Portable Solar Generators

This web-exclusive article provides bonus info on portable solar generators for the magazine story “The Unplugged Cabin: Off-Grid in the Catskills”.
By Fran Sigurdsson

Solar generators are a great option for the off-grid cabin. Unlike gas or propane models, solar generators draw power from the sun, not fuel. They are completely silent and emit no exhaust or […]

Exterior Finishes at the Cabin

There are several options for exterior finishes at the cabin – should you paint or stain wood siding?

Wood siding, unlike vinyl or metal, requires protection from the rain, wind and sun. This means applying paint or stain to new wood and periodic re-coating on previously finished siding. When re-finishing previously finished siding, it’s usually easiest […]

Checklist for Winterizing the Cabin

Use these checklists to prep your cabin for the winter ahead, especially if you don’t plan to visit frequently.

Outside Tasks
For the cabin

Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, pipes, windows and doors; then seal leaks with caulk or insulation to keep out cold air and pests.
Insulate pipes in crawl spaces by wrapping them […]

Small Cabin Heaters

I need some suggestions on a small cabin heater. We just purchased a 500-square-foot cabin on Devil’s Lake, Wis. Our cabin has a liquid-propane heater, an old 1960s’ model. When we had our inspection, I got a headache from the fumes it emitted! The previous owners said it was inspected recently, but I can’t bring […]

Heating and Cooling Your Cabin

Heating and cooling news for your seasonal home.
By Janice Brewster

With heating and cooling gobbling up almost half the energy used in a typical U.S. home, finding the most efficient system to keep your cabin comfortable is important. If you’re building or remodeling a vacation cabin or second home, giving some thought to efficient heating and […]

5 Tips for Fruit Tree Success

How to ensure years of delicious produce from your very own fruit tree.
By Randall D. Schultz

If you spend enough time at your cabin to actually enjoy the harvest, there may be nothing quite as satisfying as plucking a fresh, ripe piece of fruit from your own backyard tree.

Fruiting trees, such as apple, pear, peach, citrus […]

TLC For the Personal Watercraft

Expert tips for proper care & maintenance for your cabin’s watercraft.
By Jeff Hemmel

That cabin PWC gets a lot of attention during the season, but most of that time is probably spent splashing across the waves, not on routine maintenance back at the dock.

But if you want that craft to keep dishing out the fun, you […]

Drainage and Erosion Problems Solved

Water is the driving force of all nature – learn how to manage drainage and erosion problems at the cabin.
Story & photos by Jennifer Baker

Leonardo da Vinci’s 15th century meme probably wasn’t the first thing on Dean and Melissa’s minds when they opted for an asphalt driveway at their new lake home.

After runoff from spring […]

Tips for Pest Protection

Preventing pests from damaging your wood siding or logs.

Most pests that attack wood siding are the same bugs that play a role in the decay process of dead trees and fallen logs in nature.

When a tree falls, moisture and decay fungi start to soften the wood, working to return its resources to the soil. This […]

Prepare for Spring Storms: Gutter Maintenance

Gutter maintenance tips.
Properly functioning gutters can prevent water damage to your cabin, saving you thousands of dollars in repair bills. Gutters can also be a source of great frustration, and if improperly maintained, they can cause more problems than they solve.

Here’s a list of common inspection pointers to make sure your gutters keep water moving away […]