This is the $1,200 transforming A-frame cabin designed by Derek “DEEK” Diedricksen.
That’s right! It’s a tiny cabin that you can build for only $1,200 in materials. You can take the full tour below and if you want, you can even buy the plans from Deek in case you want to build one for yourself.
Please enjoy, learn more, and re-share below. Thank you!
$1,200 Transforming A-frame Cabin
Images © Derek “DEEK” Diedricksen
Images © Derek “DEEK” Diedricksen
The $1200 Transforming A-frame Cabin by Derek “Deek” Diedricksen
This little cabin plan set is available on www.relaxshacks.com and we do (soon) have a couple of other SUPER-affordable cabin build plans we’ll be offering up.
Affordability and ease of completion/construction was the goal with “The Transforming A-frame”. The framing plans are easy to decipher, and a few dozen of these have already been completed all around the US, and beyond. When I designed it, with new materials, it clocked in at just under $1200.00. However, versions have been built for less, and fancier ones have been built for far more. It takes little time and skill to build this cabin, and that was the whole point, to make it a widely accessible build.
While I’ve never really called it a “Tiny House”, it could be outfitted for full time use (and has been) with some bathroom ideas below. It could also easily be fully insulated for very little money (many of them now have). Kara Reed in Oklahoma built a great version using one of our recommended alterations. There’s a video showing her build (which she has been living in full time) on my youtube channel.
My intention was mainly for it being a weekend getaway cabin though, a backyard art or music studio, or a backyard guest space- one with good lighting, and a few fun little elements like the long hinged skylight in the peak, and, of course, the entire flip-up Tuftex polycarbonate wall.
Yes, drop-down mosquito netting is to be added to the swing wall in its “open” mode. The Tuftex could also be doubled up, with a padded air gap, for better R value, but that would reduce the swing walls translucence, AND add weight to the wall. The wall doesn’t have to be built to swing either. My aim was for a simple seasonable cabin, but yes, again, it can be insulated, and winterized.
BUT WHAT ABOUT A BATHROOM?
While the A-frame shown (the very first one built/tested to make sure the plans worked) does NOT have a bathroom (as I know that’ll be comment #1), several versions have been built with an easy modification we recommend. Its simple really, as you can permanently frame the swinging/opening wall into its lifted/upright position (while still maintaining a slight slope for drainage), fill in the wall spaces (16″ or 14″ o.c.), and add a tiny back corner “wet bath” (a water proof stall one can shower in, and use a composting toilet in). This space would take up the outdoor deck space the structure once had, as well as some of the indoor space where the rolling bed would have sat (you still have the built-in bed on the opposite side). On the other hand, you would now gain some space for an armchair, or for other uses/furniture, and still have room for the bathroom’s small door to swing into the main living space. A small window in the bathroom (ventilation) would be a VERY good idea as well. Additionally, with your new framed walls, you easily have room for two more windows, if you desired.
ANOTHER BATHROOM OPTION could be achieved by eliminating the back central window and replacing it with a door to an added-on/bump out bathroom- even a mere 4′ by 4′ wet bath. Depending on the climate you’re building in, an outdoor shower could also be a possibility.
Note: In the photos shown the loft is built almost 18″ shorter than it should be (the prototype was built with limited/salvaged materials). At full plan length, the loft could also be a sleeping space for some, and a removable small ladder could be used to reach it, or a small step system built into or on the “kitchen” counter.
The door should have swung OUTWARD too, to save space, as the plans do show.
A nod to a friend:
This is the ONE time I designed something and didn’t have the time to build it. At that time, as we had a Memphis Relaxshacks.com workshop on the horizon, Joe Everson of TennesseeTinyHomes.com and his crew built the first prototype from my plans (it took them about 2.5 days). They did a great job, used a good deal of recycled materials, and while their version has a rustic look, we’ve seen many styles completed since- from modern to tudor-styled.
If you ever build one, please DO send me photos- I’d love to see it, or your take on it!
Also, while I designed the cabin and sketched all the preliminary drawings and worked out the measurements, David Stiles (of the architect-author duo David and Jeanie Stiles) is responsible for the final sketches- which I just love. David and Jeanie have authored almost twenty DIY and cabin books and are just incredible. “Rustic Retreats” is my favorite of theirs.
This cabin (not the plans) are also featured in my newer book “Microshelters”, and will be shown in the next book from David and Jeanie Stiles.
-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen
Deek’s Latest Book… Micro Shelters Available on Amazon
Upcoming Hands On Workshop with Deek in Vermont
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