How to Build Your Own Vacation Cabin

How to Build Your Own Vacation Cabin
Whether you want to construct a permanent guesthouse on your land, or build your very own vacation cabin in paradise, the tools and building skills you need are less than one might expect. With the necessary supplies, a smattering of carpentry knowledge, and a willingness to learn as you go, practically anybody has what it takes to construct a basic 14-by-20 foot cabin.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Cement dispenser 40 ounces Cement Stakes 4 14-foot two-by-four cuts of lumber 4 20-foot two-by-four cuts of lumber 36 10-foot two-by-four cuts of lumber 820 square feet of three-quarter inch plywood sheets Three 14-foot pre-built A-frame rafters Insulation 340 square feet of shingle tiles 340 square feet of tar paper 80 three-inch screws 66 "large grade" lag bolts 80 one-inch industrial staples Sledgehammer Screw gun Staple gun
  • Cement dispenser
  • 40 ounces Cement
  • Stakes
  • 4 14-foot two-by-four cuts of lumber
  • 4 20-foot two-by-four cuts of lumber
  • 36 10-foot two-by-four cuts of lumber
  • 820 square feet of three-quarter inch plywood sheets
  • Three 14-foot pre-built A-frame rafters
  • Insulation
  • 340 square feet of shingle tiles
  • 340 square feet of tar paper
  • 80 three-inch screws
  • 66 "large grade" lag bolts
  • 80 one-inch industrial staples
  • Sledgehammer
  • Screw gun
  • Staple gun
 
Step 1
Scan your build area for the construction foundation. Every well-built structure begins with the foundation, so keep this in mind as you select a level area for construction. Decide on the position you want for the cabin and pound a stake into each of the four corners. Next, pound additional stakes every eight feet within the four outer stakes. Nail two 14-foot and two 20-foot two-by-four planks to the stakes, positioned horizontally along the ground. When you finish, you will have the rectangular wooden outline of your cabin running along the length and width at a four-inch height.
Step 2
Position the cement dispenser on level ground with nozzle extended to the center of the rectangle. Pour cement into the center while maintaining an even distribution, smoothing out imperfections with a board as necessary. Your finished foundation will be a rectangular-shaped slab of cement.
Step 3
Place pre-cut lengths of the 10-foot two-by-fours at 24-inch intervals along the outside of the frame. You will be bolting each of the 36 planks to the original horizontal ground-floor planks, so have each one in place as the cement dries. Once the cement is dry, construct the wall frames by inserting lag bolts into the floor at the bottom of each two-by-four along the 24-inch intervals. Make sure to frame in all doors and windows during construction. Next, construct the corner units by bolting the last perpendicular two-by-fours on the four corners together at the corner. Finally, position the remaining four 14 and 20-foot planks at the top of each wall frame and bolt it to all 36 conjoining planks.
Step 4
Attach sheets of ¾-inch plywood to both the outside and inside of each wall frame, totaling 680 square feet. Do this by screwing three inch screws to the outside planks as well as each stud along the wall frame. Once complete, you will have the outer "shell" wall complete on your cabin. To ensure heat entrapment, fill in the inside of the wall frame with insulation before attaching the remaining sheets of plywood.
Step 5
Construct roof frames by bolting the pre-built A-frame rafters at even intervals of 6.5-feet between the 20-foot section of the frames. Position two rafter units at the front and back points of the rectangle, attaching to the ceiling unit of each wall with the use of lag bolts. Place the last rafter unit in the center, directly at the 10-foot point, and finish bolting. You will now have your completed walls with three triangular rafter points jutting from the foundation. Screw a last group of ¾-inch plywood along the rafters and staple tar paper along the entire roof. Lastly, select your shingles and screw them into the roof, and enjoy.
 

Article Written By Brian Connolly

Based in the Appalachian Mountains, Brian Connolly is a certified nutritionist and has been writing professionally since 2000. He is a licensed yoga and martial arts instructor whose work regularly appears in “Metabolism,” “Verve” and publications throughout the East Coast. Connolly holds a Master of Arts in liberal arts from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

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