How to build a cheap small cabin for under $5000

Written by charles dodd white
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A cabin is a place to get away from the day in and day out stress of the working world. It does not necessarily require a great deal of amenities. By taking a few financial shortcuts, you may be surprised to find that a small cabin is closer to your price range than you first imagined. With a few sound skills in basic carpentry, you can build a comfortable rustic cabin that will serve perfectly as a primitive getaway. While you might need a partner, a pair of hardworking cabin builders can put a cosy spot in the woods that can last for years. Building a cabin of 10x12 feet will run you between £1,300 and £1,625.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Precut Lumber
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Precut tin sheets
  • Roofing paper
  • Ladder
  • Quick drying concrete
  • Power saw
  • Post hole diggers
  • Total Cost £1,300-$2,500

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  1. 1

    Dig post holes approximately eight feet apart, sinking the excavation about 36 inches deep. Make sure these holes are well dug and clear so that you can sink your vertical posts in without too much difficulty.

  2. 2

    Hold the vertical posts (4x4 or larger) at a level position while your building partner pours in some quick drying concrete. Once the post has set, then you can move on to the next hole until the entire perimeter post line of the cabin has been completed.

  3. 3

    Nail cross beams (2x4) that run along the ground between the upright posts. This will create the outer frame and the interior skeleton of the floor system. Build the outer frame before running cross ties between one side of the flooring frame to the other. The result should leave you with floor beams spaced approximately 36 inches apart.

  4. 4

    Saw off the vertical posts so that they are even with the horizontally laid flooring cross beams. This will provide the surface you will now nail your ply board panels to complete the floor system.

  5. 5

    Raise vertical wall studs (2x4) along the outer frame of the decking, nailing them in place well. The spacing should be about 36 inches, keeping in mind to leave space for a door and windows.

  6. 6

    Crown the wall studs with a horizontally placed cross beam (2x4). This will top the wall system while also providing a base for the roof system.

  7. 7

    Build a simple flat roof, running joists (2x4) from one side of the top of the wall system to the other. Nail ply board panels on top of these joists and then cover it with roofing paper, followed by precut sheets of tin. Nail the tin sheets in place, using roofing nails.

  8. 8

    Nail ply board panels to the inner side of the wall system to put up interior walls. Nail outer siding, such as clapboard or shakers to put up the cabin's outer wall.

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