12×24 Homesteader’s Cabin – Free Plans

Over a year ago I drew a design for a 12×24 Cabin but never finished the plans. I was suffering from a sort of writer’s block. No form of therapy seemed to work to help me break free – not even reading Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art. Inspiring book – but other people’s answers rarely work for me.

Back when I was a potter I had trouble finishing work too. I guess I just liked the time on the wheel when the clay was wet. Once the pots were ready to glaze I often lost interest unless the firing process involved a lot of direct involvement like pit firing or raku. I guess you could say the same thing is true of this design – once the drawing was close to an end I lost interest.

What finally worked – to break the creative block – was to simply let go. I know most folks reading this probably don’t give a rat’s behind about my creative process but I do and this is my blog… so consider slogging through this little prologue the price to pay to get to the free download. The PDF is 14MB so wait for the download to complete before trying to open. Enjoy!

You’ll need a free copy of Google SketchUp to open the SketchUp file. I built the plans using Google LayOut which comes with Google SketchUp Pro. If you build it I’d love to see photos. Thanks!




25 thoughts on “12×24 Homesteader’s Cabin – Free Plans

  1. Bill says:

    Congrats on finishing the plans. I wonder who will be the first to build it? I might if I had some place to build it on.

  2. Patrick says:

    Love the plans. I’ve been anxiously waiting for them. I’d love to build this but I’m thinking of building using SIP panels. Do you know of a resource that would convert these plans to using SIP panels? SIP panels or not though, this is the design I plan on building.

  3. Jeremiah says:

    Michael, SIP panels are nothing more than pre-assembled wall panels. They would replace the sheathing, framing and interior finish. Same for the roof. You would still need to build the foundation, floor framing and loft framing. If you type “SIPs” into a search engine you’ll find plenty of resources. If you’d like someone architecturally trained to help you convert the plans for permitting/building, let me know and I’ll be happy to help.
    It is a decent plan/model. It’s simple and straightforward, which I like. Only thing I don’t like is the model showing the exterior sheathing. Your joints should always overlap. Otherwise, great job. Cheers.

    • Sam Shan says:

      Dear Jeremiah,

      Have a nice day.

      I am writing to you to introduce an OSB substitute – MgO boards. It is a non-insulating sheathing board with a number of applications including wall and ceiling linings, fascias, soffits, tile backing and underlayments. It has the characteristics of fire resistance, weatherability, strength, resistance to mold and mildew. It is available in many forms, thicknesses and sizes. One of the best manufacturers in China is Dezhou Lingmei Trade and Industry Co., Ltd., located in Dezhou, Shandong Province. If you need samples, or if you want to have a field check of the products, testing facilities and warranty system, I can arrange the trip for you.

      Best regards,

      Sam Shan

  4. Wayne S says:

    Thanks for the free plans! I am not in a position to build yet, but it’s in ‘the plan’, and I’m thankful for this additional data to work on in the meantime.

    I’ll be ecstatic to share pictures as/when I build!

  5. Dayle Ann says:

    I clicked on the pdf link, and got a blank page. I download pdf files all the time (daily), so am baffled, especially since other people seem to have accessed them ok. Interested because I lived in a 12×25 foot cabin of similar design and found it very comfortable.

  6. SteveR says:

    When you said we had to suffer through your story and then you said you got it done eventually by ‘letting go’, I was waiting for the story to start! I wasn’t ready for the free download yet, you had me hooked with the story – goodness, don’t leave it there! How did you ‘let go’ and how did that get you to finish it? Do tell.

  7. Stophel says:

    Thanks for these plans! This is just about right for me. I had seriously been considering building a tiny house on a trailer, but it’s just TOO small. I basically live in a 9’x13′ bedroom now, with all my stuff CRAMMED inside it. I don’t think I could do a house with the same square footage as I have now! (also having to squeeze in a bathroom and kitchen!) My books alone would take up half the loft! 😀

    This size of a house will be just right. Still VERY small by modern standards, but rather larger than a trailer house, AND with an actual usable upper floor, which nearly doubles the floor space!

    I have held off building because my dream is to have land out in the woods, remote and quiet, but that is looking to be pretty unlikely now, considering the money that would have to be involved. I have a small piece of land available to me now, and I think I’ll just have to go with it.

  8. mat says:

    Over the years, I’ve come to understand that all design has a natural flow to it. You start out with one thing in mind, but if it goes in another direction, you cannot deny it that transition–or it won’t work. You cannot bend design to your will, you can only bring forth what wants to be brought forth. If in the end, it is not what you really wanted, then you accept what it is and start over, in a new direction.

  9. Debra says:

    Michael, I just have one question–why does the loft railing go all the way across? It would be a nuisance to have to climb over it. I assume the small door at the back is access to a water heater?

    Nice plan, thanks for sharing it.

  10. Gloria says:

    I’ve been trying to view the .pdf file to no avail. I cannot view it; I cannot download it. I use .pdf files daily, so it isn’t likely user error. I would love to see the plan, as I’m contemplating building a tiny house, and I would like to see an example of your plans.

  11. ali says:

    I’m thinking of an addition to my house, but I’m VERY aware of my little budget. So adding a tiny house seems perfect. I’d love to look at this plan but I can’t download 🙁 Please let us know when it’s fixed.

  12. Bobbi says:

    I just printed it out on my old computer. Easy. Thsi does look like a good plan, I just wish it was a little bigger, for a king size mattress! Maybe if I fit it in, just right, while building, just maybe I can get it in there! Or tweak the measurements just a little, and put it in sideways. Oh well, just a thought!

  13. lulu says:


    Whenever I click on the link for either of the PDF’s it opens a new window for me with the same page. Is anyone else having this problem? I would love to get a look at the plans. Thank you for putting them out there Michael, thats really cool of you.

  14. NotTooBlonde says:

    Tried to get the plans but it only takes me back to the original page…..help. Love this and really want the plans.

  15. guill says:

    thanks so much Michael!! these will come in very handy.. even if i don’t built his exact cabin, it shows me how to properly construct the cabin with the dimensions i need… you’re a jewel!!

  16. Nathan Montgomery says:

    Do u have a list of all lumber required to build this design? I’m trying to figure out a cost thanks

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