The Pioneer’s Cabin – 16×20 Tiny House Plans

Many people first discover tiny houses by stumbling across some of the smallest examples – and most folks quickly realize that 120 square foot homes are not for everyone. Luckily many of the same benefits of extreme downsizing can be realized by eliminating extraneous possessions and moving into smaller spaces.

Over the past few years I’ve found that most visitors to my blog want plans for homes in the 400 to 800 square foot range. So I’ve been busy going through past design concepts and email requests selecting those that I suspect people would want to build themselves.

The Pioneer’s Cabin framing plan gives you about 400 square feet of usable space (including the loft), a full bathroom, space for a stacked washer/dryer, and a kitchen. It lacks closet space and a downstairs bedroom – but the plans do provide a nice 16′ x 20′ base structure to build upon.

From the illustrations below you might have noticed that the house plans I draw function more like building instructions that explain the building process to prospective owner-builders.

Most professional plans are drawn for professional builders and are difficult to understand for most folks. As an avid do-it-yourselfer myself I wanted to produce some plans for people like me – owner-builders. So the plans are presented in the order of assembly to give novice home builders a better idea of how a small house would be built. But the level of detail should be adequate for any professional to use too.

The plans are available as a PDF download and cost just $9.95.


Below are some sample illustrations from the plans. Click to view a larger version.

14 thoughts on “The Pioneer’s Cabin – 16×20 Tiny House Plans

  1. Carlos in ATx says:

    Nice but I think it needs to be longer. 24′-28′ would have been much closer to The Golden Ratio(1:1.62). As much of the country is gripped in terrible heat wave, I would add a little more passive solar ie deeper eaves , windows that are higher and wider on the south side . I’d also wrap around porch. Given the small foot print, a 3′-6′ knee wall on one side with a salt box roof would allow you to stand up in the loft. Something us older folk getting out of bed really appreciate( worn out knees).

  2. Ann Wilson says:

    Only thing I can not find is where to put the stairs for the up stairs? I can’t climb a latter at my age. I am disabled and need a home. So I am planning to build one of these. Just need a way up to the bed room.

  3. Betty says:

    I just love this design! I so want this home built just for me. Being an empty nester now it would be the PERFECT size for me! Thank you!

  4. Alisha says:

    I’m loving so many of these tiny house designs. The biggest problem I’m finding with most designs however, is there are no closets for your clothing.

  5. Michele says:

    I like it and am curious how you propose to deal with venting the laundry facilities. Also, I too am a bit disappointed about the lack of storage other than the kitchen. Perhaps a slightly larger structure would provide options for storage?Do you have any plans for something a bit larger? Another question: is this 2×4 or 2×6 construction? I live in Canada and would need to have 2×6 to keep out the cold. Do you offer any ideas about insulating and air circulation to avoid condensation in such a small space?

    Also, I love the way you have offered options for how the interior space could be utilized.

    Keep up the good work.

  6. Shellie says:

    My husband and I take care of my mother. We would like to build this tiny house on our lot for her to have her own space. We live about 60 miles north of Birmingham, Alabama. Could you please give us an estimated cost for materials to build this particular house plan. Thanks you so much!!!!

  7. Candace Brandt says:

    I lost the hard drive on my computer and along with it, the plans for the Pioneer House. Do you keep a record of sales so I could have the link re-sent? I need to print it out this time!!

  8. star panter says:

    We want to order this 16 x 20 plan but do not want to go through pay pal please send your address

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