How to prepare your family to survive and thrive in todays uncertain world

How To Build A Small Cabin – The Planning Process

Well, one of the things we worked on this year was building a small cabin, really just a bunk house, for some of our kids to sleep in.

Right now we have something that is affectionately called ‘Hiawatha Village’ … A bunch of tents, one for each of the older children, set up in a nice little area I cleared and leveled with judicious use of diesel farm equipment.

This served us well last year, but this year we decided to build a bunk house for the kids to get them out of the tents.  Now I wasn’t really wanting to build a huge cabin, just something that’s big enough to divide into two rooms large enough to fit beds and some storage for clothes and other personal items.

Now since this is intended to be a rather short term solution, I didn’t want to build something suitable only for sleeping quarters.  The site we’ve developed for our trailer and the living area around it will eventually be the site of our garden.  But at the same time, it should be comfortable enough for longer term usage, as when we begin construction of our new home, we intend to stay there for longer periods of time.

Once we’re done with the construction process, the bunk house will become a tool and storage shed for the garden.  But until then we’ll be using it to keep the kids happy and comfortable!

When I started this project, I figured it wouldn’t take too long to whip up a plan and move forward on it.  I knew that building the thing would take a bit longer since my time there is somewhat limited.  Well, I was wrong.  The planning process was ridiculously long.

I ended up with a 12×12 plan.  I didn’t want to make it too big, and 12×12 was big enough to put in a bunk bed in each bedroom and still have enough room for a small dresser for clothes and such.

We decided that in the interest of space, we’d have the doors open to the outside.  Each bedroom was essentially a standalone unit, like a mini duplex apartment or something.

I spent a fair amount of time sketching everything out and planning a materials list.  I used a book on framing wooden structures to engineer everything correctly.  While it’s overkill for a shed, I didn’t want to skimp on the place my kids would be sleeping.  I’ll go into more detail in the specific sections of this series.  I also had the added benefit that my dad is a licensed civil engineer who built very large buildings for a living before he retired, so he was able to sanity check my work.

Because I want to go into more detail on the specific phases of construction, this will be a multi part series.  Look for the next installment within the next day or two hopefully!

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