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Cost of Building a Small Cabin / Bill of Materials (BoM)

Calculating Costs of the Small Cabin - Calculator

How much does it cost to build a small cabin?

This is a frequently asked question. The answer depends on many factors:
  • Size of the cabin
  • Choice of cabin foundation
  • Choice of cabin structure type
  • Choice of building materials
  • Frame spacing (i.e., 16" vs. 24")
  • Interior finishing options (if any at all)
  • Building materials delivery costs (Some building material suppliers will deliver for free within some reasonable distance and/or if your order is large enough.)

I estimated that the cost of building my small cabin would approximate $1300.
Later, I added an outhouse and a veranda/gazebo, and I'm planning to build a shed and other structures. These are separate, discretionary items not included in my original estimate.

Below is a summary estimate table of small cabin building cost (as of 2006). Obviously quantities of material and prices are approximate. Yours will most likely vary.
The cost of cabin materials in this table is calculated using the following basic assumptions:

  • 8x12' cabin size
  • 24" cabin frame spacing
  • Concrete deck block foundation
  • SmartSide panel siding
  • Asphalt shingle roofing
  • Decorative interior finishing panels
  • Second-hand doors and windows
  • Purchase of small cabin construction tools (hammer, saw, pliers, etc.) is not included (You already have those by now, right? ;-) )

Small Cabin Bill Of Materials (BoM) Estimate

Item DescriptionQtyCost$Price$
Concrete deck blocks, 4-way87.0056.00
Floor Frame
2"x8" 12' PT spruce216.2032.40
2"x8" 8' PT spruce710.8075.60
5/8" 4'x8' PT plywood345.00135.00
Joist Hangers140.8011.20
Wall Frame
2"x4" 8' spruce353.50122.50
2"x4" 12' spruce45.5022.00
Wall Siding
Typar wrapping (rolls)216.0032.00
3/8" 4'x8' SmartSide Panels1030.00300.00
1x3" 8' spruce planks121.2014.40
2"x4" 10' spruce84.7037.60
2"x4" 14' spruce26.5013.00
3/8" 4'x8' plywood / OSB515.0075.00
Asphalt shingles (pack)514.0070.00
Interior Finishing
4'x8' decorative LP panels1016.00160.00
1"x2" 8' spruce planks120.809.60
Nails, various (box)104.0040.00
Paint, (1 gallon)225.0050.00
Est. Total:   1256.30


See another example of cabin cost details on our Small Cabin Forum.