You know that bit of land you have that has been waiting for the right time for you to build the perfect cabin on? Wait no longer! Don’t torture yourself with time. You don’t have to build the cabin yourself. Outsourcing the build for your small cabin will pay off dividends!
The immediacy of getting to maximize a spot you can use for weekends, even potentially capitalize on in viable Air B-n-B zones, and the cash you can spend on lodging in other getaway venues or on an RV rental.
These have their merit, but the best part of a small prefabricated cabin is that you aren’t waiting for tomorrow. Make the most of what your piggy bank has today instead of counting pennies for an extra five years when your needs will have changed again, and you lose all of the momentum of outdoor cabin time.
I’m going to break down all of the work it takes to build a small cabin WITHOUT a prefab kit, enabling you to decide if those are steps you can complete solo or if the bang for the buck of a prefab kit is worth it for you.
If You Want to DIY Start-to-Finish
I’m going to break down how to make your cabin if you have a woodshop you have wanted to put to use. I recommend this for moderate to advanced experienced builders. Otherwise, save yourself the headache and get the assembly joy of building your small cabin from a prefab cabin.
Step 1: Design
I recommend purchasing blueprints from sites like Etsy. I love this 1400 sq ft beauty. This way, you spend your time on the build for the low cost of ~$100.
Step 2: Materials
Once you have your blueprints, you can go to your local lumber yard or Home Depot to get everything you need. You also might find it easier to break this materials pickup down into two sections – exterior and interior. If you are low on storage, you don’t have to fret. Bonus points if you get your materials on sale! You’re also going to need essential tools such as nails, a drill, a chainsaw, or a table saw.
Step 3: The Build
We are IN IT! Craft a sturdy exterior and frame using your blueprints. Next, you’ll get into the nitty-gritty of building the inside.
Step 4: What About the Kitchen, Bathroom, and Electrical?
In the spirit of measure twice, cut once. If you are NOT someone who has experience installing these things, ESPECIALLY electrical, find a plumber, electrician, and/or all-around handyman to help you out! No matter the circumstance, electrical is the last place you should ever cut corners. Be smart. Pay a professional or find a friend who is a professional.
Step 5: Paint!
Depending on your materials, you’ll need to paint (or stain) your cabin. Check out my post on painted cabins if you need tips or tricks.
Step 6: Decorate
Ah! The best part (after hammering, of course) is easily outfitting your cabin. This may still include some furniture assembly. Keep the measurements/space available in mind to find the right balance of functionality, maximize space, and create a heavenly haven.
If You Are Using a Prefab Kit
Select your kit.
Paint or Stain.
Yes, you are paying for convenience, but this is a lifestyle convenience that will let you enjoy this bonus small cabin so much faster. There is also no guarantee that doing everything yourself will be significantly cheaper unless you are experienced enough that the hours put into the architectural plans, gathering of materials, and physical assembly are worth it.
Think of the investment in a prefab small cabin kit like this: you are either pay with a dollar now, or you pay with the time per hour in a big way later. A prefab kit for your small cabin will give you confidence and instill pride at having completed the assembly, like every proud parent who survives building a jungle gym or some overly elaborate toy your mother-in-law gifted your kid for Christmas.
The Best Prefab Kit Websites
Don’t want to think too hard? BZB Cabins Outdoors has dozens of different cabins, clearly labeled with their prices. BZB is an accessible site to navigate to pick some tried and true design styles. Save the headache and check out cute designs like this hunting cabin or the popular courtyard cabin.
2. Zook Cabins
I think of a picturesque log cabin tucked up in the mountains next to a lake when I think of cabins. Zook Cabins is EXACTLY the kind of company for prefab kits that is a dream. There are a lot of personalization and design choices that you get to make. Plus, they give you a free quote, so at the very least, it is an excellent resource to compare prices with other contenders that capture your interest.
One of the most popular home prefab kits for a good reason. This site has tons of options and truly delivers, including in the pricing category. When it comes to small cabins, they have multiple options with square footage as low as 400 sq ft or lower, like the beautiful Ozark Cabin. Weren’t thinking quite that small? These aren’t the folks for you. Their website includes what I believe is the ideal, quality small cabin with clearly marked prices.
Want the biggest no-brainer? Be prepared to shell out for these turn-key cabins (although they have some kits that you assemble available). However, the final products make that price tag seem worth it. Check out this Country T cabin or see the deluxe Pioneer Cabin. I’ve got serious cabin envy.
These quirky designs suit the overall goals of the Q Cabin – deliver a dream small cabin getaway while remaining earth-friendly. After all, we all love cabin living since we are down with mother nature, so consider this environmentally conscious company. Unsurprisingly, this is a pricey company, but the results look totally worth it if your space is for office space or a sacred retreat from the world and your values align with theirs. If you can cough up the cash, the materials are top of the line. The Teardrop is the perfect small cabin option, but I’m also a fan of the Rebounder. Check out all the designs and calculate the pricing (based on square footage) here.
6. Avrame USA
Q Cabin isn’t your only design first option. I am a sucker for A-frames, and Avrame USA has earned its reputation as an extraordinary prefab kit company. Easy to customize while not overwhelming you with options, Avrame USA will get you that adorable cabin getaway perfect for family gatherings, private retreats, reflection, and being your little slice of heaven on earth. Avrame USA promises that what arrives at your door is all you need to build yourself. I dig The Duo model but browse the website to see what fits you.
While this isn’t quite a “small” cabin, you have to check this out! I love this company: Like with Zook Cabins, this is the ultimate log cabin look. UNLIKE Zook Cabins is a company that is walking you through the process from start to finish, so honestly, if you are at any experience level, they will help make your dream small cabin a reality. They even have a list of recommended contractors you can work with if you prefer for someone else to handle the assembly. Also, unlike Zook, their selling point is all about the kind of materials and premium cedar wood they gather. I like the Wilderness Package.
That’s my breakdown of prefab small cabin kits! Happy Getaway, cabineers!