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Our Philipsburg, MT Trip - August 2013

Upon our arrival in Philipsburg we called Gary and arranged to meet him and his buddy Allyn at "The Station" for a late afternoon dinner before driving up Tower Road. The gravel road winds from town up between two small mountains. The road is a typical mountain road, narrow, gravel, mountain on one side and trees clinging to the rocks on the other. We noticed this sign just before the road narrowed and turned into a rock strewn dirt road that leads to Gary's new home.

Road sign

There was another sign warning that this section is not frequently maintained and to enter at your own risk. We learned a day or two later that this sign is typical of many roads in Granite County, and is used as a way to protect the county from law suits for roads too difficult to maintain on a regular basis. This bad section of road is not more than a city block long before it reaches Gary's drive, hidden from view by the trees on the right in the picture below.

Rough stretch of road

The structure as we found it is shown below. In this picture we have done a bit of investigating to determine how it was constructed as we made plans for the remodel. This cabin was constructed in 2007 as a hunting retreat and we suspect the reason for the garage door was to allow entry of ATV's, etc. The building is 20' wide by 30' long and is very well built. The walls are framed with 2 X 6's, fully insulated both in the walls and ceiling. It is sheated with 5/8" OSB and is sided with salvage corrugated tin on the lower 4' and rough sawn solid pine above. The roof is a standing seam metal roof with no exposed fasteners making is a very long lived roof.

Exterior view

The inside of the structure is fully finished with 5/8 sheet rock and painted an oyster white. The south wall is covered with the same tin and has a clear fir mantle running the length of the wall. The insulated sliding glass windows are installed high on the wall to keep them out of reach of snow drifts in the winter. The concrete floor is very highly finished and we did not find a single crack in it.

Interior view of garage door end of structure

Gary and Allyn drove to Missoula on Saturday morning to pick up material that Gary had ordered in advance of the closing and Sandy and I started moving material that the previous owner had left behind. We found a large pile of the wood siding wrapped tightly in house wrap and tarps. The siding, which is 1 X 10's and 1 X 4's, was stained to match the existing structure and in perfect condition. We also moved some of the metal roof material left from construction of the car port as well as other odds and ends of framing and sheating material.

Sheathing a new wall

Our first project when the material arrived was to frame in the overhead door opening and sheat it to match the existing structure. I had removed all the exterior trim prior to the return of Gary and Allyn so it was a quick project to complete this framing. With the sheating installed we installed the Anderson window we had purchased at the Renew Store in Spirit Lake, IA. While I worked on the tin siding Gary and Allyn hooked up the air compressor and removed the garage door from the insde of the structure.

Siding begins

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