August 13, 2013

Northern Minnesota Custom Lake Home | Mitchell Watkins Construction

The other day I met some kind ladies at a garage sale.  The kind who make me believe in "Minnesota Nice."  In talking to one of them, I told her I would post photos that I was recently able to take of some of Mitch's work. 
So here goes: 
Mitch completed this custom lake home, accessed only by water, in 2012. 
I described the project in detail & and shared interior photos HERE. 
Mitch is very particular about quality of craftsmanship, and hires just one or two other trusted carpenters to work with him as needed.  As a general contractor, he works hands on start to finish and did a fair amount of the constructing of this project solo.  A neighbor was keeping tabs on the project, stopping daily, and wondered if he had a crew hiding in the woods, as building progressed.  That's Mitch.   
Exterior / Siding: Cedar board and batten.
The three-sided wrap around porch is half screened (all custom built on site.)

The open side of the porch enters near the utility & storage room, as well as the fireplace in the great room. 
Porch framing & timbers are Douglas Fir.  Mitch had the metal brackets custom fabricated back home.

The screened side of the porch is off the kitchen & dining side of the great room, extending both living & dining room space to the outdoors.

I'm  a super-fan of exposed rafter tails. 

Mitch sawed the light post at the dock out of a cedar log from our woods.
(It's one of my favorite things - seeing a piece of lumber and knowing where it grew.)

His work on this project drew quite a local following and has added to the considerable demand for his services in the area.  He has since overseen construction of the new Voyagaire Lodge.
He's just finishing up another smaller lake cabin in the area..  

And then we're keeping him closer to home for a while! ☺  

In case you missed it, check out the interior of the cabin here.


  1. Fantastic dream home and your photos compliment the structure-lucky people to have found Mitch to build this dream for them and on water's edge no less...

  2. So this explains his long absences from home. Amazing work, I love the diligence, creativity and sheer hard work in creating such a strong and beautiful home. No wonder you want to keep him closer to home - looking forward to seeing more of home and his work.

  3. wow. just incredibly wow. such a GORGEOUS lake home and such fabulous construction!!!

  4. What a talented man! I so respect people who take pride in the quality of their work...not everyone does :(

  5. It's easy to see why Mitch is in such demand. This cabin is absolutely gorgeous. You're likely to have trouble keeping him closer to home.

  6. He's really got talent and an eye for design and details! It must have been a pleasure for him to built / design knowing that he can use a specific lumber if needed - that's such a treat for the customers! I just love every detail in this cabin - also how naturally it suits to the environment - the trees,forest ... somehow smelting into the landscape! Oh enjoy having him close by!!! I hope that he'd get Projects close by (I Wonder if some of the architecture- magazines would take in an article with your Photos of his project?!)
    I look forward of cathing up your former posts, Amanda! I'm slowly "coming back" / landing from the Holiday mode - It's been a good week at home, we've (my hubby and the boys :) painted our juniors room, driven to the forest almost every day to walk ... seeing a bit Family and just "being".
    Tomorrow back to Work & school start ... Finding the rhytm & routines once again :)
    All the best to you,

  7. He is obviously very talented.

  8. WOW!! What a beautiful place.. I can see why your husband is in high demand. This place is gorgeous..


  9. Really cool...and so beautiful!

  10. Mitch is so, so talented! That building is amazing. He has done some gorgeous work here!

  11. All I can say is, WOW! This is truly a work of art! I am in love with this and it really is a dream home. Your husband is so talented!

  12. Your husband's work looks to be very precise. AH! To own that cabin would be paradise!

  13. If I ever end up in your part of the world I know whom to hire ! Exceptionally wonderfully done....great craftmanship .We have an old farmhouse in France which we slowly but surely make into a house for the holidays and for the children to escape to....I know what work is involved! Your husbands work is incredible!

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