Weekend Warrior: Build a Backyard Retreat for Winter

children in a covered play areaA cabin retreat in the backyard is a helpful space to have all year long. It can be used as a study area for the kids, a workshop, an office, and a family entertainment spot. With cold weather affecting many states in the nation, building a deck to prepare for icy conditions is a weekend project that can be done quickly and comfortably, especially when utilizing the Hunting Buddy Portable Heater. The heater can heat up to 300 square feet of space, making it perfect for working early or late on cold days.

Before starting the backyard cabin, ensure that you have approval for construction on the property. Next, determine a level 12×20’ site where the cabin will be built. Position one cinder block on each of the four corners and place two additional blocks equi-distant apart on each of the two long sides, with one extra block centered on each end.

Framing the deck on top of the blocks can be done using two 2”x6”x20’ boards for the sides and 11 2”x6”x12’ boards for the floor joists. Cut the boards down to 11 feet 9 inches, to keep the cabin width at 12 feet. Measure the floor section diagonally to square and sheet the rear 12×16’ portion of the deck with ¾”x4’x8’ sheets of tongue-and-groove-OSB.

The walls should be framed for a 12×16’ building, leaving a 4×12’ front porch. Build the walls using 2”x4”x92 5/8” precut studs at 24” on center. Each sidewall should be built at 15’ 10-1/2” long to leave room for a front cripple to support the porch beams. Front and rear walls will be 11’x5” to fit between the sidewalls. Use pressure-treated 2”x4” boards for the bottom plates.

Frame both sidewalls to fit a 24” wide by 36” tall window, and frame the front for a 32” door. Install headers for the door and windows. Install a 6”x6”x12’ pressure-treated post on each front corner, burying them at least 36” in the ground. Notch them to accept a double 2”x8” header by cutting 3 x 7-1/2” off from the outside top of the post. To make headers, cut 49 ½” pieces from 2”x8” boards and nail two together for each. Place the header on top of the post and run it to the cripple on the front of the sidewall.

Use 1”x6”x12’ pressure-treated decking to cover the front section of the deck. Install the 4’x8’ sheets of exterior reverse board on all four walls, after cutting out the door and window frames. Install the 11 roof trusses 24” on center. Sheet the roof with 7/16”x4’x8’ sheets of OS. Cover the roof with #15 felt paper. Install the roofing shingles as well as the exterior reverse board on the front and rear gables.

Finally, install the windows and the door, with caulking around them. Finish the job by painting the door and staining the exterior.