Free Small Cabin Plans that will Knock your Socks Off

by M.D. Creekmore on July 11, 2011 · 38 comments



These small cabin plans were sent to me by B Fockler and with his permission, I’m sharing them here with you. If you’ve ever wanted to build a small cabin these are a great set of free small cabin plans.

To view the full-sized free cabin plans right-click on the image.

free small cabin plans

free small cabin plans

free small cabin plans

free small cabin plans

free small cabin plans

38 comments

GA Mom July 11, 2011 at 9:03 am

Perfect timing for me! Thank you!!

axelsteve July 13, 2011 at 11:59 am

For these tiny cabins I would have to have a basement to keep preps.Being canned peaches or a reloading area for ammo. Those cabins may be cute however if you don`t want to live in a cell or think of living with someone.You don`t want to live with someone that you can hear there blood circulate. Steve

Tomthetinker July 11, 2011 at 9:05 am

MD: I love simplicity. Mommasan loves the ‘long Porch’ layout. Do you have much in the way of slope at your new property? I can see this cabin facing a nice sunrise…. er sunset. Feet on the rail burning a nice cigar….. ice tea or… a beer in the other hand at sunset… or strong coffee and a plate of hashbrowns and eggs for a sunrise! Envy MD!

TexasScout July 11, 2011 at 11:06 am

No shower?

I can take a lot, but that’s not one of them.

HandAxeProMan July 11, 2011 at 11:35 am

Thanks MD. I am looking for property and the plans with the long porch really hit my wife’s fancy.

T.R July 11, 2011 at 1:48 pm

The last one reminds me of the cabins we used to stay at in Maine , Simple and comfortable , isolated , 30 ft away from the Atlantic ocean . Wish we would have bought one back then when we had the chance ………oh well , thats the way it is ………..

Spook45 July 11, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I have a minimalists theory about building a cheap house. You know those prefab storage sheds they sale at home depot? well they make a real big two story one that is built just like a small house(with a few minor changes) they range in price from 5 to 7k. two of those back to back over a block basement would be an adiquate space for a small home. Add insulation, wiring, and finish the inside(planked, panaling or drywall, whatever you want) and you have a cozy lil home that very cheap. I estimate(doing most of the work yourself) that you could finish it completely for under 25000 total. That is cheap in todays world for such a fine home. You would have an extra set of stairs(to use for the basement) and lumber from the extra back wall(this could be taken off of the total for dividing walls etc.) you would basicly have four large rooms to subdivide and make into whatever rooms/spacial configuration you wanted too.

M.D. Creekmore July 11, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Spook45,

That would work – but I need to keep mine below $5000, so your plan is about $20,000 over my budget. I can still dream…

Pete July 11, 2011 at 5:53 pm

That sounds like used 30′ trailer territory or very small cabin with gleaned materials. What are your plans?

M.D. Creekmore July 11, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Pete,
Sounds about right – I can do the work myself and keep a cabin of say 16×20 under $5,000. This blog and my books are my only income and I’m not getting rich, infact I could make more working at Wal-Mart LOL. I’m just good at saving and living on very little.

K Fields July 11, 2011 at 10:49 pm

You should be OK with that budget. I just finished a 12 X 24′ building for right about $3,500. Pier foundation, story and a half, fir siding, comp. shingled gable roof with roughed-in electrical and plumbing (no internal finish though). Took 2 months part time work to complete.

Pete July 12, 2011 at 8:40 am

That’s a great accomplishment. In finishing my cabin I have found the real money is in the interior finishing. MD if you can finish the interior cheaply then you will be good-to-go.

T.R July 11, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Good idea but I wont own any home with a staircase . Single story or not at all .

gary in bama July 11, 2011 at 11:54 pm

T.R. 30 years on concrete floors and my knees agree single story only.Im only 47 but loading docks and wharehouses have made stairs unfriendly my boss tells me wait 10 years and i will feal like he does climing up to the offices.

T.R July 12, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Yep , Im your age and in decent shape with my knees ( knock on wood ) they are just a real pain in the ass to live in . Humping furniture up and down , just going up and down 60 times a day gets old very fast ! I did it once ( ex wife wanted the damn house ) screw that ! . If your a yankee back east with no land , you are forced to build them , but here in the southwest , the single story ranch style is by far the most comfortable house design to live in as far as quality of life goes . We have nothing but land out here .

"Big Jim" July 11, 2011 at 3:46 pm

MD , I like the one that has 384′ sq.ft….all a person needs!

I was wondering if you had given any thought or research on
the sm. domed homes ? There suppose to be the safest regarding storms , tornadoes , etc. Maybe just a domed roof of sorts ?

Deborah July 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm

These are some great plans for small cabins! Thanks!

Goldfinger July 11, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Cool plans.

blindshooter July 11, 2011 at 6:22 pm

I like the hip roof on a slab. Scale it up to about 900 square feet and I’d be happy. I’m beginning to hate steps. I’ve heard it said that a hip roof will stay on in hurricane land when the other roofs are gone, don’t know if its true or not but one of my neighbors said that after hurricane hazel came through eastern nc in the 50′s that the hip roofs held up so well many people rebuilt using that design.

With only 5k to work with you might want to use a plan that will allow easy expansion. Me, I’d go with a decent bathroom, bedroom and small cooking area, maybe around a wood stove. Then later if you snag a woman willing to live with you, you could expand. In my case finding the woman willing to live like I want will be the challenge (:^)

I hope whatever you decide to do works out well. Now I’ll shut up and start packing more of my junk to move soon.

blindshooter July 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Oh, I forgot this, check out the habitat stores. My nephew found a bunch of great plumbing stuff really cheap. They have kitchen appliances too but nothing that will work off grid except some propane stoves and maybe some lp space heaters. He bought some solid wood doors for like $5, just have to strip a lot of old paint off.

T.R July 11, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Subterranean houses are very cool ( and easy to hide on top ). Some very cool ones in Washington state . The temperature is very stable inside . And if you do what I do for a living , you could disguise any above ground structures to look like nature very easily . Perfect hide out .

Richard H July 12, 2011 at 4:13 pm

the only problem with this (a plan that I completely agree with) is energy. If you want to generate your own power you have to hide your source of power. (solar panels, wind turbine, water wheel, or generator) Or having it a good distance from your home and running long cables to your retreat.If you decide to live completely without electricity you will need a wood burning stove. This will require piping the smoke out of your home. You can do it but its good to keep these things in mind. Tell me what you decide on, especially if you have any ideas on how else to do it.

T.R July 12, 2011 at 5:49 pm

That is an issue . Admittedly , even as good as I am ( 17 years in the theme/exhibit/zoological industry ) there is only so much you can do and still have the device functional as far as electricity is concerned . We have to remember that the next best thing to direct concealment is diversion of attention . Either to something else or away from what you are attempting to hide . ( example : all the rubber tanks and planes moved around on the ground to screw up german air recon for the d day invasion .) A ” ruined ” homestead with not much left but the foundation and overgrown rubble with the rusty ” remains” of a windmill will be easily seen , briefly explored, then ignored . Cables will be needed no mater what . It is what it is . Also , and I cant tell you how , but there combinations of materials that can be used to cover solar panels that are opaque enough to fool but not interfere with the function . ( all the headstones in a ” pioneer ” graveyard may not be real . Smoke is another issue . The chimney is no problem to disguise at all to look like something else , BUT you either have to generally do one of two things . Either simply do all your cooking at night minimizing smoke detection or use a multiple exit chimney . What that does is split off the smoke into several directions , all of which only emit a small amount of smoke each , most of the time , not enough to see . They are a pain in the ass to build but thats the way it is , think of turning an octopus upside down with each arm being a chimney pipe . Only thing you cant hide is the lack of snow around the opening from the heat in winter . It is what it is . Important to remember also , that is , people will not go where there is not an obvious reason to go .

T.R July 12, 2011 at 11:15 pm

I would like to add as well , this is where a still would come in handy . Alcohol burns clean ! Remember the old wood / kerosene stove combos ? I’m out of my element here but would think that it could be converted to burning alcohol in place of kerosene . Food preparation smells are what they are , I dont think you can do much about that . One can only take things so far , and then hope for the best after that point .

rachel July 11, 2011 at 7:10 pm

beautifully done

Jim July 11, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Personally, I like square buildings, so 20×20 would be more to my liking, uses the same amount of materials as a 16×24 but gives more useable space and larger bedroom. Of course, hip-roofing won’t help any but could be made into a small upper room with proper pitch, as would any style roofline.
Good luck with the building, MD- hope it’s done by winter. Exterior, anyway: you can use the winter time to finish inside (and feel the temp rise as you go along).

Under the radar in ND July 11, 2011 at 11:58 pm

I think a “garage” package from Menards/Lowes/HD would also work well for a basic house shell. 20×20 for $3,200 – 24×24 for $3,500. Obviously, the garage door is unusable but I suspect you could convince them to keep the door and throw in a couple of windows or sliding door instead.

gary in bama July 12, 2011 at 12:12 am

M.D. i do like the plans but i do think a loft as part of dailey living space is not good .M.D. look at 4×8 ship lap for the extirior very strong and looks rustic and a 16 x24 cabin will take 20 sheets at 27.00 a sheet. pull up shotgun houses for a few inside lay out ideas.Oh and the bathroom is a lot easyer if done as an add on like a lot of the old farm houses had, you know low roof a 8×8 floor plan on the side or back of the original house you still see them in the country around your area i know. Good luck and make the house reflect your tastes and needs.A house is a home not an investment instrament and taxes are just goverment rent.

gary in bama July 12, 2011 at 12:17 am
Omo Bob July 12, 2011 at 1:46 am

MD, Check out these plans if you want to consider fire-earthquake-tornado-bullet-proof construction within your price range…I’ve seen these, and they’re pretty impressive. http://calearth.org/building-designs/index.html

Ellen July 12, 2011 at 1:58 am

Well I don’t have 2 cents to put in so it will have to be a haha penny.
Like small but not thumbalina.
I am kinda medium large means I am not teena
Have to have room for belly most herniation.
Need lots of counters in the kitchen for flopped creations.
Don’t want to hold breathe trying to fit on the throne.
But no need to worry no invite recieved to visit your home.

Good luck and hope you have a blessed new digs.

Lint Picker (Northern California) July 12, 2011 at 7:52 am

When MD is ready to make the final and permanent move to his new digs, maybe we could all meet up at his former homesite and give him a going away party. We could camp/park there and party all night. We could practice our stealth maneuvers and use our nifty spotbeam flashlights and burn up some ammo and generally make life miserable for the a-holes neighbors who shot his dog, stole his stuff, and pushed him out of his 2-acre place. IOW, they’d get to see preppers they will never see on Nat Geo!

SrvivlSally July 12, 2011 at 2:45 am

I am torn between the 384 and 484 s.f. plans. A loft is nice but if you ever hurt yourself good, your back/leg/foot/etc., you would not make it up there so easily and is when you would need a sofa that turns into a sleeper. For storage, a loft would be ideal as long as the ladder sits at an angle with a solid hand rail on either side. If the budget is tight, stay in your trailer for a while until the time is right to build. Lofts should have a raisable ladder outside so that a homeowner can keep trespassers from having access but still be able to lower it with a strong rope when they want to. I could see a nice covered and enclosed porch extending out from the loft so that if it were used as a computer room it would be a good area to go to take a break, read a book, watch wildlife, think, whittle or put up the feet. I would truly enjoy seeing it before and after completion, inside and out.

Richard H July 12, 2011 at 3:01 am

I love the idea and the general simplicity, but I would make mine partially or mostly underground. It helps to keep it cool during the summer and insulated during the winter. It also makes it easier to hide i.e lots of dirt. even when living partially or completely off-grid you must remember OPSEC.

Lint Picker (Northern California) July 12, 2011 at 7:15 am

Well, I guess I’ll toss my 2 cents in here now. I’ve looked at these plans over and over and I keep thinking: Why reinvent the wheel?

Why not build the 384′ cabin, but leave out the kitchen area and instead put in a small woodstove?

Next, pour a pad right beside your cabin and park your trailer on it. Build a barn around it; with siding, roof, and windows to match the exterior of your cabin. Install an RV garage door on one end so you can move your trailer out if you want to travel across country or bugout. Then build an enclosed catwalk from the cabin to the trailer so you can get to the trailer’s kitchen and cook and eat in there. There’s already a refrigerator, stove, cabinets, and sink in the trailer, so no worries about needing to built a kitchen area in the cabin. Plus, no need to add HVAC in the cabin since you have the woodstove for heat and AC in the trailer.

Now your travel trailer serves multiple purposes without any work – you’ve got a guest room with bath, a kitchen that’s ready to use, and plenty of storage room right there. Plus, you’ll have space inside the trailer barn for storing tools, firewood, etc.

As long as the garage door is closed, it appears to be two cabins and possibly two families living side-by-side, which could deter intruders.

When you want to visit Rawles in his American Redoubt, you just hook up your trailer, shutter your cabin, close the garage door and away you go – everything locked up tight.

riverrider July 14, 2011 at 11:11 am

md, i think you could still build the northbay for 5k and its easy to add on to if needed.

awtnot July 16, 2011 at 1:42 am

I built a pole barn from pines cut on site.20×24 with8x16 shed for a kitchen, small bath under stairs leading up to the loft. Plans were from the library. Roofing,elect.,plumbing,saw milling fee,windows,tips to cement truck drivers for left over concrete all totaled about 8 thousand in 2005. Hope this helps.

Jeff October 4, 2011 at 7:18 am

Right clicking on the plans only shows them at the same indecipherable size they are shown in the article. Any way a larger set could be posted?
Love the entire concept and simplicity of it from what I am able to see!
thanx

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