Visualize your daily routine, and take note of how you use your home’s space.
For example, if you love to entertain, an open floor plan may be a better fit for your lifestyle. Or, if you dream of spending your free time cozied up with a book — find a floor plan with a private nook that you can escape to. (Bonus points for a fireplace!)
LocationThe location of your cabin will also play a large role in finding the right floor plan. Location-based considerations include the region and municipality that you’re planning to build in, as well as the exact plot of land where you’ll place your cabin. Here’s how both the region and building site affect your floor plan:
Certain cabin builders or floor plans are only available regionally. And generally, cabins built in warmer climates will have different features than those in cold climates. Snow and extreme weather will need to be taken into consideration in your cabin’s design.
If you already have a place picked out for your cabin, the right floor plan will be the one that makes the best use of your land. Is your land narrow, sloping, or next to water? Is there a beautiful view that you will want to look at? Where does the natural light come from?
Choose the floor plan that best fits your land. And if you don’t know exactly where you want to build — keep in mind that choosing a floor plan first will result in a very specific (potentially difficult) search for land to fit it.
Year-Round vs. Part-TimeIf you’re planning to live in your cabin year-round, you need a floor plan with plenty of function, storage, and space to live in permanently. But if you’ll only be in your cabin part-time, you may prioritize different features of a floor plan.
Let’s look at each scenario:
If you’re only in your cabin for part of the year, you can usually get away with less space for living and storage. Consider how you’ll use the cabin while you’re there: will you have overnight guests? Do outdoor activities? Have a quiet retreat? Prioritize a floor plan that will facilitate how you want to spend your time.
If you’re planning to live year-round in your cabin, make sure your floor plan has enough storage (closets, basements, attics, etc). Space in cabins can be limited, and you want plenty of storage that you can grow into. For year-round living, your floor plan will need: enough space to be comfortable, storage to grow into, and the right functions for your family.
Megan lives with her husband and son in an 800-square-foot log cabin in Jackson Hole, WY. In search of a simpler pace of life, Megan and her husband took a leap of faith to pursue their own cabin dreams: they quit their jobs, sold what they own, and moved across the country from downtown Austin, TX to their mountainside cabin in Jackson Hole, WY.