A Solar Cabin in Two Weeks for $2,000

After finding himself without a home, LaMar Alexander moved onto inherited land and built a 400-square-foot cabin in two weeks for $2,000.


| June/July 2014



Unfinished Solar Cabin

The author, LaMar Alexander, designed and built his own tiny cabin. He salvaged his front door from a nearby abandoned house.


Photo by LaMar Alexander

I built my cabin about 15 years ago after a divorce and sudden illness left me homeless and broke. I had inherited a small piece of land from my family’s old homestead, and I set up camp on my property with an old camp trailer and truck. Working part-time while I cleared the land, I was able to save up $2,000 and designed a 14-by-14-foot cabin that I felt I could build by myself and that would function for my needs.

With the full loft upstairs, it has almost 400 square feet of living space. The ceiling height in the main floor and loft is 7 feet, so an average adult can stand comfortably.

The cabin structure is made out of mostly new materials and the walls are 2-by-4-foot lumber, while the floor and roof is 2-by-6-foot lumber. It has a tarpaper wind and water barrier and is fully insulated, with an insulation rating of R-13 in the walls and R-19 in the floor and roof. When possible I bought blemished boards and asked for a bulk discount from suppliers.

To keep costs down, I used recycled, double-pane, low-e glass windows and steel-insulated doors that I salvaged from an abandoned house that was being demolished.

For cabin trim and a porch I used log supports and rough-cut lumber from our local lumber mill and recycled cedar fence boards for the cabin’s interior trim.

After the cabin was built I salvaged all of the appliances and other items from my old camp trailer: sink, stove, fridge, lights, water pump, propane tanks, shower, and lots of wiring and plumbing. Because they are smaller they fit the cabin perfectly and so did not cost anything.

alextangofuego
12/11/2014 12:37:30 AM

https://www.scribd.com/doc/193053051/-Estimate-for-Tricked-Out-14-x-14-Cabin


kd2014
6/27/2014 4:01:28 PM

Tinytexashouses.com has small homes for sale but also has information on how to find salvage materials and build your own, including plans. They have a sister site, puresalvageliving.com. We purchased an older home and had it relocated for less than most new SUV's cost. Feels good not to have that mortgage noose around our necks anymore.






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