What the DIY Blog Cabin Sweepstakes Was (and What Happened to It)

Blog Cabin's Background, Yearly Winners, and Ending

Exterior of the 2016 DIY Blog Cabin
The 2016 DIY Blog Cabin. Image (c) Scripps Network, Used with Permission

The DIY Blog Cabin Sweepstakes was a big home giveaway that ran from 2006 through 2016 on the DIY Network, one of the Scripps Networks' television channels. It was a very popular giveaway throughout its ten-year run with 43 million entries in its final year. In 2017, it was superseded by the DIY Network's Ultimate Retreat Giveaway.

What Was the DIY Blog Cabin Sweepstakes?

The DIY Blog Cabin Sweepstakes was one of several luxury home giveaways offered by Scripps Networks every year.

What set the Blog Cabin Sweepstakes apart from the other giveaways was that viewers would choose many of the details of the home as it was built. The Blog Cabin giveaway's motto was: "You Design It, We Build It, You Could Win It!"

Leading up to each home's construction, DIY gave viewers the opportunity to vote on the features it should have, crowdsourcing major decisions to end up with a home that each winner was sure to love.

Origins of the Blog Cabin Giveaway

In 1997, HGTV started a new television series where they would build a luxurious new house on the air, then let one person win it in their HGTV Dream Home Sweepstakes.

A decade later, HGTV's sister network, the DIY Network, created a similar giveaway in its own do-it-yourself style, and the Blog Cabin was born.

Instead of a fancy dream home in a high-rent area, the DIY Network gave away a rustic cabin and let its blog readers pick the details of each cabin by voting on the features.

For example, the blog readers might be given the option to pick between two different styles for the master bedroom suite or to decide which colors to paint the walls in the living room.

The Blog Cabin home usually had a lower estimated value as the house given away in HGTV's Dream Home Sweepstakes, but it was still a dream to win (and a more affordable home means that the winners have to pay less in taxes on their prize).

Each year's cabin was lovingly designed with luxurious features and the locations were stunning. Waterfront properties, mountain getaways, and other lovely locations were chosen for each year's Blog Cabin.

Why Was It Called a "Blog" Cabin?

The name of DIY's big giveaway was a play on words, combining "log cabin" with a "weblog".

What does a weblog have to do with the giveaway? Well, the DIY Network published a blog on their website describing the entire process of constructing and giving away the cabin. The DIY Network used the blog to detail the different options for each feature and to collect the votes that would decide which features were built.

Blog Cabins and Their Winners Throughout the Years:

2016: The 2016 Blog Cabin was located in Panacea, Florida. The winner of the $900,000+ prize package was Michael Dunosky of San Jose, California.

2015: Blog Cabin 2015 was built on a hilltop in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. It was won by Albert Zaranka.

2014: The 2014 Blog Cabin was located on the waters of Lake Hamilton in Winter Haven, Florida. The winner was Bradley Powell.

2013: The 2013 Blog Cabin offered stunning views of Core Sound in North Carolina. Culver City, California resident Mari Cabrera-Hickerson won the 2013 giveaway.

2012: DIY chose Waldoboro, Maine as the setting for the 2012 Blog Cabin, which was won by Josephine Turner of Butler, Kentucky.

2011: The farmhouse-style Blog Cabin 2011 was set in Mathews, Virginia. The 2011 winner was Carol Livingston of Cincinnati, Ohio.

2010:  The 2010 Blog Cabin had the Catskill Mountains of New York as its setting. The winner was North Carolina resident Tony Marino.

2009: The mountains of Asheville, North Carolina was the location of the 2009 Blog Cabin. The winner, children's book author Margi Wolff, comes from Fort Myers, Florida herself.

2008: The 2008 Blog Cabin was set in the Lakefront Estates community on the Watts Bar Lake in East Tennessee. The winner was Patricia "Gayle" Donaldson of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

2007: The very first Blog Cabin was built over a 13-part television series that started airing in August of 2007.

Located in the Smoky Mountains, the 2007 Blog Cabin was won by Joyce Bennett.