A cabin kit is a practical, inexpensive, and generally simple way to build your ideal cabin using a set of building plans and precut, premeasured building supplies for a fundamental structure. Depending on your experience, skills, and available tools, you can either DIY the entire build or give step-by-step instructions to a local builder. Kits range from an unfinished shell to a fully assembled cabin.
With a cabin kit, you can avoid hiring an architect and engineer and the associated costs, but there is still a significant amount of labor and costs that must be covered out of pocket. This includes naming a few, the preparation of the land and site, utilities, and home finishing. It’s a fantastic option, but it also requires a lot of manual labor and actual heavy lifting.
Difference Between Modular and Prefabricated Cabin
When discussing log homes and cabin kits, the terms “prefabricated” and “modular” are frequently used, though they don’t always mean the same thing.
Prefabricated refers to a structure that has been partially or entirely built in a factory before being transported and put together on site. Cross-laminated timber (CLT), a novel wood material that enables quick and effective building, is frequently used in prefabricated, or prefab, construction. Roof and floor trusses, exterior walls, interior wall panels, and staircases are the parts of construction that are most frequently prefabricated. You could purchase a prefabricated bathroom, kitchen, sleeping loft, or living space, for instance.
“Modular” or “modules” refer to separate units or components that can be put together in a variety of ways to form a larger structure. Prefabricated structures are common in modular cabins, but not all prefabricated buildings are modules. The distinction is that modules are pre-assembled, 3D structures that are delivered to the construction site.
Prefabricated structures are the flat-packed parts used to enclose the space, whereas modules enclose the space.
What’s Included in a Cabin Kit?
There are numerous cabin kits available that range in style and construction. A-Frame cabins with three walls and a steeply pitched roof and traditional log cabins with horizontally stacked lumber are two examples of different architectural styles within that category. There are also modern cabins with sharp silhouettes and clean lines that are furnished with a combination of metal, wood, and cement materials.
Companies that sell prefabricated log cabin kits typically offer three different kinds of kits: Shell-only, Dry-in, and Turn-key or complete packages. Depending on where you buy your cabin kit, these packages may go by different names.
Shell-Only Cabin Kit
Everything you need to construct the exterior shell of your cabin is included in the shell-only kit. Typically, this includes the roof, windows, doors, exterior walls, and uncovered floors. The interior and exterior finishes, as well as the flooring, roofing, doors, and windows, must all be purchased. You’ll also need to hire expert log home builders if you don’t have building experience. The most adaptable choice is shell kits.
Dry-In Cabin Kit
Plans for dry-in cabins come with everything you need for the basic framework as well as the windows, doors, flooring, roofing, and occasionally porches and decks you’ll need to finish the exterior of your cabin. Dry-in kits are less expensive than turnkey kits but don’t need as much carpentry or construction knowledge. The drawbacks include a higher initial cost as well as the cost of purchasing and installing utilities and finishings like drywall to finish the space.
Turn-Key or Complete Package Cabin Kit
Everything you need to move into your ideal cabin is included in a full package. Included in this are built-in furnishings, fittings, and fixtures. If building a bathroom, kitchen, living space, and sleeping loft is a part of your design, it also comes with everything you need to do so.
These are more expensive but require less time and money to buy and install things like windows, doors, and decor. While basic kits are simpler and less involved than some turnkey blueprints, you still get everything.
Tiny Home Cabin Kits
Having a tiny home cabin kit can be a quick and simple way to gain experience for less money and effort. The small cabin kit offers enough room to expand upon in the future and can be made spacious enough by including a bedroom and storage area in the interior loft area, which frees up the main floor. A covered porch can add additional space to a small floor plan.
Where Can You Buy Log Cabin Kits?
Many manufacturers of log cabin kits provide a selection of floor plans and designs. These businesses ship domestically and internationally on a large scale. Remember that shipping charges are not always reflected in the purchase price.
You might want to think about ordering your cabin kit from a business that is nearby or that has a distribution center close to where you plan to build it. Your shipping costs might be significantly reduced as a result. Additionally, rather than having “extras” shipped to your location, you can buy “extras” like flooring, fixtures, fittings, and even individual parts like staircases and cabinets from a nearby supplier.
Buying Cabin Kits
While getaway cabins are a type of tiny home as well, they typically offer more space and a more upscale appearance than standard tiny homes. These vacation cabins on Amazon are manufactured in advance. It means that when you order one, you won’t be able to live in it right away because it needs to be assembled before it can be delivered to your door. However, they are simpler to put together and don’t require a lot of building experience compared to creating a vacation cabin from scratch.
Here are some of the best-prefabricated getaway cabins that Amazon has to offer if you’re interested in purchasing one.
Lillevilla Allwood Getaway Cabin Kit
This 292-square-foot, high-quality, multi-purpose cabin is made entirely of solid wood. It has enough space to serve as a home office, summer house, or even a standalone retail structure. Additionally, you can turn this vacation cabin into a home by adding utility hookups. It is advised to add additional insulation if you live in a colder climate because this kit does not include insulation.
For two adults, putting together this getaway cabin kit only takes two to three days. Because it comes with straightforward step-by-step instructions and only requires a few simple tools, it is very simple to put together. The durable Nordic Spruce covered terrace, building supplies for the floor, and the roof is all included in this getaway cabin. Additionally, it includes pre-assembled gables, pre-hung and glazed doors, and windows, as well as all the required nails, screws, fixings, handles, and door locks.
Allwood Eagle Point 1108 SQF Cabin Kit
This Eagle Point cabin kit is made specifically for you. It can be utilized as a recreational area, a standalone retail establishment, an office, or a combination of a residence and a place of business. In urban settings where traditional cabins look out of place, this getaway cabin will look fantastic. If you want to use it as your primary residence, you can customize this roomy getaway cabin.
The package comes with thick, sturdy walls, additional roof insulation, slow-grown Nordic Spruce wall planks, a roof, floorboards, pre-hung, glazed doors and windows, pre-assembled gables, and all the necessary nails, screws, fixings, handles, and door locks. Additionally, it includes simple-to-follow instructions. The roofing materials and the foundation materials, such as cinder blocks, under the timbers, are not included in this getaway cabin kit.
Lillevilla Escape 113 SQF Allwood Cabin Kit
The Lillevilla Escape is a great option if all you’re after is a modest getaway cabin. This cabin has 113 square feet of interior floor space. It is a really cute cabin that is large enough to create extra space for your hobby, pool tools, and other supplies. But you can also use it as a retail kiosk, a lake house, a guest house, or a home office.
For two adults, putting this vacation cabin together won’t take more than a day. Simple DIY step-by-step instructions that are very simple to follow are included in the kit. For this cabin, only a few basic tools are required because all the materials are already present, except the foundation and roof shingles.
Allwood Bella Cabin Kit
This is a kit for a vacation cabin in the style of a cottage, constructed from premium Nordic wood. It has a 324-square-foot floor area. This lake house, guest house, beach house, and garden cottage are perfect fits. But you can also occupy it as your main residence.
This weekend getaway cabin for two adults can be put together in about 16 hours. Simply follow the straightforward DIY step-by-step instructions that are included. This cabin’s assembly requires a very small set of tools. Floorboards, floor joists, roof, pre-hung and glazed windows and doors, pre-assembled gables, as well as all necessary nails, fixings, screws, door locks, and handles, are also included in the kit. Simply put, it excludes building supplies used as foundations for timbers, such as cinder blocks.
Allwood Ranger Cabin Kit
The Scandinavian style of this vacation cabin emphasizes functionality and usability. It has a roomy 256 square foot main floor and a sizable 168 square foot loft. It has wall planks that are thicker than usual, which makes it a very energy-efficient cabin that is ideal for colder climates.
Due to its height and for your safety, putting this vacation cabin together should be a “two adults project.” By carefully following the step-by-step instructions and using the fewest tools possible, it can be finished in just two days. It also includes all of the components and hardware, except the foundation materials and roof shingles, such as the materials for the floor and roof, the doors, windows, gables, nails, fixings, handles, and door locks. If you want a more roomy getaway cabin, this is a great option.
How to Pick the Right Cabin Kit Manufacturer
A good manufacturer of cabin kits will offer premium components, support, follow-up care, and a warranty that lasts between five and ten years. Additionally, the business should provide delivery, installation, and any heavy equipment required for assembly, along with clear instructions on what to expect. To open the lines of communication and feel more assured about your purchase, it is a good idea to get in touch with the owners and/or designers of the cabin kit you intend to purchase in advance. In general, make every effort to build a positive working relationship with the manufacturer of the cabin kit before, during, and after your purchase. Additionally, you can ask other kit owners for recommendations for local builders.
How to Prepare for and Assemble a Cabin Kit
It’s essential to have everything on hand before the delivery day to assemble, transport, and store kit components. Plan ahead for any bad weather, ensure there is enough daylight to complete the task, account for travel time, and consider the weather so you are prepared to leave.
Your cabin kit manufacturer ought to have informed you at this point exactly what to anticipate in terms of delivery and assembly. While a turnkey kit requires plenty of heavy machinery, a shell cabin kit may require a wide road for a semi-truck to drive to your site. Since each kit differs, speak with the kit manufacturer first.
Before your cabin arrives, make sure to level the ground and pour a concrete slab foundation large enough for it. Additionally, confirm with your neighborhood government to see if you need a permit to assemble your cabin kit. Do the research well in advance because this will depend on the size, location, codes, and laws of each jurisdiction.
Tools Needed for Assembling your Cabin Kit
While your kit’s specific assembly requirements will apply, there are a few essentials you should consider and plan to have on hand when building.
Detailed Instructions and Plans
The blueprints and instructions that are included with your cabin kit are the most important resource on assembly day. Don’t lose these because they should contain the most information about how to build your cabin.
Is a forklift required for the cabin kit? If so, how many? Heavy equipment like a forklift might still be needed even if the materials are flat-packed. To have the appropriate size and quantity of forklifts ready and onsite for delivery day, speak with the manufacturer first, then get in touch with a local expert.
Tarps and Shelter from the Elements
Tarps are a great way to shield your kit contents from the elements. If it starts to rain or become damp, place the bundles on the ground. You can even keep the packaging the bundles come in to add an extra layer of security. Even if it only takes you a weekend, find a cool, dry place to store all materials.
Carpentry and Power Tools
The following are some typical tools needed to put together a cabin kit: ladders, hammers, tape measures, electric and high-speed drills, wire cutters, pipe clamps, caulking guns, drill bits, screw guns, and utility knives, among other things.
Log Cabin Care and Maintenance
You’ll need to maintain your ideal cabin once you’ve built it. Compared to regular homes, log cabins require a little more upkeep. This is because, if your cabin is not maintained, moisture, extremely high or low temperatures, sun exposure, microorganisms, and insects can all harm it.
You can keep track of the upkeep that needs to be done on your log cabin—or any other kind of vacation home—by having a checklist on hand. A good place to start is by asking your log cabin manufacturer for maintenance advice. To that end, here are a few things to take into account when making a log home maintenance checklist:
- Check your log cabin once a year. The most important step in log cabin upkeep is this one. You can identify problems before they arise by inspecting both the interior and exterior of your home.
- Frequently use mild soap to wash your log cabin’s exterior.
- As soon as you become aware of any stains, mold, or mildew, remove them.
- Regularly check the chinking on your cabin and add or repair it as necessary.
- Keep any upward-facing checks sealed.
- Only use a wood stain or topcoat when necessary. This needs to be done annually in many instances, but not all. Depending on the state of the wood stain or topcoat that is currently applied, you might need to do it more often or less frequently than that.
- Check that the area around the cabin has enough drainage.
- Keep up with pest control even before you notice symptoms. Fill in any gaps or cracks where insects or bugs can enter. Keep food in airtight containers, and regularly take out the trash. Even fumigating your log home occasionally might be necessary.
A cabin kit is a practical choice that provides convenience with some good old-fashioned hard work, striking the right balance between aesthetics and adventure. The information above is the things you need to know about cabin kits.
Modern design, ease of construction, and sustainability are just a few of the many reasons cabin kits are adorable and useful, but at their core, a cabin provides a simple way to get back in touch with nature.