By Krista Bradley
Stories in this Outlook series highlight the distinctive experiences of classified staff from across the campus spectrum.
Sheila Bycofski keeps busy with work -- at the office and at home. An Ohio University employee for the past 22 years in the College of Osteopathic Medicine's communication office, the Athens County native has been busy since fall 2007 fulfilling a lifelong dream with her husband, Scott, of building their own log cabin from scratch.
How are you and Scott making your dream come true?
We come home from working full time every day, and then we go to work on our cabin. We work until nine or 10 every night, go to bed, and then start all over again. We also work on it every weekend. We will work on our cabin until we're done.
Sounds like a lot of work!
We keep saying to ourselves, 'We have to keep going to get this done so that we can go fishing and relax again someday.' That's what keeps us going -- the fact that one day we will finally be done. Then we can sit back and relax!
Why not just build your cabin from a kit?
We considered kits, but they were all too expensive and too perfect. We wanted a more primitive home. And our friend built his own cabin and helped us start our project.
How did you begin the building process?
The first things we did were to build our pond on the property and log the oak and cherry trees from our land. These cherry logs were cut into boards to be used for the interior walls, flooring and ceiling. The boards have been drying for the past two years.
What did you do in the meantime when the boards were drying?
We purchased truckloads of pine logs from a logging friend and sawed them into D-shaped logs and pine boards with a portable sawmill.
What are D-shaped logs?
A D-shaped log has a three-sided cut. Three sides are flat for stacking and the interior wall; the last side is rounded for the outside of the cabin. Once these were cut, my husband started notching and grooving all our logs. At the same time, I was hand hewing the logs with an antique draw knife, like one used back in the old days.
When will your cabin be finished?
We hope to have the main structure of the house complete to move in by Christmas of this year. Next year we hope to add on another section to our back deck and a sun room to overlook our pond.
What have you and Scott learned from your experience?
This log cabin wouldn't be possible without the help of our family and friends. There were things we couldn't do on our own, and they stepped up when we really needed them. We've built this cabin from the ground up. Not very many people nowadays could ever say they built their own home, but we did and we are so very, very proud.