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Small Cabin Forum / General Forum / How big to live in year round?
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# Posted: 7 Apr 2020 12:34

I know some of the people here live in their cabins year round, and that is what I want to do as well, but I'm a little stuck on proper sizing. Right now it's just me, but might be others in the future. I'm going with at least two bedrooms for now, which is 480 square feet going off the smallest pre-made floorplan i can find, but my family is trying to pressure me into going larger, into the 700 square feet range 'at least'.

I was hoping some of you fine people could chime in and tell me whether I should go with the larger, or if the smaller is just as feasible. I don't want to pay for extra unused space, but with the cost of building increasing it does make sense to have a little extra room, but in my mind the second bedroom supplies that. there is also the full basement which I plan to moderately furnish for my reptile room and reading nook....

# Posted: 7 Apr 2020 15:08 - Edited by: jhp

Build as big as you can afford, IMO. At a minimum think about how to add on if you needed to - like pour full footings for a porch than can be closed in later.

If it were just for me the smallest I'd ever consider would be about 1000 sq ft with a full unfinished basement. My personal experience was living in a 650 sq ft 1 br apartment for a year - it drove me nuts some times on long weekends because it felt like I was either sleeping in the bedroom or sitting in the living room. There wasn't enough room anywhere to create any sort of secondary space.

I couldn't have imagined living there with another person, you literally could not get away from them.

# Posted: 7 Apr 2020 15:24

I own a 650sqft cottage on my full time property and lived there for about 9 months. It has a 8x20ft porch included in that 650sqft. If it was just me I would still be living there. The perfect size to be close to everything and not a huge place to clean and repair. Also is has a 20x8ft living room in one end so that really made it feel big.

If it was me and it meant 700sqft cabin and 10acres or a 1500sqft cabin on 4acres I would be doing the 700sqft. If you plan for the future slightly in your build adding on later is not that big of a deal. For instance a steep tall loft makes for adding dormers later really makeup alot of space.

Eddy G
# Posted: 7 Apr 2020 16:56

Personal preference is everything and as much as I appreciate the tiny house movement I can’t see me living in anything less than 1000 sq ft full time.

Of course layout is everything and our cabin is just at or just under that 1000 mark and I could see me being comfortable there....The location, environment and view are huge factors (for me)

# Posted: 7 Apr 2020 17:10

Our cabin is 860sqft. We don't really live in it year round... but 9 months out of the last 12 so sort of! We are quite comfortable with a loft main bedroom and another bedroom downstairs. The downstairs bedroom doubles as the laundry room and storage. For fulltime living storage space is an issue. We have a 10 x 26 deck on the back of the cabin where I have a workbench and a 4x8x2 deep cabinet for tools... and they still don't all fit in there. Things are stowed under the deck (nonflamable, ladders, etc.), and under the cabin. We backpack a lot so storing all that gear takes up space as well.... and groceries, paper products, etc.

700-800 sqft would not be that bad for a single person, but I would highly recommend an outbuilding or two for a shop and storage.

# Posted: 7 Apr 2020 17:32

My house which was a cottage when I bought is 970sqft. No basement on piers. It's the wife with 3 bedrooms and one bath with washer/dryer in the bathroom. We could chop off the other 2 bedrooms and survive. So I say a minimum of 600ish if nicely laid out.

# Posted: 8 Apr 2020 11:02

Cabin - 20x24, one bedroom and bath; shop/storage 12x16; guest cabin 12x16 so about 900 square feet total. We also have a garage for the car and boat. We are there about 4-5 months/year.

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