How to Build a Wood Frame Cabin

Save

You can construct a nice cabin with basic materials and a well-thought-out design. Always invest time in building a solid foundation and roof area, however. Materials for a cabin can be replaced over time--even using recycled materials--but the roof and foundation should be built well to last for many years. Build the cabin at least 800 square feet, if your budget permits, since it's difficult to include enough living space in an area less than this.

Things You'll Need

  • Concrete for footings
  • Cinder blocks
  • Mortar mix
  • Metal flashing
  • 2-by-12-inch floor joists
  • Fiberglass roll insulation
  • Circular saw
  • 3/4-inch plywood
  • 2-by-8-inch lumber boards
  • 3/8-inch exterior siding
  • 3-inch stainless steel screws
  • Electric screwdriver
  • Energy-efficient windows
  • 1/2-inch plywood
  • Metal roof sheeting
  • 4-by-8-foot drywall sheets
  • Design the cabin in detail. Include a living area, at least one bedroom, a small kitchen and a bath. Place the bedroom behind a dividing wall or in a loft area if the cabin is extremely small to separate living and sleeping space. Sketch decks and porches in the plan as well, since these areas add usable outdoor living space without costing a lot.

  • Create footings and a foundation. Dig footings for a crawlspace foundation to be filled with 8 inches of concrete. Engage a mason to help you lay a cinder-block foundation that is at least 4 feet high. Allow the mortar to dry for 48 hours before you lay floor joists with joist hangers. Don't install joists until you cap open blocks around the entire perimeter with metal flashing to keep out moisture or small animals. Use concrete nails to secure perimeter boards to cap the foundational wall and cover the flashing.

  • Frame the cabin from the floor up. Cut 2-by-12-inch lumber boards with a circular saw to create floor joists. Cut the joists this deep to allow 12 inches of fiberglass insulation under the sub-flooring. Nail 3/4-inch plywood over the floor joists to create sub-flooring. Use 2-by-8-inch lumber boards to frame exterior walls and 2-by-6-inch boards to frame interior walls of the cabin. Place studs on 18-inch centers. Form roof rafters or an open loft using 2-by-12-inch boards pitched on a minimum of 45 degrees.

  • Cover the exterior and roof. Secure 3/8-inch exterior-grade wood siding on the cabin by driving 3-inch stainless steel screws into the seams with an electric screwdriver. Install planks or tongue-and-groove siding, if you prefer. Use recycled windows that you have refinished and re-glazed, or install energy efficient vinyl-coated windows. Cover the roof with ½-inch plywood and metal roofing sheets attached by stainless steel screws. Attach metal roofing sheets with stainless steel screws. Use metal versus asphalt shingles, since chimney sparks can cause an asphalt roof to catch fire.

  • Address electrical and plumbing needs. Hire professionals to help or guide you in installing plumbing pipes and drains, plus electrical wiring and outlets. Wrap water pipes under the cabin with heat tape to prevent freezing in cold weather. Finish up the interior of the cabin with fiberglass insulation stapled between all studs and in attic rafters before you cover the interior walls with 4-by-8-foot sheets of drywall.

Tips & Warnings

  • Insulate under the floor areas and in the attic areas with 12 inches of insulation to ward off extreme temperatures. If your cabin is heated with a heat pump, poor insulation can drive up electricity bills astronomically--especially if your cabin is near a lake area. Extra insulation helps block exterior noise as well.
  • Always have your cabin treated for termites and insects, especially if you are near a forested area. Consider cutting large trees down that are within 10 feet of your cabin. Falling limbs may injure the metal roof. Excess leaves may block your guttering as well, if trees are too close to the cabin.

References

  • Photo Credit cabin image by Jim Dubois from Fotolia.com
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

Resources

You May Also Like

  • History of Steel Frame Homes

    Steel- and metal-frame homes in the United States are a relatively new residential construction choice, but they have been popular in various...

  • How to Build a Wooden Frame House

    Wooden frame houses are structured basically the same whether they are real houses, dollhouses, sheds, playhouses or houses made out of popsicle...

  • How to Build a Small A-Frame Cabin

    A-frame cabin construction is ideally suited for areas that receive a heavy accumulation of snow. The steep roof design of the cabin...

  • How to Build a Cabin Cheaply

    Almost everyone dreams of having a simple cabin in the woods or by a lake. We associate a cabin with easy living...

  • How to Build a Cabin Floor Plan

    Building a cabin floor plan for yourself to follow, or to give your architect a better illustration of what you want your...

  • How to Build Your Own Wood Floor Log Cabin Style

    When settlers built log cabins in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, nails and sawn boards were expensive, but trees were...

  • How to Build a Timber Frame Cabin

    Timber frame construction has historically referred to buildings whose supporting structure was made from rough, heavy beams joined by carved, woodworked joints....

  • How to Do Woodworking With Rough Pine Logs

    Woodworking with rough pine logs is relatively easy if you want to create outdoor furniture, build a log cabin, create artistic carvings...

  • Types of Wood Used in Log Cabins

    Modern log cabins are usually constructed from softwoods such as cedars and spruces. Softwoods have excellent thermal qualities, are relatively inexpensive, and...

Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!