Dreaming of a life off the grid? Perhaps a dreamy small cabin would be the perfect home to suit that lifestyle. A quick search online for small cabins, and you’ll be greeted with warm, wooden aesthetics that is bound to tempt anyone to move right in. For those looking to downsize and move away from the hustle and bustle of city life, a small cabin surrounded in nature could be a refreshing change.
If you’re keen to find out more about this type of tiny home, keep reading on for ideas, tips and other information you’ll need about having your own small cabin.
Defining a Small Cabin
Cabins are generally defined as wooden houses that are located in a wild or remote area. They’re generally small in size and simple in looks, making it the perfect type of a tiny home. Small cabins also have rustic features, such as logs and uses wood in as many parts of the house as possible. The less-finished look is also a part of its unique selling point – the warm and comforting feel is what you would need when living in the great outdoors.
Today, cabins can be more complex and have better amenities. They’re also often built with porches and decks for even more space outside the cabin. In addition to the use wood, other materials would be used for decorative purposes or functional properties. Many cabins are now being constructed the same way traditional houses are built.
Types of Cabins
Cabins aren’t necessarily made out of wood these days. Many DIYers have taken it upon themselves to provide cabins with a fresh new looking using different materials. Take a look at some of these types of cabins for some building inspiration:
- Steel cabins. Apart from its interesting look, these are super resilient, being able to handle wind speeds of up to 150 mph and up to 30 pounds per square foot of snow.
- Contemporary cabins. If you’re inspired by the wood-heavy design of a cabin but are looking for something more modern, consider going for a contemporary plan that incorporates features like large windows and steel finishes.
- Shipping container cabins. Containers can withstand various climates and are versatile enough for your tiny house plans. These strong containers make for a great country cabin and a stylish one when combined with wood flooring and other finishes.
- Cabins on wheels. Not looking to stay in one spot? You can have that exact cabin style home on a trailer that you can take with you on your travels. Tiny houses on wheels are fully customizable, allowing you to play around with size and style.
How to DIY a Small Cabin
Traditionally, small cabins are shelters in the woods that are made with simple tools, lived by the one person who built it. Now, you can have your own small cabin without having to spend a laborious amount of time building it for you and the family. Many manufacturers are now offering DIY kits that allow you to whip up a log cabin from the ground up with ease.
On the other hand, there are tons of resources out there if you want to build it completely yourself. There are websites, such as Tiny Home Builders that offer downloadable building plans, as well as workshops and guides.
Don’t worry if you’re not the builder type – there are many other options for you to still get the cabin that you’ve always envisioned. Depending on how involved you want to be in building your cabin, companies can often do the whole process for you from design to build.
Nowadays, prefabs are also a convenient and preferable way of building tiny homes, which can also be done for small cabins. It will take less time and material to build, meaning it will also be more affordable.
Costs of Building a Small Cabin
The biggest expenses you’ll make when building a small cabin are your materials and hardware. Timber and logs can easily add up to become the most expensive part of your build. To save costs, you may be required to think creatively in where you source your materials, as well as tools and equipment.
The average cost of your small cabin will depend on a lot of factors, including the complexity of design and types of materials used. Very simple cabins with minimal amenities can cost as little as $3,000 to build, while more modern plans with premium features can cost as much as $192,000.
Off Grid Small Cabin
Whether you’re having your cabin on wheels or permanently built on a foundation, it’s possible to live off the grid. Living off the grid has many benefits, including sustainability, self-sufficiency, and long-term savings. Here are few things to consider for an off grid small cabin:
- Sustainability and conservation. While building a cabin out of logs may not seem sustainable at first – as you are chopping down trees for the sake of building your home – it will be if you replant a tree or two for every one you bring down.
- Pick the right land. To live off grid successfully, you’ll need to find land that will have the natural resources you need. Choosing land off grid is more than the convenience of school locations or shopping centers – it’s whether you’ll have enough sunlight for your solar power panels or water to sustain you nearby.
- Effective tools. Being self-sufficient means that you’ll need to own the right tools for all aspects, including building and repair, farming, and hunting. Although some may not choose to go fully self-sufficient, it’s always best to invest in proper tools to make the job easier.
Small cabins are the epitome of humble and country life, and it can be yours with some careful planning and a little bit of elbow grease. It’s the perfect solution for those looking for a more minimal lifestyle or to connect with the great outdoors. The use of natural materials like timber combined with its petite size can also significantly reduce your carbon footprint. While cabins generally conjure pictures of rugged wooden shacks, they have redefined its meaning and are fully customizable to suit everyone’s personal preferences.