“The Rock Bottom”, A $300 Tiny Cabin in Vermont

by Derek “Deek” Diedricksen of RelaxShacks.com

This little cabin is one I designed on the fly for a communal build workshop I held deep in the woods of Northern Vermont (“Tiny House Summer Camp 2012”). Its off-grid, with a coleman lantern, alongside other candle and oil lamps, as its only light source at night. Once the sun goes down, seeing as one entire half of the roof is clad with clear polycarbonate roofing, this micro structure takes on a lantern-like appearance from a distance.

This mere 8’ by 8’ cabin is meant to be a simple, bare-bones, seasonal retreat in the woods- and a backwoods library of sorts. During future workshop gatherings it could also serve as a place where a pair of attendees might also be able to stay- complete with a sweeping view of the woods through its many windows. We dubbed it “The Rock Bottom”, as it was built on the most meager of budgets, and happens to be downhill from our main camp cabin, AND next to a very large boulder- one of almost the same proportions as the cabin itself. This giant glacial erratic seems to stand as the cabins long-lost prehistoric relative.

All in all, “The Rock Bottom” cost a mere $300 to build, seeing as a good many of its materials were scavenged for free, or acquired second hand. The window in the door you see is a “Pet-Peek” dome (www.petpeek.info), usually designed for giving pets a view through sidewalk fencing. The “technicolor” chair inside is also made from what many would have otherwise considered trash- barn boards and pallet wood. The front deck, believe it or not, is actually a freebie fence wall that Goodridge Lumber in Albany, VT was tossing out. After reinforcing it from below with several free 2by4s, it was transformed into a nice spot where I could survey the landscape and tend the nearby campfire. The deck, topped with 5/4″ cedar, is surprisingly strong.

This cabin will be showcased in a new book I’ve been working on for my publisher, alongside MANY other tiny structures. If you have a fun and unique cabin, tree house or dwelling you might want to submit, do send a link or photos my way over at my facebook tiny house and diy page….

Deek is the author of “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks” which features dozens of his DIY designs and loads of cool tiny house goodies. He also runs RelaxShacks.com.

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10 Comments → ““The Rock Bottom”, A $300 Tiny Cabin in Vermont”


  1. leiah

    Nov 02, 2013

    What a great little greenhouse this would make!

    Reply

  2. Laurie

    Nov 02, 2013

    Is the “Rock Bottom” for sale?

    Reply

    • Deek

      Mar 18, 2014

      The cabin itself?? Depending on where you live we could potentially build you one. This one- it’d be hard to get it out of the woods- no road access- all materials were hiked in…..

      Reply

  3. Mike

    Nov 02, 2013

    Nice little shack, and it would make a great little green house. You should draw up plans and sell em for ten bucks a pop!

    Reply

  4. sharon

    Nov 03, 2013

    Dear Derek, please send me a link as to where I may buy your plans for THIS amazing little cabin. Thanks so much. -Sharon

    Reply

    • Deek

      Mar 18, 2014

      no plans, but down the road perhaps I’ll try to draft some…. thanks

      Reply

  5. sharon

    Nov 03, 2013

    The thought occurs, one might also stretch a hammock for rest in there, eh?

    Reply

  6. ken regan

    Nov 05, 2013

    Great!

    Tis the gift to be simple!…….

    Please send infro as to how to buy the plans.

    Reply

  7. Jenayalynn

    Jan 13, 2014

    What are the heating and cooling implications for a tiny house with the clear polycarbonate roofing?

    Reply

    • Deek

      Mar 18, 2014

      the heat retention is that of a single pane window- not great, but that is offset by how small the structure is- therefore you could heat it with a pair of candles- almost literally. You can double up this tuftex, of just frame in the wood/roof traditionally and sheath it with ply and insulation too…. This one was only meant as a seasonal cabin, and it works very well in that capacity.

      Reply

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