Island Cabin in Nova Scotia

I came across this cool cabin project the other day and thought I’d had to share. I’m a sucker for remote cabins and boats so when I saw this remote cabin built on it’s own uninhabited island off the coast of  Nova Scotia I was stoked. Looking at the pictures really took my mind off the fact I was in an office. Dave even has video of his project. Read Dave’s story below.

Dave’s Story is below:

My wife and I have been in the process of building a cabin on an uninhabited island off of the east coast of Nova Scotia for about 4 years now. Since we only manage to get up there for a week or so each summer, progress has been slow. Over the past few summers we’ve managed to build an 8×12 storage shed, put in a basic cabin foundation, and build a 12×16 deck with attached porch.

This year I decided to go up for 2 weeks in June/July to make as much progress as I could actually framing and sheathing the cabin itself. My brother came with me for the first week, then flew back home. My wife joined me for the second week.

The island is about 60 acres in size, located about 1 mile offshore. Its just to the east of a large peninsula that shelters it from the prevailing SW winds, and the water is nearly always calm (if cold). A local lobsterman lets us use his wharf on the mainland to park our car and load our boat. From the wharf to the island is about a 5 minute boat ride in good conditions. The nearest town is about a 15 minute drive from the wharf, and has all that we need: hardware store/lumberyard, grocery store, RCMP post, hospital, etc. Amazingly, cell phone reception on the island is excellent.

There is obviously no electrical service on the island, so we use a generator to power our tools and charge batteries. Eventually we’d like to install a basic solar/wind power system. I’m also considering using salvaged RV propane appliances for cooking and refrigeration, hooked up to a bank of grill tanks.

hauling lumber on boat

hauling lumber to site

To get out to the island and ferry all the materials, he has 2 boats: a 12′ aluminum skiff with a 9.9Hp motor, and a 13′ Boston Whaler with a 25. Here’s a video: of one of his lumber runs to the island.

The cabin design is a basic one-room 12×16 with an 8 foot deep loft on one end, plus an attached 8×16 foot covered porch. He had originally intended to build a post-and-beam frame at his shop in Mass and trailer it up, but realized that the weight of the timbers was just too much, considering how far they have to be carried to the site, so he stick framed it instead. he also pre-built all the windows, the door, and all the casings ahead of time. The windows were old wood double-hungs that salvaged out of a dumpster and rebuilt with new jambs and sills. The door came out of his mother-in-laws old farmhouse in NH.


Progress so far

Follow Dave’s project at this site:

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1 Response

  1. Alex says:

    What an incredible view from the loft. Looking forward to seeing it finished up, looks great so far. Videos are cool too. He’s got a video tour up now: