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He Built an Off-Grid Cabin with Hand Tools

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Mo and Pink have an off-grid homestead in Virginia, and the video below shows Mo’s hard work as he builds a guest cabin in their backwoods. Mo built the 120-square-foot house and the 12×20 deck over six months, right after his 60th birthday!

Remarkably, he did the build by himself using primarily hand tools — he hammered the entire floor together one nail at a time. Despite not being a professional builder by trade, his skills and attention to detail are apparent in the video below. He has plans to add a bathroom space in the future.

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12×10 Cabin w/ Shed Style Roof and Porch

He was able to raise the walls himself with clever design elements.

The house was designed around these windows he got for $10/piece.

A wood stove sits on a gorgeous stone hearth.

VIDEO: I Build a Guest Cabin in Our Woods


  • He started this building project on his 60th birthday and spent six months completing it.
  • He did the entire construction alone by cleverly dividing the walls into more manageable sections.
  • The cabin is 12×16 and has a 12 x 20 deck off the front.
  • He planned the cabin walls around reclaimed windows he purchased for $10/piece.
  • The wood stove he found second-hand and was able to refurbish it to warm the cabin.

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.

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