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Digital Subscriptions > Cottage Life > SUMMER 2018 > Take it out back

Take it out back

Itching to build and unable to buy, this millennial constructed a mini cabin on his parents’ lot

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A mix-up at the paint store led to this black exterior, which the owner ended up loving— especially once he balanced it out with white trim.

Sean Kelly, a 28-year-old city dweller, faced that ultimate millennial conundrum: he was ready to buy his own property, a piece of paradise on which to build a cottage, but the exploding market priced him out of the lots he liked. So, like many of his generation, he turned to his parents for help—but not with the down payment. Instead, Sean asked if he could build a bunkie at the back of their Schomberg, Ont., property. It would be his respite from the city, a place to unwind on weekends. The Kellys seized the chance to spend more time with their son, and Sean set out to build his 150 sq. ft. oasis. Now, 10 weekends, $10,000, and countless lessons later, he has a mini version of his dream cottage and tons of tips to share with other DIY builders.

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About Cottage Life

Summer is the time to kick back and relax in the pages of the Summer 2018 issue of Cottage Life. You’ll read about a unique book club of remote islanders that comes together each year to bond over the love of a good story. Then, take a page out of their book and dive into our summer reading guide with all-star book suggestions and summer must-reads. Plus, do you have the classic cottage bookshelf? Enter to win a prize by taking our cottage bookshelf quiz and sharing your Cottage Shelfie pics. Then, meet cottagers who aren’t satisfied with just a quick dip, and find out how to take on a swim challenge at the lake. Feed unexpected guests with our 7 easy dockside treats: happy hour recipes and solutions to make your next dock party a no-sweat affair. That said, if you’re the type to relax by keeping busy, we have a tool box full of puttering projects to consider: fix a broken cooler hinge, build a marshmallow catapult with the kids, quit stubbing your toes with this clever new dock hardware, get on top of exterior maintenance, and be inspired by a 20-something who DIY’d a sweet little cabin of his own on his parents’ back 40. Plus, read our essential guide to keeping your cottage road in shape—how to finally tackle potholes, washboarding, and beaver dams. Grab our Summer 2018 issue, fire up the old autoreply, and lie back in the hammock. Summer’s finally here!