How to Build a Cheap Cabin?

How to Build a Cheap Cabin?

If you’re done with the hectic city life, it’s time you pack your stuff and head to the countryside to live in a cabin. These homes are great for recreation and spending time with family over vacation. However, if you’re worried about the high building costs, don’t worry. You can easily manage to build a cabin on a budget.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you’ll have to cut out all necessary details or use crappy low-quality material. Instead, you can benefit from several smart tips to build a cheap cabin without compromising quality.

So yes, you can build an ideal cabin while saving money. Read this post if you’re looking to learn some thrifty strategies to build your cabin. 

Find the Right Location

The most important step to building a cheap cabin is finding the perfect location. You should search for a place that’s rich with natural resources such as wood, rock, and water. These resources are vital for building the cabin, and procuring them can cost a lot of money. 

If you plan ahead of time and find the right spot for building your cabin, you can save on your budget. 

For instance, instead of buying lumber from the market that can sum around thousands of dollars, you can chop up some available timber in the vicinity. This way, getting stone and water would become easier for you. 

Invest in Tools and Equipment

Instead of spending your budget on expensive construction material, you can save your money wisely and get yourself useful tools. This step can become beneficial for you in the long run as you can use your equipment for several other purposes. 

For instance, if you buy a chainsaw to cut your wood, the chainsaw can be used in other future projects. 

Here are some suggestions you can use to invest your money in equipment and tools:

  • Buy good power tools in used condition
  • Rent concrete mixers, excavators, and tractors instead of buying them
  • Rent a generator to power your equipment
  • Buy a chainsaw
  • Get an auger for digging holes to install poles and posts

You can also get these tools locally to buy them at the best bargain prices.

Buy Locally Sourced Materials

Unless you’re super-rich or have a big budget for your cabin, getting material transported across the country can cost you a huge sum. This results from expensive freight costs, handling costs, and other charges added to your bill. So, sourcing your materials locally is a better alternative. 

You may start your cabin-building journey by searching for local vendors. These suppliers may suggest their best offerings, and you can buy materials in bulk from them. 

Buying materials locally may also give you the freedom to negotiate on price. You can also learn about what materials are suitable for the weather condition of your area as most suppliers will store high-demand materials. 

Polish Your Workshop Skills

This may seem obvious, but most DIY enthusiasts dive into building their cabin driven by sheer passion alone. Often an idea is enough to spark their interest. However, you need to back up your spirit with the right skills for construction, as there is nothing worse than a failed cabin project due to a lack of correct building techniques.

Your construction work can be affected by minor calculation errors or carpentry mistakes that lead to serious trouble later on. 

If you want to stay low on budget and save money, your first chance is your last chance. Because multiple issues may require you to fix them each time, causing a loss of material, money, and time. 

Design a Suitable Floor Plan

We all love complex architectural designs and adding multiple layers to our living spaces. But sometimes, simple is more. 

For example, a basic floor plan with a rectangular design may cost you fewer materials than a multi-story cabin with several rooms. 

This doesn’t mean you should give up your dream of a beautiful cabin and stick to a modest design that looks more like a plain box. Instead, it means you should simplify the space as much as possible. 

Consider a floor space that’s more open, spacious, and is designed with multiple distinct rooms. 

Invest in Durable Sidings

When building a cheap cabin, you might only consider the building cost and ignore the maintenance expense over time. However, you should always stay mindful of your spending on repairs, as they can cost you even more than your initial budget. 

Investing in cheap building materials is not a great option. Instead, you should look out for durable and good-quality materials that may require minimal repair or maintenance. For instance, plywood or vinyl is a common cheap siding material light on the wallet.

These products often do not have a long lifespan. As a result, you may have to replace or repair them time and again. In contrast, a heavy-duty siding option such as log siding made from steel can last many decades without maintenance.

Do Work With Your Hands

If you’ve got a property that’s not clear for building purposes, you’ve got to roll your sleeves up, as clearing the land may require a lot of money. The good news is that you can play your part in getting the job done by doing as little as cutting the trees down and removing bushes and stones yourself. 

Of course, you don’t have to level the land with an excavator, but these small acts can impact your budget significantly. Before you dish out thousands of dollars for land clearance, try your best and save up costs by doing small jobs that do not need professional help.

Use Natural Light

One good alternative to having a cheap cabin is building an off-grid one. These cabins do not have conventional lighting sources and use sustainable options. 

One excellent opportunity to cut your cabin’s electrical costs and electric utility bills is to avoid artificial lights. You can achieve this by installing skylights, fireplaces, sunrooms, and large windows. 

An open floor plan may also maximize your cabin’s natural light and save you good money. In addition, you should also determine the best angle for building your cabin to receive sunlight. This step is crucial if you want to reduce your electricity consumption. 

Install Alternate Lighting Options

In addition to using natural light for brightening up your cabin, you can also invest in using solar lights for living off-grid. Since outdoor lighting can cost you a big chunk of money during and after construction, solar lights and lanterns can make your life easier. 

For this, you can swap your outdoor pathway and porch lights with solar-charged batteries and lights. In addition, you may also rely on other lighting options such as oil or gas lanterns, candles, etc. 

Consider Cost-Saving Foundation Alternatives

Cabin foundations are an essential part of the building process, and you can not ignore the material costs they require. However, a cheap alternative to save your money is to use slabs, patio pavers, or concrete as a foundation. 

These are budget-friendly options that go well with small cabins that span over 200 square feet or less. 

Build Stone Paths

As we mentioned earlier, a cheap cabin doesn’t require cheap building materials. Instead, you can cut down the costs on the least essential elements, such as making pathways. As a fact, pouring large amounts of concrete for your cabin pathways is a waste of money if you’re on a small budget. But how about using gravel, patio pavers, or crushed stone?

These affordable options will save you money, but you can also get creative with them. So, scan hundreds of cute DIY ideas on the internet and build a unique, personalized, and inexpensive pathway for your sweet cabin.

Get Creative

When looking for building materials and sourcing cabin furniture, you can use your creative skills and bring your inner artist to life. For instance, instead of buying brand new furniture, you can hunt for salvageable materials in backyards, online auctions, and other demolition sites.

The Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are filled with several options you can buy at a discounted price. So, get thrifty and keep an eye for any material that can be recycled into something unique and special.

Final Thoughts

Spending time in a cabin can offer an escape to many people. It offers a pleasant recreational experience where you can unwind and relax. The best part is that you can own your cabin without having a huge budget. 

In fact, building a cheap cabin is possible with a few valuable tips. For instance, maximizing the use of natural light, cutting off electricity consumption, and doing work with your own hands can significantly impact your budget. 

Warwick Braith

Warwick Braith is a thrill seeker at heart. He loves getting outdoors and testing his limits in the wild. As a blogger for YapQ, Warwick provides readers with insights and tips on how to get the most out of their outdoor experiences. Whether it's hiking, camping, or simply exploring nature, Warwick knows how to make the most of it.

Recent Posts