Off-grid living is an exciting journey that involves minimalist and sustainable life choices, monetary savings, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
And if there’s one thing you must prepare for to tackle this challenge with ease, it’s building a cabin off the grid. If you don’t know where or how to begin building your own off grid cabin, you’ve come to the right place.
In this guide, we’ve compiled various types of off grid cabin plans you can choose from. Each option has pros and cons that you must consider closely before you begin building.
Let’s dive in!
What Are Off Grid Cabins?
An off-the-grid cabin is located away from any public utility grid. The specific details of the structure and interior of an off-grid cabin vary depending on the person or family’s particular needs.
The term covers fully self-reliant cabins and partially reliant ones, as long as there is a certain level of disconnection from public utilities. Those residing in these cabins do not rely on publicly available sources of energy, water, power, heat, gas, etc.
These cabins are residences that can support and provide a safe lifestyle for their occupants by being self-reliant. Off-grid cabins are an excellent option for those looking to escape the banalities of everyday life. They can also be a fun trial for those who are not quite fully committed to cabin living yet. Whether you’re already sold on the concept of off-grid living or working on off-grid cabin plans still need some convincing, here are some benefits to consider:
Benefits of Living in an Off-Grid Cabin
From electricity to gas prices, there are dozens of energy sources you need to pay for in a conventional home. And the prices for each of these utilities will only continue to rise.
Living off the grid is one way to avoid all those expenses and maintain a comfortable home at a reasonable price.
Energy and Waste Efficiency
Off-grid cabins do not just save you money. They also allow you to lead a more sustainable life. This is because a DIY house uses efficient systems that utilize alternative energy and minimize waste.
All sources of energy for these cabins are entirely safe and sustainable.
Backwoods living minimizes your impact on the environment. By making most of the surrounding natural resources, you can help mitigate the climate crisis.
Another benefit of living off the grid is that it teaches valuable life lessons that you will use for the rest of your life. Important knowledge and skills, such as growing your own food, foraging, generating your own energy, managing waste, and more, will enrich your life.
As a bonus, you’ll be prepared for a survival situation if you ever face one.
Grid living allows you to try a new way of life that’s radically different from what you’re used to. You can live anywhere you want, like a cool adventurer who is no longer limited by convention.
You can live close to nature and far away from the hustle and bustle and pollution of the city. You can eat fresh produce every day and think more critically about your lifestyle choices.
When you live off the grid, you will also enjoy more free time with your loved ones.
Best Off Grid Cabin Plans You Can Build
1. Pallet Wood Cabins
If you want to embrace the off-grid lifestyle and begin construction with sustainable materials, nothing beats building a cabin using recycled pallets.
The building materials needed are light enough to transport just about anywhere, and you can manipulate them with ease. Recycled pallets are also cheap and easy to acquire.
You can use leftover pallets to build furniture for your new cabin!
2. Eight Eight Feet Off Grid Cabin
Whether you need to add a tools shed, workstation, office, or bedroom on your off-grid property, this plan should allow you to.
These eight eight feet off grid cabin plans can transform into your very own stealth cabin for your backyard.
But that’s not all. The plan is small enough to allow you to set it up in an emergency shelter. It requires few tools and steps to put everything together.
For long-term use, you can install features for insulation and power supply.
3. Workshop Cabin
A workshop cabin is for those who have a large property at their disposal and need cabins bigger than the eight eight.
These structures can be used for various purposes, such as a workshop, barn, greenhouse, or hen house. They are a larger building project to undertake, so make sure to prepare your main cabin first.
4. Alaskan Cabin
If you’re headed up north to start your off-grid life, building an Alaskan cabin will keep you safe and warm.
A two-story 16 x 20 feet Alaskan cabin is perfect for families braving harsh winters. It is a cozy log cabin with plenty of space to keep you safe and comfortable. However, this cabin requires a lot of time, effort, and support to put up, not to mention some knowledge of construction.
5. Family-Sized Off Grid Cabin
It can get difficult to go off-grid when you have young children.
Thankfully, a family-sized cabin can take care of that.
These 16 X 32 feet cabin structures are just right for a small family. There is some diversity of space with a tiny porch and more than enough space for younger ones to roam around.
While most of the structure is similar to other cabins, the base is quite different. These structures can hold larger weights and are designed to last longer.
6. Solar Powered Off Grid Cabin
For off-grid cabins built in a sunny location, harnessing the power of the sun is a must if you want to enjoy some of the luxuries of a conventional energy-supported lifestyle.
You can explore off grid cabin plans with a solar power system. These cabins have solar panels built into their roofs or on the ground, with an accompanying battery bank and inverter to complete the sustainable setup.
The solar panels, battery, and inverter can cost a hefty sum, but they are excellent investments that will lead to cost efficiency in the long term. And if you are not quite committed to living off the grid year-round, you can try a portable solar panel.
7. Homestead Off Grid
Unlike simple off grid cabin plans, homestead off grid cabin plans allow you to live off-the-grid throughout the year.
It requires more space than the compact cabin plans on this list, along with a relatively higher capital investment. But the selling point is that you can escape and live off the grid for extended periods.
Additionally, you can teach your kids to build a sustainable cabin life without distractions from daily commitments.
8. Cottage Off Grid Cabin
This cottage-style cabin is a unique structure that’s quite different from typical off grid cabin plans. It has relatively fewer features than other cabin structures and is more suitable for a lakefront retreat.
This plan accommodates an adult-sized bed and extra space for kids, overnight guests, or other occupants.
9. Vacation Cabin
If you want to use your off-grid cabin as a getaway, this one takes the cake. It is the ultimate vacation cabin for your permanent home in the woody mountains.
It has insulation, a rainwater system, and other top-notch features for your comfort. These off grid cabin plans ensure you can make a trip to this vacation home anytime you like, and for the duration you prefer.
10. Two Story Off Grid Cabin
These two-story off grid cabin plans are an ideal choice if you need a lot of space for a large family. This structure can accommodate everything you need for a home away from home.
You can use the cabin as an escape from the bustle of the city, take a break from your regular commitments, and simply focus on yourself. Unlike the compact cabins on this list, this two-story cabin is incredibly spacious.
It feels more like a traditional home than other off grid cabin plans. You can also enjoy the great view from the top cabin loft!
11. Shed Cabin
A shed-style cabin is just what you need for going off-grid with your older kids.
You can build one from reclaimed or salvaged materials, depending on your needs and cabin design. These structures are similar to sheds and are more flexible in capacity and space.
This is perfect for your off grid cabin plans and can work as a fishing cabin or hunting cabin as well.
12. Lookout Cabin
As its name suggests, these off grid cabin plans have a lookout balcony. They also include a small bedroom, bathroom, loft, and lavatory in the compact and cozy space.
13. Low-Cost Cabin
Budgeting and lean living can be a tough act to balance, and it requires quite a bit of time and commitment. Doing your research for low-cost off grid cabin plans is an important step you must take.
A low-cost cabin plan that involves salvaging materials and making the most of what you already have will help you keep expenses under $300!
14. The A-Frame Cabin
These A-frame off grid cabin plans are great for those who aren’t ready for a full-time off-grid experience. It is easy to construct on your property and can fulfill your weekend getaway needs.
The entire structure requires little floor space compared to cabins you can live in full-time. With this simple setup, you can prepare or test yourself before jumping head first into the long-term off-grid life.
15. Portable Off Grid Cabin on Wheels
Some survival enthusiasts prefer to travel and take their off grid cabin with them everywhere they go.
These cabins stand on trailers so they are quite portable. You can take the entire structure across the country and all around the world—there’s no need to take it down and reassemble it each time!
These structures are tiny, easy to build, and suit even limited budgets.
Tools Needed to Build an Off-Grid Cabin
Here are some basic woodworking tools that you may find useful when building your off grid cabin:
- Electrical tape
- Drill bits
- Nails screws
- Measuring tape
- Circular saw
- Jig saw
- Razor knife
- Bubble level
- Sealant gun
- Log dog
- And more.
Wrapping Up 15 Off Grid Cabin Plans You Can Build
This concludes our list of off grid cabin plans you can build from scratch. We hope this guide can help you find the perfect off grid cabin for your needs, whether you want to transition to this lifestyle full-time or as an occasional break from the bustle of the regular world.
For more information about building off-grid shelters, visit our other shelter articles.