If you’ve been prepping for any length of time, you’ve probably realized that one of the best ways to be prepared for whatever life throws at you, is an off-grid location. As a prepper or future homestead owner, you have several options.
You can try to find an existing home and pour money into it to renovate it as an off-grid home or you can build a small cabin as your future primary residence or as a bug out retreat.
House plans for homestead preppers come in all shapes and sizes. Some preppers may even prefer to live in a tiny home, at least initially. In this article, we’re going to look at small cabin plans for the homestead prepper or as a long-term bug out retreat.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Small Cabin Plan
No matter which type of cabin you choose, you need to make sure that the location or property you select for your homestead or bug out retreat has the resources to allow you to be self-sustaining.
Look for property with a natural freshwater source, plenty of land or at least a nearby forest, and room for you to grow your own food in some capacity. When choosing the actual plan for your prepper cabin, make sure you consider the following:
- Insulation. A cabin you will live in long-term should be well insulated to keep you warm in winter months and cool in the summer.
- Eaves. The design of the eaves of your cabin should allow for maximum use of natural sunlight for warmth and natural drainage for rainwater.
- Solar Lighting. Consider how the design of your cabin will support your solar panel power system for lighting and other power needs.
- Rainwater Collection. Install a roof that makes it easy for you to integrate a rainwater catchment system to supplement your fresh water supply.
- Hot Water Heating. In most cases, tankless hot water heating systems work well in small cabins. Make sure you explore this option prior to designing your cabin.
- Alternative Heating
- Woodstove Heat which can be used for heating your home, your hot water, and cooking.
- Heat Recovery Ventilator (MHVR) which recovers natural heat from your home prior to it being lost and recycles it through the home
Choosing the Best Plan
Consider how much time and effort you personally have available to put into building your small cabin. For those that don’t have a lot of time or who don’t want to be involved in building a cabin, the prefabricated option might be best.
The budget you have available will also somewhat guide your decision about a cabin plan. Make sure to thoroughly research the costs associated with the cabin plans you like best and choose the one that will work for your situation.
Your preference for amenities and amount of space will help determine the size and style of your cabin plan. Those with a preference for luxury may choose a smaller cabin plan but upgrade the materials or choose a larger plan with extra features.
Larger families may need more living and sleeping space whereas individuals or couples can make do with a much smaller square footage.
The small cabin plans we’ve listed below are separated into categories merely to help you narrow down your choices. Prefabricated plans can sometimes be customized somewhat if you’re willing to pay higher costs. DIY plans can range from simple and inexpensive to more complex or luxurious, depending on the design, materials used, and final size of the cabin.
Professionally constructed cabins typically are the most expensive simply because you are paying for professional labor and contractors to build or assist you in building your cabin.
There really is no right or wrong choice or one option that is better than the others. But you must do your research, consider the needs and preferences of your family, and choose a location that is well suited for your homestead.
Prefabricated Cabin Plans
For those who need to get their small cabin erected quickly, without all the hassle of a DIY project or the time it takes for a custom designed built for you home involving a contractor, prefabricated cabin plans might be your best option.
These are cabins which are basically built in advance and shipped or transported to your site and erected.
#1. The Lincoln Log Cabin
Lincoln Log Cabin by Zook Cabins offers floor plans with 2 bedrooms and a bathroom as well as a front porch that runs the entire length of the cabin. A great cabin for preppers who are erecting their homestead on land with a view of the river or mountaintop. Several different sizes of floor plans are available.
#2. The Settler Cabin
Settler Cabin by Zook Cabinsare great for those who want the comforts of a log home scaled down to a single wide cabin. The front porch is deep enough to provide room for sitting. This cabin is perfect for small prepper families or as a hunting cabin or short term bug out retreat.
#3. Julia Shipping Container Cabins
Julia Shipping Container Cabins can be a good option for homestead preppers that need to get a structure up quickly and are looking for a minimalist design. This plan comes complete with a materials and tool list for getting everything put together.
#4. ShedKing Shed Cabins
Shed cabins like these from ShedKing come in a variety of sizes and can be modified with different features depending on your needs. They can be a nice option for those who are budget conscious and don’t need a ton of customization in their design.
DIY Cabin Plans
The DIY or do-it-yourself small cabin plans are basically designed with the complete cabin plans and a list of materials you will need to complete the build. What you use for the build materials is up to you.
This type of plan gives you the greatest control over total project costs because you can either use new materials if your budget allows, or you can use available or recycled materials to reduce total project cost.
#5. Small A-Frame plan (80 square feet)
This floor plan is perfect for the single prepper who just wants a bug out location they can use when needed. This tiny cabin is simple to build and easy to maintain. For those who enjoy the minimalist lifestyle and don’t need much space, this small A-frame cabin is ideal.
#6. A-Frame with porch cabin
This A-Frame with porch cabin design is a great option for those that want the unique look of the A-frame cabin but don’t want to give up the front porch. This cabin design has both, the A-frame design and a nice front porch for those quiet evenings after the chores are done.
#7. This Tiny Wood Cottage
Tiny Wood Cottages like this one are compact enough to fly under the radar for building codes in most areas but include a loft sleeping space that is perfect for children.
Always double check building codes for your municipality and modify plans as needed to suit your area.
#8. Norwegian “Stabbur” style log cabin
Norwegian “Stabbur” style log cabin for less than $300. This cozy little cabin was built for under $100 by an Oregon couple many years ago. Another reader used their plans and stated the cost today would be just under $300.
It’s small but if you need a bug out retreat or just want something to get your homestead started, this cabin may do the trick.
#9. These 400 square foot cabin by Cabinplans123
400 square foot cabin by Cabinplans123 is a simple set of plans to build a 384 square foot cabin with a loft space. If you’re looking for something simple that you can build yourself to make your prepper homestead a reality, check this one out.
#10. Penobscot Cabin 12 x 20 Plan
The Penobscot Cabin 12 x 20 Plan includes a half or full loft and a front porch. It’s a great small cabin plan for the homestead prepper because it can easily be expanded on three sides as your family grows. Plans include framing instructions, floor plan suggestions, a material list and instructions for a basic solar power system.
#11. Alaska Log Cabin by Antler Works
This Alaska Log Cabin by Antler Works was perfectly suited for two and they were even able to add a bunk room to the structure as their family expanded. This one includes a handmade spiral staircase which proves you can customize a build with the right skills and tools.
#12. One Room Cozy Cabin-Mother Earth News
This cozy little one room cabin could be the perfect floor plan for an individual or couple who are ready to live simply and without the frills. Add rainwater catchment, a woodstove, and solar panels for lighting and power and this could be your dream cabin.
#13. These A-Frame cabin plans
A-Frame cabin plans are a very common choice for those who want to get back to nature and build a cabin that blends in with the environment. Each of the two bedrooms has a balcony and the plans include a living room, bathroom, and kitchen on the main floor.
#14. Simple Log Cabin by Joalex Henry
Simple Log Cabins like this one by Joalex Henry are great for preppers looking to add a basic structure to their homestead. If you don’t need fancy, this simple log cabin will do the trick.
#15. Look Out Cabin by Today’s Plans
Look Out Cabin by Today’s Plans is a uniquely looking small cabin plan for preppers who want the added advantage of a second story to keep an eye on their surroundings.
#16. Conestoga Log Cabin package
Conestoga Log Cabin package is a small log cabin kit by Conestoga Log Cabins & Homes. Described as one of the most comprehensive log cabin kits available, it includes an electrical package complete with light bulbs and a smoke detector!
#17. KEOPS Duplex Log cabin plans
KEOPS Duplex Log cabin plans are a great option for the homestead prepper who needs separate space for two families. This kit comes with materials you need and the website includes videos and instructions for putting it all together to create your ideal homestead log cabin.
#18. Barn Style Stealth cabin by Simple Solar Homesteading
Barn Style Stealth cabin by Simple Solar Homesteading is a good small cabin plan for those who want a unique home but don’t need much space.
The beginning DIYer will find these step by step instructions by instructables easy to follow. And this small cabin can be built with just the basic carpentry tools.
#19. 2-bedroom one-story cabin by LSU Ag Center
This 2-bedroom one-story cabin by LSU Ag Center will appeal to the practical homestead prepper who needs just a little more space to spread out. The unique roof design gives the cabin some character.
#20. 2-bedroom escape cottage
This budget conscious 2-bedroom escape cottage by Drummond Homes is the perfect compromise for preppers who need more room for family but are limited by budget constraints.
#21. These Pod Houses
Pod Houses are perfect for those that don’t need a ton of space but who also are looking for a unique design to lend some character to the homestead. If you haven’t considered this small cabin design, it’s worth your consideration.
Professionally Constructed Cabin Plans
For preppers who want to have every inch of their house built with them in mind or for those who don’t want to be involved hands-on in the building process, we’ve listed several built for you cabin plans below.
These homes in most cases are more expensive than a prefabricated or DIY cabin plan but they have the added benefit of customization. You’ll need the guidance and labor of building contractors to get your cabin erected and finished.
#22. Appalachian Log & Timber Cabins by Alh Log Homes
Appalachian Log & Timber Cabins by Alh Log Homes take pride in building authentic, finely crafted authentic appalachian style log cabin homes.
If you’re looking to build a small cabin that is authentic to the way our ancestral log cabins were built, this is a good option.See examples from throughout history in the video below:
#23. The Chesterfield
The Chesterfield is a slightly larger cabin at just under 1,200 square feet. It includes two bedrooms on the first floor and another on the second floor. There are two bathrooms, a kitchen, living room, and dining room.
With modifications, including rainwater catchment and a solar panel system, this could be the perfect prepper cabin for a homestead.
#24. Two-story design with a front porch by Cabins and Sheds
Farmhouse with porch is on the dream house list for many homestead preppers. This two-story design with a front porch by Cabins and Sheds will get you pretty close to your dream cabin life.
#25. Cabin House Plan 1907-00018
Cabin House Plan 1907-00018 by America’s Best House Plans is a one story, 2 bedroom, 2 bath cabin with an open floor plan. This small cozy cabin has 681 total square feet and makes a great cabin for a homestead couple or small family. For additional small cabin plans, visit America’s Best House plans.
#26. Winchester Classic Cabin Retreat by Rocky Mountain
Winchester Classic Cabin Retreat by Rocky Mountain Homes offering optional log, panel, or timber packages is a classic cabin totaling just over 1,200 square feet. The open floor plan with 2 bedrooms, a loft area, and a stone hearth in the living room feels like a cozy cottage.
#27. This Pole Cabin
Pole Cabins like this one can be a great small cabin for the homestead prepper. With enough space for the average family and when modified to include solar panels and a rainwater catchment system, you’ll have all you need to withstand a SHTF event.
#28. Multiple House Plans from North Dakota University
Multiple House Plans from North Dakota University are available on their website. You can use the “Find” feature on your browser to search the extensive list for keywords.
Want cabin plans that include a greenhouse? Want a cabin with a gable roof, flat roof, or poleframe? You’ll find cabin plans for all of those options and more on this site.
#29. Large Cabin with Basement by Cabins and Sheds
This Larger Cabin with Basement and Loft Option by Cabins and Sheds is well suited for the homestead prepper who needs more storage space than you can get in tiny homes or small cabins. With this cabin plan you still have the quaint look of a traditional cabin with all the extra storage space a basement provides.
#30. The Koia modern cabin from Norgeshus
If your budget will allow it, you can even go for the more luxurious style for your prepper homestead with something like the Koia modern cabin from Norgeshus.
Which of these small cabins for homestead preppers are you most drawn to for your family? Do you have a favorite small cabin plan not listed here? Share with us in the comments below.
A mother of four and grandmother of nine boys and one girl, Megan is living the lifestyle any prepper would want. Gardening, homesteading and constantly planning for emergencies big and small, she’s a beacon of knowledge in the prepping community.