How to Build a Small Cabin on a Budget

Step 1. Floor outline

The outline or design of the floor is shown in the picture. The outline shows the location of 4×4 boards and the floor joists.

Step 2. Drill and plant the posts

Use the tractor and the post hole digger to make the base for the posts. Plant the posts along with 2×10 bottom stringers. Then, attach the upper post and its upper stringer. The upper post is using 2x10x12 board while the upper stringer is 2x10x16. Nail all of them in 7 feet 8” height.

Step 3. Install the board for cabin center rafter

The center rafter for this project is about 6 feet. The rafter needs to be 30” onto the board top as the roof will be 5/12 pitch roof.

Step 4. Build the angles suitable for the rafters’ top and bottom

Use the square and position the pivot point onto the board top and slide the square up to the 5 on the line up “COMMON TOP CUT” outside the board. Mark the line as for the angle. After first angle is cut, measure the rafter length from the tip cut to get the seat cut measurement. Mark the seat cut and place the pivot point onto this mark and do the same step to get 5/12 angle. From that angle, measure up 2 ½” and make the line.

Step 5. Build the rafters

Install the roof rafters. Then, after the rafters are all set, install the purlins on top of the rafters as the roof supports. The metal roofing will be screwed onto these purlins later on. All purlins’ tails are cut into 9” length. The steel roofing will be hung 2” for the facia board supports. Then, after the roof frame is ready, install the roofing.

Step 6. Add 4 foot porch

Step 7. Purlin and side wall design

Step 8. Secure the outer joist onto the poles

To secure the joint between the outer joist and 4×4 poles, screw with 3 x 3/8 lag bolts.

Step 9. Install the hurricane studs

Prepare 20 pieces of 13” hurricane studs which have already cut into 5/12 pitch angle. Then, install the studs.

Step 10. Install the floor joists, the insulation board and the floor

First, install the floor joists. Then, install the furring strips inside the floor joist with 1” under the joists’ top. Then, after the insulation board is install between each joist, glue them all and nail the floors onto them.

Step 11. Install the siding walls

Cut the side boards into 8 foot length. Install the side boards onto the wall. Then, attach the soffit and facia boards onto the side boards.

Step 12. Stud in porch ceiling

Make the stud in for the ceiling of the cabin porch. The studs are 16” centers with 4 foot length.


Step 13. Stud in door frame and the front wall

Stud in the door frame and the front wall is as shown in the picture.

Step 14. Install gable ends

The gable ends are installed with the attachment of the batten strips. Add two vents.

Step 15. The finishing look of the cabin