Compact Cabins: Simple Living in 1000 Square Feet or Less; 62 Plans for Camps, Cottages, Lake Houses, and Other Getaways

Compact Cabins: Simple Living in 1000 Square Feet or Less; 62 Plans for Camps, Cottages, Lake Houses, and Other Getaways

by Gerald Rowan

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Overview


In the woods, on a mountaintop, or at the water’s edge, a small cabin can fulfill big dreams. With attention to efficient living and minimizing energy footprints, Gerald Rowan provides 62 designs for compact and creative buildings that are flexible enough to fit whatever your needs may be. Rowan includes detailed floor plans with plenty of modular elements that make the designs adaptable and easy to recreate with cost-effective, low-maintenance materials. Make the most of the cabin you call home, regardless of its size.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781603424622
Publisher: Storey Books
Publication date: 02/27/2010
Edition description: Original
Pages: 216
Sales rank: 285,460
Product dimensions: 8.02(w) x 9.18(h) x 0.68(d)

About the Author

Gerald Rowan is the author of Compact Cabins. Retired from full-time teaching, he now teaches architectural history part-time at various schools in Pennsylvania, including Lehigh University and Haverford College. He has owned and renovated more than 60 small houses and cabins.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

50 DESIGNS FOR COMPACT CABINS

YOU'LL FIND HERE FIFTY INNOVATIVE CABIN DESIGNS TO SUIT ANY SITE, BUDGET, OR LIFESTYLE, ALL IN LESS THAN 1,000 SQUARE FEET.

Compact Definitions

In designs that follow, the term BLDµBLD refers to cabins that are less than 300 square feet. The term mini refers to cabins that are between 300 and 500 square feet. All the rest are considered simply compact.

They are arranged by size, from the smallest to the largest, with the square footage determined by enclosed space (not including, for example, open porches or decks). Some are named after state parks and natural features in my native Poconos region, while others have more prosaic names based on their notable features. Each cabin is complete unto itself, but the features of any cabin could be combined with the features of others to create new designs.

Each design notes the number of people it will sleep and the size of the kitchen and bathroom.

* Kitchens: A full kitchen contains a four-burner range, a 10- to 14-cubic-foot refrigerator, and a sink. A three-quarter kitchen contains a two- or three-burner range, an 8- to 10-cubic-foot refrigerator, and a sink. A half kitchen contains a two-burner range, a 3- to 8-cubic-foot refrigerator, and a sink.

* Bathrooms: A full bathroom contains a shower over a tub, a full-sized toilet, and a sink. A three-quarter bathroom contains a shower, a toilet, and a sink. A half bath contains a toilet and a shower and shares a sink with the kitchen.

Sleeping accommodations are listed as full-sized bed, Murphy bed, daybed, bunk bed, single bed, pullout sofa, or folding dinette.

The floor plans are to the scale of 1/8 inch = 1 foot. With the use of an architect's scale (available at drafting or art supply stores), you can take measurements from them in order to incorporate ideas into your own designs.

MICRO CABIN

This tiny cabin is based on ideas gleaned from the travel trailer industry to utilize space very efficiently. In a cabin this small, electric space heat makes sense.

Features

162 square feet

Half kitchen

Half bath

Sleeps 2

Utilizes RV components

Adaptable to being off the grid

PERSONAL CABIN

This cabin is just the right size for a personal retreat. With the addition of bunk beds it becomes a getaway for two. This design calls for a small woodstove; if you intend to use the cabin as only a three-season retreat, an electric space heater would work well.

Features

200 square feet

Three-quarter kitchen

Half bath

Sleeps 1 or 2

Adaptable to being off the grid

MICRO CABIN WITH OUTDOOR CLOSET

A roomy outdoor closet can be useful if you have a lot of fishing, hunting, boating, or other gear to store. It also can house a sizable battery array for a solar-electric system.

Features

240 square feet

Half kitchen

Half bath

Sleeps 2

Utilizes RV components

Adaptable to being off the grid

ENDLESS MOUNTAINS MICRO CABIN

This cabin is a perfect getaway for two, and when the couch is pulled out, it can sleep an additional two guests. For a cabin this small the heating options are many: the design calls for gas-fired space heating, but electric space heating, a hot water circulation system (see page 196), or a small woodstove would also work well.

Features

250 square feet

Half kitchen

Three-quarter bath

Sleeps 2 to 4

Adaptable to being off the grid

MICRO CLERESTORY CABIN

At just 256 square feet, this cabin has some surprising amenities, including a full kitchen and bath. The bank of clerestory windows allows light into the center and also provides natural ventilation.

Features

256 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 2 to 4

Adaptable to being off the grid

HIGH KNOB CABIN

A cabin with all the traditional amenities. The fireplace provides heat and the romance of a roaring fire on cold evenings.

Features

270 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 2 to 6

Fireplace

Adaptable to being off the grid

PORCH LIFE MICRO CABIN

A perfect getaway. The enclosed porch functions as a three-season room, with large banks of windows that, if oriented to the south, can act as passive solar components, keeping the porch warm enough to enjoy in cold weather.

Features

280 square feet

Three-quarter kitchen

Half bath

Sleeps 2 to 4

Adaptable to being off the grid

BAER ROCKS CABIN

This cabin works well in steep building sites, such as along the bank of a stream or river. Its dimensions lend themselves to off-site building; the main unit of the cabin can be trailered in, and the deck built on-site.

Features

288 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 2 or 3

Works well in a steep building site

Can be built off-site and trailered in

Adaptable to being off the grid

CLASSIC SIXTIES A-FRAME

Traditional A-frame cabins have an inherent interior space problem. To overcome that problem, giving the cabin plenty of usable floor space, this design adds a shed dormer on one side and designates the other side for storage.

Features

288 square feet

Full kitchen

Three-quarter bath

Sleeps 2

Adaptable to being off the grid

MICRO CABIN WITH LOFT

Based on the 12-foot-square modules described in chapter 2, this cabin is compact but offers all the necessary amenities. The loft, accessed by a ship's ladder, gives some privacy to the sleeping space. Space heating is accomplished through the use of a catalytic gas heater. In a cabin this small, electric space heat would also make sense.

Features

288 square feet

Half kitchen

Half bath

Sleeps 2

Adaptable to being off the grid

SOLAR-POWERED MICRO CABIN

Designed for an off-the-grid application, this cabin relies on solar power for electricity and water heating. The woodstove provides heat in colder weather.

Features

290 square feet

Half kitchen

Half bath

Sleeps 2 or 3

Designed to be off the grid

MINI CLERESTORY CABIN

The roof design of this cabin accommodates clerestory windows, which allow light deep within the cabin and provide natural ventilation, easing or eliminating the need for air conditioning.

Features

312 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 2

Screened porch

Adaptable to being off the grid

ADIRONDACK TWIG CABIN

Twig cabins are classic Adirondack style. Materials to build this cabin may be gathered on-site; any trees cut to make space for the cabin can be recycled as part of the twig architecture. The cabin's appeal is completely rustic, yet it houses a full modern kitchen and bathroom.

Features

323 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 4 to 6

Fireplace

GREAT OUTDOORS MINI CABIN

If the outdoor life is your thing, this cabin design is an excellent choice. For cooking outdoors, it offers an expansive porch complete with an outside fireplace. And if you make use of all the sleeping options, it sleeps up to seven people.

Features

325 square feet

Three-quarter kitchen

Three-quarter bath

Sleeps 2 to 7

Outdoor fireplace

Adaptable to being off the grid

PIKE COUNTY CLASSIC CABIN

Pike County is one of the rockiest places in the state of Pennsylvania, and probably in the country, thanks to the last great glacier, which left behind an abundance of rounded river rock. Cabins here are often built from the very stone that is cleared to make room to build them. Stone is an ideal building material for damp places or where it is readily available and therefore inexpensive.

Features

340 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 4 to 6

Adaptable to being off the grid

FOUR-SEASON MINI CABIN

With central heat as well as a huge fireplace, this cabin is a cozy year-round retreat. The loft gives some privacy to the sleeping accommodations and allows the first floor to have an open stretch of floor space.

Features

348 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 2

Fireplace

Adaptable to being off the grid

LOYAL SOCK CABIN

This cabin offers a lot in just more than 350 square feet, including a full bath and full kitchen. The outdoor storage locker is roomy, able to accommodate bulky gear for hunting, boating, or other outdoor activities. Its full structural framework, if coupled with a strong door and lock, allows it to be a secure storage site.

Features

352 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 2 or 3

Outside storage locker

Adaptable to being off the grid

WOODS CABIN IN THE ROUND

This semicircular cabin is designed to allow for maximum view of the outdoors. This cabin can be oriented to face south and capture the sun for passive solar heating.

Features

353 square feet

Full kitchen

Three-quarter bath

Sleeps 2 to 4

Adaptable to being off the grid

OHIO PYLE CABIN

This cabin works well along a riverbank or stream. The piers support the structure well off the ground, protecting it from high spring water and allowing it to stay dry in damp conditions.

Features

369 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 2 to 6

Adaptable to being off the grid

TRAILER-WIDE CABIN

Just the right size for a modular home trailer frame, this cabin is designed to be built off-site and trucked to the building site. Narrow cabins like this one are ideal for lakeside sites, where the lots tend to be long and deep but not very wide.

Features

372 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 2

Can be built off-site and trailered in

Adaptable to being off the grid

ROUND HOUSE CABIN

A round cabin — how unique! Curved cement blocks are available for building cisterns and farm silos and adapt well to building round cabins. This design calls for a custom-built curved sofa and fold-up table to make the most of the interior space.

Features

380 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 2

Adaptable to being off the grid

LAKESIDE MINI CABIN

To be lakeside in the summer! This design lends itself well to the typically narrow width of lakeside lots. The angled front provides for a view of the water.

Features

382 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 2 to 4

Adaptable to being off the grid

WEDGE CABIN

This mini cabin has the feel of a much larger one. It features an unusually large amount of glass, making it feel light and airy. It can be oriented toward a great view or toward the south for passive solar heating.

Features

384 square feet

Full kitchen

Three-quarter bath

Sleeps 2 to 4

Fireplace

Adaptable to being off the grid

FURNACE CREEK CABIN

This 399-square-foot cabin has some surprising amenities, including a full-sized kitchen and bath and a private bedroom. Cabin lovers who also appreciate the amenities of home will enjoy this design.

Features

399 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 2 or 3

Fireplace

Adaptable to being off the grid

TRAILERABLE MINI CABIN

Designed to be built off-site and trucked to the cabin site, this mini cabin can be built as a winter project — perhaps by the whole family — and enjoyed during the summer. The shallow roofline won't interfere with electrical wires during transportation.

Features

408 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 2 to 6

Can be built off-site and trailered in

Adaptable to being off the grid

LITTLE PINE CREEK CABIN

Fishing is all the more fun with a comfortable cabin waiting at the end of the day. This classic fishing cabin is ideal for a small family or a couple of fishing buddies. The fireplace provides heating and the ambience of a roaring fire on cold evenings.

Features

414 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 2 to 4

Fireplace

Adaptable to being off the grid

RICKETS GLEN CABIN

This mini cabin design features a cathedral ceiling framed on one side with banks of overhead windows, allowing the interior to feel spacious and bright. More windows could easily be added to the deck wall, helping the cabin feel even more open to the outside.

Features

432 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 2 to 4

Fireplace

Adaptable to being off the grid

GLASS HOUSE CABIN

The design of this cabin lends itself to the usually narrow dimensions of lakeside lots. The glass front is equipped with patio sliding doors to increase the view.

Features

434 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 2 to 4

Designed for passive solar heating

MODIFIED A-FRAME CABIN

A-frame cabins typically have usable-space problems, since the roof meets the floor at an angle. This design modifies the roofline on one side to expand the usable space, helping the interior feel open rather than cramped.

Features

448 square feet

Three-quarter kitchen

Three-quarter bath

Sleeps 2

Adaptable to being off the grid

TWO-STORY LAKESIDE CABIN

This two-story cabin is designed with a small footprint to fit narrow lakeside lots. It offers the luxury of a queen-sized bed in the second-floor bedroom, which is accessed by an elegant squared spiral staircase.

Features

450 square feet

Full kitchen

Three-quarter bath

Sleeps 2 to 4

Two full stories

Adaptable to being off the grid

YURT CABIN

Patterned after the domed tents favored by nomads of central Asia, this round cabin is built on deck foundation and features a skylight at its apex. Its wall panels can be built off-site and then trucked in and assembled.

Features

452 square feet

Full kitchen

Three-quarter bath

Sleeps 2 or 3

Can be built partially off-site and trailered in

POCONO PINES CABIN

This design is ideal for a weekend cabin. Contemporary design concepts make it feel and function like a much bigger cabin. Designed for a location with a great view, one of the walls of the living space incorporates three patio sliding doors that open to the deck.

Features

455 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 2 to 4

Fireplace

Adaptable to being off the grid

QUONSET CABIN

The Quonset is back! A Quonset hut constructed on top of a low masonry or frame wall is a fast way to build a cabin. This design is based on a traditional 15-foot-wide Quonset hut, but it is easily adaptable to other Quonset-hut-like buildings.

Features

480 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 2 to 4

Utilizes one 15-foot-wide Quonset hut

OPEN-LIVING MINI CABIN

This cabin is based on an open space concept, making it function like a much larger cabin. Separating the two beds with the bathroom offers each a degree of privacy.

Features

485 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 4 to 6

JEAN'S RUN CABIN

This cabin sleeps six people in just more than 500 square feet. The Murphy bed and dining table both can be folded up against the wall to increase the usable interior space, while the loft is accessible by a narrow-profile ship's ladder.

Features

501 square feet

Full kitchen

Three-quarter bath

Sleeps 4 to 6

Adaptable to being off the grid

PINE CREEK CABIN

Based on the saltbox houses found in New England, this cabin design features an open sleeping loft that overlooks the living space, accessible via a set of steep stairs. Since warm air rises, very little heat is needed to keep occupants warm at night.

Features

502 square feet

Full kitchen

Three-quarter bath

Sleeps 2 to 4

Adaptable to being off the grid

A CABIN FOR TWO

A cabin with a spa tub? Absolutely. With the addition of a fireplace and a full-sized sleeping nook complete with built-ins, it is a romantic retreat for two — though it also offers accommodations for guests or kids with a pullout sofa.

Features

513 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 2 to 4

Fireplace

Adaptable to being off the grid

FIREPLACE CABIN

Who doesn't like to sit around a fire on a cool evening? The focal point of this cabin is the massive stone fireplace, which anchors the living and dining space and is framed by banks of windows.

Features

570 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 2 to 4

Fireplace

Adaptable to being off the grid

SPRING CREEK CABIN

This cabin offers the privacy of a separate bedroom; in combination with the pullout sofa, it can accommodate two couples. The glass of the entrance door wall offers a good view of the outdoors from the living area. Orienting these windows to the south would allow them to contribute to passive solar heating.

Features

576 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 2 to 4

Adaptable to being off the grid

CLERESTORY CABIN WITH DINING ROOM

This classic clerestory design employs a massive fieldstone fireplace for space heating. Unlike most other plans, it also features a separate dining space, perfect for cabin owners who appreciate a good sit-down meal.

Features

584 square feet

Full kitchen

Full bath

Sleeps 3 to 6

Fireplace

Adaptable to being off the grid

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Compact Cabins"
by .
Copyright © 2009 Gerald Rowan.
Excerpted by permission of Storey Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION Good Living in Small Spaces,
ONE 50 Designs for Compact Cabins,
TWO Design: Architecture, Logistics, Environment,
THREE A Modular Approach to Cabin Design,
FOUR Using Manufactured Structural Components,
FIVE Getting the Most from Building Materials,
SIX Compact & Efficient Utilities & Appliances,
SEVEN Energy Independence,
INDEX Including Alphabetical Listing of Plans,

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Compact Cabins 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are a variety of ideas for compact cabin styles building from new, recycled materials to on the grid, off the grid methods. Looking forward to the possibilities...
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Is this the old ashclan?
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She peeks into the camp. "Hello? I was hoping to join this clan"
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Sits down
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