Six Cabin Additions to Exponentially Increase Value
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Six Cabin Additions to Exponentially Increase Value

Here are six impactful additions you can make that will improve your living experience and drastically increase the cabin’s value.

Written by Rose Morrison
 Photo: Ray Albrow / Unsplash


Cabins tend to draw higher prices on the housing market because of their secluded locations, outdoor attractions and the trademark cozy, rustic atmosphere everyone loves. They also come in many shapes and sizes aside from the traditional log cabin set-up, so there are many renovation possibilities. 

Here are six impactful additions you can make that will improve your living experience and drastically increase the cabin’s value.


1. Outdoor Spaces

An outdoor hangout or recreation space would make the perfect addition to your cabin. After all, one of the main reasons people decide to live in cabins is to spend more time outdoors. The property should have some built-in outdoor activities available.

You can make your cabin stand out to prospective buyers with one of these additions:

  • Deck or porch
  • Patio, veranda or pergola
  • Pool or hot tub
  • Exercise area
  • Basketball court
  • Tennis court
  • Nature path

For many people, there’s no point in living in a cabin if you spend all day inside. One of these renovations will incentivize you to get outdoors and stay active. Remember to consider your region’s climate and target market when making your decision.


2. Accessory Dwelling Unit

Adding a new room is a reliable way to increase a home’s value, especially if you want to make it a rental space or a family member needs a place to stay. Buyers would also enjoy the additional income option. Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) satisfy all of these needs in just one project. A home with an ADU can sell for up to 30% more than comparable homes without an ADU.

ADUs are extremely versatile and come in many forms:

  • Detached ADU: A standalone unit added to the home’s side or backyard
  • Attached ADU: A unit attached to the primary residence, often used as a shed, garage or workshop. 
  • Above garage ADU: A unit built above the garage, often as an extra sleeping arrangement.
  • Garage conversion ADU: A unit that has been converted from a traditional garage to a new bedroom, bathroom or lounging area. 
  • Basement conversion ADU: A basement unit attached to the main residence via a separate entrance.
  • Attic conversion ADU: A unit converted from an attic to a new living space, accessible via an outdoor stair and private entrance.

Along with increasing your cabin’s value, ADUs help you save time and money on the renovation because you can repurpose many resources already found in your home. 

Make sure to choose the most appropriate ADU for your cabin’s layout so you can reap all the benefits. Most cabins would benefit the most from a detached ADU because of the additional privacy, but detached units are also the most expensive to build. If you have an unfinished basement or dusty unused attic, now is your chance to put the space to good use.


3. Solar Panels

Solar panels have exploded in popularity in recent years as more homeowners prioritize eco-friendliness and energy efficiency. They provide a safe and reliable energy source, using photovoltaic panels to convert sunlight into electricity. Solar panels are especially beneficial if you want to take your cabin off the grid.

Installation costs will be high, but you can expect to get a full return on your investment in just three or four yearswith proper maintenance. Solar panels save energy and reduce your utility costs, helping you make the money back over time.

Solar panels also enable you to take advantage of a huge government incentive. 2022’s Inflation Reduction Act provides a 30% tax credit for property owners who install solar panels before 2032. This credit will help you offset the installation costs and enable future homeowners to take advantage of the credit as well.


4. California Room

California rooms are unique hangout areas with tall ceilings and large windows or screens, allowing natural light to fill the open space. The room connects to the rest of the house via a sliding glass door. This addition would be ideal for your cabin because it emphasizes a natural element — sunlight — and provides another space to enjoy the outdoor scenery. 

Although California rooms are technically indoors, you can still decorate these versatile spaces with outdoor furniture, yard games and barbeque sets. You also get to enjoy the perks of being outdoors without bugs and other wildlife bothering you. These benefits will bring significant value to your cabin.

Perhaps most importantly, California rooms will help you get more sunlight from inside your home. Sunlight improves our mental and physical health in many ways. Health and wellness are high priorities among homebuyers these days, especially after living through the COVID-19 pandemic.


5. Energy-Efficient Appliances

You can never go wrong by improving your home’s essential cooking, cleaning and hygiene appliances. These simple renovations can significantly increase your property value by improving energy efficiency and lowering utility costs. They’ll save you substantial amounts of money in the short term and long term:

  • Refrigerators: $200 throughout the product’s lifetime.
  • Dishwashers: $130 on annual water costs.
  • Dehumidifiers: 30% more savings than standard models.
  • Washing machines: $370 throughout the product’s lifetime.
  • Dryers: $20 on monthly electricity bills.

You can also make smaller energy-efficient adjustments by switching to LED light bulbs, using low-flow water fixtures and draft-proofing your windows. These additions don’t make much of a difference on their own, but they add up to huge savings.


6. Climate Control Features

Insulating, heating and ventilating a cabin can be difficult, especially in colder climates. Once a draft of cold air gets inside, you’ll have a hard time getting it out and restabilizing the indoor temperature. That means you spend more money on utilities trying to keep the house comfortable year-round.

Implementing more climate control features such as smart thermostats, underfloor heating and a new HVAC system can significantly improve your cabin’s climate and value. Centralized air conditioning is more effective than separate air conditioning units or a wood furnace, which is often found in log cabins.


Unlock Your Cabin’s Full Potential

Cabins are one of the most highly sought-after home varieties on the market, but that means you’ll face stiff competition from comparable homes. You need to unlock your cabin’s full potential to draw a high price that tops your competitors. These six additions are great places to start. Take each renovation one step at a time and trust the process.


See Also: See Renovation Trends in the 2023 Houzz & Home Study

Rose Morrison is the managing editor of Renovated, a home living site where she loves to give advice to help even the most novice of DIY-ers make their home their haven. She has written for publications such as NCCER, the National Association of Real Estate, and BioFriendly Planet. When she isn't writing, you'll find her baking something to satisfy her never-ending sweet tooth. For more articles from Rose, you can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to the newsletter.

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