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Vintage Family Handyman Project from 1982: How to Build a Weekend Retreat

Family Handyman has always taken great pride in teaching readers to DIY through step-by-step projects. To celebrate our 70th anniversary, here's a look back at this vintage weekend retreat project.

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1982: Weekend Retreat Project

Family Handyman first launched in 1951, so 2021 marks our 70th anniversary. We’re celebrating with some of our favorite content from over the years. This vintage weekend retreat project ran in our July/August 1982 issue.

“Who hasn’t dreamed of having a place to get away from it all?” writer Owen Kampen asked. This article took readers through building a DIY retreat “for the price of a new car,” which in 1982 translated to $9,380.

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Weekend Retreat Plans

“We began building a new model based on a 14-ft. x 18-ft. floor plan and a sleeping loft. We took into account that low square footage saves money, and building up is less expensive than building out.”

Check out these Family Handyman vintage truck ads from the ‘80s.

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The Building Process

“So our dream became a fact, and in the process we had changed and learned not only carpentry skills, but the wonderful ‘can do’ feelings of self-reliance. And, if we could do it, so can you.”

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The Freestanding Fireplace

“A freestanding fireplace heats the entire cabin is below-zero weather. The sleeping loft catches the rising heat and is warm and snug.”

For more amazing vintage Family Handyman content, visit our 70th Anniversary Page.