Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Dacha


I got the roof on my dacha finally! It’s taken me two summers to get it finished enough to use when it rains, and I absolutely love it!

I started the dacha, my little summer cabin, last year when a neighbor offered a pile of 2×6 planks to me. The floor was easy to figure out, but was a lot of hard work. I used cinder blocks as a foundation and I leveled them all before putting the floor frame on them. I forgot to square the four planks I used as the basis for the floor though. Oops!

After cleaning up the planks-I had to remove some hardware and nails from the ends-I screwed the planks to the frame that was on the cinder blocks. I put the screen tent up and then decided I wanted a more permanent structure. I have this old Atco on my place (the last remnant from the last boyfriend), so I started tearing it apart. I couldn’t sell the damned thing, couldn’t even give it away!
I framed the walls in the now air-conditioned Atco, then added visqueen and mosquito netting before moving them to the floor and screwing them down. That was as far as I got before the summer was over, because I wasn’t sure what I was going to do for a roof.

This summer I decided to rearrange the walls before starting on the roof. Once that was taken care of, I bought some vinyl window material for the roof. It’s perfectly clear and would make an awesome cloud-watching cover! The roof isn’t the greatest; it’s not going to hold up under much of a snow load, but it’s adequate for rain and leaves. The clear vinyl didn’t work out; it’s too stiff and difficult to work with by myself. So the roof is visqueen over 2×4’s and 1×4’s, held down with lath lightly tacked down with big-headed roofing nails. I’m anticipating needing to replace the roof next year with corrugated plastic roofing that’s used on greenhouses.

I still have some finish work to do on the dacha; I’m using more lath to firmly tack down the visqueen and mosquito netting walls, and the door is pretty awkward. It’s a piece of mosquito netting that flies around in the wind and doesn’t do a very good job of keeping mosquitoes and other flying insects out. And sometimes Harpo can’t figure out how to get in! I also have to cover the triangles on the wall that support the roof and the header boards that support the roof above the door. But I can sleep out here and enjoy watching clouds, tree shadows, and rain!