Tim Seggerman set out to build the most basic and cost-effective home he could and accomplished this by constructing it himself.
His seven-year labor of love, costing around $100,000, resulted in a sleek and modern cabin offering a light-filled, open living space.
The design of the cabin reflects his aim to create a simple yet stylish dwelling that meets his practical and aesthetic needs.
Tim used cypress to build his cabin since it is in the middle of the woods filled with cypress trees. “So that you wouldn’t be able to see it at all, it would look like the woods,” he said.
The cypress comes from the Northwest, basically grown in water so that it would last for 250 years. “And it’s also really pretty,” he added.
When Tim’s sister told him about the house, she warned him that it was the “crappiest house” he would ever see.
Moreover, the property had several building department violations that he had to address. Despite this, Tim saw an opportunity to turn the worst thing into something “really nice and simple.”
However, upon realizing that there were too many things that needed to be changed, he knocked down the house, leaving a big hole that he later used as half the basement.
Meanwhile, Tim was only allowed to build at the exact place where the old house stood, hence the size of his modern cabin.
He built the cabin using only one material so he wouldn’t have to transition from one material to another. The cabin is made of cypress, except for the glass window, but they are not expensive.
The cabin was a 15-year project, says Tim. He stopped building for about nine years after the PennEast Pipeline Company sent him a letter of eminent domain taking the property.
“They’re very slick,” Tim said, stating it was a long battle between him and the company. “Unbelievably, PennEast pulled up stakes and left because they couldn’t fight anymore.”
Tim explained that he stopped working during the legal battle as it was crazy to build the cabin if the company would take it down.
At that time, he was staying at his younger sister’s house or camping at the unfinished cabin. He resumed building three years ago, but his niece, Lila, lives at his modern cabin more than he does.
Inside Tim’s modern cabin are all cypress, and he built almost everything inside it, including the chairs, couch, tables, and other furniture.
Tim said he put up the cabin ceiling by himself using a scaffold. He initially used wood, but he said he did not like the result as it made the cabin look like a barn, so he replaced it with sheetrock.
He also put the floor by himself. He used boards 16 feet by 12 inches and an inch and a quarter thick. He used wrought iron nails, and he manually nailed them.
The layout of Tim’s modern cabin is inspired by a Japanese house because, for him, the Japanese have the best ideas on how to deal with spaces.
Instead of installing doors, Tim installed a movable wall.
“There’s a door in the bathroom, but that’s it,” he said.
The movable wall in the bedroom works as the bedroom door and the closet door. Moreover, the bedroom is small, so Tim wants it to be open.
The furniture inside the modern cabin shows how skillful Tim is as a carpenter.
Aside from the furniture made of cypress, he also made a couch using bamboo, which he said he would love to make another because it is really pretty.
He also has several built-in pieces of furniture, like a couch in the living room and the kitchen cabinets, made of cypress and bamboo.
He loves working with wood because it can absorb a beating like a dent, and they are so easy to work with, especially softwood because they are easy to build.
The modern cabin has a Japanese-inspired bathroom. It has a full shower room made of wood and fiberglass.
“I love fiberglass because it is cheap and will last forever,” said Tim.
The dining area has some beautiful lamps Tim made using Papyrus paper that he bought from Egypt. It gives the modern cabin an elegant vibe.
Meanwhile, Tim said that the half-basement still needs to be completed, but it is not closed, and they are using it as a multifunctional space.
The initial plan is to make the basement their design or painting studio, which is why it has a lot of electric outlets.
Tim said that the half basement was also conceived so it could be divided into two bedrooms, or they could use it as a horse stable. The basement has a half-bath and a space for the washing machine and dryer.
Watch the quick tour of Tim’s modern cabin below:
For more amazing tiny home videos and more, visit Kirsten Dirksen’s YouTube channel.