800 sq. ft. Colorado cabin plans

Started by nandajor, April 23, 2006, 03:33:25 PM

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Here are our plans for the Colorado cabin. They are pretty rough, but we have worked out most of the bugs.  It will be a metal gable roof, 4.12 pitch, and where my notes are, will be the carport (some would probably prefer it to be a big porch). The living space is real close to 800 sq. ft.  Only one bedroom, but will sleep up to 8.  

We will probably use Hardi board panels or some of the new "engineered" wood panels for siding.  I like drawers instead of cabinets, because I am short and they just seem to work best, with open shelving above counters. If you put shelving in all the nooks and crannies of unused space, it really helps a small house.  Two potties are a must.  I am either stupid, or my "Punch" program won't print out the finished projection of the cabin. Guess I will have to post the real thing, eventually.

Some questions:   In cold climate houses, is it more common to use gas or electric hot water heaters?   Anything unusual about metal roof installation?
Any of your brilliant ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.  Nanda & John


>:(don't know what I am doing wrong...help


Looks like it worked to me, Nanda- what don't you like about it?? :-/

I made a guess that you wanted it here, so moved it.  I think you may have started a new topic rather than replied to the same one.

You asked for help so I also trimmed it up a bit.



Thanks so much, Glenn.  I wouldn't say that I have exactly conquered the operation of this "machine".  As a matter of fact, up until about 6 yrs. ago, I had never touched a computer. Back in the ancient times, when I was in school, an electric typewriter was high tech.  When I can make it function, it is an amazing tool. When I can't, it is a whole string of adjectives that I can't repeat here. Appreciate you giving an old gal, a hand.  Nanda


Not a problem, Nanda.  I regularly use some of those adjectives - in my old age I have to keep repeating them to myself so I don't forget any.  Note that I have also made up a few interesting compound words.  

My wife thinks it's rather comical that I can smoothly combine so many into one long musical sentence. :-/

You can't tell me I ain't got no edication.


There is a lot of traffic right through the middle of the kitchen work triangle (stove, sink, Refr).

It would be great to find a way to not have the bedroom, bath and utility open into the kitchen.


I agree with John on the traffic.

While one of the worst layouts I've ever lived in had you walk through the bathroom to get to the kitchen! I'm not a big fan of the reverse either, especially if you are likely to be loaded up with kids and grandkids.

Also not really fond of drawers at all, but particularly not under the bed.  (I did eventually see the closet rods in the utility/1/2 bath)  OK for bedding, but....

I do like shelves and bins for underwear, socks, t-shirts, etc.   and somethings are really best hung up.  You could make a really slim closet with a couple of perpendicular to the wall hanging bars, and something on the order of these bins from Ikea for the rest.

Trones is what the bins are called.  Probably right awful in plastic.  Sold for shoes, and these measurements are in cm (10 cm = 4" approximately)


I did wonder if you could do something with a covered porch to make the layout rectangular--with rooms on each end?  If you aren't planning too much winter use, even doors to the outside from the rooms on the legs of the C.  I've been in a house in Nashville where rooms with doors to the outside worked pretty well for either the spare bedroom or office. (of course it was a small hundred-year-old house and it had once had a small post office in that extra room.)


The trones you linked to above are plastic ( I have about 1/2 dozen of them).  Besides white, they come in red, black, grey, and lifesaver orange or green.  Different Ikeas carry different colors. The picture shows them stacked, but the three bins come apart and can then be hung on the wall.  The tops are wide enought for kleenex boxes, perfume bottles and other small everyday items.

Ikea also carries some that look like furntiture.  They come finished either in a light birch or medium beech 'faux' wood.  Also in 'real' pine.

The functionality of these critters, IMO, is great.  Socks, undies, nighters, extra bath items fit nicely.  All in a space about 6 inches deep instead of a standard dresser around 18 inches in depth.  Perfect for kids.  Mount the trones on the wall a foot or two off the floor and the kids still have floor space to play cars, dinosaurs and like.  Even in small houses, kids being able to spread out on a floor is a must.

We're moving into a 3 bedroom 900 sq foot house and since I refuse to give up my kingsize beds, trones are becoming my new 'dressers."


Not surprised that they are your "new dressers."  I think you were the person who brought them up to start with.  They're a great idea.

Glad they come in something other than plastic, though.


Hey, all you great and creative folks.  Have missed hearing what's happening here.  When I put my cabin plan up, I did not know that we would immediately be going out of town. A "death in the Family" call came and by noon the next day, we were on our way to West Texas. If we were going that far, we knew we would continue on to Colorado. Thanks so much for taking time to send some good tips.  I am pondering how to improve some things, such as traffic flow, in my plan.  There was a little "method to my madness".  We wanted all of the plumbing clustered, therefore all things connected with that are on one end. We always have lived in open living area & kitchen homes, and that suits our needs very well. It would be much better to correct the traffic through the kitchen.  Since this will be a summer cabin, 12 ft. of hanging clothes space and drawers under the bed will meet a lot of our needs. I can see why some folks wouldn't like the under bed drawers, but I think I have mentioned, since I am short, I like drawers and open cabinets and shelves.  We are really excited to have actually purchased a couple of acres, in Navajo Ranch Resorts, about 13 miles from Walsenburg Co., elevation 7,100 feet.  Due to the view and lay of the land, we have had to flip our floorplan, but still keeping the basic lay-out.  I have to say that even though we had really researched the area, etc. , we were not fully prepared for the mountain of rules, regs. and permits.  I think you have to have a permit to get a permit! >:( After the first shock, we began to wade through, and see how we can do our usual "do it yourself" building, our own way,  and not p--- off the whole of Colorado. We will be home for about three weeks, to visit and catch up here and then back up there to go to work. I can't wait to read what else is going on with all the adventurers on this site, and look forward to bouncing many more ideas off your heads ;D  Nanda


  May I offer this plan . . . Hope it provides some of the criteria that you have mentioned.

  -  All the plumbing is clustered.
  -  Good traffic flow.  (?)
  -  Open Living.  Sofa bed for guests.
  -  Large bedroom closet.  Double clothes rod.
  -  Drawers under bed.
  -  Watch TV while doing dishes.
  -  Sliding door in bedroom
  -  Plenty of sunlight.
  -  Skylight in bath.
  -  Quiet bedroom, away from daily activities.

  One could eliminate middle window in living room for ventless gas logs.

  This is one of my plans I drew and considered when single . . .   Now working on a 2 bedroom design.   One bedroom for me and one for her.   (Just kidding) :)

  Good Luck !!!



Nice layout Bayview.  :)

The structural and foundation layouts could easily be worked up from the Grandfather Cottage plans and details. The Great room area could be done with inexpensive cathedral trusses (flat trusses elsewhere).

This looks like it might work best as a slab on grade style house with a patio in front of the entry door and the slider at the bedroom. This casual semi-public space fits in with what feels like a ranch style design.

Couple of suggestions: 4x2 tempered slider at tub (set high), another window in Bdrm for cross-ventilation and perhaps a window on the back wall of the kitchen (with dutch door?).



I think better to use gas boilers.
This more economic and effective decision.



I agree with you, Olga.  I like gas water heaters better myself.  Higher recovery rates and cheaper to operate.  They are the only reasonable answer for an off grid system also.  I use the Bosch tankless type which even eliminates the standing pilot light saving about $60 or more propane a year -maybe more at the current rate.


Hi B-view and John.  That's a great plan, b-view!   It comes real close and sure meets a lot of our needs.  Our cabin will have to be built on a foundation that has footings dug down to frost line and concrete blocks built up on that. Of course, will require re-bar set in the footings and running up through the blocks. This is a foundation that we have never had experience with. Fortunately, the guy that we met, who was already building his foundation, was a big help...you know,  seeing it is better.  Actually, we went out and helped, the day he poured the footings and about three more days, laying blocks.  OJT is the best learning tool.  One reason that our plan is laid out the way it is, by only being 28 ft. depth, with 14 ft. spans, the ole man and I would be able to handle the materials.  We really tried to think through the plan, basing it on the two of us doing most of the work. But then, now it is looking like we might use the engineered lumber joists and roof trusses.  If that is the case, we might have to go down into the little town and find some "day help".  On a scale of 1-10, I think I am maybe a 6-7 in strength and endurance, however, when we built the log house, I was 30 and that's a long ways to 60  :-X.  By the way, what are you up to at the "famous" underground house, Sassy?  


Sassy has been refinishing the cedar picnic table among other things - weeding - gardening etc.  She had to take a work break at the VA hospital as the Super Nurse that she is.  Occasionally she gets to take a break and looks in on Countryplans.