To build a small cabin, start with a concrete foundation, then build a frame for the floor, walls and roof. Finish the cabin with your preferred materials. Before building, check local building codes for any requirements.
- Build a foundation
In warmer climates, pour concrete pads for the foundation. In colder climates, where the ground freezes, pour concrete piers below the freeze line to ensure a stable structure. A small cabin needs pads or piers at the corners, in the middle of the cabin and the front and rear walls.
- Construct a floor frame
For the outside of the frame, join four 6-by-6-inch timbers with half-lap corner joints. For the floor, lay 2-by-10-inch boards every 16 inches. Once the frame is complete, add the wood flooring of your choice.
- Frame the walls
Before framing the rest of the walls, add a door frame. For the top and bottom plates, which hold the studs, cut 2-by-6-inch boards that are the length of each wall. Nail the bottom plate to the floor, then add 2-by-6-inch studs every 16 inches. Nail the top plates on top of the studs. For the roof support, install 6-by-6-inch posts at the corners and across the top of the wall frame. Add another layer of top plate above the beams.
- Install the walls and roof
To finish the basic shell, install the wall planks onto the outside of the frame. Determine if you want a sloped or flat roof, then build the rafters and add the roofing material.