Free Cabin Plans and How to Build a Cabin

Cabin Plans and Careful Planning

In using cabin plans, or any other plans,  you should begin by making rough sketches to express your idea, and from them an accurate working drawing in which every detail and measurement is clearly given. 

Make all your working drawings carefully to scale, and whenever you can, make them full size. Do not guess at the height, width, and length, but measure, and measure very carefully. Never mind if it takes time. Learn first to do it right, and practice will soon teach you to do it more quickly.

The time to make changes in your cabin plans is when you are making the drawings - particularly the rough preparatory sketches. Making the drawings will, if you make them complete and accurate, show you what you know and what you do not know about the subject. The working drawing should be complete and final.

Cabin Plans and Knowing your Wood

Wood is a living thing that comes in all sorts of ways, from green wood to dry wood, treated wood and kiln-dried wood, and a lot more in between. Because wood is a living thing, it continues to absorb moisture from the air and will swell and shrink according to the weather conditions. Therefore it is good to be totally familiar with the different types of wood before you start.

Cabin Plans Design 1

The ground dimensions for this cabin design can either be 5' or 6' x 7' or 8'. The ends must be made higher than the sides, as shown, to allow for the slant of the roof. Mark lines, using a straight-edge, to give the slant for both sides of the roof, and saw the boards off by these lines. A short cleat can be added at the top in the middle to stiffen these top boards.

After the sides and ends are put together, get out two boards, of the shape shown in Fig. 373, to rest in four rectangular notches cut in the front and back sides of the house. These pieces are to support the roof-boards, and their upper edges are to be cut at the same angle as the top of either end of the house. Nail these pieces firmly in place at each end (Fig. 374).

cabin plans exterior

Fig. 372.

Now get out boards for the roof, to run from end to end and about 4" longer than the house. Begin to nail them on at the top, and have the roof overhang the sides and ends 2" all around.

You can easily put in the window-sash, either by hinging it so as to swing open, or by having it slide to the right or left on strips nailed above and below it, as shown in Fig. 369.

The roof-boards can also be laid the other way by putting in a ridge-piece in the form of a piece of studding or joist of any size not less than 2" x 2" (Fig. 377), or even a board on edge, to which the upper ends of the roof-boards can be nailed.

cabin plans roof 1

Fig. 373.

cabin plans roof

Fig. 374.

Another way to put any such little structure as this together is to have the sheathing run up and down and the cleats horizontally. This makes a neater structure than the way just given. The general principle of the construction is the same, the four sides being made separately and then fastened together.

Cabin Plans Design 2

The cabin design shown in Fig. 376 can be carried out in the manner already described.

The ground dimensions can be 6' or 7' x 8' or 9'. In making the ends where they are cut off at the top to give the slant for the roof, inside cleats should be used. Mark lines, using a straight-edge, for the slant for both sides of the roof, and saw the boards off by these lines. It will be convenient and will look well to make the angle at the top a right angle. At the top saw out a notch in which to rest the ridge-pole, as shown in Fig. 376.

 Play House Store Or Cabin 389

After the sides and ends are fastened together, nail the ridgepole in place and get out short boards for the roof. Cut these for one side of the roof so as to be about 2" longer than the slant of the end of the house, and make those for the other side of the roof as much longer as the thickness of the boards, so that they will lap over at the top, as shown in Fig. 377. Nail them on, beginning at one end, so that the roof will overlap the ends and sides 2" all around.

Nailing upright strips at the corners, as is commonly done on wooden houses, and as is shown in the picture, will give the house a more finished appearance. The other details are similar to those already shown.

Play House Store Or Cabin 390

Fig. 377.

This house can have a floor, which can be made of 2" x 4" studding simply nailed together and floored over (Fig. 378), forming a sort of platform to which the sides and ends can be nailed when the house is put together; and the best way to make the whole structure is that shown in Fig. 377, the boards running vertically and cleats horizontally. 

In case of using a platform floor with this last method of construction, the lower cleats can be raised from the bottom so as to rest on the floor, as shown in Fig. 378. This makes the putting together of the house quite simple, as the fitting of the sides and ends and floor in their proper places obviates the need of testing with square or measuring diagonals. 

The lower cleats on the sides and ends are not really necessary, however, except for convenience in putting together and taking apart, as the vertical sheathing can be nailed directly to the floor-frame or sills, as shown in Fig. 377.

Play House Store Or Cabin 391

Fig. 378.

Cabin Plans Design 3

Play House Store Or Cabin 392

Fig. 379.

Cabin Plans Design 4

Play House Store Or Cabin 393

Fig. 380.

Cabin Plans Design 5

cabin plans design 5

Fig. 381.

The whole can then be leveled , being blocked up underneath as may be required.

The design is also suitable for a larger structure, in which case a frame should be made as shown in Fig. 389.

Another very similar design is shown in Fig. 379, and can be put together according to the principles already shown.

stove pipe for cabin plans

Fig. 382.

The boarding runs vertically and the cleats horizontally, as shown in Fig. 377.

Figs. 380 and 381 show other simple arrangements, the ground dimensions of which can be, perhaps, 8' x 12', and which can be put together in the same way as the preceding cases, with or without a floor, and with the boarding running vertically or horizontally.

Cabin Plans and the Stove Pipe

If a stove is to be used, the smoke-pipe can be arranged to pass through the side of the house, as in Figs. 382, 383, etc. If to pass through the roof, it should be soldered or riveted to a sheet of metal, as galvanized iron, the upper edge of the latter being 17 slipped under the roof covering while the lower edge laps over it (Fig. 384), on just the same principle that shingles are laid, the idea being, of course, that the water will run down over the metal without leaking through, just as it runs down over the shingles.

This simple principle must always be observed whenever metal is used to prevent joints leaking. With such small houses as these it is usually easier and safer about leakage to have the pipe run through the side of the house. 

If to go through the roof (particularly when there is no special roof covering but boards), it is a good plan to have the pipe pass through the roof near the ridge, so that the upper edges of the metal sheet can be slipped under one of the saddle-boards (Fig. 385). In any case, an air space must be allowed between the smoke-pipe and the wood, and it is always well to have a collar an inch or two outside of the pipe. Any tinsmith or metal-worker can arrange these details.

cabin plans stove pipe

Fig. 383.

chimney flue for cabin plans

Fig. 384.

chimney flue for cabin plans

Fig. 385.

Round drain-pipe set in cement is often used for a cheap pipe or chimney, and answers the purpose very well.

Fig. 383 also shows the way to lay sheathing- or roofing-paper in case you wish to use it for a temporary structure. It also gives a suggestion for a window-shutter to be raised by a cord passing through to the inside, where it can be fastened to a cleat.

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