Free Plans for a 24×24 or 24×36 Cabin from the Agricultural Extension Office
Did you know you can get free plans from Agricultural Extension?
We found out about Agricultural Extension when we left Miami for North Carolina to be farmers.
The N.C. Cooperative Extension helped us identify bugs and know what to do about them. They tested our soil and helped us improve it. They helped us select the best plants to grow on our land. They let us know what kind of weather to expect. They even had information on safely canning our produce. There are a lot of handouts at the Agricultural Extension office on just about everything. If you don’t see it, ask.
The United States Department of Agriculture has prepared plans for cabins, farmhouses, barns and sheds that are meant to be economical, practical, and easy to build.
Cabin Plan 5928 is 24×24, built of wood on a concrete slab. Cabin Plan 5968 is the same cabin built with concrete blocks.
The plans with alternates are from the Recreational Buildings and Facilities Agriculture Handbook No. 438. It was prepared by the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. You can get a complete copy of the plans from the local Agricultural Extension office or at your State university.
The building plans, their purpose, and some of the construction details are shown in the illustrations and are described in the brief text for each plan.
Economy of material and labor has been given particular emphasis. The structures are efficient and useful for the purposes intended.
Complete working drawings of the plans may be obtained from the extension agricultural engineer at your State university. There may be a small charge to cover cost of printing.
Cabin Plan 5928
Both plans can be built incrementally. Build the shell, then finish the interior later. The outside walls are the only load-bearing walls. You can put the interior walls anywhere you want.
The basic floor plan for this frame cabin is 24 by 24 feet, slab-on-grade construction. The exterior shell can be built and the plumbing roughed in at a reasonably low cost. Interior finish, storage walls, and an addition can be added later.
The simple interior arrangement is flexible and can be adapted to many uses-a beach house, lake or mountain cabin; a low-cost permanent home with one, two, or three bedrooms; or a temporary home. The outside may be rustic or of the finest modern siding. The inside may have rough framing and concrete floor exposed, or it may be highly finished. Thus, the design fits a wide variety of needs.
The cabin has a variety of alternate plans available, depending on what you are using the cabin for.
The alternate plans of this cabin can be utilized for additional income from a developed recreational area. The basic building can be arranged in several ways, depending on the type of facility and on accommodations needed by vacationers. For example, a screened porch, a bunk room, or two additional bedrooms can be added.
Cabin Plan 5928 Alternate Plans
The alternate plan shows one arrangement that is possible for expansion. It has more living, sleeping, and storage space than the basic plan, but it also requires outdoor storage for a permanent type home. The working drawings show only the expanded building with storage walls.
The cabin plan makes it easy to add onto the back as you can afford to. You can add two additional bedrooms, making it a 3-bedroom, 1-bath cabin.
Or you can move the main bedroom into the addition, giving you are larger living area. Interesting that the closets are in the hallway instead of in the bedrooms.
The working drawings show construction details for storage walls—2 feet wide, 4 feet long, and 8 feet high—which may be built from standard 4- by 8-foot sheets of material. The roof trusses eliminate any need for interior load-bearing walls, so the walls may be located wherever desired. If built lower than ceiling height, they can be moved easily.
If the cabin is to be used as a permanent dwelling, storage space is needed outside. The space should be large enough to accommodate paints, hand and garden tools, lawn mower, outboard motor, gasoline, and similar equipment and supplies. Also, the shed should be large enough to permit handyman activities.
Careful consideration should be given to the heating system. If expansion is planned, the system must be capable of heating the larger unit.
The roof trusses used in the design are simple lap-nailed construction and have been load tested. The truss members can be nailed together and trimmed later to eliminate precision marking and cutting. If the details of the working drawings are followed, a reliable roof support can be easily and quickly constructed.
Cabin Plan 5968
This is the same as Cabin Plan 5928, but designed to be built with concrete blocks.
Concrete masonry construction is suggested for this modern cabin because concrete is low cost, durable, easy to maintain, and attractive.
Complete kitchen facilities in the cabin combine with the living-dining area to form a unified activities center for the family. Though the basic plan calls for one bedroom, the activities center is large enough for a family that would need three bedrooms.
The plan with the addition looks the same as the Cabin Plan 5928 with addition.
The two extra bedrooms may be added at the rear, as suggested in the working drawings, without alteration of the present rooms or equipment. A bath with shower, a space for a washer, and good storage facilities contribute to pleasant and convenient living in this cabin.
Both plans can be built as an open shell. The interior walls are not load bearing and can be moved or left out completely.
The clear span of the roof trusses permits free placement of interior partitions. If the partitions are not hindered by wiring or plumbing, they can be easily moved for remodeling. Partitions should be slightly less than ceiling height and wedged at the bottom to press them against the ceiling.
The working drawings show construction details of the storage room wall that separates the living area from the bedroom. Built from standard 4- by 8-foot sheets of material, the wall is 2 feet deep by 8 feet high.
Perforated hardboard is suggested for closet doors and backs, for ventilation as well as for its decorative quality. Brackets and hooks can be placed in the perforated board to make the storage space more usable.
Construction of the heater enclosure will depend on the type of heating unit to be installed.
You can build the exterior shell of this cabin and rough-in the plumbing at a reasonably low cost. Interior finish, storage walls, and an addition can be added later.
The simple, flexible interior arrangement makes the design adaptable to many uses, such as a beach, lake, or mountain cabin; a low-cost home (1, 2, or 3 bedrooms); or a temporary home shelter. The outside may be rustic or the finest modern siding. The inside may have rough framing and concrete floor exposed or may be highly finished. Thus, the design fits a wide variety of needs.
The alternate plan… is one of several possible ideas for arrangement and expansion. It is less restricted on living, sleeping and storage space than is the basic plan, but it also requires outdoor storage for permanent living. The working drawings show only the expanded building with storage walls.
You can use this as a low-investment income-producing vacation rental.
This cabin offers ideas for a farmer considering income from a developed recreational area. The basic building can be arranged in several different ways to accommodate the needs and price ranges requested by vacationers.
You can add a deck or porch to the front and additional bedrooms on the back.
Expansion of the basic shell provides a pleasant screened porch, a bunk room, or two additional bedrooms.
Both plans include materials suggestions for insulation, finishing materials, and paint. Some of the information is still useful, but more current materials may be more practical.
These ideas, along with personal preference for trim and for paint color combinations, can be used to give warmth and character to the cabin.
If you are building with wood, skip the block selection.
The working drawings show 4- by 8- by 16-inch concrete block units, which give horizontal mortar lines at 4-inch intervals. These relatively close-spaced mortar joints have a pleasing appearance, but the finished cost is increased by one-third as compared with that of standard 8- by 8- by 16-inch units.
Properly tooled joints are very important for watertight walls and for overall good appearance. Concave or “v” joints are recommended.
When mortar in joints is “thumb print” hard, it should be firmly pressed into the concave or “v” formation with a tooling device that is wider than the joint and 24 to 36 inches long. This long tooling device makes straight, uniform horizontal joints.
Further help and suggestions are available from the Portland Cement Association, which cooperated in the development of this plan.
Insulation above the ceiling is recommended for cabins built in any climate and for use in any season. Either loose fill or batt-type insulation may be used. Vermiculite fill in the cores of the blocks and foamed semi-rigid insulation about the perimeter of the floor slab are necessary for winter comfort. Lightweight-aggregate blocks are recommended because insulation is easier to apply to them than to the denser concrete blocks with sand and gravel aggregate. Lightweight blocks are also easier to handle, and nails can be driven into them.
Interior-wall, ceiling, and floor finishes can be applied before partitions are erected. This saves cutting and fitting labor. Ceiling tiles made of insulating board are popular for this type of building because no further finishing is required. Low-cost asphalt tiles serve well over a concrete floor slab.
A latex paint is recommended for the interior walls. Besides being economical and easy to apply, it is well suited for masonry and the other inside materials. The exterior masonry walls should have a base coat of Portland cement paint (a special cement powder to be mixed with water) for watertightness. Apply this with a stiff-bristle scrub brush to fill the pores of the block. The second exterior coat should be an acrylic resin, outside latex paint.
The roof trusses used in the design are simple lapnailed construction and have been load tested. The truss members can be nailed together and trimmed later to eliminate precision marking and cutting. Follow the details of the working drawings and you can easily and quickly construct a reliable roof support.
Recreational Buildings and Facilities Agriculture Handbook No. 438 and other plans were prepared by the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. You can get a complete copy of the plans from the local Agricultural Extension office or at your State university.
This illustrated list of currently available building plans was compiled by the Cooperative Farm Building Plan Exchange. The plans were developed by the cooperative effort of Extension Service (USDA). State Extension Service, State Experiment Stations, Cooperative State Research Service (USDA), and Agricultural Engineering Research Division, Agricultural Research Service (USDA).