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Small Cabin Forum / Cabin Construction / Finished My Cabin
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# Posted: 28 Mar 2010 09:24

Hello All,

After two years I finally have exactly what I want - take a look - I build this cabin from a garage plan that I bought from my local hardware store for $10 bucks. I wanted a place fully off the grid but liveable year around (if necessary). Here are a few recommendations/thoughts for those of you considering this.

1. Power - certainly you can go with solar but I chose to buy a Honda 3000 EUis genterator. It's very quiet but works great. The main reason why I went this way is cost. I purchased the generator for $1700. I similar solar set up would cost significantly more. One VERY IMPORTANT considerating if you use a generator is to make sure you don't put it anywhere in the house. Carbon Monoxide will kill you very quickly if your not careful. I built a shed 50 ft away from the cabin to house the generator. From there I run underground wire to a transfer switch in the cabin that provide clean AC power. - It's enough for TV, lights, space heaters, microwave and even a small A/C. Just can't run them all at once.

2. Water & Plumbing - I put up rain gutters to catch the water to create a cystern. I use this for powering the toilet only. I did put in a small septic system with a leach field. This way I won't have to pump the tank for several years (if ever). We bring our water in for drinking and cooking. As for showers we use solar showers. They work great.

3. Heating - I live in Iowa and the winters are very cold. We put in a 24000 btu wood burning stove on the main level. When its real cold outside I run the generator all night and use electric space heaters (you need to make sure you have enought wattage on the generator for this). Since the bedrooms are upstairs the heat from the wood burning stove PLUS the electric heaters works great. I have slept in the cabin when its -25 degrees (F) outside and been very cozy.

4 One last consideration - this is my second cabin and one thing I would highly recommend is to build a garage to store stuff. If your not there 100% of the time this will be necessary and practical.

If any of you are interested in knowing more of how to do something like this feel free to email me ( or post here.

# Posted: 28 Mar 2010 12:42

Hey, love to see pics of your cabin itself. Post them up when you can.

# Posted: 28 Mar 2010 13:03

Nice looking cabin Hallamore. What type of foundation did you use?

# Posted: 28 Mar 2010 20:49

Scott T, its built on a concrete slab foundation with a vapor barrier on top of that to keep moisture out.

Gary O
# Posted: 4 Aug 2010 21:37

Yeah, I'd like to see the actual cabin pix too

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