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Compact Cabins: Simple Living in 1000 Square Feet or Less

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  281 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
The setting might be a sparkling lakefront, a cool clearing in the woods, a breathtaking mountaintop, or an expansive beach, but the dream of a modest retreat from everyday life often includes a simple little cabin. In cabin getaways of the imagination, the cares of the world recede, time slows down, and the day's pace is set by leisure and quiet activities.

Compact Cabins
ebook, 217 pages
Published February 27th 2010 by Storey Publishing (first published December 30th 2009)
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It's a 5 star, a ranking I am stingy with, giving it to less than 10% of the books I read. Here is why: it is a simple book that makes good on its promise to deliver 62 plans for simple compact cabins of 1000 sq.feet or less. But it is more than a book of elevations and floor plans. It walks you through design considerations, the idea of building your cabin modularly - either onsite or off site in modules you can trailer in. It talks about materials, where to save and where to spend. The pros an ...more
Jan 29, 2012 Andee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been on a quest to downsize my life for over 2 years. My hope is to eventually fit myself and my most valued possessions into a small comfy space hopefully no larger than 300-400sqft. That was what prompted me to buy this book. While many of the plans are larger than I was looking for, even the larger ones (those closer to 1000 sqft) still offer ideas that could be utilized in a smaller home. Of the smaller home plans included, several had great appeal and could easily be altered to be pe ...more
Aug 07, 2013 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If Plan A is to buy an island, Plan B is to build a small off-the-grid cabin. (And Plan A may involve Plan B.) Fun read with several excellent ideas about living in a small space, and lots of tips on off-the-grid stuff.

Although this book has lots of ideas, it's not deep on details. Once you have your idea, you're going to have to spend some effort working with an architect and other professionals to turn your idea into reality.
I think this is a great resource if you're building a cabin but for a year round proper home, not so much. I'll have to look at his book on "compact houses."
Plus with this one, the typical heat sources he references are a fireplace or wood burning stove. I love the idea of each but neither are good for those with allergies like me.
Jul 13, 2016 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall a good book if you're looking into building a small place. It has a lot of good information besides just floor plans -- tips on construction, important factors in building, etc, etc. I wish there were a bit more variety with the floor plans, but overall a good, solid book to give you an idea of what you can expect. I would recommend this book. 4 out of 5 stars.
R. Shurmer
Pretty much what the title suggests: plans for small cabins. Definitely better than throwing money into pre-fab blueprints from some log company. I can't get too excited, so 3 stars seems 'bout right.
Jan 26, 2012 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had a lot of great ideas, but few details. While it was fanatic food for thought and did a good job of getting me excited about the prospect of building a cabin, its technical follow through was lacking.
Elizabeth Olson
Aug 05, 2011 Elizabeth Olson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011, how-to
Some read romances or sword & sorcery epics as an escape; I drift away in plans for off-grid cabins. This compendium of plans, ideas and resources is a delight, and would probably also be a practical guide, but that might be taking things a bit far...
Dec 27, 2010 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, nonfiction, own
Provides ideas for layouts. However, no schematic designs for plumbing or electricity, solar or wind panels. Some designs account for battery space needed for being off the grid. Most of the layouts are for less than 600sf interior space. Could probably get the same layouts using an RV catalog.
Donna Jo Atwood
Jun 17, 2010 Donna Jo Atwood rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: houses
This is a true description. So often when people talk about small homes they mean something from 1,000 sq ft up. Most of these are in the 500-700 sq ft range. There is also some practical information about construction and materials.
Alanna Jane
Mar 24, 2014 Alanna Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who has ever desired a cabin (or mini home) of their own.
This amazingly detailed small-cabin planner is the ultimate fuel for my "off-grid dream home with soul".
I liked this book a lot. Wasn't exactly what I was looking for but a good starter book for small space living nonetheless :)
Apr 09, 2011 Allison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is am wonderful book to have on your resource shelf. Gotta figure out a source for RV components in my area ...
J. Gowin
Nov 24, 2016 J. Gowin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: diy
While it does have some useful information, about half of this book is floor plans without useful blueprints or specifications.
Plans were basic layouts but the square footage was just what I was looking for. Great book for inspiration.
Sep 22, 2010 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are looking for another take on how to live frugally, this is a must see. Not practical for everyone, but fun to think about!
Starry E.
Starry E. rated it it was ok
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Sandra Whittier rated it it was amazing
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