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Building A $13K Cabin In 55 Days

This is the story of Graeme Jenvey of the Woodness Goodness YouTube Channel and the $13,000 DIY tiny cabin that he built in only 55 days during 2020. The structure is 12-ft. wide and 20-ft. in length.

Already living on a 3-acre plot of land, it was easy to find a spot in the backyard for the build. In 2020, with a full lockdown in place, it was even easier to go ahead and decide to do it. So here it is. His DIY cabin built in only 55 days, as a self-taught woodworker, too!

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He Built A $13,000 Tiny Cabin In Only 55 Days

After digging and setting up the foundation piers, it’s time to start building…

The foundation is coming together.

Always make sure you’re level.

Building a cabin isn’t easy, but it’s certainly worth it.

And getting to do it in beautiful weather, surrounded by nature, can be a sort of zen experience.

Building out the walls.

Getting everything lifted and connected to each other.

Installing the insulation.

Roof sheathing.

Preparing for the roof installation.

Installing the metal roof.

Sheathing the exterior walls.

You can see the front door cut out here.

Drilling into the concrete.

Covering the cabin with beautiful siding.

Preparing for the windows.

More windows. 🙂

As you can see it is nicely insulated inside.

Finishing touches on the ceiling and exposed beams.

The little cabin with some fog.

Finishing up details on the trim.

The cabin all done!

55 days of hard work.

VIDEO – I built a Cabin in 2020 – Start to Finish

VIDEOS – All Episodes


  • 240-sq.-ft. cabin build
  • 12′ x 20′ footprint
  • Built for reading, hanging out, and to use as a home office
  • Someday there may be a bed in there for camping and guests
  • The cabin is built with a shed style roof that’s 12-ft. high on one end and 8-ft. high on the other end.
  • No bathroom or kitchen just yet, but a nearby outhouse is in talks.
  • Read the interview with the owner/builder over at FIELD MAG right here.

Learn more

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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!
{ 10 comments… add one }
  • jerry dycus
    January 26, 2021, 4:51 pm

    A nice simple easy to build reasonable cost TH like THs should be. There is no reason for complicated roofs especially. Fact is this is very similar to my 10’x16′ in construction.
    Though it could be done a lot faster, ,lower cost with better choices of materials.

  • January 27, 2021, 3:05 am

    It’s a pretty little cabin. Would have been nice to see the inside all dolled up. It doesn’t appear he used pressure treated lumber or a water-impervious membrane between the wood and the concrete. Hope his structure will hold for a long time. Seems like he knows what he’s doing.
    Love Lyn

    • James D.
      January 27, 2021, 2:03 pm

      Appearance of pressure treated lumber varies upon type of treatment:

      Chromated Copper Arsenate – Green

      Copper Azole – Brown

      ACQ – Tan or Olive

      Borate – Natural Wood Color

      Oil Based Preservatives – Dark

      But color tint tends to fade as the wood dries and react to exposure to the sun. So can get progressively harder to tell treated from untreated as time passes.

      Pretty sure, though, those are pressure treated lumber they used…

      • RightUp Sam
        January 28, 2021, 12:14 pm

        It looks like pressure-treated lumber to me, at least the foundation beams/joists do.

  • steven mccombs
    January 27, 2021, 9:42 pm

    Great build, but I would not be able to legally build this in my county. Other people should be aware that you might not be able to build this. Check with your County agency regarding building permits and requirements.

  • RightUp Sam
    January 28, 2021, 12:17 pm

    What a lovely little cabin! I agree, it would be nice to see some interior shots, just to get an idea how the space is used/divided, but still, this was a treat to see. I’m planning/hoping to build my own backyard tiny this year (still debating if I want to DIY or just hire somebody, assuming I get the funds together); I’m going to use concrete/CMUs, because I want it to serve as a storm shelter as well, but it’s always inspiring to see DIY tinys! Thank you for sharing this one!

    • Alex
      January 28, 2021, 5:52 pm

      Hey all, I’ll see about getting some interior shots, coming soon! 🙂

  • Amber
    January 31, 2021, 10:00 am

    I wish I had those skills! I have three degrees and none of them equip me to build a structure, fix a car or grow my own food! I’m homeschooling my kiddo and everyone asks me what we’ll do when she reaches high school age – enrol her trade schools and seek apprenticeships for her, that’s what we’ll do!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 3, 2021, 4:09 pm

      Brilliant! Trade schools are awesome.

  • Marsha Cowan
    August 16, 2021, 7:44 pm

    Wow! Quite a bit of work in such a short time. It looks great! I love the exterior finish and the windows. The inside has a lot of potential, and a lovely ceiling and walls. Great job!

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