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Back to Basics “B2B” Tiny Cabin

This B2B Cabin which stands for “back to basics” is inspired by the tiny cabin in Lloyd Kahn’s Tiny Homes Simple Shelter book on page 32.

You would want to have it elevated from the ground with a small front deck where you can store your kayak or whatever underneath.

On one of the sides you can build an overhang to store wood and your other outdoor goodies like chairs, buckets, containers, etc.

It’s a perfect getaway cabin that can be built for super cheap and it would be easy to power using solar and propane so you don’t have to hook up to the grid.

Back to Basics Tiny Cabin

The table can be designed to flip down when not in use and the chairs can be put away or used outside on the deck.

Check out the rest of the cabin below:

View from the Front

B2B Cabin

Tiny Cabin Floor Plan

Back to Basics Tiny Cabin Floor Plan

What are your thoughts on this “back to basics” tiny cabin design? At approximately 99 sq. ft. it’s only suitable for one human so it would be great for hunting, camping, fishing, vacation or a micro backyard guesthouse.

There’s not really enough room for a bathroom and shower unless you use a sleeping loft so in this case you’d want to build an outhouse and an outdoor shower nearby.

If you enjoyed it please “Like” and share using the buttons below then ask any questions you might have or just share your best thoughts/ideas below. Thanks! 

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Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 44 comments… add one }
  • Cahow May 15, 2013, 8:30 am

    “There’s not really enough room for a bathroom and shower unless you use a sleeping loft so in this case you’d want to build an outhouse and an outdoor shower nearby.”

    I find this design odd. REALLY large kitchen area (for the square footage) and yet no loo? Is it for the single person who really-really likes to cook? (LOL) If this was truly to be used by one person in a get-away capacity, I’d cut the kitchen by half and use the other part for at least a toilet. As a woman, we sit 100% of the time on The Throne, so I guess a toilet is of more importance to us gals than it is for a man. Use the kitchen sink for both rooms (kitchen & bathroom) and if this wasn’t a heated shelter, than a solar-heated shower attached to the outside would suffice.

    Cute design; it puts me to mind of the lake cabins we’d stay at when I was a kid. Don’t know what the “things” are on either side of the bed: cabinets? bookcases? Just curious. I can easily see this being a very popular floorplan to build.

    • Alex May 15, 2013, 11:42 am

      Do ya’ll think it would have been better if I would’ve done an outdoor kitchen and an indoor toilet/shower?

      • Dana May 15, 2013, 6:05 pm

        Yes! I think a small prep area, under counter refrigerator and single burner stove or microwave would be great with an outdoor kitchen to enjoy during the day and entertaining. I’d rather cook outside than use the loo outside at 3am. The sink can be used for both the bath and kitchen just outside of the restroom.

      • Pam May 15, 2013, 6:25 pm

        Most certainly (from my perspective 🙂

      • Cahow May 15, 2013, 6:31 pm

        Hey Alex, Nice to see you in the comments. 😀

        I didn’t know that you had designed this wee gem; you continue to impress with your designs.

        Regarding designs, I think any universal design has to incorporate…well, The Universe. In areas of the U.S. that have massive mosquito or chigger populations, having nasty chemical foggers or DEET on you so you can cook a hotdog is just a case of “Grumpy” waiting to happen. My family and I have camped in areas of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan that were SO infested with “biters” that the park rangers warned us about them before we could even enter the area. Hence, the importance of an indoor cooking/loo area. Also, in these same Lake areas, you can go from 91 degrees in the afternoon to a low-forming ground fog and a 40 degree drop in temps, within hours, making it pretty uncomfortable for taking outdoor showers, sitting outside eating or even cooking unless you’re the Hail & Hardy sect.

        Now, if ALL tiny dwellings were in dry, non-rainy, non-biter areas of the U.S., then having the cooking/bathing/elimination needs outdoors works. Might have to check for a rattler or scorpion but not much else.

        One of my Maxims for designing is “Plan For The Worst, Hope For the Best.” What that breaks down into is advising my customers to think about 1) Young and Old friends/guest/family who have unsteady footing; 2) What if XYZ builds next to you? Do you have enough windows all over so a blocked view won’t make you want to move? 3) What happens with regard to broken arms, legs, crutches, etc.? Meaning, don’t put the microwave, etc. so darn HIGH in the air that only an able-bodied athlete can pull a full plate of food from it without it landing on the floor. This isn’t a case of me being paranoid or fatalistic; it’s more a case of me seeing every stupid design possible in my 23 years of owning my firm. NO ONE asked the home owners, “Do you ‘really’ want to do that? Put that there? Etc.,” and it’s only after the fact that problems have money thrown at them that could have been avoided entirely.

        I just like saving people money and leaving them happy, I guess. 🙂

      • jerryd May 15, 2013, 6:38 pm

        It would be far better head inside, kitchen out but you don’t have to do that.

        First take the fridge spot and make it into a head/shower. It could have table fold up leaves and chair storage.

        Make a top loading fridge/island on rollers, axe the stove and replace it with a convection oven and several electric pans or 2 table top burners.

        Move the front door next to the head leaving room for a comfortable reclining chair. Make 2 fold down tables one from each shelf to the couch/bed leaving 6 ‘ of wall where the dining table was for closets, desk, etc.

        And why open the front door inward wasting valuable space and making it easier to break into, let in more rain, etc?

        Only areas that get buried in snow often need that. And if the snow is that high, do you really want to go out in it? Having a high window designed to get out of the few times needed would be better than wasting 6-9sq’ forever in a 100sq’ house.

        For instance 6-9sq’ can make a nice bathroom.

      • Mary May 15, 2013, 7:05 pm

        Yes. An outdoor kitchen will be warmer than an outdoor bathroom. It could be a shed roof lean-to space with sliding doors or gates at each end to open or close with the weather. The outdoor kitchen space could be more easily customized per resident requirements. Bathrooms are naturally much more standardized.

  • Lady Tenazby May 15, 2013, 9:26 am

    I have to agree. The lack of toilet is hullaba”loo”. Women are able to “rough” it, however, the throne makes for a much happier trip/getaway.

    • Cahow May 15, 2013, 9:35 am

      Thanks for agreeing with me, Lady Tenazby. Yes, you are 100% correct that “women are able to ‘rough it’, and I certainly have, in my longgggg lifetime. Done primative camping where you drag 100% of everything into the Wilds, trek up to a mile with a 60 # pack on your back and spend up to 2 weeks rehydrating food, using iodine tablets and being off any grid except longitude and latitude. (LOL)

      However, if you have a wee place like this that features an actual kitchen vs. a propane Coleman stove and cooler, why NOT have a loo? Women of the age of 15-50+ years have certain needs once a month and using a sit down toilet is a nice luxury. Also, if you’ve eaten far too much spicy food, sitting down helps with the elimination process. I’m trying to be as sensitive as possible describing Nature’s Call but not every day of a person’s life has great weather and a happy tummy! Sometimes, there are “storm’s ahead” and being able to sit on a throne in covered comfort is a plus.

  • alice h May 15, 2013, 10:51 am

    Outdoor loos are OK during the day but require too much waking up for those of us who need to pee once or twice (or more) in the middle of the night. My 13′ Boler trailer has no indoor bathroom but I have 2 sawdust bucket toilets – one stays in the wash house and one kept in there during the day that I can bring up onto the deck at night. There’s a small roofed area outside the door that I can hang an old shower curtain across for privacy but there’s usually no need. If it’s chilly or buggy or whatever I can drag the bucket inside to use and stick it back outside again. I just use one of those snap-on toilet seat lids that fit on 5 gallon buckets, fitted onto a slightly taller than usual wine concentrate pail. Ultimately there will be a large enough place to have an indoor loo but this has worked well for the last few years. Before I built the deck and roof I used a pop-up changing shelter as an “outhouse” just outside the door. It was quick and easy to set up and put away.

    • Cahow May 15, 2013, 6:36 pm

      alice h wrote: “…require too much waking up for those of us who need to pee once or twice (or more) in the middle of the night.” I like your way of thinking, alice, and I, too, am one of those 2-3-4 times per night visitor to the loo and wouldn’t want to go outside late at night and get woken up by too much dew on the slippers; coyotes; bears (yes, they are in Michigan!) or just chilly night temps. I drink copious amounts of water during the day and it all comes out, late at night. Nothing to be done about it except get up, do your business, and stumble back to bed.

      I like your idea of having a portable potty: inside/outside is a nice thought. Thanks for passing it along.

  • Alex May 15, 2013, 11:40 am

    I made the design mostly for fun but I understand it’s not realistic for most of us to actually live in unless it’s a camping/vacation/getaway type of thing. Like a really cheap vacation home. Thanks for your comments/ideas I’ll try to be more realistic with the next one I do 😀

    • Andy May 15, 2013, 5:49 pm

      Hi Alex,

      I really like it…..what do you think it would cost to build it using good quality materials? Thanks

    • Sarah May 15, 2013, 5:55 pm

      I think it is great…..and would be fine for one person to live in given the addition of a toilet and french shower……and two for a cozy time.

    • Cahow May 15, 2013, 6:57 pm

      Ah, you did “good”, Alex. And “realistic” is only real for each person’s use. For instance, if a dude had this tiny house you designed, you know he’d whizz in the woods all day long and maybe even do his duty out there, too. In that case, a toilet would be a waste of money and space. Then you have the Grilling Guru’s that would use a camp stove and grill to make 100% of their meals so they wouldn’t need an indoor kitchen, ever. Maybe some counter space, if even that.

      Just so you know, I really adored your design and could see myself enjoying it if I were single, if I could place a tiny toilet in the corner next to the door. See, my passion when I’m not working is cooking so having a nice large kitchen as you designed, is just a slice of Heaven by my thinking! Do you recall that great article you posted this Winter about the place in Rhode Island??? where a large building was being made into tiny 200 sq.ft. apartments? I obsessed over that building and designs until I saw the “kitchen”. 🙁 Only a sink and a microwave…oh, and a silly dishwasher, of all things. (for what, red beer cups???). The designer said in the accompanying article that the units were designed for the “urban generation that spends more time out of their home than in, and when in their home, it’s microwave food or heating up take-out.” ~sigh~ Well, at least the developer knows his target audience, I guess. I’ve never rented an apartment nor owned a home where the kitchen wasn’t the reason why I moved in. I guess my generation has different interests than Gen X or Gen Y.

      • Alex May 17, 2013, 8:26 am

        Thanks Cahow yes I remember that article.. Wasn’t the building in a mall? I think that might be why they did the micro kitchens.. The folks there will probably just walk to the food court to eat everyday (and heat up left overs!!). Definite sight. Lol. Because I like a nice usable kitchen too.

        • Cahow May 21, 2013, 12:36 pm

          Yes, Alex, it was in a historic mall. They had itsy-bitsy baby spaces (220 sq.ft.) all the way up to 3 bedroom units with full kitchens, dining room, etc. The one thing I know, is that “You can’t predict anything!” For instance, with the young (18-28 y.o.) students that we rent to from our condo in Chicago: half of them have nothing but nasty old curled up pieces of pizza on their frig shelf and other’s look like their opening up their own restaraunt with the food they have in the frig, the fruit bowl and their pantry shelf. It has NOTHING to do with age, race or upbringing, just what drives each girl and makes her happy.

          So, I guess the girls who live off of cereal and toast like the micro kitchen units and the girls (like me) that Life To Cook like the bigger kitchen units. BTW, I can only speak of females as we don’t rent to men; too much trouble, as we learned years ago.

        • RJ Hickey September 7, 2013, 12:33 am

          Be careful what you admit to in public. Housing discrimination based on:
          Race or Color
          National Origin
          Religion
          Sex
          Familial Status
          Handicap / Disability
          is a federal offense. Read this: https://www.craigslist.org/about/FHA

  • Jordan May 15, 2013, 3:33 pm

    Hi Alex,

    I really like your design for a tiny get-away. Always love tiny spaces and the creativity everyone has for designing them.

    I came across what I think is one of the best designs for an even smaller space – appox. 70 sq. ft. – and am amazed that they got a full bath, kitchen, couch, (separate and adjustable) bed and storage into the space and I think it has a lot of character and is beautiful. It was listed on Tiny House Listings for sale – it’s by Trekker Trailers and here is their website: http://trekkertrailers.com/our-new-tiny-houses, though I recommend checking out the video tour on their Facebook page. I think Andrew has really pulled out the stops on creativity on this cute teeny tiny house and really made use of the space so well – at least to what my needs would be. Just wish I could afford one and had a vehicle that could pull it! 🙂

    • dave May 15, 2013, 6:04 pm

      Truck campers have smaller square footage and are totally livable, this could work for many I think.

      A porta-potti stored under the bed, and a sub floor shower pan could easily turn this into a livable space for one person. In the overland and expedition communities a lot of people use a “bug sprayer” shower, attach a showerhead or normal kitchen sprayer to one, put it in the sun to warm up or put water heated on your stove in, pump it up, and viola, you have an instant shower no complicated plumbing involved.

    • Cahow May 15, 2013, 7:01 pm

      Hey Jordan, I followed the link to the trek trailers and their tiny 70 sq.ft. design. Wish there were more photos!

      I clicked on their videos, however, and they all are about the Teardrop Trailer and not the tiny house. Am I missing something?

      • Jordan May 15, 2013, 10:52 pm

        Hi Cahow,

        The video tour is on their Facebook page – not on their website. Facebook page also has lots of photos too. Their high end teardrop is nice and kind of unique as well, but I really love their tiny house.

        • Cahow May 16, 2013, 9:00 am

          Good Morning, Jordan: thanks for posting back and letting me know where the videos are for their tiny house. I’ll check them out after work. Much thanks!

    • Alex May 17, 2013, 8:27 am

      Thanks for sharing this Jordan. Yup- I sas this on THListings too. They did a great job with this one.

  • Gene May 15, 2013, 6:25 pm

    Alex, I like your plan. Coleman and other companies make a outdoor “tent” toilet/shower area. I’d prefer human waste outside the living area – especially in such an efficient space. I would alter the plan slightly to keep the structure 8′ wide for transportation purposes. A bunk bed would also give you more sleeping area, or multi-use area, and could be folded up when not in use.

  • LaMar Alexander LaMar May 15, 2013, 6:29 pm

    Good start on a design Alex!

    You could increase this to a two person by using another bunk above that first bed attached to the wall and if you make it foldable it would get the top bunk out of the way when not in use.

    Built in storage cabinets with just enough room for your feet to go under at the foot of the bed would give you more storage for clothes etc.

    If you move that bed against that wall and used the storage described above I bet there is enough room to put in a small rv shower/toilet between the bed and the wall.

    I actually have an 8×8 cabin using a similar design with no loft, sleeps two and has a full shower and toilet but I sacrificed a dedicated eating area for a fold-up table and chairs.

    Here is the rough 3d floor plan for ideas:

    http://www.simplesolarhomesteading.com/8×8%20emergency%20shelter.PNG

    I am designing this as an emergency shelter or portable cabin for outdoor adventurers and camping shacks.

    LaMar

  • Martin Green May 15, 2013, 7:36 pm

    I’m currently building a 8x8x8 feet cabin, with a smaller kitchenarea (RV-like 3’3” with 2 burners and small sink, toilet with foldable sink and shower, fold away dining table and 2 foldable chairs, 2 comfortable armchairs, woodheater and a fold away to the roof double bed (6’7” long and 5’3” wide). While it fits 2 persons and their clothes I think your plans showed here are not near to perfection… And I know you can do better than this!

  • Darcy May 16, 2013, 12:25 am

    I cannot say anything nice about this design so I will reserve my comments while I sit on the toilet.

  • Dan May 16, 2013, 9:11 am

    Any small home design is willing of praise! The idea of downsizing to a cozy appealing small space is quite remarkable. I think that anyone would start with a basic plan and work in their own requirements as needed. In Ontario Canada we have some pretty tight building codes and minimum square foot requirements so we are forced to build big. Why I don’t know…
    I am thinking of getting pontoons and building on those to call my small home a ‘boat’ which is not a ‘building’. With three small kids and no money we can’t possibly build an 800 sq. ft. home as required so we will have to be creative. This is why I am pulling something from each plan and trying to work in our needs. Thanks to all who have submitted ideas to this wonderful website.

  • Dean May 16, 2013, 11:32 am

    Might be an interesting challenge to have everyone create/post a design that meets the criteria of, 1) Not requiring a permit, ie <120 ft2. and 2) has all the amenities, sleeping, cooking and toilet (plus optional bathing?). Could be mobile or not. A cost limit of $5,000 or something like that should also be a criteria. It would be interesting to see all the different ideas everyone comes up with. It can be done!

    • Alex May 16, 2013, 11:57 am

      That’s a great idea Dean. I think I’ll do a contest like that soon with some cool prizes.

    • Cahow May 16, 2013, 4:18 pm

      Dean/Alex: how about a couple of catagories regarding cost? For instance, there are those builders like Deek et al, that have a BIG back yard and area to play “Finder’s Keepers” with odd, cheap finds, which brings their costs down.

      Many other Tiny House lovers don’t have room to store all their Wish List for years until they build their home and must buy all new materials.

      I just didn’t want the “savers” to have an advantage over the ones who lack the room to store stuff.

  • Kim May 16, 2013, 3:12 pm

    Don’t know if anyone mentioned this yet, but why not fence in the outdoor kitchen with metal (or nylon if it’s too much work) netting like some people have for their porches? That way you don’t heat up the house but you can stay relatively bite-free.

    • Alex May 17, 2013, 9:02 am

      That’s a great idea Kim. Like a screened in kitchen lanai?

      • Kim May 17, 2013, 10:03 am

        I don’t know what a lanai is but I just remember seeing some old houses when I was a kid in Dickinson (50s-60s built) that would have these, whether it be for a front porch or back porch. The netting was permanent, usually, since it extended to the floor.

  • Erik Markus May 17, 2013, 1:57 am

    lol.
    Alex, you are great!
    These designs get people thinking.

    I’ve seen these wood sheds you can buy at home improvement stores or at lots where they have them on display. I was looking at one at Home Depot a month ago about this size. One could finish it off with your plan and be well under the $10K figure.

    I think I would swap out the frig for an undercounter frig and 36″ square shower stall that could also be used as a compost toilet area.

    The bed I would pull out about a foot and raise to 42″ off the floor so the underside could be used for storage/hanging clothes.

    • Alex May 17, 2013, 9:04 am

      Thanks Erik! What you’re referring to as the refrigerator is actually a storage cabinet, I should’ve pointed that out in the post or labeled it. 😀

  • Alex from Vermont May 28, 2013, 12:23 pm

    I second, and third, the idea of a smaller fridge under a two-burner cooktop. When I rented a rather larger apartment in Germany for a month, that was the arrangement, right next to a single unit sink with drainer area set beneath cupboards which may also have included an above cooktop microwave (don’t recall as I don’t like microwaves). However, there area also small countertop convection ovens which allow one to bake as well as toast and heat up which could be placed on a surface set on top of the two burner cooktop over the fridge.

    This approach would, as others have suggested, allow the use of the fairly huge space for a fridge to be made into a toilet/shower area like some boats have, or at least a small indoor toilet.

    I also like the idea of a Murphy bed, but am torn by the possible loss of underbed drawers for storage. Hmmm.

  • Phyllis May 16, 2014, 1:34 am

    I’d go with 12×12. And shrink the kitchen down a bit by using an under counter fridge with a cook top on the counter above. Then you could put a wetbath/rolling composting toilet in the upper left corner. I’d also want something other than those little chairs to sit in, as I’m not fond of using the bed for a couch. Probably play with a convertible love seat. You’d have room for a closet and a tiny wood stove then.

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