diy cabin Archives - Off-Grid

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Simple Off-Grid Cabin That Anyone Can Build & Afford

Looking to ditch the hustle and bustle of the city to reconnect with the great outdoors? Wishing you could build your own cabin but worried about the construction costs and labor that goes into it? Good news – you can use the cabin plans (+ useful tips) offered by Dave and Brooke of Bushradical YouTube channel, to DIY a small (10*12 ft) peaceful and cozy off-grid cabin on the cheap. (PS: You don’t need super-advanced skills to pull this off — just your dedication to the task).

Some of the main considerations include:

• Location: The location is arguably the most important part. It defines the size of the structure and determines whether it serves its purpose. To quote Dave, “pick a spot that feels right… where a cabin feels like it belongs.” Take care to consider what it will be like in different weather conditions, access, safety (under a redwood tree for example puts you at risk of huge falling branches).

• Foundation: With a small cabin, the team suggests that you don’t need to do a “real” foundation. Instead, they used concrete footing pads with wooden piers – and floor joists fitted into notches in the piers.

• Insulation: They used R13 insulation for the plywood floors – good enough to serve the purpose.

• Windows: A great option is to source reclaimed windows still in the frames before starting the build – then these can simply be fitted into the walls.

• Walls: As illustrated in the video, all you have to do is align the top + bottom plates and the 6ft back wall studs where they go, nail everything in place, put it up on the building, flush it, and nail it to the bottom – then repeat for the front wall.

• Rafters: Design one rafter based on the house measurements and use it as a template to make the rest of the roof rafters.

• Roofing and Staining: To cap off their DIY tutorial, Dave and Brooke installed corrugated roof sheets and stained the walls, respectively. This offers protection from the elements.

Watch the video for the full tutorial on how to build a simple off-grid cabin of your own. Keep in mind that it may take longer than you expect and be sure to follow building regulations in your area.

Simple Off Grid Cabin That Anyone Can Build & Afford
Simple Off-Grid Cabin That Anyone Can Build & Afford – Image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOOXmfkXpkM

Video: Building A Log Cabin In The Wilderness

Video- Building A Log Cabin In The WildernessVideo: Building A Log Cabin In The Wilderness
Photo – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYJKd0rkKss

This video by swererbob is the first in a three part series that features the exploits of Dick Proenneke, who decided back in 1968 at the age of 51 to take on the challenge of living alone in Alaska. This is extreme off-grid living and not for the faint-hearted! He made this film at the beginning of his 30 years in the wilderness and it shows clearly how he constructed a log cabin to live in, entirely with simple hand tools.

There’s a lot of inspiration in this short film and clear demonstrations of some of the building techniques used. This remarkable man decided to ask himself a few important questions, such as “What am I capable of, that I don’t know yet?”. The cabin that Dick built is reported to be still standing to this day!

The log cabin is ideally suited to the harsh environment of the far north and is usually made from materials found at the site – it provides a cozy living space and safety from wild animals, especially bears. We found these great sites that will give you all kinds of useful info about building a log cabin:
http://www.cabc.net/tips-building-log-cabin
http://www.logbuilding.co.za/whybuildloghomes.html
There are a lot of reasons why building with logs is better for the environment too!

Log cabins are up to 15 percent more efficient than standard wood-frame homes for both heating and cooling. Humidity problems do not occur in log cabins in the same way they occur in standard homes because the timber breathes.

Anyone who is interested in living a life in the wilderness, or spending long periods of time there, would do well to learn from those that have gone before – Dick Proenneke offers a great example and both Bradford Angier and Calvin Rutstrum have written many books based on their own extensive experience, on survival, adventure and building cabins. There are many courses now available and the skills can usually be learned in a week or 10 days.

If you have a log cabin of your own, or intend to buy or build one, the most important thing you need to do is to maintain the outside and the caulking (the sealant between the logs). If the weather gets in, it can rot the timber and replacing any one log will be a major job. Don’t let this put you off – there are some timber structures built this way that have lasted up to 1000 years!

Okay, here is the video: