Renovation of a Cabin for Energy Efficiency- Fine Homebuilding

Photo of author
Written By Jim J Neal

When lifestyle blogger Melissa Coleman found a 50-year-old A-frame cabin on a lake in the Northern Minnesota woods, she wanted to restore it for year-round use without losing the original character of the 1970s kit house. She and Anton Moody of Taiga Design + Build determined and installed just the right materials for a new roof, new siding, new windows, and new decking.

The original roof of split cedar shakes was replaced with similar-looking but much more durable and low-maintenance composite cedar shakes made from recycled plastic materials. The new siding and decking by Kebony is a modified wood known for its longevity that will acquire a natural silver patina over time. Structural insulated panels (SIPs) were added for insulation and energy efficiency and skylights for more natural light.

The new fenestration includes floor-to-ceiling picture windows that bring the outside in and a Marvin Skycove, a glass structure that invites light from four directions and projects into the open air, creating a perch for a reading nook. The entire interior is skinned with the cabin’s original western red cedar paneling. In the end, 90% of the original cabin’s bones were retained while upgrading the cozy retreat’s form and function to 21st-century standards of excellence.

Designer/builder Taiga Design + Build,
Interior designer Melissa Coleman,
Location Grand Marais, Minn.
Photos Kristian Alveo for Kebony

living room with window nook, skylight and wood paneling

outside of house A-fram cabin

From Fine Homebuilding #310