How to Build Your Own DIY Cabin on a Budget

by Alex ThatcherFebruary 22, 2017

6 Tips for Building an Affordable Cabin

Owning a home without having a mortgage hanging over your head is something that everybody desires. It’s why the tiny home movement and DIY cabin industry is booming. There are a lot of people who want to live with greater self-reliance and with fewer material “things” bogging them down. Building a DIY cabin is an excellent way to accomplish all of these goals.

If you have always wanted to build your own cabin, whether for a vacation getaway or as your full-time home, then you can do it, and for less money than you might have imagined. Here are six important tips you’ll need to know to get the job done right and on budget.
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Plan, Prioritize, and Process

The most important thing you can do to help keep your costs under control is to plan. Failing to plan out your build will result in a wide range of problems, almost all of them costly. Plan your build, prioritize everything, and only then should you start the process.
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Keep Your Floorplan Simple

This is pretty much a no-brainer. The simpler your floorplan is, the less expensive your build is going to cost. Don’t get fancy, just stick with the stock floorplan. Any alterations will quickly increase costs.

Pay Up for Quality When Necessary

This might seem counterproductive to building an affordable cabin, but the truth is, paying more for certain things, like your windows and doors, will pay off down the road with lower energy bills. Even if it means you have to reduce the number of windows in your home, make sure to get the highest quality windows possible so the ones you install are worth it.
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Consider All of Your Foundation Options

A concrete slab or crawlspace are two of the most common foundations used for building cabins, but they aren’t the only ones available. Depending on the size of your cabin, you might be able to get away using less expensive products like cinderblocks, concrete piers, super spikes, or even patio stones.
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Inquire About Special Financing

Thanks to the increase in interest in this industry, banks and lenders are starting to recognize that there is a need to be filled here. So, many are starting to offer special financing for DIY cabin builds and other smaller home builds.

Ask your cabin producer if they know of any such lenders in the area that you can be referred to. You may be able to finance your home at a low rate. In doing so, you’ll still have that dreaded mortgage, but it will be considerably smaller than what you would be paying on a standard single-family home.

Take Your Cabin Off the Grid

From wind turbines to solar power systems to hydro-power, there are plenty of alternative energy sources available these days that will help you take your cabin off the grid. Despite the cost of this equipment, you may qualify for special tax incentives that will help offset the cost. Plus, by taking your cabin off the grid, you’ll never have to worry about paying an electric bill again!

Building your own cabin is a remarkably rewarding experience that will bring you closer to your fore-fathers while at the same time respecting the planet’s resources and keeping more money in your pocket. Now is the perfect time to get in on this trend. All you need now is a plot of land!


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About The Author
Alex Thatcher
Alex is a home staging guru who moonlights as a writer. She loves everything about interior design and loves working in the industry. Alex is an expert in finding what makes people light up when they walk into a room, and has made a living by creating interiors that are unique, warm and inviting. When she isn't arranging flowers or making sure she's found the right loveseat for prospective buyers, she writes about her passion — home design.

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