joshua tree workshop 2018

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Backwoods Tiny Cabin- that ran into trouble.....

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Also, I think we have ONE slot left for our Hands-On Tiny House Workshop in Canton, MA- Nov 15-17th- where we'll now have a Tumbleweed Fencl on site, and a Yurt! Plus you'll see/tour SIX other cabins! 

 Jim Matus' Tiny Cabin In The Woods of MA
I'm collecting cabins, tree houses, tiny houses, and funky clubhouses to feature in my next book (one, originally "Micro Structures" that I began writing years back), and this will be one of the submissions, once I head out there to take a few more photos, and a VIDEO! 

Unfortunately, this cabin had to be removed from its original locale.....the story is down below....

Here's a shot of the former stream-side music studio/cabin site..... man, what a locale! Seeing as his cabin is on a mere six posts, or could be built without disturbing the soil at all (on skids or blocks), its a shame this cabin site was deemed a "problem".

Here's the email I received from Jim Matus (a VERY TALENTED musician- check out his work at )

BUILDING WITH SCREWS Vs. NAILS- Here's one argument from the former....

Here are some photos of my cabin in Conway, which I built for about $1,500.
It's 10' X 12" including the porch, inside is 8" X 10".
I designed it myself and built it mostly myself with the help of a few friends and a carpenter who taught me some basics.

The interesting back story here is that I built it 30 feet away from a stream not knowing that the law was such that it must be 200' from a waterway.
I had an unsuccessful battle with the local Conservation Commission and was forced to move the cabin. This all happened after a random hiker in the woods stumbled upon my cabin and made a call to the town's building department. 
Luckily I had used screws to build it and was able to take it apart, board by board and move it up a hill to were I was able to get a permit for it.
Some of these are photos of the old location.
I can get the new location photos from the same angles and that might be a cool hook for your book.

-Jim Matus

NOTE: I'm working on getting some interior photos of this place soon from Jim, do be sure to check back! Thanks

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

CHECK OUT MY TIny House, Shelter, n' Cabin Concept Book Here....


  1. ummm, if the woods and waterway are on your land, why do they care how close you are to the water? makes it easier to carry to the house.

  2. Because government unnecessarily runs our lives. How else can they justify their jobs?

  3. I agree with Dan: When most of us live by the creed "If it ain't broke don't fix it"...their philosophy is "If it ain't broke, fix it till it is".

  4. Actually, it WAS "broke." MA waterways used to be very polluted. The laws were enacted (and work) to keep sewage and fertilizer out

  5. It's always best to check local building rules and zoning codes before building. I recently came across a 450 sf cabin for sale that seemed like a dream come true. The zoning laws showed that it was too close to a road and there was a city lien against the cabin because of it, and if I hadn't done my research I would have lost my money.

  6. That's why I like the idea of keeping your cabin on wheels, like a wooden trailer. Build it on a trailer bed or something,. The building department then has nothing to say, if you are made to move it, it's pretty easy to do. Also, the permit to move a trailer for a couple days that then will be stationary costs less than registering it as a vehicle for a whole year.

  7. So a guy was trespassing on your land, and you got in trouble... What a world! But I suppose this teaches us several valuable lessons. Post your property, fences are good, don't build near the borders of your property, check your zoning before you purchase land...

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