NZ Life & Leisure - - Well & Good -

Jeff Avery al­ways wanted his own cabin. The Cana­dian-nowNew Zealan­der was re­minded of that re­cently when an old friend con­tacted him on Face­book. “He quoted me say­ing, ‘ Matty, one day, I’m go­ing to build a cabin.’ For me, cab­ins mean ski­ing and win­ter.” But at only 10 square me­tres, Jeff and Jane Avery’s Eurowood cabin, im­ported via Christchurch from the Czech Repub­lic for $ 30,000, seems more set up for sum­mer than the Cen­tral Otago win­ter. Still, it’s in­su­lated, pow­ered by so­lar en­ergy, and takes noth­ing to heat. The cabin’s size means no build­ing con­sent was nec­es­sary, the 33- de­gree an­gle of the roof cre­ates a sleep­ing loft in­side, with deep eaves shad­ing an equal amount of out­door space around the cabin. Jeff and Jane mostly put the kit­set cabin to­gether them­selves — the roof tested the bounds of their mar­riage — aided by friends care­fully se­lected for their skills, par­tic­u­larly Jeff’s ice hockey mates (he’s also the coach of Dunedin Thun­der). “We chose this one be­cause it’s do-able. You could build it in three days if you knew what you were do­ing. It’s like Lego; once you’ve done the foun­da­tions, you put the base­boards down and it just slots to­gether, with big steel pins in the cor­ners,” Jeff says. The en­tire build­ing — bar the roof­ing but in­clud­ing the ceil­ing — ar­rived in three flat packs. “Then you open it up and go, ‘ What on earth do I do now?’” says Jeff. “They come with a gen­eral plan but it’s writ­ten by peo­ple with English as a sec­ond lan­guage. and yet even if it were writ­ten in proper English, I would have messed some things up. But by not get­ting over­whelmed, and do­ing one thing af­ter an­other, it started to ma­te­ri­al­ize.” While Jane and Jeff could have bought some­thing for about $14,000, they de­cided to pay more than twice the amount for the Czech- de­signed Eurowood cabin. “We worked on the prin­ci­ple ‘ the cheap­skate pays twice’,” says Jeff. “This is good- qual­ity spruce, in­ter­locked tongue and groove. We bought the 55-mil­lime­trethick cabin, rather than the 33-mil­lime­tre ver­sion, so it’s cosy in win­ter.” The best part, as far as both are con­cerned, is that Jeff didn’t need to cut a sin­gle piece of wood, aside from the foun­da­tions.

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