Andrew Szeto is a Coast Guard employee and woodworking tinkerer living in Ottawa, Ontario. When he decided he wanted to build on his burgeoning woodworking skills to construct his own A-Frame, he leaned heavily on the Ottawa City Woodshop, a community space where people learn how to work with wood, together. A friend he met there knows cabins, and the two decided Szeto was ready to make his own.
Szeto heard of an acre of land for sale in a small Quebec town nearby, so he snatched it up for $6,000 Canadian (about $4,500 in US dollars) and got to planning his dream shack. A month of hard work later, and, well, look at that. A gorgeous little A-Frame all his own.
His cabin is roughly 10 feet by 10 feet. He built in a climbing wall, which makes perfect sense with those vertical walls. Szeto also worked in a sweet little outhouse. He does have some tiny regrets about the build, though. For one, he wishes it was larger. And he didn’t prepare the ground as well as he should gave, he realized in retrospect. He expects some shifting with the freeze and thaw cycle. But, as he told Field Mag, “to see a thing you built come to life is the greatest gift you can give yourself.”
Oh, right, the cost. All the materials were purchased for $8,012. The material cost includes climbing holds, a generator, transportation, and even food he ate during the construction. Add in the land, and you have a serious bargain A-Frame, built by its owner over the course of a month of work. You can watch a timelapse of the build at the bottom of this post.
Weekend Cabin isn’t necessarily about the weekend, or cabins. It’s about the longing for a sense of place, for shelter set in a landscape…for something that speaks to refuge and distance from the everyday. Nostalgic and wistful, it’s about how people create structure in ways to consider the earth and sky and their place in them. It’s not concerned with ownership or real estate, but what people build to fulfill their dreams of escape. The very time-shortened notion of “weekend” reminds that it’s a temporary respite.
Check out Szeto’s photography, here.