Ely, MN | Cabin |Residential


This “cabin” is actually a year-round home for a conservation-minded couple with a strong love of the outdoors. The house sits on an open, south-facing knoll on a largely wooded lot above White Iron Lake. While it has all the amenities of a full-time residence, the character of the home is pure north woods cabin. Timber frame details were used in the covered entry, the screened porch, and the interior loft. Exterior cedar lap siding is complemented with regional basswood paneling inside. Local stone provides the backdrop for the wood stove.

About 1800 square feet of living space is contained in this one story home with a generous loft. The main floor is designed for aging in place, with an open kitchen, living and dining area. Utility & laundry spaces, as well as a master suite fill out the remainder of the first floor. A southwest screened porch and south deck provide outdoor living space and easy connection to the beautiful scenery surrounding this site.

The south-sloping site was ideal for passive solar gain, and the super-insulated house benefits from the light and warmth of the sun in this very cold climate. Double-stud walls and deep roof trusses are filled with cellulose, and triple-glazed windows and terrace doors help maintain comfort while using a minimum of energy. This all-electric home will soon have a 4 kW grid-tied solar PV system on the garage roof, and the goal is to head toward net-zero energy use.