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Small Cabin Forum / Cabin Construction / Looking for feedback on this layout...
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Nate R
Member
# Posted: 2 Sep 2021 09:53 - Edited by: Nate R
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I sat down and looked at your first design last night with my wife, and we had come up with a couple suggestions...But the 2nd design is FAR better, in my opinion. Running the stairs that way is better, kitchen setup is better, opens up options for things under the stairs more, etc.

One thought: Think about smaller-ish fridges. I use a 9 Cubic foot one at home in our kitchen, with a larger chest freezer in the basement. Our cabin will have a 7 cubic foot fridge/freezer setup for now. you can get a LOT of food in a 10 CF fridge, they're like 24x24x60-62ish.... Saves a bit of kitchen space.

Also, after doing it myself, I think building the outer shell this fall isn't a bad idea, and fill it in afterward. But maybe with a half-solidified design, so yeah, you don't kick yourself on where things are later, etc.
It spreads everything out a bit, making things a bit less overwhelming in both mental space, money, etc.

As others said, life is short!

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 2 Sep 2021 10:05
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We like open floor design and use furniture or simple partitions to define spaces. Our 16x24 does have two posts in the centerline as the ridge support (prev owner build) but we dont mind them. There is no cabinetry or counters built in.
We like the flexibility for making a floor plan.

Popeye
Member
# Posted: 2 Sep 2021 10:53
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I like the second floor plan better. It is more open.

If the direction of the stairs were switched, one could walk through the door and directly upstairs. The small change would make it easier to get finishing materials and beds up the stairs.

snobdds
Member
# Posted: 2 Sep 2021 11:08
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I would just build the shell...the inside can come later.

That is what I ended up doing. I wanted to get the shell up, the decks, and all the cement siding up. Those were big jobs on their own. I have used the place for 3 season now and have realized how I use it. I really don't unpack the coolers, therefore I don't need a upright refrigerator. I am just going to use a refrigerator cooler. I need more room for kitchen clean up than I do kitchen prep counter space. We do most of our cooking outside off the decks. A deck table serves as a prep station most of the time. We do use the kitchen table for a lot of uses, we actually went up a size than we originally thought because of the utility.

I ran the plumbing and electrical and discovered I want more lighting. With everything open, I can run more circuits for can lighting that will aid the direct lighting.

Living in the place for a bit lets you know how to use it. If later on I find my needs change and I stay for longer periods of time, I will change things up. I'm sure by the time I retire in 15-18 years, It will need a freshen up to keep up with the times.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 2 Sep 2021 11:22
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Quoting: Popeye
If the direction of the stairs were switched, one could walk through the door and directly upstairs

Turning the stairs 180* would make the storage under the stairs at the back of the cabin and not allow for a coat closet at the front entry area.

As to building the shell first and worry about the rest later that's totally opposite of what I'm doing. In fact if you had built your original cabin first you would have alreaty wanted to build it bigger correct?

Site prep is really important and if 4' more width means alot more site prep and removing trees did you do enough to begin with? I wouldnt rush it.

When lumber spiked last year I knew we wernt going to be building this year and it allowed me to do alot more site work and get the area more ready than before. I'm also not going to start building in the fall. If we build in the fall we are up against a prety hard deadline, snow. I dont want to be rushed and I want the pricess to be enjoyed.

fiftyfifty
Member
# Posted: 2 Sep 2021 11:58 - Edited by: fiftyfifty
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I like your 2nd floor plan better. For other ideas, I have also checked out floor plans by a company called Kanga. If you search under Kanga 16x24 floor plans I think you will find it. I like that there are closets. But not sure what they do about the stairs...

WILL1E
Member
# Posted: 2 Sep 2021 12:42
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Here's the link for everyone... alot of great ideas in here: Kanga Room Systems

Steve_S
Member
# Posted: 3 Sep 2021 06:08
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Willie, I believe you've gotten hung up on the roof and angles. Consider cutting a tree or two which can be replanted is not hard, once you put up walls well your locked to a path and one which may & can come back to bite you later.

IF you really want to Max Out our upper space and make a Visually Stunning and even potentially exciting roof line (outside & Inside if you (get into fancy woodwork) you may consider a MANSARD Roof (4-Way Grambrel) and put a Wrap Around Porch around the entire shack.
Roof Types

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 3 Sep 2021 11:19 - Edited by: gcrank1
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Get ANY close trees out of the building site ASAP.
As time goes by they only 'get closer' AND Much Harder To Deal With.
Especially when you go up and find a tree(s) on the roof! We had 3 at one time on our old hill cabin only 2 years after reroofing
And our 'new' cabin had one on the roof with the orig. owner.
Then there is the fire mitigation thing.
Kick The Trees Back

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 3 Sep 2021 21:03
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Quoting: gcrank1
Then there is the fire mitigation thing.
Kick The Trees Back


And the roots lifting the foundation...

scott100
Member
# Posted: 4 Sep 2021 11:15
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2nd design much better. Another idea...move kitchen to outside wall and corner by door. Run steps the other direction , to a landing then 90 degrees out to room. This might give you room to move bath door to other side of the bathroom. The stairway will give a sense of a separation for a breakfast nook, folding table? area next to kitchen against outside wall. Opens the rest of the room to arrange however you want it. Sleeper sofa there for guests, etc.

travellerw
Member
# Posted: 9 Sep 2021 10:26
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Quoting: WILL1E
I like the new plan..has potential anyways!
16x32_Cabin_Option_A.png
16x32_Cabin_Option_A.png
16x32_Cabin_Option_B.png
16x32_Cabin_Option_B.png

So I have been playing around with some designs and came back to look at yours.

I believe you plan a 1/2 loft, that is dropped? If so, I really think you need to change your plan for stairs. Putting the stairs near the edge of the loft like that will interrupt the floor joists which are acting as rafter ties. 1/2 lofts where the open area is without rafter ties or collar ties are already considered weak (some consider unacceptable). Weakening that system further with a stairwell right at the center of the building is probably not the best design. Unless you plan rafter/collar ties in the open area!

Many of the plans you find on the internet have stairwells up against the back wall for this reason.

WILL1E
Member
# Posted: 9 Sep 2021 10:49
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Thanks for the input travellerw! You are correct about the loft only being above the bathroom and bedroom and the landing at the top of the stairs. I plan to run another joist (2x10) the full width of the cabin over that wall between the stairs and kitchen area. For the remainder of the open area i was thinking of running rafter ties every 4 feet with them sitting on the top plate like a traditional rafter tie. This way they will be 10' up, still provide structure but yet keep the open'ness of the area. The only question is what size i should use. They won't be supporting anything, just keeping the walls tied in, so what's the smallest i can get away with so that they serve their purpose structurally but don't disrupt that open'ness?

travellerw
Member
# Posted: 9 Sep 2021 11:06
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On a 16 ft building a 2x4 is completely acceptable... BUT since you aren't doing one at every "truss" then I would probably go upto a 2x6..

However, what is more important is your top plate. I choose 3 2x6 laminated (glued, screwed and nailed). If I did it again, I would spend the extra $120 and go with 4 as it adds a ton of rigidity against push out! However, that again increases your wall height and costs more in sheathing, or you have to cut all your studs (something I also wish I did).

WILL1E
Member
# Posted: 9 Sep 2021 13:04
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Cutting all my studs was the plan anyways since supply of precut is limited locally and prices are still high on those if you find them.

I was only planning on a doubled top plate that was simply nailed together. Hadn't considered or even known of laminating those as you mentioned.

dack
Member
# Posted: 13 Sep 2021 22:58
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2nd plan is far better. Though I would try to somehow connect the bedroom to the bathroom. Seems odd to have to walk through public space to and from.

WILL1E
Member
# Posted: 14 Sep 2021 07:37
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I don't want to loose wall space to another door and the last thing i want is people trekking through the bedroom to use the bathroom.

dack
Member
# Posted: 14 Sep 2021 08:57
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You already have public access to the bathroom along the "north" wall. I'm suggesting another pocket door (or even a regular door) between bed and bath, and rearranging the layout of both rooms to allow for it, perhaps with a corner sink or corner toilet in the bath.

I am no small floorplan expert, but isn't there usually 2-way access to the bathroom? Just flipping through the Kanga site you linked, take a look at Cottage Dwell and Cottage Cabin, both of which are about your size.

https://www.kangaroomsystems.com/cottage-dwell-16x32/72bg9dylotxlkjiq0dqym2psghd7nc

https://www.kangaroomsystems.com/cottage-cabin-16x34/fkx4obkw1r8m9fh3wvvhjnv92nom7t

WILL1E
Member
# Posted: 14 Sep 2021 09:08
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Yeah, those Kanga plans are great...until you add real stairs vs. their ladder system. Once you do that their plans aren't ideal.

dack
Member
# Posted: 14 Sep 2021 10:03
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The Kanga examples relate to 2-way bathroom access, which is the reason I chimed in on your thread. It seems like both a standard and sensible approach, and one I am adopting for my 700 SF cottage.

You asked for feedback on the plans, but seem pretty sold on what you've come up with, so by all means go for it.

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 14 Sep 2021 11:35
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I can get that with a house one might not want to walk thru a living space from bedroom to the b-room. With a cabin it might not be so important?
My great gramma's old farmhouse (that incidentally started as a one room log cabin in s-central WI and had the traditional farm house built around it when they prospered) had the real-deal chamber pots and closets, all to be used only at night. Outhouse in the day, the gravity system never failed.

WILL1E
Member
# Posted: 14 Sep 2021 13:48
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Dack i appreciate your feedback and understand your intent, however i'm just not sold on adding a 2nd door to the bathroom. I'd rather add additional storage (closet) to any space i can spare in the bathroom.

toofewweekends
Member
# Posted: 15 Sep 2021 00:10
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Late to the commenting party, but some thoughts:
-- Use an out-swing exterior door. You gain some space to move around.
-- Pocket door on the bathroom, less wasted space
-- The small fridge idea was a good one; think about a freezer/fridge on the porch if you need more cool volume.
-- Can't recall where you're located, but think about a sorta closet out on the porch for coats, boots, and bulky going-outside stuff.
-- Sounds like you have your windows, but if not, think about one or two bay windows. You can gain a seating area, and it visually opens up an area.
-- Last, like the comment of just do it! Stuff will fill any space you build, so have fun and start nailing!

WILL1E
Member
# Posted: 15 Sep 2021 07:54
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Well i picked up my precast footings, concrete block and lumber for the built up beams last night so the nails should start flying soon!!



WILL1E
Member
# Posted: 15 Sep 2021 12:57 - Edited by: WILL1E
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What's ya'll thought about the location of the main door (sliding patio door)? Should i have it come in right by the closet and next to the bedroom door, or should i swap it with the window to the right of it? This way a little less noise by the bedroom door (wife goes to bed early and sleeps late), more light coming into the main area and more room as well vs. the narrow space by the closet.



BRADISH
Member
# Posted: 15 Sep 2021 13:05
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Quoting: WILL1E
so the nails should start flying soon!!

Looking forward to following along!

Quoting: WILL1E

What's ya'll thought about the location of the main door (sliding patio door)? Should i have it come in right by the closet and next to the bedroom door, or should i swap it with the window to the right of it? This way a little less noise by the bedroom door (wife goes to bed early and sleeps late), more light coming into the main area and more room as well vs. the narrow space by the closet.

Sounds like you answered your own question to me. I agree it should probably be swapped. For us we have a fair amount of visitors, as there is a large cabin community where we are at. This means 2-4 people stopping by and potentially standing in the entryway talking for a bit (because they don't want to take off their boots).

The one downside I could see is that with it being closer to the main space of the house would be that cold breezes might cool the place down / more abruptly. It is very windy where we are and this was a concern, so I put my main entrance on what seems to be the illogical side given my driveway/entrance, but the cabin body shelters it from the typical prevailing wind this way.

If heating is a concern for you, it may be better to shelter the main space by having the entrance further off of it.

moneypitfeeder
Member
# Posted: 19 Sep 2021 19:40
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One thing I'll throw out is to locate the composter on an outside wall. Not sure which model you are looking at, but with vent stacks and possible liquid drainage (plus maybe engineering an outside easy access removable panel) having it on the outside wall might be nice. They are great when they are fully composting, however, when problems arise, any ability to easily access, flush, etc. are all very welcome.

Curly
Member
# Posted: 19 Sep 2021 21:32
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I'm late to this thread, but I would suggest perhaps switching the locations of the bathroom and bedroom. That would put the bedroom further away from the exterior door which make the bedroom quieter. Also, making the switch would put the bathroom closer to the exterior door. That would mean those coming from the outside to use the bathroom would have a shorter path to the bathroom (fewer muddy footprints). The shorter path may also be helpful when cleaning the composter.

BRADISH
Member
# Posted: 20 Sep 2021 13:06
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Quoting: Curly
I'm late to this thread, but I would suggest perhaps switching the locations of the bathroom and bedroom. That would put the bedroom further away from the exterior door which make the bedroom quieter. Also, making the switch would put the bathroom closer to the exterior door. That would mean those coming from the outside to use the bathroom would have a shorter path to the bathroom (fewer muddy footprints). The shorter path may also be helpful when cleaning the composter.


This is quite good logic. If its not to much to switch the orientation of the stairs in addition to the bed/bath swap I would definitely consider it!

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