How to Finish the Inside of a 12 X 20 Cabin on a Budget




About: 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 my mind going .. Its fun making something new but its more fun taking somethi...

Finishing the inside of the cabin with my budget was a little trying at times.

Step 1: Running the Electric Line

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

Step 3: Wiring

 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

Step 5: Double Switch Outlet

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

Step 7: Outlet Wiring

(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

Tie the two white wires together then the two blacks and then the two copper wires.

Step 9: Ceiling and Wall Boards

 With everything so expensive these days Its hard to cover walls with anything that wont break the bank...  T -111  plywood will put you in to poor house. Drywall is cheap but It might mold dew to the temperature differences this cabin is going to have . Tongue and groove boards will also put you in the poor house. So the next beast step  yet not cheap either are these boards called  ship lap  boards. The look just like tongue and groove boards but there not . The ends just lap over the other and there is a 45 chamfer on both sides so it looks like tongue and groove when you put them up.
  The cost is easy figuring for these boards. I needed  64 boards for  the two long walls and 50 for the two 12 foot walls.So 114 boards x 5.00 =$570.00
  The ceiling is 12x16 so i needed 50 8 ft boards so that was 250.00 .
 2nd picture  Shows the starting of the ceiling and the 3rd shows it finished

Step 10: Insulating and Girts

I used  6" R-19   insulation for the walls and ceiling. Then i installed the girts 2  foot on centers.
 (GIRTS) are  the 2 x 4 's that go lengthwise  down the length of the wall that you nail your wall boards to.

Step 11: Wall Boards

Here shows the wall boards being installed . They were cut to 89 1/2 inches.
 2nd picture shows cutting around the light outlets and  sockets.

Step 12: Extension Jams and Window Trim

1st picture shows cutting the wall boards even with the window studding .
2nd picture  shows measuring for the width of the extension  jams and the sill plate .
3rd ,4th and 5th picture show the sill plate installed ,then the extension jams and the trim boards installed.

Step 13: Entry Door Extension Jams and Trim

The entry door  jams were cut  5 1/4  wide  and fit into place . The 2nd picture shows the trim all finished . All trim was cut 2'' wide .

Step 14: Finished Walls and Ceiling

Step 15: Installing Indoor Outdoor Carpeting

This picture shows installing the 12x16  indoor outdoor carpeting.

Step 16: Installing Vinyl Walkway Flooring

 1st picture shows i cut out a  2 foot x 6 foot  piece of Luan plywood then cut out the carpet underneath it . I then stapled it to the floor.
2nd and 3rd picture  Shows the 12 inch square vinyl  stick on tiles i used for the walkway .

Step 17: Eden Pure Heater

1st picture shows the Eden Pure heater i bought to keep things all nice and toasty for the weekends.

Step 18: Digital Antenna

Since i bought a 32 inch tv i needed a digital antenna so i could get some local channels. So i bought this  Clear stream 2  hdtv antenna.
 The 2nd picture shows the antenna mounted on the peak of the roof.
 Once i Did a channel search i found i could get about 35 channels and they are so crystal clear !. I am very pleased with this antenna.

Step 19: Finished Inside

here the the finished inside pictures. The futon we had . The the two night stands and tv stand  i made a long time ago. So a little by little i will fill it up...



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    102 Discussions


    7 months ago

    No criticisms, no nasty comments, no telling you how to do it......just saying.......I LOVE IT!!! One of these could be my she shed. What are you doing next weekend?


    1 year ago

    This place is really cool beans! What a phenomenal job. All in, what would your guesstimate be?

    1 reply

    1 year ago

    The wood ceiling and walls are beautiful ! Much respect and admiration here, you DID what most people TALK about doing (self included). Even so, definitely take the electrical comments seriously enough to discuss the project face to face with a licensed electrician. No reason to even consider taking a chance with something that extremely important. GREAT JOB !

    2 replies

    Reply 1 year ago

    all the electric was changed over .all up to code now .And thank you


    1 year ago

    You need to break the connecting tab on the hot side of your outlet -since they are individually switched... o


    6 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    8 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    Why not just a simple, propane-powered camp stove w/ oven attachment? I think Ozark Trail sells a special hood to turn their stoves into ovens, and they're super cheap at your local megamart or camping store...


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Have you seen the little marine stoves?

    I've been eyeing these for a future project.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    They sell this one for ice fishing shacks etc.
    They go on sale about twice a year


    2 years ago

    I'm new to the diy community, but one thing I've learned is that if you have a really tight budget to build a cabin you can use pallets. 99% of the time they are free and usually like new. has a lot of ideas and pictures. just throwin that out there for others like me with little to no money


    2 years ago

    How much did the instulation cost for the whole cabin?


    2 years ago

    Good Job! Electrical: I bought a home wiring book from Sears back in 1980 for $2.25 and used it to wire 3 houses and 3 garages/outbuildings. You only need to follow the colored pictures. For those that want to insure their structure and get a C of O in our town you need to the electric inspected and approved which is no big deal - they'll catch it if you screw up or run the wrong size. It is OK to do it on your own - they don't care - it is about $75. for the inspection here. I always speak with the inspector to go over what I am trying to do and ask for his opinions before doing anything. Works best to never surprise your inspector. As for the conduit run. Get the next size larger than you'll think you'll need, glue it up before putting it in the trench. To run the wiring, get your trusty shop vac, some mason line and a small piece of paper. Tie the wadded up paper to the mason line and stick it in one end. Attach the shop vac to the other side -maybe with some duct tape. Turn on the vac and it will suck the paper wad and mason line through the conduit. The first time I did it I sucked the whole spool of line into the vac. It goes quick so secure one end of the spool. Next get some 3/16" or bigger nylon line, tie to the mason line and pull that through. Now the larger line is attached to your electrical line and you pull that through. Easy. There are many charts out there to tell you the size of wire to use for what you want to accomplish and the length you need to run. Always go bigger - less voltage loss and less heat in the wire. You don't run Romex in conduit, though it is done. The Romex jacket keeps the heat in and increases resistance. You can buy individual spools of colored wire of any gauge. For the shed here I would probably run at least 8 gauge to a subpanel with breakers. I'd also run a 3/4" conduit for low voltage wire - like security or cable in a second trench - about 2 feet apart. While you are renting the trencher I would do a waterline too - even if shallow you can drain/blow out for the winter freeze. From what I have seen the armchair comment "experts" criticize much but never built anything - they can't even come up with a materials list. Thanks for sharing, enjoy.