I want to build a small cabin. How do I design it?

by Jeremy Kiperte

Site where I want to build a small cabin

Site where I want to build a small cabin

Next year I want to build a small cabin for hunting and just as a retreat. I have four acres with some woods, but a neighbor has given me permission to cut logs from his woods.
I am not sure how to get started designing the cabin. Did you draw out your plans or have an architect do that for you? I think I could do it myself since the cabin won't be wired for electricity or have running water. I plan to get one of those self composting toilets. Can you give me any tips? Thank you very much. -Jeremy Kiperte

You are about to begin an exciting adventure! Don't let this scare you. It is easy to build a small cabin. The first thing to establish is the average size of the logs you have access to. What type of wood, length and diameter.
Once this is covered you can build according to the materials around you. Think about what you would like for a foundation. Will it be local rocks or directly on the ground? I would encourage you to read through my website. There are many tips to build a small cabin.
I cover all the basics. If you have more questions feel free to ask! Also I would love updates and pictures. Good luck-Banjoe

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Mar 18, 2011
Your Small Cabin Design
by: Reg Garratt

Hi Jereme,

I too would encourage you to build a log cabin. I had the time of my life building mine with a friend in the foothills of the Rockies in Canada. I firmly believe that anyone with even very average skills in using tools can quite easily build a log cabin.
Designing can be a riot because here is where you get to do exactly what you as an individual wants to do----which can be totally unique to you as a person. In other words making it with your personal touch. And in this regard design plays a key role.
You could hire an architect --but you would miss out on the pleasure of doing this creatively yourself.
I started by putting some pegs in the ground where I wanted to build and then I could determine where I wanted the door to be and windows etc. These will get cut into the logs after the walls are built.You do not have to know exactly where they will go until walls are built.
Most of our designing(I built with a friend of mine)was drawn on serviettes in coffee shops where I would meet with my friend to discuss the prose and cons of each step.
One thing to remember in design is proportion.ie a square cabin would look strange --but as soon as you draw it on paper you'll see how you want it to look.5/8 is the standard rule of architecture. If you keep that in mind you won't be disappointed.
Designing your own cabin can be an absolute BLAST.
I strongly encourage it.

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