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Brent Thies describes the western Wisconsin place he's listed as a condo-style cabin in the woods.

Three years ago, Thies bought the 13-acre property with 240 feet of lakeshore bordering a wetland inhabited by sandhill cranes. The property is on Two Bear Lake, a former Boy Scout campground turned residential community.

In collaboration with the DIY home improvement streaming service Family Handyman, he built the retreat in Weyerhaeuser, Wis. — with all the bells and whistles of contemporary condo living.

"Family Handyman reached out to me knowing that I had the land," said Thies, who owns a jewelry business in Minneapolis' North Loop.

"I loved their ideas and the style," he said, which included high ceilings. "I really love that feel, and a lot of windows to connect to nature."

Community building

Family Handyman documented 100 days of construction on the two-bedroom, two-bath cabin on its website.

"They wanted a project where they could show things like how to install a steel roof and siding. And so they spearheaded the project based on things like that that they wanted to highlight," Thies said. "What we ended up with was something completely hand-built — the structure was built by the Amish, which was pretty cool."

The footprint of 1,800 square feet was just what the family needed. The layout was similar to what you might see with a modern condo, albeit this space has picturesque views from all four sides.

The structure includes patio-style garage doors that open up to an 18-foot-wide veranda with lake views. A lower-level walkout conveniently allows the family to head straight to the lakefront. Durable materials include white oak floors, and energy-efficient features include LED lights throughout.

"It's a unique property. It's that ability to have something very modern and maintenance-free in the woods," Thies said.

One with nature

Having zero maintenance responsibilities has allowed Thies, his wife, Catherine, and their sons, 13 and 9, to sit back and relax whenever they make the less than two-hour drive from their place in the Twin Cities.

Two Bear Lake, a protected wildlife sanctuary, sits on a 39-acre private, nonmotorized lake and has a private beach for residents.

"Everybody on the lake has paddleboards, electric pontoons or electric boats," he said. "The kids loved going fishing and then swimming at the beach."

Another favorite warm weather pastime is when the "On the Dock" series rolls around. "That's when the musicians on the lake go out and play on their docks and everyone pulls up their canoes and boats," Thies said. "It's primarily guitar, and then we've also had a couple of ambitious DJs."

In the winter, Christie Mountain ski hill 20 minutes away in Bruce, Wis., is a regular stop. "Our kids learned to ski there," Thies said. "It's like a little time capsule for skiing. You buy a lift ticket that comes with the equipment and lunch."

Thies said as much as his family has enjoyed the place, their increasingly busy lives have taken their time and attention away from Two Bear Lake. "We live in the Twin Cities, and then we're traveling quite a bit, so we're not using it as much," he said.

Listing agent Mike Lynch said the property is the best of contemporary lake living.

"This cabin is remarkable. The only thing I can compare it to is a condo at the Legacy or Stonebridge Lofts in downtown Minneapolis," but on a tranquil lake environment, he said.

Mike Lynch (; 612-619-8227) of Lakes Sotheby's International Realty has the $675,000 listing.