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How much does a 400 sq ft Tiny Cabin Cost?
Short answer, it depends on where and how.
You want a tiny cabin, huh? Don't we all. A quiet place to escape from it all. My family and I are building a whole tiny house village and had to answer this question for ourselves.
When you research online though, you quickly see over-priced, over-complicated tiny houses that cost as much as a house in major cities.
I'll show you that cabins can be much cheaper than you think if you are willing to do some work yourself.
From my personal experience, it can cost somewhere in the range of $2,000 to $20,000 to get a 400 square foot cabin. Affordable prefab tiny cabins are usually 80 to 600 square feet and the quality can range from basic to premium. Save money by buying a cabin and finishing the interior yourself.
We have 3 prefab cabins from 5 Star Buildings 400 square feet each. We bought them unfinished on the inside. We wanted to do all the work to put up insulation, paneling, heating, bed, and even flooring to save money on the build. If you are serious about having a cabin in the woods, I'd look into prefab options like Five Star Buildings or building it yourself if you have the time and skills to do so.
In this article, we will focus on costs, questions, and my picks for 400 sqft prefab off-grid cabins. I will exclude the cost of buying the land.
Buying a 400 square foot Prefab Cabin
First, I want to say that many of the cabin pictures online are just that...pictures. There are A LOT of concepts. You see them on "outdoor" websites and Instagram pages like "cabin porn" but they aren't real. They are mock-ups. Like this:
Not to say this isn't a legit cabin builder, but, I want real-life pictures of the cabins you've already built.
If you are like me (which you probably are) you want a simple, cost-effective place to escape. You don't want anything crazy. You prefer utilitarian. A place to sleep, get out of the elements, have a meal, and maybe have a poo. For us, we are mostly sleeping and chilling in the cabin at night after a long day of adventuring. We need some warmth, a nice bed, a couch, and a table. Very simple.
There are some options at the higher price point too if you are looking to have more creature comforts. So for this article, I'll split it into basic cabins and premium cabins, but they all fall under $20,000.
Here are some other considerations.
Short Term Stays for Weekend Warriors:
The cabins we bought are basically exaggerated sheds with windows and a porch. We want to have these for weekend stays, and potentially longer if there is a "bug-out" situation and we have to stay REALLY far away from the city.
In essence, purchase cheaper, smaller cabins for shorter stays. I mostly use ours for hunting, mountain biking, and paddling trips. They don't have to have modern amenities but they will be the most bang for your buck.
If you are trying to LIVE in an off-grid cabin, then don't buy a small cabin like we did. You can, of course, but you would have to build an out house or other creative options for bathrooms. Consider spending a little more dough and buy a bigger structure as I'll describe in another article. You also may have to deal with taxes and building codes depending on where you are building. Some counties have square footage requirements, which seems dumb to me. I'll cover building permits and codes in another article.
Lastly, what does your Cabin NEED to have?
Indoor bathroom? Shower? sink? Heat? Separate rooms? Kitchen? Or are you roughing it for a few days at a time? Think about what you will be spending time doing.
Basic Cabins: $1,000-$10,000
Basic Cabins come bare bones. Usually what you think of when you say "cabin in the woods". One room that has everything in it. The picture below is a few years when I was putting the insulation and walls up. This is a super solid 24X16 cabin. You will spend less than $10,000 on this cabin.
This cabin does not require a concrete pad foundation. You could, but it would be overkill. All of ours are on "skids" or big concrete blocks that it rests on. It sits above the ground slightly to prevent rotting the foundation. This saves tons of money.
These can be delivered and arranged how you want. Delivery depends on how far away and who you are buying from. Some builders, like the one we bought from, deliver for free within a one-hour radius.
Here are two Basic Cabin Makers I would recommend:
Premium 400 sq ft Cabins= $10,000 plus
These cabins are better. But they cost more. They are usually fitted with a bathroom and kitchen. These logs are hand-picked. Not plywood and two-by-fours you can get from the grocery store.
Premium Cabins have the high build quality you are looking for at this price point. They may include foundation poured on site or that might be extra.