If you missed part 1 or want to skip to part 3, click here. Part one of the shed to cabin process covers everything inside the walls, while part 3 talks about decorating.
After finally finishing the insulation, we worked on the drywall. It was a multi-day process to cut and screw the pieces into place, apply tape and joint compound, sand, and repeat. Even after 3 coats and lots of sanding, it isn’t perfect, but we’re not professionals. We had help from my dad, brother, and brother’s roommate.
I’ve had more experience with painting than any of these other steps, so this was a relatively easy task for me. Even the ceiling wasn’t too bad since I had a long pole to use with my roller. (I may have gotten paint all over myself in the process.) It was fun to pick coordinating colors for the room.
I started the trimming process by painting all the casings and trim before we cut them. We borrowed a table saw, miter saw, and nail gun to speed up the process. Trimming still took a while because of all the measuring required. The windows are all different sizes, and the octagons made for a special challenge when cutting angles.
We measured, cut, and nailed in casings and trim for all the windows and the door, filled cracks with caulk, and touched up the paint. The ceiling trim took less time to cut, but more time to caulk. It was tedious work, but it really transformed the room.
Trimming the apex of the room was a little tricky, but a jigsaw helped cut the oddly-shaped piece to go around the fan’s electrical box.
After comparing a few options, we decided to go with a thick, vinyl roll. I liked the color and figured it would be pretty easy to install and comfortable to walk on. We prepped the floor by scraping off dried joint compound, sweeping, sanding, and sweeping again. I then mopped as well as I could. After cutting the vinyl, gluing it down was really easy. Adding the floor trim afterward was also pretty simple, especially when compared to doing all the windows: much less measuring and cutting!
We glued down a small piece of carpet for the entry and added a transition to complete the look.
At this point, we only had a few things left to do. I scraped all the tape and paint flecks off the windows and cleaned them thoroughly. One didn’t come with a screen, so I bought a screen kit and made one. I swept and mopped the floor in preparation for furniture – the fun part!
The nice thing about adding furniture is that we didn’t have to buy much, just the folding table ($60) and TV ($50 from a yard sale). We already owned the rest of it or got it for free!
The cost of finishing the cabin was higher than expected, but we’d never done a project like this before and didn’t really know what to expect. All in all, it took 37 trips to the hardware store and about 7 weeks. 2 of those weeks were full-time with 2-3 people working on it, while the rest were just weekends with 2 people working on it. I think with 40 hours a week and 2 people, a project like this could be done in a month, assuming you didn’t hire out the electrical. (I don’t know what wait times and prices are like for a job like that.)
We ended up spending $53 per square foot when adding on to the house would’ve cost $100 per square foot. Best of all, we paid for all of it in cash, which wouldn’t have been possible with an add-on. Turning a shed into a cabin ended up being a great project, even though it wasn’t quick or easy.