The Story Behind Family Handyman’s Getaway Project

Discover how we're turning a second dream home into a DIY reality.

This past year filled our dreams with visions of getting away from it all. The stress of everyday life during a pandemic combined with economic and social uncertainty has fueled our desire for wide open spaces, nature and freedom.

Home and cabin prices sky-rocketed over the past year, leaving little opportunity for folks to purchase places that would provide these much-needed escapes. Rather than waiting for the market to level out, Family Handyman wants to help empower you to create your own escape.

It’s this concept that is the heart of the Family Handyman Getaway. Our team of editors spent months designing a modern, functional second home from the ground up in the picturesque woods of Northern Wisconsin. The measurable, easily digestible stages of this project will reinforce the notion that you, too, can build a similar second home over the course of a few months or even a few years – whatever pace meets your needs. A key component of this project is clearly outlining every aspect that is DIY, which offers you ways to save money during each phase of the build. Certain aspects of any home build are not DIY and we’ll cover those, too. 

The Build

Our Getaway is a 1,000-square-foot second home located on a quiet lake in the small community of Weyerhaeuser, Wisconsin. This home completely redefines what it means to have a “cabin in the woods” and will forever inspire our millions of readers to rethink the traditional building materials commonly used in cabin builds. We have designed and are building a 2-bedroom/1-bath home complete with a basement, a state-of-the-art kitchen and modern furnishings. Unique to a project of this kind is our glass garage door, which opens up to the main living space. Also included will be a massive deck space and a walkout basement complete with a path made out of repurposed natural materials that leads you straight to the lakefront, where you and your family would likely be spending much of your time fishing, swimming and soaking up the natural surroundings.

The Getaway is the most ambitious and exciting project that Family Handyman has undertaken in its 70-year history. We are excited to share with readers our deep understanding of home improvement trends and innovative building materials while staying true to our DIY roots.

We couldn’t be more excited to bring you along on our journey and to share with you everything about our finished home, including how to build or where to buy everything you see.

Keep checking the Getaway’s webpage for updates, photos, videos and project plans.  

Cool Fact About Weyerhaeuser, Wisconsin

Weyerhaeuser is a small town located about two hours northeast of Minneapolis, MN. The cozy town is home to a few hundred residents and was named after timber and logging magnate Frederick Weyerhaeuser in the late 1800’s. He went on to found the Weyerhaeuser Timber Company, which is still a thriving force in the lumber industry headquartered in Seattle, WA.

Amy Novak
Amy is Family Handyman’s Executive Editor, leading a talented team of digital editors in producing helpful home improvement projects, expert tips, stellar product recommendations and DIY inspiration. Working in digital media for nearly two decades, Amy loves sharing stories and useful information that empowers readers to build, renovate, clean or fix things themselves. When she’s not at work, Amy can be found running through a state park, soaking up a beach or tending to her expansive veggie garden with her partner, three kids and two dogs.