House Plan Preview – 12×24 Cabin

I’ve been busy drawing plans for the past month and slacked off a bit on posting articles on Tiny House Design. It just occurred to post a preview of the next set of plans I’ll be publishing. I don’t have a name for the design yet but it measures 12×24 and has 12-foot walls with a 12/12 pitch roof. I guess the word “twelve” should in the name somewhere 🙂

The walls are framed with 2x6s, 24-inches on center. The walls are also balloon-framed to make it easier for a couple people to build. I couldn’t imagine lifting a 12×24 wall without a crew, so the long walls are split into two 12×12 sections. It has a decent sized bathroom and a small kitchen. The upper level could be two bedrooms or left open.

The loft is accessed by climbing an alternating step ladder and the wood stove chimney runs right up through the opening to the loft to make it easier to install the stove and heat the whole house. One wall also has four big windows for some added passive solar gain.

The drawing is basically done, now I just need to make all the measured drawings and put them together in a set of plans which I’ll sell for $9.99. I hope to have the plans complete by the end of the week. If you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them.

48 thoughts on “House Plan Preview – 12×24 Cabin

  1. David Chase says:

    Your site is interesting but not very friendly to the many millions who, for good and valid reasons, don’t have access to anything but dial up. Fortunately I can click on your images and then click on “save image as” and get to see your images faster than I could by waiting for download. Your 12x24x12 concept is interesting, though as someone who lives in a 12x24x7 you might try living with a shorter ceiling height and giving yourself a taller knee wall top side. Also the wood burning stove isn’t very friendly for the space. That nasty old clearance requirement. Space is too precious in a 288 sq ft area to waste it, you have to make trade offs in the interest of saving money and resources. I use a propane wall heater for now until I can figure out something better. I also use a lot of built ins for storage. You don’t have to be a great carpenter, just repurpose standard cabinets. And most of you already know that 1×6’s are perfect for bookshelves. I gave up one of my major vices in life (smoking), not giving up the other one (reading). May retro fit for radiant floor, still gathering info for purpose built units, this will lead to a much less expensive way to do it. Sorry about that last part of the sentence, I was a salesman once.

    • Michael Janzen says:

      Hi David,

      You’re right I have many high quality images on my site which slows down page loading. I am running a caching plugin which helps combat so server response and recently shortened my pages. It’s been a while since I’ve been on a slow internet connection but spent years on 14.4K dial-up. You might try turning off images in your browser and load them only when you find a page you want to view.

      A fossil fuel based heater would be easy to add. I wanted to be sure this design easily accommodated a wood stove, clearances and all, so the home owner didn’t need to rely on fossil fuels or be trapped by future energy prices. Burning wood is also considered by many a zero carbon offset method of heating a home since the carbon trees absorb during it’s life is released when burned. Even this big tiny house would be plenty warmed by this little Jotul 602 stove.

      I agree that built-ins are an excellent way to go for saving space. I’ve not drawn any in but that’s a great idea for an addition.

  2. Janice Smith says:

    This is a very doable house — can’t wait to see how it works out. May definitely be one I would buy the plans for. Keep up the good work!

  3. Angela S says:

    I am glad to see you posting more cabin-style tiny houses! As someone who has no intention of ever hauling my house around the country (much cheaper to get a compact car and a tent, if you wanna do that) I admit I was frustrated with the lengthy focus on trailer-built housing. Those things just aren’t practical for climates with harsh winters, since once you figure in insulation the darn thing is way too narrow inside for practicality.

    • Michael Janzen says:

      Thanks Angela. Great feedback on the mobile tiny houses. I’ve been suspecting that more and more people feel as you do. I have several non-mobile and mobile house designs in the works so it’s nice to know I’m headed in the right direction by adding the non-mobile homes.

      • Mark M says:

        Yeah it is nice to see permanent homes. The idea of building a home on trailer really turned me off the small home idea for awhile. How are the plans coming for this home? Would love to purchase them. could a side room be added? Any idea of the cost? Thanks

        • Michael Janzen says:

          Thanks Mark.

          I just need to carve out a day to finish them up actually… but it’s been back-burnered for a while. I will get back to it for sure.

          Not sure on the cost to build. I think a side room could be added easily, especially since the walls are 12-feet high.

          • Mark M says:

            Good to know. I kinda sketched out your floor plan for the original part with a half loft. Then added a 10×16 room on the left with a half loft and a slant roof that meets about half way up the with the other. My only other change was the doorway into that room and a large window into the new room.

  4. David Chase says:

    I don’t know your background as I’ve only been aware of this site for a couple of weeks now but, mine is building. Electrical as primary and plumbing and carpentry as secondary and I spent time as the contractor hired to do on site construction for a portable storage building company. You may be aware of the points I’m going to mention, some of your readers may not.

    Put a couple of blocks between the floor/ceiling joists above top plate on the front bathroom wall, this will give that wall more stability. Since it appears a door will be here, this is a good thing. Add fire blocks between the wall studs in a couple of places in each cell, this will slow the chimney effect in case of fire and buy a few extra seconds of e and e time, another good thing. Even if you hire an electrician to do your electric, read all you can find on the subject yourself and ask questions. Every other fire you hear about in the news blames electric, be conservative. I did my own electric to commercial standards, not residential. I have a propane heater and a propane stove, when I ran the lines for that I soldered carefully and ran a pressure test for 48 hours before I made the connection to my 1st 60 pound bottle. It’s also set up for fast disconnect, makes it easy to replace the empty for full 1, also quick removal in case of emergency.

    I live 10 miles from the nearest town. Just a little forethought helps to eliminate a lot of potential problems. I have enough non perishable food items on hand to last me 3 months, along with toiletries and supplies you wouldn’t want to do without. Despite the vestiges of a passing hurricane (Ike) taking out power in most of my Co-op’s area, I was fine. Even made necessary repairs to my service entrance the day before the Co-op came to hook me back up. Haven’t used an electric can opener in 10 years, so I didn’t to remember to buy 1.

    Still a few things in my like to have list, prioritized to need and funding availability. And I’m always adapting and redoing things as stuff becomes available to me. I also build, repair, and re-purpose whatever comes into my hand and usually turn around and sell it. My own priorities changed after a near fatal car wreck in December, 2002. Losing my Mother in November, 2003, and my 130 pound Akita in January, 2006 just added to it. At least someday I can get another Akita, having competent backup watching your back is a good thing. It’ll be a lot more fun training the new one, the 1st one taught me a lot about how to deal with the breed’s stubborn self awareness.

    • Michael Janzen says:

      Thanks David.

      I’ve updated the working drawing with the bathroom wall bracing and the fire blocking.

      Excellent notes about the electric and gas. I agree, it’s extremely important to do these things (and plumbing) right the first time and often best to hire a pro.

      Sounds like you’ve had some tough life lessons too which illustrate that some simple preparedness and knowledge preps always come in handy.

      Thanks for your comments!

      P.S. RE: My background and skills are extremely diverse actually. Not bragging, just explaining. In building I’m a do-it-yourselfer to a fault and a pretty good jury rigger. I’m a pro designer (not an architect) and have been doing a variety of things from ceramics to web application development for more than a couple decades. So it’s nice to get pro-builder input on the fine details.

  5. Angela says:

    I would like to purchase a few of your house plans, specifically the 12×24 plan. please send me information regarding how to do so.Thank You In Advance. A. Stark.

    • Michael Janzen says:

      Hi Angela,

      I’m planning on including a cut lists for each wall/component and materials list. It will also have step by step construction illustrations to help do-it-yourselfers visualize how a house like this would go together. I should be done by the end of the week and I’ll shoot you a quick note when they are available.


  6. frank says:

    Your floor sheathing should run the other way, perpendicular to the joists. If the wall sheathing is to be run horizontally then an inspector might require blocking at all the panel joints, especially in earthquake- or hurricane-prone areas. An inspector will also want fire-blocking at the loft floor.

    Are you lag-bolting the loft floor ledgers to the walls? A let-in ledger will be stronger. Lower the ledgers by the joist depth and run the joists over top and resting on the let-in ledgers. Then you can also nail the joists directly to sides of the studs.

    It’s hard to see but the gable wall framing doesn’t seem to have window headers for supporting a beam. A support post at the ladder location would go a long way toward reducing the size of beam needed.

    • Michael Janzen says:

      Thanks Frank… I’ve got the sheathing in the working drawing fixed now (not above). The next time I post it will be running the right way.

      I’ve also added the fire blocking at the exterior sheathing seam which is below the loft. I’m wondering if it will also be needed at the loft.

      I’ve got the roof drawn with homemade trusses so a ridge board is not needed which is why the framing around the windows in the gable walls.

      I was thinking that some metal hangers for the loft but I like your idea of letting in the ledgers and then setting the joists on top.

      Thanks Again! Great feedback.

  7. Edwin says:

    This is looking really nice having that extra space in the loft will make all the difference. The only thing is I would add some skylights to open up that loft and make it less of a confined space feel.

  8. Gary says:

    I lived in a stove heated cabin in Minnesota for a winter. One important aspect of a stove is either inside storage of wood next to the stove,(periodic sweeping) that would not work here. Or the stove be right next to the entry.(already dirty w/ rugs) So my suggestion is to put the stove to the right as you walk in the door. And don’t worry about the stove not being in the middle of the room. A small quiet fan will circulate plenty in this size cabin. And the stove pipe does not have to go through to the second floor either, but would give off additional heat. : )

  9. Chet Martin says:

    Hey, this little place looks so great! I would be interested in a plan and a materials list if they are available. I am currently in the process of a divorce and will be left alone here with some acreage when it is all over and plan to put up something very efficient and affordable out of pocket. Here in Maine rough cut hemlock is easily available and is quite affordable too. I might be interested in the plans being expanded to 24x16x12 with the 12 pitch roof. I also thought that your plan would be very nice with a 24×10 sun space on the south side. Thanks for the wonderful post.


    • Michael Janzen says:

      Hi Chet… the plans are almost complete. The roof is 12/12. I’ll definitely consider the 24x16x12 footprint too. It would require only some minor edits to the end walls, loft, and roof. Thanks!

  10. Chet Martin says:

    How much would plans and materials list cost? Would you mind emailing me your reply to email hidden; JavaScript is required I am very interested in finding out what it would cost to put this up. I might even put a daylight basement under it which would be really wonderful.

    • Michael Janzen says:

      Hi Todd,

      I should have them ready soon. I put this one on the back burner for a while but it should be off soon.


  11. dee says:

    I am really interested in the plans as soon as possible, as three guys (two of my sons friends) Will be staying at our cabin in the woods, and I would love to have them help build this tiny house. Have to figure propane for stove, refrig? Water from house? Etc. Thanks, I guess you have my email address. email hidden; JavaScript is required A guest house so I can have my cabin back 🙂

  12. Billy says:

    Great design I like it! We have 120 acres in Michigan’s UP. And rather than put up one big cabin we are going to put up 3-4 small ones in scenic spots. That way when friends and family come up each can have there own place. And I like the idea of being able to stay at different areas on the property.

    Last year I built a 12×20 bunk house and 2×4 stud walls onto our trailer. We plan on putting a up stairs on for bedrooms and keeping the bottom for living space. I was having a hard time trying to figure out how to put a stairway in such a limited space and really like you ladder setup.

    With the old parlor stove stove we have in there it is really easy to over heat the place even with the trailer attached. My uncle came over while we were out banked the fire up but forgot to close the damper while we were out and when we got back it was -6 F outside and 95 inside.

    As a side note to the post about having the stove next to the door. I don’t think its a good idea unless you have a second exit. If you had a fire around the stove you may not be able to exit the doorway.


  13. Blake Voss says:

    Billy’s comment applies to all houses. In many building codes a house has to have 2 exits no matter what or where the heating source is. Any fire near the door could mean that the occupants would need to go out a (big) window or another door. If an addition is added outside of that door (plan for it now) then the addition needs an exit. Also, I would frame some of the windows so that it would be easy to replace one with a door. The more flexibility for future changes, the better. The window would be reused in the addition, of course.

  14. christine says:

    Great plans! I love this simple design and really appreciate your and others’ tips on plumbing and electric. These are really helpful for people like me – a middle-aged woman doing a solo building project. ALso, though I’m glad others benefit from non-mobile designs, I am not in a position to buy land, especially as most of the avialable land in my area is restricted subdivision. A mobile tiny house is my only alternative to a tract mcMansion, so thanks for the Popomo design, which is what I’m building!

    • Michael Janzen says:

      Thanks Clark. Plans will be ready very soon. Sounds like a lot of people want to build it this spring so I’ve moved it to the very top of my priority list. You can contact me through this website or at email hidden; JavaScript is required

  15. Clark says:

    Great! Looking forward to getting started with this project. Thanks for your work.

    As for your naming contest, I’ll suggest “Lands Best Friend.”

  16. Gil says:

    I look forward to purchasing these plans, they’re awesome. However, in Texas we’re not terribly worried about how to heat the space, but rather, how to cool it and keep it from blowing away in hurricanes. How many BTUs would it take to cool this plan?

  17. Claire says:

    I made a little cabin similar to this and lived in it for 6 years. It was a bit smaller; 12×20, with 10 foot walls (upstairs had a two-foot kneewall). It was solar-sited, so the front had the door on the left, a bay window in the middle, and a sliding glass door on the right. There were no other windows downstairs, and the back right corner had built-in bookshelves and a built-in boat-bunk sized couch.

    Those built-ins became the main place to hang out. I would curl up on the bench, with my feet on a chair, and read. I think putting the door in the middle of the wall will make a traffic pattern that will greatly reduce the usable space. Putting the door closer to a corner will make more of a mud-room and give you the feeling of more room.

    I had my wood stove in the middle of the back wall; again, this opened up the space. For stairs, I put a landing on the left wall with steep stairs going upstairs. The steps up to the landing could be pushed back under the landing to get more room.

    I had only a half-loft, on the right; the stairs on the right went to a 3′ wide walkway which crossed over to the loft.

    It was a very livable space for one person, and I hope to make something like it again. This cabin looks great and brings back many happy memories.

  18. Paul Newacheck says:

    I guess I didn’t wait long enough. I tried again and after several minutes the file appeared. Thank you very much!

  19. Tim Waryk says:

    I have been searching for a while for plans for a small cabin that I can build my two boys (ages14 and 10), I have seen many of your mobile tiny homes and was considering possibly a semi modified version of one of those and was checking out your site for the umpteenth time when I came across these plans and they are perfect. I dont know how I missed them before, and they are free. Thank you. I hope to be starting the prep work on my property by mid April if its not too wet and start building sometime in May. We will keep you posted with pics and updates.
    Thanks again,
    Tim, Timmy and Jeremiah

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