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in: DIY Home Maintenance, Outdoors, Podcast, Projects

• Last updated: September 30, 2020

Podcast #647: What Happened When Two Friends Left Their Jobs to Build a Cabin Together

It’s a thought that’s crossed many a desk jockey’s mind: “Man, I’d love to flee this office, get out from under this fluorescent-lighting, and do something more concrete with my hands. Like, maybe, build a cabin in the woods.”

My guests had these thoughts, and unlike most, actually pulled the trigger on their long-standing daydream. Their names are Bryan Schatz and Patrick Hutchison, and in today’s episode they share the experience they had as a result and which they wrote about in a recent article for Outside magazine. We begin our conversation with how the idea of quitting their respective jobs as a reporter and copywriter to build a cabin together in the Cascades began as a joke between these two then burned-out 30-something friends, and how it slowly became a real, if still sketchy, plan to make it happen. Bryan and Pat share the idyllic way they thought the project would go, and when the reality of how much harder it would be than they thought set in. We discuss the unexpected challenges that arose, how the tensions of constantly working together affected their relationship, and how they kept an income coming in while on hiatus from full-time employment. We get into how long the cabin, which they originally thought would take two months to build, actually took to finish, the extent to which it went over budget, how they finally felt when it was done, and what they ultimately decided to do with it. We end our conversation with what, despite everything that went wrong, Bryan and Pat gained from the experience, and what they plan to do next.

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Show Highlights

  • The genesis of Pat and Bryan’s idea to build a cabin in the woods 
  • Overcoming the suspect optics of this project
  • Their initial experience with an old cabin they worked on 
  • What did they imagine the project would be like?
  • What and when was the realization that this was going to be a lot harder than imagined?
  • The original timeline for the project (and how laughable it ended up being) 
  • The small things that torpedoed their timeline and budget and mental health
  • Was there a general budget? What happened to that budget? 
  • The infamous ridge beam 
  • How the cabin impacted Pat and Bryan’s friendship 
  • What it felt like to finally finish the cabin
  • Process over product 

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Connect With Pat and Bryan

Pat and Bryan on Instagram

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Read the Transcript

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