What can $100 get you these days?

Well, you could buy some cheap furniture, a nice meal for two, or a gorgeous rustic cabin.

To be fair, when Richard Aiken found this old, dilapidated property, it was hardly “gorgeous.” In fact, it was hardly a cabin.

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Richard Aiken/Imgur

Weeks before, Aiken had posted an ad, hoping to find a log cabin at a reasonable price. A man responded to the ad, offering Aiken a free rotting cabin that was at least 100 years old; Aiken insisted on paying $100 as a matter of principle.

It wasn’t much to look at. Most of the wood was rotting, the roof had collapsed, and a tree had fallen onto it. Most people would burn the cabin down and start over.

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Richard Aiken/Imgur

Aiken, of course, is not most people. He described the cabin to Reddit as “a real find.”

“It was two stories, with a very large ‘pen’ of about 21-22 feet square,” Aiken said. ” The material was massive white oak beams, hand hewn and squared with half dovetail notches. Most logs were in excellent condition.”

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Richard Aiken/Imgur

Aiken is a self-described “hillbilly,” and he’s not afraid of a hard day’s work. This cabin required quite a bit of TLC, but he immediately got to work, clearing out debris and marking the logs.

Aiken then moved the cabin to his own property, where he had the perfect location—a spot so beautiful that Aiken’s wife began crying when she saw it.

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Richard Aiken/Imgur

Before setting the cabin in place, they started digging, as they wanted to have a basement for food and wine storage. Unfortunately, they hit bedrock six feet down, which meant that the cabin would have to be reconstructed several feet above ground to make room for the basement.

He then made new floor joists of white oak. Aiken says that he regretted cutting down more trees for the cabin.

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Richard Aiken/Imgur

“The roof and porch purlins were made from hickory and ash found on the property,” he said, “more unfortunate but necessary sacrifices. The ridgepole is white oak—a critical and challenging installation. Shingles are split cedar shakes.”

He also incorporated a hearth into the reborn cabin. After all, what’s the purpose of a cabin without a nice, inviting fireplace?

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Richard Aiken/Imgur

“[The Rumford hearth] is a brilliant design widely adopted to optimize heat transfer within a room,” Aiken said.

“The design is tall and shallow with angled sides to radiate better into the room. Also the throat is narrow and streamlined so as to quickly remove smoke but not hot air. The hearth is even with the flooring so that moving a chair or stool close to the fire is facilitated. The hearth is wide and deep for cooking.”

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Richard Aiken/Imgur

In total, the restoration took a decade (and, of course, much more than $100). But to Aiken, the process was part of the glory of the cabin. Located in the heart of the Ozarks, it’s a testament to the power of hard work, and it’s an absolutely beautiful retreat for the Aiken family.

“I hope I shall never finish working with this log cabin,” he said. “Never stop the silence.”

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Richard Aiken/Imgur

Check out more of the project on Reddit.

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