Cabin Design – 12ft House – Part 14

Last time we drew the cabin end elevation with the porch and now we are ready to tackle a side elevation.

Begin with the floor plan:

We will be using the floor plan to locate the various elements of the side elevations such as end walls, chimney, windows and the end porch (figure 1).  We will do this by extending guide lines for these elements from the plan to the elevation drawing.

We will also use part of an end elevation:

This time we will re-use the end elevation with the chimney since it also includes the sill of the windows (figure 2).  This will allow us to establish the height of elements such as the roof, chimney, eave and window sills.

Follow along with the guide line drawings below (Figure 3) as I take you through , step by step, creating the end elevation from the guide lines.

First we will establish the grade, the floor, the eave and the roof.
These elements will be located by extending the guide lines horizontally from the  partial end elevation (figure 2).

  • First the grade line (#1).
  • Next the floor line (#2).
  • Then the eave lines (#3).
  • And the roof ridge line (#4).
  • Finally the window sill line (#5).

Cabin Plan Part 14-Figures 1-3

Next establish the end walls, window locations and the roof overhangs.
These elements will be located by extending the guide lines vertically from the  floor plan (figure 1).

  • First extend the end wall lines (#6).
  • Next the porch post lines (#7).
  • Then the gable roof overhangs 8″ (#8).
  • And finally the location of the windows (#9)

Next we will draw the balance of the elements.
Lastly we will locate the remaining elements of the elevations.

  • First the bath window sill for the shorter window (#10).
  • Next the porch floor (#11).
  • Then the screen supports (#12).
  • And finally the top and sides of the chimney (#13).

 Important… Darken in what is closest to you first.

Now finally darken in all the structure that you have just outlined (figure 4 below).

Cabin Plan Part 14 Figure 4

So now you have finished the rear side elevation.  Next time we will tackle the front (porch side) elevation by using what we have already done as a guide.

Cabin Plan Part 14 Figure 5

As always, your comments are very valuable not only to me but to the others who drop by.




  • Trevor Paetkau

    Reply Reply July 28, 2013

    I like the designs with the attention to proportion and fireplace detail. This building would become more efficient and perhaps a bit more cost effective by either adding two feet and including the fireplace within the envelope or leaving the length and still moving the fireplace into the main envelope. It would save on framing, foundation, and other associated costs. It would also decrease the occurrence of moisture penetrating the structure and lessen any further corner associated air leakage problems. One reader asked for a traditional structure, which on a building like this would have the fireplace in off-center and the back third split into service and screen porch with 6′ widths. I don’t think simple and traditional go together, as most vintage buildings appear to have adornment and whimsy that a regular home didn’t deviate from the normal façade. A plan may have vintage appeal by design and looks, but most often the dimensions afforded the practical use of rooms dictates a change in proportion allotments. I love to recreate vintage plans I find in my library, mostly of dover publications, but generally adapt them endlessly to suit some purpose with altering size and exterior elevations. Mind that a 400 sq ft cottage is most people garden shed these days.

    • Andy Sheldon

      Reply Reply September 3, 2013

      Thanks for your thoughts Trevor. Locating the fireplace on the exterior was an aesthetic choice… I just liked it better than the plain gable end.

      Sometimes simple and tradional do work together… Historic Williamsburg is a great example. Some of their small buildings and out-buildings are very simple and wonderfully beautiful.

  • Grant

    Reply Reply November 24, 2012

    Hi Andy,

    I’ve bought a couple of your plans in the past, because there were aspects of them both that i liked. I also like this idea of a single-room-depth building, it reminds me of the simple charm of the long, narrow houses that were very common in rural ireland for many centuries.The largest Irish cottages had essentially a bedrooms on either extreme end, with a kitchen (and possibly a parlor) in the middle with a hearth. Simple, efficient, and with ENDLESS charm:

    I’m looking for something with more traditional fenestration, simpler architectural features, a sense balance and simplicity. The 12-foot house is really approaching this, but is still too modern in its layout and appearance. I can’t find ANYONE that offers very simple cottage designs along these more traditional lines ANYWHERE on the internet. Anywhere. There may be a niche for this?? I don’t think it would be much of a stretch to adapt this 12′ design into something simple and affordable to build that would ooze endless charm in a rural setting, yet be comfortable and low-key, a cozy and inviting vacation home.

    Just a thought.

    • Andy Sheldon

      Reply Reply January 3, 2013

      Thanks for the input Grant. In most cases, the detailing and materials chosen for a cabin can make it more or less traditional. I’ll take a look at your links and see what I think. Much appreciate the suggestion…. Andy

  • Bobby McIver

    Reply Reply November 10, 2012

    Have you ever offered an outdoor bandstand design? I am not talking about the octagonal kind. I need something to fit into a farm setting (large tobacco barns/ bleached out lumber with black metal roofs). Planning to get into the venue business and will host outdoor concerts with professional musicians. Must accommodate large bands up to eight or ten people, plus be able to handle the sound system and amplifiers. Have to keep them out of the rain, but can pretty much be open. May need a back wall for sound. The minimum size has been reported to be 12′ x 20.’ I think this is too small. 20′ x 32′ seems like it would work. Pole barn construction will work. Just wondering if you have a cabin plan that could be modified for this.
    Bobby McIver

    • Andy Sheldon

      Reply Reply November 10, 2012

      Sheldon Designs Plan #S301PHi Bobby… You might try out our 20’x30′ Equipment Shed Plan #S301P. It is a pole building, appropriate for a farm setting and you could cut off the front overhang if you wanted more height.

      You can find it on page 3 of our catalog.

  • Wm. giles

    Reply Reply November 9, 2012

    Do u have the 12 ft cabin plan ready to buy or modify. Thanks

    • Andy Sheldon

      Reply Reply November 10, 2012

      Not yet, but perhaps right after the new year… Thanks for asking.

  • Scott Sheldon

    Reply Reply September 9, 2012

    Andy, we met a few times when I lived in the Princeton area. Since we share a surname, I was asked occasionally if we were related.

    I’ve enjoyed following the cabin design. I envision it in a wooded setting in the Adirondacks. One change I would make is to utilize one-half of the entry porch for the purpose of having a vestibule/mudroom that provides an air-lock in a cold climate, rather than a sliding glass door entrance. This 8’x8′ space would accommodate a stacking washer/dryer closet, built-in bench and cubbies (boots, gloves, hats, etc.), and recreational equipment. Two small windows from the living area would open to the smaller entry porch.

    Given the 12′ width, I would add a single, deep garage underneath to accommodate a car and canoe/kayak. The rear screened porch (without a door) would extend beyond the garage door, providing an overhang to keep snow away from the garage entrance. The garage might also accommodate mechanical equipment.

    Also, I would have 9′ high walls and open ceilings in the l/d/k and bedroom areas to make the space seem larger. The space over the bathroom/hallway might accommodate storage, mechanical equipment, or a small loft.

    Just a few ideas as I follow the progress of your cabin design. I hope our paths cross again.

    • Andy Sheldon

      Reply Reply September 14, 2012

      Thanks for stopping by Scott… Good to hear from you.

  • Mary Lou

    Reply Reply September 1, 2012

    This isn’t the proper entry to comment under but read a new article about a construction method… got very excited … and now want to try it on something. Might need to build a guest house. It is called a Mooney Wall and I found it on the Build It Solar website. You would lose about three inches of floor space (inch and a half per side) toward wall construction but should regain more then that from being able to use a much smaller heating system. Seems to be a real K.I.S.S. project that anyone could do.

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