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Building a cabin yourself is much more economical than buying a prefab storage shed. The cost of materials for this build, including doors and windows, was around $2,200, which was about the same price as the install would have been on one of this large size if I’d purchased it from a hardware store. I know this for a fact because six years ago I bought a 12x16 shed from a well-known company close to where I live and it cost $2,000 for them to build it and drop it off. Today that same building would cost $4,200. With such a big price increase I decided that if I wanted to add a cabin to my property I had to build it myself.

If you decide to do the same, remember to check with your local authorities to make sure you don’t need a permit. It’s not likely that it’s required for a building of this size, but you never know.

If you would like to see the finished inside of the cabin please click here: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-finish-the-inside-of-a-12-x-20-cabin-on-a-b/.

If you would like to see the matching modern outhouse please check this out: https://www.instructables.com/id/modern-outhouse/.

Step 1: Floor Illustration

Here is the 12x20 floor plan showing where the 4x4s and the floor joists would be located.

Step 2: Drilling and Planting the Posts

1st picture: shows my ford tractor and my neighbors post hole digger he let me borrow.


2nd picture: shows the posts planted and the bottom 2x10 stringers.


3rd & 4th pictures: show the upper 2x10x12 and the 2x10x16 upper stringers being nailed in at 7 feet 8 inches.

Step 3: Setting the Center Rafter Board

This picture shows the center rafter board. I measured over 6 feet to the center. The roof is going to be a 5/12 pitch roof so the rafter board had to be 30 inches to the top of the board.

Step 4: Making the Angles for the Top and Bottom of the Rafters

1st picture: shows using a quick square. Put the pivot point at the top of the board and turn the square until the 5 on the * COMMON TOP CUT* line graph lines up with the outside of the board. Then draw the line to make the angle.

2nd picture: Once you cut your first angle then you have to measure from the tip of your cut down the length of the rafter to get your measurement for the seat cut. Once you have that measurement then you put the pivot point on that mark and turn the square until you get your 5/12 angle again. Then measure up that angle 2 1/2 inches and draw that line.

3rd picture: shows taking the edge of the square and lining it up with the 2 1/2 in line and turn the square until the tip is lined up with the edge of the board. Then draw that line.


4th picture: shows the angle seat that I just drew cut out.

Step 5: Setting the Rafters

1st picture: shows the rafters being set next.


2nd picture: shows the rafters on and the starting of the purlins being put on the top of the rafters for roof support. This is what the metal roofing is screwed to.


3rd picture: shows the tails all cut to 9 inches long and shows the steel roofing over hanging the roof by 2 inches to support the facia boards.


4th and 5th pictures: show the roofing installed.

Step 6: Adding on a 4 Foot Porch

Here is where it started to get complicated for me. I was looking for a 12x16 cabin, but once i looked at it I decided I wanted the whole 12x16 for floor space so i added a 4 foot porch to the 12x16 to make it a 12x20 total building instead of a 12x12 inside living space.

Step 7: Side Wall and Purlin Illustration

Step 8: Lag Bolting the Outer Joist to the 4x4 Poles

I had to screw (36) 3x3/8 inch lag bolts to all the outer joists into the 4x4s for stability.

Step 9: Hurricane Studs

1st picture: shows the (20) 13 inch hurricane studs with the 5/12 pitch angle cuts.


2nd picture: shows them installed.

Step 10: Floor Joists and Insulation and Floor

1st & 2nd pictures: show the (14) 2x10x12 floor joist installed

3rd & 4th pictures: show the 1x2 furring strips nailed to the inside of the floor joist 1 inch below the top of all the joists.

5th picture: shows the 1 inch insulation board between each joist before gluing and nailing the floor to the joist.

6th picture: shows my Dad lending a hand nailing down the floor.

Step 11: Rough Sawn Lumber for 8 Inch Board and Batten Siding

1st - 3rd pictures: show my dad cutting the siding boards to 8 foot long.

4th - 6th pictures: show the boards up on the wall and the soffit and the facia boards being put on.

Step 12: Studding in the Porch Ceiling

This picture shows the studding in for the porch ceiling, 16 inch centers and 4 foot long studs.

Step 13: Studding in the Front Wall and Door Frame

Studding in the front wall and front door frame, it was a hot day!! Here's my dooraggin' Dad! Just had to take a picture of this! He-he-he...

2nd picture: my friend Josh came over for a day to lend a hand on the mitre saw.

Step 14: Gable Ends

Here are the gable ends finished with the batten strips attached. All that's left for them are the two vents.

Step 15: Finished Cabin Structure

<p>I am impressed with what you have done. You have inspired me especially since I can get 'er done for around $2000 - $2500. When you did this, did you make a materials list? I read through the comments and noticed that people have asked but it doesn't look like you responded. I could have overlooked your comment. Do you have a materials list? I would be grateful. </p>
<p>im sorry i never made a materials list i just planned one step at a time </p>
<p>We have been looking into the pre-built sheds (for an actual shed, not cabin), they are 4-5K in my area here in Wisconsin for a 12x16. This gives me hope that my husband &amp; I can build something like this as a 12x24 for around $3000-$3500. A couple of roll-up doors and we would have plenty of storage. Thank you for posting ! </p>
<p>I dont understand how you added the porch extension? Suddenly there are 2 more rafters. </p>
<p>Amazing! If you're in to making cabins or doing projects on a scale this big. I would highly recommend this: <a href="https://goo.gl/8Si4tl" rel="nofollow">https://goo.gl/8Si4tl</a></p><p>You do pay out initially but the quality of his plans are insane. Just like this one!</p>
<p>Thank you! This is just what I needed: an easy to follow plan.</p>
You did an awesome job on the cabin. <br>Im very interested in building this on my property. Is there a materials list available somewhere? And something that shows specific dimensions (blueprints) ?? Are they available from the download ??
<p>Hi, this is great, so much so I am revisiting from seeing it some time ago. Just wondering if you have a bill of materials at all?</p><p>Thanks</p>
<p>Very nice work and looks great.</p>
<p>thank you </p>
<p>I would have built the back wall shot of 9.5 inches high in height so I could have a small bed above a table and slope down the front to 8ft. I can't tell if the base is raised but in Canada one is suppose to have it on cement to keep out mice. Bush country may not be as restrictive. The poles holding up the roof also have to be cemented in.With a small cab like this it wouldn't take much to take off the snow. If it is hurricane country, one mite add copper pipes in a section. It seems that washrooms are never completely demolished due to the copper pipes. One could add a room under the floor to jump into in an emergency but it would have to be in a dry area or made with cement blocks. Thanks for sharing, iris having the back wall taller would mean, in time one could build the other way for expansion.</p>
<p>coper pipes add no structural rigidity to a building and in Florida they are a liability between the mineral in the water and the frequent lightning they pinhole and need replacing too often, the key to building in fl is tying roof to foundation as strong as possible hurricane straps go from roof support to the walls and transfer load to foundation . in this case the posts would be deep and concreted in then ther roof strapped to the post in addition to nails . in the pic the structure is sound post and beam is a durable method </p>
<p>How much did it cost to build?</p>
<p>finished totally around 1800.00</p>
<p>Is there an existing supply list?</p>
<p>Great work. Loved the project and will make something similar next year once the renovation of the house and the cleaning of the yard is done.</p>
<p>Hello everybody! I have this crazy plan that I would love to make happen but im not sure about le legality of it and I wish someone could help me out a bit.. I'm from Quebec, Canada and I would love to build a small little cabin like the one ''timhinerman'' did. And I often go to this beautiful and awesome place deep in the woods with my wife and we usually camp on the spot with our tent and have no problems at all. I know that we are not on private land so, I would like to know if it would be illegal to build a tiny cabin made out of recycled wood, windows and door so that we could have our secret peaceful place to visit one in a while !?<br><br>I know it sounds crazy but thanks in advance ! :) </p>
<p>Why couldn't you just build it on a nice strong trailer and move it wherever you want to camp, then you could take it already loaded with all your supplies? If being deep in the woods is the reason I totally understand but if you could take a 4 wheeler and pull it through the woods to the site you'd want to use.... then you could get it back out and make any desired modifications at home at your leisure.</p>
<p>Camoflague the project ? Paint it in surrounding colours, even the roof, so google earth won't easily display it. Plant shrubs close to the hut or even build it in such a hinged way, that it can be compacted out of sight when you leave it. Off you go, use your thinking cap followed by the iCan.</p>
<p>I had to purchase crown property in the 1950's at a cost of $18,000 and I am First Nations aboriginal and the said crown land was on aboriginal land. I also had to pay to have it registered and paid land taxes. Putting a stick or stone on land for ownership went out in the 1700's despite news reports to the contrary. You mite get a $10,000 fine and have to tear it down. Try to get it registered and see what happens. They may direct you to real estate You may have to pay to buy it and maybe it won't be that bad. You could build out of recycled wood as long as it looks respectable and not close to neighbours or highways. You would also have to build a sewer (not hard) if you live there year round. Usually, you can pay someone to drill, they push down plumbing pipes and the pressure of the water will come up if you are close to water. Otherwise, you could build low land, pipe the water from a hill, ditch or well, and gravity would bring it down but frost would be a problem. You could weave pipe behind a stovepipe and have hot water or have an inside trench to pump up to a shower. Whatever you build has to be to code and sturdy. If you get property to go the dump. Houses are being torn down all the time and the wood is good...even brick. </p>
<p>If you own it, and there are no covenants for the location, then you can build whatever you like, however you like. :)</p>
<p>May I ask what material you used on the flooring. I have a shed that I would love to convert but it has a fibreboard floor and walls and the moisture seeps in. I could add siding to the outside but would rather leave it painted white as is. Would cement board work for both floors and walls from the inside? Thank you. Beautiful pictures and great instructions</p>
If you use sheetrock for the interior walls the same seeping moisture is going to do the same damage. The sub-flooring on one of these cabins could be made out of tongue and groove 2x6 but the cost and time would increase ing building. For the exterior walls they make a primed wafer board T-1-11that is 7/16&quot; thick that is resiliant and easy to put up. You could also use a Tyvek Vapor Barrier under the exterior siding to keep the moisture out.
<p>i have 2 inch foam insulation between the joists then 3/4 sheeting boards</p>
<p>If you don't mind me asking, what did all the materials cost? I apologize if it was in the instructable. I just looked at the pictures. Nice shed!!</p>
<p>I've been living in a 12' X 24' &quot;cottage&quot; for 20 years now. This use to be a &quot;mother-in-law's&quot; house many years ago. It is in a tiny town of 250 people in the northwoods of Wisconsin. I have all of the comforts of home here...fortunately I have a full basement underneath it. This little house is all anyone could ever need...AND I use less than 200 gallons of fuel oil for my heating each year in temperatures down to -30*! I tell ya, it's the way to go! </p>
<p>The living space is 12x16 right?<br><br>it looks big!</p>
<p>yes its 12x20 with the porch</p>
<p>love the cabin I'm about to purchase 5 acres in Colorado and would love any ideas on what and how I should build, now I can build anything I want and how I want. Don't have much money and I would be doing the work well me, wife and kids. Any advise will be greatly appreciated you can also email with advice pinchibarquillo@gmail.com </p>
<p>Hi Johnny</p><p>we build cabin/sheds/garages here in the uk. using a patented block which doesn't require a builder would be interested in what costs you guys expect to pay for a good size cabin or shed/work shop maybe we could you guys build something</p><p>Regards</p><p>Tony</p>
<p>Start of inaugural &quot;National Shanty Town&quot; Scheme ?</p>
<p>ooops forgot our email pal.</p><p><a href="mailto:britanniaprecast@ymail.com" rel="nofollow">britanniaprecast@ymail.com</a> happy to help anybody interested.</p>
<p>Without any vertical support for the ridge beam ... you put 1 foot of snow on that roof ... and you will be wearing that roof.</p>
<p>THEN DON'T PUT IT IN COLD PLACES!</p>
<p>...or near sand dunes...(Rujberg-Knude Lighthouse Station in Zeeland, Denmark)</p>
<p>Thanks for your hint, but this project is not for the &quot;First day DIYer&quot;. Anybody tackling anything of this magnitude will realise what Rules of Static will have to be applied in their area.</p>
<p>well i live in upstate ny 6 foot and no problems yet been 6 years now.andthere is truss supports tied into the ceiling ..</p>
<p>bit late comment pal. but really like the cabin. I live in the uk and build cabins/sheds/garages here surrounded by building regs supervised by kids fresh out of college don't know shxt except what they get taught. no hands on experience. your lucky to be able to build your own. might look at moving somewhere same </p>
<p>Hi Tony, how much wold you say a shed like this would cost to build here in the UK? Just the materials. Thank you :-) </p>
<p>Could you supply me with the supply list you used to build this?</p><p>mossoh4553@gmail.com </p><p>Thanks</p>
This is just begging for a cement block bunker under it! Or two - one that is obvious and one that is hidden - who would ever guess the second one was there!?!? Wouldn't hurt to have a sump pump with ejector pump, couple solar panels, couple propane tanks and heater plus a high efficiency wood burning stove. <br><br>I've always been curious how building a cabin like this with cement board walls on inside and outside with metal studs would do to keep in heat and add some serious fire protection!
<p>would love to try this.</p>
<p>Good one!</p>
<p>Love the building, is there any way I can get the list of supplies and building blue prints. fhlail@gmail.com</p>
<p>Nail the 2X10 to the 4X4 on both sides prior to placing in the holes</p>
<p>williama11@comcast.net</p>
<p>Hi there do you think you could email me a full supplies listI am going to try and build one of my own and want to know what to buy?</p>
<p>Excellent craftsmanship ! Great tutorial too ! </p>
<p>thank you </p>
<p>Lovely building, NICE craftsmenship! </p>

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Bio: Just a normal guy trying to make it in life .Good paying job but mindless sometimes .I enjoy making things in my garage to keep ... More »
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