Site Selection & Clearing

Beginnings are always messy

-John Galsworthy, English novelist and playwright, 1867 – 1933


The first stage of a cabin-building project is enough to paralyze any thinking person. Your first decision about about exactly where and how your cabin sits will affect the way dozens of other people experience and interact with this place for many years. People not even born yet will see the world in a certain way because of what you decide right now.  Location is vital, so what should you look for in a cabin site?

The ideal cabin site needs to be flat and well drained, and ideally a spot that will be improved by what you build.

Flat, well-drained, physically stable and beautiful. These are the four factors behind any successful cabin location. Added to these considerations you should look at potential sources of household water (a well, lake or a river), access to power lines (or the commitment to go with solar power or no electricity at all), and some kind of road or trail access.

The site Robert and I chose for his cabin (the original “Cozy Cabin”) is close enough to a tiny, private road for year-round accessibility, yet it’s completely hidden by trees.  Power lines are about 300 feet from the cabin, and there’s good ground water available everywhere by drilling a well in limestone bedrock.

Click below to continue the course . . . 

In This Section...