Henry David Thoreau; July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay Resistance to Civil Government (also known as Civil Disobedience), an argument for disobedience to an unjust state. -wiki
In 1845 at the age of 28 Thoreau traveled to Walden Pond, Massachusetts where he built a simple cabin and began writing the works that inspired Ghandi, Martin Luther King, and millions of people.
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion."
— Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Thoreau built his cabin from recycled and hand cut materials for $28.12. It was 10 feet by 15 feet and he described the interior in his book "Walden" as having a fireplace, table, desk, and bed and 3 chairs.
“I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society.”-Thoreau
I have read and admired Thoreau's simple cabin lifestyle and after much research I wanted to determine if that same cabin could be built from conventional materials for the same cost at today's inflation rate. In 1845 his $28.12 adjusted for 2014 inflation would be $852.12.
I have attempted to follow the dimensions of the Thoreau cabin however because conventional lumber is not sold in 15 foot lengths I have opted to make the cabin 10x16 which would eliminate waste from cutting off excess lumber and is keeping with the spirit Thoreau exemplified. I don't think he would mind.
The cabin can be built for under $1000 based on US prices for lumber at large home supply stores with a 10% builders discount. That price does not include windows, door, insulation or interior furnishings. In place of a brick fireplace I have recommended a recycled steel barrel stove and stove kit from Vogelzang that would be more efficient.
If you would like to read more about Henry David Thoreau and his cabin and philosophy I highly recommend his book "Walden" which is in public domain and free here:
NOTE: I originally stated the cabin was under $900 but after some checking I realized I had left out wall sheathing. 17 sheets at $10.97 is $186.49 for a total of $1083.13 and with the standard 10% builders discount it would be $974.83. If you received one of the first ebooks please make the changes and I apologize for my math error!
Thoreau cabin model original 10x15
Thoreau cabin 10x16 framed. 2x6 floor and 2x4 walls and roof lumber
Walls and roof sheathed with 7/16 4x8 OSB
Exterior painted and finish trim applied
Interior floor plan showing living area, dining area, kitchen, laundry area and bathroom
Kitchen, laundry area, living area and bathroom. The couch folds out to a queen size bed. Appliances and interior finishing is optional and not included in the construction costs for the cabin. .
Off-grid system includes 405 watts solar, passive solar water heating, propane OD water heater, stove and furnace and composting toilet. These are optional systems not included in the cost of the cabin construction.
This Thoreau cabin replica is designed for off-grid living or as a recreation-vacation cabin, guest house, office, workshop, etc. It is large enough for two people and I included a loft option for an additional sleeping or storage space. The ebook has step-by-step construction instructions and recommendations for materials. Also included is the off-grid equipment recommendations and tips for finishing the cabin for off-grid use. The 3D Sketchup file has all 4 models and is completely modifiable so you can make it suit your needs.
Order today and you get the step-by-step construction plans for the Thoreau cabin ebook and the 3D modifiable Sketchup of the 10x16 off-grid design and Thoreau's original design model and materials list for only $5.00.
You will need Google Sketchup installed to use the Sketchup files available for free here:
You get a 29 page full color ebook with step-by-step plans and the 3D modifiable Sketchup models for a $5 donation. What are you waiting for- get it today!
You will receive a confirmation from paypal and the Ebook plans link will be sent to what ever email you use for paypal. If you have any problems with the download contact firstname.lastname@example.org directly. If you do not have a paypal account and want to use cash contact me.
I intend to build the Thoreau cabin on my property and I want to do a series of videos discussing Thoreau and his philosophy and cabin design and delve deeper into what makes a person want to simplify life.
The video series will be a step-by-step construction of the cabin so you can understand the tools and process of building any small structure and we will discuss Thoreau's cabin and lifestyle choices and how to make the cabin more modern with off-grid equipment like solar, OD water heating, and composting toilet.
If you purchase the Thoreau cabin plans ebook and 3D model files (link above) you are helping me to raise the funds to build the cabin and make the video series and if you would like to do more to make this video series possible your donation would be greatly appreciated and well used.
I could use kickstarter but they take a huge percentage of the donations so to make every cent count towards the project I have placed a donation button below.
1-If you donate $5 or more you will receive the Thoreau Ebook plans and 3D model files.
2-If you donate $20 or more you will get the Thoreau cabin plans, 3D model files and my 355 page ebook "Ultimate Off-Grid Guide".
3- If you donate $50 or more your name or business name will appear as a sponsor at the end of each video in the series and receive all the other rewards.
4- If you donate $100 or more you will have your name or business name announced in the video and on my website as a premier sponsor and receive all of the other rewards.
My goal is to raise at least the $1000 it will take to build the cabin and any extra donations will be used to create the video and for the other off-grid equipment needed for the cabin project to be used in the video lesson.
If you would like to learn more about Thoreau, his cabin and lifestyle and get real in depth construction lessons from someone that lives an off-grid lifestyle then this is your chance to be part of the project.
If the video and cabin turns out well I will submit it to PBS and Sundance Film Festival for their consideration and/or it will be made available free on my youtube channel.
If you would like to help me raise funds for this project please repost this webpage link to your facebook, Google+ and other accounts and spread the word!