This is Daryl's cabin in Northern Kentucky.
About 400 sq. ft. - 12x24 living area + 12x8 bedroom addition. Fully insulated, including the floor.
600 watts of solar panels. Over 600 amp/hours of battery power from deep cycle marine batteries. I've considered upgrading to more "true" off-grid batteries, but I've gotten great performance from this budget arrangement. 3 of them I've had over 7 years. I'll replace them soon, but I think they've had a pretty good run.
3250 watt generator to run the AC on hot days. I heat primarily with wood, with a Big Buddy propane heater as a supplement.
I collect rainwater from the roof into a 500 gallon in-ground water tank.
Since I made this video, I extended the front porch 6 feet (pictured in the photo). I'm currently replacing my storage shed with a workshop constructed and painted to match the cabin.
This summer, I'm installing a small chest deepfreezer converted to a refrigerator with its own dedicated inverter and thermostat. I'll also be able to run a small microwave from the same inverter.
This Fall, I'm planning on building a root cellar nearby to store canned and dry goods.
I lived there for about a year in 2013-14 after I got divorced. My girlfriend and I have made many improvements since then, and we plan to move there full-time next summer. Simple, independent, debt-free life!
Thanks again for the inspiration, Lamar! I found your YouTube channel at a low point in my life. Around that time, I also read Walden. Since then, I've been on a different path - a path I only wish I'd discovered sooner.
The portable 100W solar panel in the rear is in its stow position for road trip. It can be plugged in to supplement the roof panel when on the road if needed or moved within 50 feet of the camper when on site.
On the outside roof, side, front and rear panel joints instead of wood bondo I used the heavy duty wet/dry application Liquid Nails (grey color, not brown). It was easy to apply and none of the corner joints have ever cracked with 3000+ road miles.
By the way, the only power tools I used was a hand held circular saw and a jig saw. The rest was just common woodworking hand tools. I found your plans easy to follow.And yes, I do get asked a lot to show it off in campgrounds!
This is a 14x14 A-Frame Cabin built my Wade McKnight using my A-Frame plans.
A FRAME PLANS HERE: LINK
Wade is still working on the interior but looks really nice. This is a two person project.
" Hello Lamar, I wanted to thank you for sharing your cabin plans. It's been a long time coming or so it seems. Will work on the interior next spring after the winter months pass. Anyhow, I thought I would share my work of art. Thanks again, Wade"
I purchased your ebook about a month ago and started building your
cabin. It's been a fun project and your book was a lot of help. I did add
a few touches to the cabin but it's the same as yours. It sit's on 10
acres in North West Michigan. I have purchased 4 Renogy 100 watt panels
and plan on getting it all up and running before winter. I plan on using
the Cabin as a Vacation Rental and putting it up on the VRBO website
along with our 2 bedroom Mobile we rent now. Just thought I would send a
couple pics of the cabin for you to see.
I salvaged the screen door off a old Mobile Home they were tearing down on my street. I picked up some tile and things like that this summer in a garage sale. The heat will be wood and propane wall unit like yours. My property where the Cabin sit's is in the heart of the Manistee National Forest in Wellston, Michigan.
Thanks again! Pete
Raymond Smale is building his off grid dream cabin in the backwoods of Arkansas. The cabin is a 16x16 complete with rain harvesting system, solar power and outhouse.
Jeremiah and his dog Inu built the Vestport micro-Camper from my plans and really did a great job.
Vince sent me this video of his 16x16 cabin in progress. He used a 3 foot knee wall for more room in the loft and a second storage attic for a great modification. He also explains how he got good land cheap and his use of many recycled materials.
Way to go Vince!
Just wanted to send you a short note to thank you for all your inspirations.
After watching your videos for several years, I decide to buy some property in West Virginia and build an off grid cabin. (12x24)
I learned to install solar after watching yours and other videos on YouTube and installed a large battery backup system on my house in Virginia.
It only seemed natural to go 100% off grid at my new cabin.
With the help of my brother on weekends it was built in about 30 days.
I went with 2x6 walls, and 2 inches of exterior Rigid Foam Insulation Board.
Tin roof and propane heater.
I am almost completely done. A little drywall left, propane installation and installing my rainwater tank with gutters and filtration system.
All paid for and no debt!
I attached a few pictures from a couple weeks past.
Thank you again for all that you have done to inspire and teach."
Bob in WV
I'm James. I'm currently 28 years old. My fiancé and I have been living in our cabin for just over a year now, we moved in with plywood floors and exposed insulation and have been finishing it out ever since while living in it. When I first started the cabin Memorial Day weekend, 2011, I was single and doing it out of necessity. I had been divorced for a couple years, moving around and trying to find a place I could afford to live and still have money to have a life. I was working 40-70 hours a week just to be broke, giving most of what I make to my ex wife for child support. I had to give up my house because I just didn't make enough money to pay my rent and utilities and other necessities AND pay my child support. I moved back in with my parents for a little while, did not like it. I was watching television one day. Some show about RVs was on. That's where I saw my first "tiny home". A tiny home on wheels, like a camper, but more personal. I thought this was brilliant. A way to have my own, mortgage free place. As I started researching into it, I started learning about "small homes". Basically a slightly bigger version of a tiny home and non-mobile. This was more practical for me because I would need a big truck if I planned on towing my tiny home and that equals more gas and more money. In my searching, I came across LaMar's book on homesteading and thought this would be perfect and is actually what I referred to when I got stuck. I'm a chef by trade with about 6 months of carpentry experience that I got when I decided I wanted a break from cooking for awhile. Luckily I have an uncle who lives next door and happens to be a carpenter, so he helped me get the shell of the house built and decked, but other than that, it was LaMar's book and "How To" Youtube videos that helped me finish my cabin. Of course, I did have a lot of help from my dad and friends. When I finally decided to go for it, I had an IRA that I hadn't put money in for years, decided to cash it in and get a jump start on it. When I first started, the idea was to reuse, repurpose and recycle as much as possible to be eco conscious and to help save money, a lot of stuff in the cabin was salvaged and ultimately free and everything,down to some of the framing boards, tells a story. So far, the total cost for the cabin,from start to finish, is around $11,000. I don't consider that too bad for a place that you don't pay a mortgage on and you can truly say you made it your own. I worked on it approximately once or twice a week for 7-8 hours a day for two years. We moved into it when it was a bare, insulated shell. We have now been living there for just over a year and in this time, truly transformed this small space into a beautiful place where we can be happy and comfortable for years to come. This entire process has been very educational and fun, to say the least. I've learned a lot, grown a lot and have an entirely different view on the world and life. I have met the woman who, next month, will be my wife. She's come into it and been very helpful and insightful through the process, We've learned to live and make do without a lot when we had to. We lived there with no toilet for a couple months and then when we got one, that and a spigot outside is the only running water we had until a few months ago. We had to leave and come up to my parents to shower every night up till about 3 months ago. just got a kitchen sink and stove in the last month and a half. We made do with what we had and made it work. The cabin is setup on a gas/electric combo. The cabin does run on electricity, but in the event of a power failure, the stove, instant water heater and heat are gas. I also have the ability to back feed power into the cabin with a generator if needed. We have added a small building out back, which is also salvaged. Its a defect detector box from the railroad, but it serves as our storage shed and houses our washer/dryer. We are still in the process of finishing the cabin 100%, but have plans to build a large work shop once we are done.
Heater and cabinets in. The stove runs on a 20 LB propane tank when we are camping. Notice the cabinet handles, they are deer sheds found on the property!!
Hello Lamar, My name is Tasha, I purchased your e-book last winter after doing some research on how to build a small cabin. I wanted to show you the pictures of my progress so far, since you were a big inspiration and a main source of information for me. The cabin is located in Southern British Columbia Canada on the Arrow Lakes, it measures 16x20. I started my foundation in April of this year, using a garden hose as a water level for the cold climate concrete footings. This has been a wonderful experience for me, and I am so glad to have had it. Many people laughed when I had the idea for this project. How can a 32 year old women who has never hammered a nail build anything?? My father built a cabin on the same acreage in 1976 when he was 21, and he raised 2 children there until they were school aged, so he was more than happy to jump on board right away. His cabin sits about 4 acres away from mine and although there is no electricity, he has propane lights, fridge and stove, as well as a full septic and hot water on demand. My cabin is now my greatest accomplishment to date. It has a loft over half the floor space, and a tiny bedroom on the main floor(because my husband is crippled due to an accident and can't manage a ladder) I also purchased a 60 watt solar system and can't wait to hook it up next spring! There will be a propane heater eventually as well. I built the whole thing with around $5000.00 CAD, the inside is about half finished so far. I wanted to thank you and to tell you that was the best $5.00 I have ever spent. You have inspired me to do things I never believed I could! Thank you.
Lamar, This entire project was inspired by your youtube channel and e-book I bought a couple of years ago. I'm currently living in it full-time, and happy to report that I'm not only surviving these record-cold winter days, but I'm THRIVING. This Spring, I plan on doing a walkthrough video that shows the interior features. When I do so, I'll send you an update if you're interested. Feel free to share this video anywhere you want. -And THANK YOU for helping people to escape the rat race and live more deliberate lives (as Thoreau would put it).
Click the pic to watch the video please
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