Do-It-Yourselfers Revamp a Tiny Cabin

With some TLC, and a couple of strategic additions, a well-sited fixer-upper becomes a beloved retreat one project at a time.
By Lucie B. Amundsen
Published: December 16, 2011
Photo by Terry Iverson
Dale Bruntz approached his cabin remodeling project the way most people do. “I did projects over time as I could afford to do them,” he says. Fourteen years later, he and his wife, Jo, have added a few hundred feet of elbow room and replaced every surface; they’ve also completely revamped the landscape.
    What possessed Dale to buy a cabin that needed so much work? The answer, of course, is location – on beautiful Lake Sutherland, located just outside of Olympic National Park in Washington state and less than 30 minutes from the couple’s primary home.
    When he first purchased the place, it was pretty small. “You couldn’t even have called it a one bedroom,” says Dale. The structure was well under 1,000 square feet, featuring a main living area combined with a kitchen and small bath. Sleeping quarters amounted to an attic that could fit a mattress and was accessible via an unceremonious climb up a ladder. Clearly, the place needed work.
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