the floors are squishy underneath. 
The toilet and the shower are elevated off of the floor. I guess to accommodate for the plumbing. 

I think the faucet could be polished up and reused. The sink is cute. 
We're probably pulling out all of the bathroom. I'm sure Bill will save the wood for reuse but he's not wild about the cedar. 
We have had long discussions about this tiny house. We were very disappointed in the condition. I feel for the people who were living in it because it is not habitable as it is now because of the bathroom leak. 
The back outside wall is made of bead board paneling. The floors slope down at the kitchen and again at the bedroom. There is no heat so it needs a mini split or something. 

You can see it from the front of the property. It's on the left in the photo below.

Bill wanted to tear off the quonset hut and rebuild. I noted that if he does that, it puts off building his dream shop. He's planned his shop forever. Now, he's reconsidering restoring the hobbit cabin rather than rebuilding.  I think he is leaning toward salvaging what we can. I'd like to keep a kitchenette and a bathroom for future use especially if we live here full time at some point and our guests would like their own space. 
We have the sinks, toilet, shower surround, hot water heater, stove and refrigerator. All of that can be reused so that is good. 
It's quirky. We are quirky. I say we should embrace the quirky.

It is right off of the back screened in porch. I'd like to paint it white like the house. Bill has different ideas. 

I took this the second weekend we were out there. The house is now white. 

I think the cabin needs to be green. 

As we have come to process the state of the cabin, I've realized that the 1932 farmhouse had all of these issues and more. Since we bought this property instead of the farm, we have the main house to live in while we remake this building into the quirky cabin that Bill has in mind. 
It's all a part of the five year plan. 
Check out my page at this link .  You can read all about our country house so far. 
Follow me on Instagram for a more up to the minute look into our redo. 
My Pinterest is a great way to see the direction we are heading with the remodel. 
Thanks so much for stopping by, 

March Update: As we have begun demo, it is clear that the quonset portion of the building cannot be saved. Hopefully, Bill will be able to use the shelter for the shop or for the boat. 
See the latest in this post


  1. I think it will be wonderful, Katie. And you have a five year plan, not a five month plan, so that'll work out well. I like the idea of the green. It really does have tremendous potential and with the rate of speed you two work, I suspect it will be finished LONG before five years! And look darling!

  2. I agree, I see great potential. Love the concept of a Hobbit House. The dark green sounds perfect; hidden in the trees, and it will reflect the colors of the house. You two have great vision for your property, so it will be wonderful!!

  3. I think the little guest house has such potential. I am so glad you and Bill see that and I know you will make it so cute. I think we will see results a lot faster than 5 years with how you two go at it. Love that beam and the crown molding and baseboards. Painted these could be so cute. Good luck and keep us posted on progress. I am excited to see what you do with this cute little Guest Cottage. xoxo Kris