How to finish the inside of a 12 x 20 cabin on a budget

Picture of How to finish the inside of a 12 x 20 cabin on a budget
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Finishing the inside of the cabin with my budget was a little trying at times.

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Step 1: Running the electric line

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First thing i had to do was to dig a trench 50 feet.  Then i Ran 12/2 uf   underground wire through 3/4 inch conduit from the panel box in the garage to the junction box in the cabin.

Step 2: Junction box Illustration

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Step 3: Wiring

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 The 1st picture shows the power wires coming from the junction box to the 1st outlet which is a  gfi outlet . 
The 2nd picture shows the power from the gfi going to the  double switches.
The 3rd picture shows going from outlet box  to outlet box from the 1st gfi outlet.

Step 4: Duel switch box wiring illustration

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Step 5: Double switch outlet

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Here shows the double switch outlet finished
   As the illustration shows on step 4  two small pigtails get tied together from the main power coming in . They are screwed to the two bottom gold screws on each switch. Then the 2 black wires coming of each of the power out wires  get screwed the the top black screws. Then all the whites get tied together and all the copper  grounds get  tied together .

Step 6: Outlet wiring illustration

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Step 7: Outlet wiring

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(Line)  Power in wires -  The black wire goes to the bottom gold screw .The white wire goes to the opposite  side  across the outlet on the silver screw . Then the same goes for the (load) side power out wires.

Step 8: Wiring the outside light

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Tie the two white wires together then the two blacks and then the two copper wires.
awparran8 hours ago

Love the unit. I am buying some land in Idaho and have poured over several plans. This one come close to what I'd want to build. I saw several comments about heating and for my dollar I might go with an electronic heater. You can sit on these things, also because my property runs near the Salmon River, I'm thinking of raising whatever I build on piers.

mdeblasi11 year ago
As the owner of a licensed, insured, bonded, and code compliant electrical contracting company,
this sorta horrifies me.
coolbeansbaby68 (author)  mdeblasi11 year ago
why is that?
Because I was once a teacher and had a student and her sister die and their father loose both eyes and a hand trying to save them ---
In an electrical fire.

There is a good reason for code inspections.
Is there any reason that you won't actually augment your criticism with actual substance? So far we have:

"As the owner of a licensed, insured, bonded, and code compliant electrical contracting company, this sorta horrifies me"

That may be true, but what does that offer? You then follow with and anecdote about injuries from an electrical fire, yet offer no relevant explanation. While that is certainly a sad story, how does it specifically relate to this build? Rather than just being condescending, why not take this opportunity to help the community with actual substance rather than vague derision? What is it specifically that you find horrifying? I would really be interested to know and perhaps learn.

The substance of mdeblasi1's post was to establish their credibility in the field of electrical work, and to use that credibility to state that this cabin is, potentially, very dangerous.

I'm an electrical engineer who has done plenty of wiring work, and can back their claim. I am not terribly well versed in construction code, but I am in theory and application, lets visit a life ending possibly.

First, 'black wire', 'white wire', what are those, no one knows, it depends how whoever wired it. Say that you mixed neutral and line, say that your source for this cabin in not on a gfci, if you don't know what can happen because of that you have no business working with a medium as dangerous as line voltage in construction.

Code is there for a reason, it keeps you safe, if you would like to know more about how it keeps you safe, there are plenty of legit places to learn, a comment thread is not one of them.

Respectfully in my opinion in my opinion comment's are critical about something as important electrical installation safety, and not point out the issues, have to be irresponsible. Even calling into question if the person making the criticism has the credentials they state. Why not make that can be constructive to those reading it have been alerted to an issue will not make the mistake after fact checking the validity of the criticism?
I'm not sure I understand your comment.
Is this what you are looking for?
United Systems
Ohio License #10552
tuxman22 months ago
Just a few things... This should technically all be on a gfci breaker at the main panel in case somewhere along the line someone puts a shovel or something through the line you would hate to have them soak up the amperage before the circuit pops... how it is set up currently the gfci is protecting someone in the shed but not anyone between the shed and the long run to the house. secondly around here if your running conduit you have to use three separate lines of THHN, i'm not sure if this is standard or not, but you cant run UF, ROMEX, SOOW or basically anything in conduit other than separate strands of THHN. (an engineer explained it to me once, but it didn't make much sense...something to do with the jacket plus the conduit causing thermal issues. [overheating potential] )
topdeadcenter3 months ago
Nice cabin! I really like the wood interior. I want to give you a few pointers on your electrical work though, if you don't mind.

First of all, there's nothing wrong with using both sets of screws on an outlet. After doing electrical service calls for years I honestly believe that using pigtails (small pieces of wire from a device into a wirenut) actually increases your probability of failure. If the application doesn't require you to use a pigtail I don't think you're any better off using one.

Next, good use of UF in this application. It's not necessarily required, but I like seeing it since it doesn't have that paper to absorb possible moisture. Even though it's UF you are still required to strap it. If the box has a clamp in it like your junction box, you need a strap within 12". Boxes without a strap like the blue ones need to be strapped within 8" of the box. Make sure to strap it in the center of the stud, at least 1 1/4' back from the face of the stud.

Make sure that your Junction box is accessible without having to remove any paneling. Ideally you should be able to see it without knowing to look for it.

Finally, your home run to your panel needs a few changes done to make it legal. First of all, you may not need to worry about using 10/2 UF to feed it. Just take your meter and check the voltage at the breaker and at your junction box or first outlet. If there's more than a 3% drop in voltage between the two you will "technically" need to change it. Realistically if it's within 5% I wouldn't sweat it at all.

If you take nothing else from my advice PLEASE take this - Even though it's encased in PVC the wire feeding your cabin is NOT SAFE. You NEED to make the following change - You need to add a GFCI device to the wire feeding your cabin BEFORE it enters the trench. You can do this either by simply changing out your breaker to a 20A GFCI breaker or by placing a GFCI outlet in the circuit before the trench. Believe it or not, this will actually make your shallow trench code-compliant as far as the NEC is concerned. The extra half hour it takes to do this will be well worth the piece of mind.

Hope this helps. You have a really nice cabin, and I hope to someday build a similar one myself :)
chabias4 months ago
What a gorgeous interior! Just my style. LOVE the rustic look of your nightstands and tv table.
coolbeansbaby68 (author)  chabias4 months ago
Thank you very much . My modern outhouse is made of the same look...
chefkris4 months ago
I really like the finished product. I'm looking to do something like that but with a little less fluff. It's gonna be my workshop so the wife gets her garage back(lol) . What do you think the framework and exterior cost? I like the pole shed style and I have steel sheeting already for the roof and I'm trying to keep it under $800 if possible does it sound doable.
coolbeansbaby68 (author)  chefkris4 months ago
i would say more along the lines of about 1200.00 would be a safe bet ...
kabira1 year ago
Nice work! I am actually surprised that such a big cabin cost only $2600. I will be doing a similar project by converting a 8X12 vinyl siding garden shed into a woodworking shop. The cost of the shed itself is $3200, installed. I plan to put some solid flooring, insulation, lighting, and the wall panels.
coolbeansbaby68 (author)  kabira1 year ago
Thats pretty much what i did . The big saver was the rough sawed lumber . Just look for sales long before you are ready to buy. I know thats hard to do but in the end it helped me out a lot . For the same building to buy now for me and thats without the finished inside would be about $5600.00
So if you don't mind me asking... How much did the interior cost to finish? Lock stock and barrel the whole cabin to build and finish?
coolbeansbaby68 (author)  AngelinaGrigg1 year ago
I dont mind at all Angelina, The total build inside and out was around 2600.00 . To have someone build that it would be around 7,000 or more ....
cmies1 year ago
For others looking at this project, I would ask that you please consult with your local electrical codes before attempting your own wiring. In my municipality, there are things in this project that would have to be corrected, things that you would not consider. For instance, I have a similar detached space and the electrical feed had to be burried deeper than 36 inches and encased in conduit. Just be careful.
coolbeansbaby68 (author)  cmies1 year ago
It is encased in conduit.
Regardless, somewhere down the road, someone could take ditch witch and would rip right through that. You want to bury electrical DEEEEEEP.
Yes, I saw that in the comments later, sorry for that.

My comment wasn't specific for your project, I was just trying to make sure people understand the gravity of doing your own wiring, and the things that they might not think of. My city actually has a program for you to become certified to do you own wiring at your primary residence (you still have to pull all the same permits and have all the same inspections). I did the program and it was a great experience. Only took a few weeks of study, and then a Saturday for the test.

Great project by the way!
coolbeansbaby68 (author)  cmies1 year ago
Actually i should have used 3 wire instead .I can change that easy.
Agreed. I would highly recommend conduit, just to protect the cabling from the wandering shovel. UG is "underground" but it doesn't necessarily mean that it's safe without a conduit.

A walkway over the conduit is a helpful reminder of where it's buried as well. Given the distance you're pulling the wiring, you may have needed 10/2. It depends on distance and expected load. The "Electrician's Handbook" at your local home store can provide specifics. A heater and a fridge on the the same circuit could be too much draw for your wiring. I would also suggest you use a GFCI breaker, if you haven't already.

As cmies has pointed out, a quick discussion with the city building commission or a local electrician would be highly recommended. Even a chat with the local utility company's offices would be a good start. If you are so lucky as to have a city which lets you self-certify, do take the course.

I've done lots of electrical work on my homes, and I would have enjoyed having a course like this to learn about pigtailing and very useful tips like, "Dry fit all of your underground conduit from end to end, THEN string the bits onto the wire you plan to use, like beads on a necklace, THEN glue the PVC together...."

coolbeansbaby68 (author)  cmies1 year ago
have you seen my modern outhouse yet?
coolbeansbaby68 (author)  cmies1 year ago
Thank you very much. I still might change the wire to 10/2 i used 12/2 with a ground .Its not a hard job to change it .Juts more money when i already had the 12/2 wire ..maybe ill do it in the spring
dalesql1 year ago
This step shows one not so good electrical wiring practice. You are using the outlet itself as part of the current carrying path for all the subsequent outlets in the chain. This puts four places(two white, two blacks) where a loose screw can cause sparks and overheating possibly leading to fire. You do have to do this with the GFCI that is protecting the entire chain of outlets, but not on the subsequent outlets.

By using a couple of wire nuts to tie the incoming and outgoing conductors directly together, along with a six inch piece of jumper wire to feed the outlet, you now only have the two possible points of failure feeding the rest of the chain. (one for all the blacks, and one for the whites) The wire nuts are a much more reliable means of joining wires. While a loose screw is much easier to miss in the rush of doing the project.

Depending on your local electrical code, this may also be not allowable. I do suggest going back and redoing these outlets.

I am impressed by the whole project. Do like. I just hope that by doing this, you will reduce the chance of losing the project to an electrically caused fire years down the road.
static dalesql1 year ago
I have to believe if the metal between the two screws wasn't sufficient to handle the rated current for the circuit, and if there are other problems with the practice, the NEC wouldn't allow the use of duplex receptacles constructed in this manner. I know jurisdictions may in code and practices, but they don't make them safer than why the NEC allows. Code in some jurisdictions don't allow the use of modern non metallic sheathed cable.
dalesql static1 year ago
You miss the point. It's about reducing the number of possible failure points. Every screw terminal is a possible failure point that will shut down every downstream outlet. The wire nut connection is far more reliable.
static1 year ago
Nice fish, but I'd run 240 V service to it if it where where I live. AC is great for summer, and the same circuit could be used for baseboard heaters during the Winter. I don't buy all the gibberish in Edenpure commercial, so I wont but an overpriced Edenpure heater but that's me. 240 service would allow we to balance the load better to have an all electric kitchen are. But to be honest I'd go woth propane fo space heating or a cooktop.
PaleoDan1 year ago
Awesome job! and thanks for posting the interior pictures. I think I will use this when I get some land to build on. I might make one slight change and add a small wood stove.

Again, great job.
Have you seen the little marine stoves?

I've been eyeing these for a future project.
I had not seen those before - they are very cool but a bit pricey. I wonder if you can still find used ones for sale cheaper.

Thanks for the link.
They sell this one for ice fishing shacks etc.
They go on sale about twice a year
coolbeansbaby68 (author)  67spyder1 year ago
I seen these before but i didnt want the work with wood .
coolbeansbaby68 (author)  zanne1011 year ago
I havent seen these before
coolbeansbaby68 (author)  PaleoDan1 year ago
Thank you dan
coolbeansbaby68 (author)  PaleoDan1 year ago
That would be a good idea too! I just went with a simple heater and it works good
diy_bloke1 year ago
looks great
Ortzinator1 year ago
You can buy drywall that is mold resistant. And drywall is more bug and fire resistant. I fear you have created a giant tinderbox.

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