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Stake support pad locations & paint around 18" pattern at each location
Dig pad holes 18" wide by 18" deep, install concrete or support pads
Organize framing panels around site
Install support posts & girders. Begin floor panel installation
Panels can be transported on a simple cart
Continue floor panel installation
Install missing plywood. Screw panels to support girders
Begin wall panel assembly
Install panels around floor in a left to right direction
Brace corners plumb and hold with bracing
Install roof support headers
Walls braced. headers installed. Gables positioned for lifting
Main gables in position and braced to floor
Ridge beam installed with 2x4 firring on top
Ridge beam sits in gable pocket
Install 2-lower purlins with 2x4 firring
Close sheathing gaps at purlin gable pockets
Close sheathing gaps at ridge pockets
Install gable end soffit over ridge and purlin ends
Trim soffit to lenth after roof panel installation
Install roof panels left to right
Roof panels may be slid up from sawhorses or angled boards
Come-a-long can help pull panels up to ridge
One side of roof complete. Sliding panel up extension ladder
Both sides of roof complete
Tar paper roof as needed to keep ridge and purlins dry
Install secondary gable & ridge
Install secondary gable roof panels
Install fascia, barge and rake trim
Barge and rake trim installed
Complete roof paper installation
Install roof valley and metal roofing
Ridge to roof detail
Vented ridge detail
Install windows, siding, trim & paint
Install door and entry deck
Finish interior as desired


A Shelter built Cabin could become your favorite escape destination !

Cabin Suggested Uses:
  • Your place of escape
  • A Guest house
  • Bed & Breakfast lodging
  • Camp lodging
  • Park rental unit
  • Worker housing
Why Consider a Shelter built Cabin ?

The professional design of a Shelter built Cabin shows from every angle and will enhance any property. The thoughtful design isn't just skin deep either. These cabins also perform well in use.

A Shelter built Cabin is a smaller space with full time use in mind. Consequently, careful design consideration is given to adequate cooking, eating, bathing, sleeping and storage spaces. Other priorities include natural lighting, heating and laundry locations, and even, where do I put this wet coat?

The structural integrity of a Shelter built Cabin can be engineered to allow it to withstand extreme wind and snow accumulation as well as be insulated to very high R- values.

A Shelter built Cabin also includes these other great features:

  • Delivered as a panelized kit to simplify the construction process.
  • Optional installation by experience Shelter craftsmen.
  • Cabin designs that allow for installation on any terrain without expensive footing & stem wall foundations.
  • Building materials and techniques that are equivalent or better than typical site built homes.
Choosing Your Cabin

Rule #1: Listen to the site. It has important things to say about the final design. I.E. slopes, site access, sun exposure, prevailing weather patterns, utility locations, etc.

Rule #2: Carefully consider how you and your family will use the Cabin. What times of the year, what specific recreational activities, will you have guests, will it be rented when your not there?

Rule #3: Express yourself. This Cabin should reflect your personality.

Rule #4: Check out our Gallery of Cabin designs. Yes, they can be flipped, reversed or otherwise modified to suit your particular situation.

cabin cabin

Floor System


  • 3/4" OSB sub floor (glued and fastened with ring-shank nails)
  • 2x6 DF floor joists spaced 16" on center
  • R-30 insulation (foil faced foam)
  • 1/4" plywood soffit (to keep them pesky rodents out)
  • 4x8 to 6x10 Douglas Fir cabin support girders (as required by design)

Wall System


  • 2x6 SPF wall top & bottom plates
  • 2x6 SPF wall studs spaced 16" on center
  • Double studs on each side of window and door openings
  • 2x6California corner framing
  • Fire blocking (as needed)
  • 4x6 to 4x10 Douglas Fir window and door headers (as required by design)
  • 7/16" OSB wall sheathing
Roof System


  • Engineered ridge beam (Which allows for a vaulted ceiling design)
  • 2x6 SPF rafters 24" on center
  • Vented 2x6 bird blocking
  • Open soffit
  • Ventilated ridge
  • 12"- 16" minimum eave size
  • Cedar Barge and Fascia boards
  • 7/16" OSB roof sheathing
Other Standard Specifications
  • Steel insulated entry door (primed)
  • Vinyl framed insulated windows (white)
  • Tyvek or Typar brand house wrap
  • Hardi brand fiber cement lap siding
  • Primed spruce siding trim boards (corners, windows, doors)
  • Laminated 30 year composition roofing (your color choice)
Cabin Options !!!
  • R-21 Kraft-faced fiberglass wall insulation
  • R-30 Foam roof insulation
  • Tongue and groove pine interior paneling
  • Square timber or log accents
  • Open Beam ceiling
  • Other siding types:
    • Stainable natural wood board & batt
    • 8" Cedar tight knot lap siding
    • Cedar shingle siding
  • Closed soffits
  • Exterior Painting / Staining
  • Other roofing types:
    • Snap Loc standing seam metal roofing
    • Cedar shake roofing
  • Gutters
  • Entry deck & steps
  • Heavier construction features to allow for extreme weather conditions : wind & snow loads
  • Extended Delivery distance
  • U-build or We-build


The Pasayten - Click on one or more images to enlarge & compare
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The Pasayten - (496 square feet)
A very compact yet full featured design with:
  • 496 very open square feet
  • Ample weather protection inside the log supported covered porch
  • Generous vaulted entry with convenient full size closet
  • A sleeping loft with ample room for a queen size bed
  • A bathroom area which includes a shower and stackable washer/dryer space
  • A kitchen area with open beam ceiling and room for all necessary appliances
  • A cozy dining nook with windows on three sides
  • A living/ lounging room with over 18 feet of ceiling height


The Pasayten is available in a several different construction packages from:

A Do-It-Yourself Panelized Cabin Framing Kit at:

$21,422 (+tax & delivery)

To a Built-4-U Weather tight Cabin Shell (by Shelter Craftsmen) complete with Laminated 30-year composition roofing, Insulated floor, Insulated 6' French door, White Vinyl windows and Hardiplank siding at:

* $49,751 (+ tax & delivery) * Owner is responsible for permitting and foundation.

The Excelsior - Click on one or more images to enlarge & compare
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The Excelsior - (688 square feet)
A "not-so-big" yet full featured design with:
  • Ample weather protection inside the log supported covered porch
  • Generous vaulted entry area with convenient full size closet
  • A bathroom which includes a shower and stackable washer/dryer space
  • A kitchen space with an open beam ceiling and room for all the necessary appliances
  • A cozy dining nook with windows on three sides
  • A living/lounging room with soaring view windows and over 18 feet of ceiling height !
  • A 135 square foot bedroom with full closet and over 13 feet of height to the ceiling ridge.

The Excelsior is available in several different construction packages.

From a Do-It-Yourself Panelized Cabin Framing Kit at:

$27,262 (+ tax & delivery)

To a Built-4-U Weathertight Cabin Shell (by Shelter Craftsmen) complete with 6' x 10' covered entry deck, 30-year laminated composition roofing, Insulated doors, Vinyl windows and Hardiplank siding at:

*$65,940 (+ tax & delivery) )

* Owner is responsible for permitting and foundation.



How is a Shelter built Cabin different than other Cabins?

Shelter built Cabins are fully panelized. Unlike some other "panelized"cabins that only do the easy part of panelizing walls, our Cabins have panelized floors, walls and roof systems.

Our Cabins are also built to International Residential Code (IRC) standards and, as such, are expected to have the structural durability and livability of a full scale home. Additionally, basic to the Shelter approach, is a commitment to building structures that are pleasing to the eye. To reach these ends our designs are executed by professionals in the building industry. The result of the Shelter approach are Cabins that can be easily plumbed, heated, wired, insulated and finished as any full scale site built home would be. There are no quality compromises in a Shelter built Cabin.


 Is a Building Permit required to install a Shelter built Cabin?

The short answer is, " Yes ".

According to the International Residential Code (R105.2) only work that meets all of the following criteria is exempt from requiring a building permit:

  1.   A structure that is detached from other structures.
  2.   A structure that is one-story.
  3.   A structure that is accessory to currently existing structures on the same property.
  4.   A structure with use that is incidental to the main building on the same property.
  5.   A structure with a floor area not exceeding 200 square feet.

Also exempt from the building permit requirement, According to the IRC (R105.2) are the following situations:

  •   Portable appliances for heating, ventilation, cooling, cooking & clothes drying that are not connected to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected to a power grid.
  •   Self contained refrigeration systems containing 10 lbs. or less of refrigerant or are actuated by motors of 1 horsepower or less.

It is important to remember that if your project is exempt from the requirement of a building permit,this does not exempt it from being built according to IRC, local zoning or community covenant standards.

Some examples:

  1. Any structure should abide by local zoning standards regarding set-back distances to property lines.
  1.   Some local juristictions have reduced the 200 square feet allowance to 120 square feet.
  2.   Some community covenants will require approval by an architectural committee.


What type of assistance will Shelter provide me in acquiring a Building Permit for my Cabin?

Upon receipt of Building Deposit, Shelter will provide the following Building Permit assistance:

  1.   Building plans detailed according to local Building Department requirements.
  2. (A building Site Plan is typically also required for permitting. Shelter can provide this
  3. drawing service.)
  4.   Phone consultation with Owner and/or Local Building Department.


Can I live in a Shelter built Cabin?

  1.   If this is a question of livability then the answer is definitely " Yes ". A Shelter built Cabin can easily be finished to the comfort level of a larger site-built home.
  2.   If this is a question of legality then the answer is " Yes ", if you have met all local permitting requirements.
  3. Can changes be made to a Cabin plan?

    Some minor changes can be made with no or minimal effect to the Cabin cost:

  •   Reduction in window/door sizes.
  •   Relocation of window/ door openings (within structural limitations ).
  •   Reversing or flipping a plan.

Some other changes can be made with minimal effect to the Cabin cost:

  •   Enlarging window/door sizes (within structural limitations).
  •   Adding options to the Cabin Kit (see Options on "Specifications & Options" page.)

Some more changes can be made with costs to be charged accordingly:

  •   Change of square footage
  •   Change of roof pitch
  •   Increases in structural engineering requirements (charged at $100 per hour)


What are the structural load capacities of a Shelter built Cabin?

Every Shelter built Cabin is designed to accommodate the following loads:

  • Seismic Zone - D1
  • Wind Load - Exposure B
  • Snow Load - #25 psf ground
  • Floor Load - 40# psf live dead 13# psf dead load


My building site is hillside and located where snowfall and wind are extra heavy.

Is a Cabin capable of being installed in this type of location?

Yes , a Cabin can be installed anywhere any other structure can be built. In some instances, a Cabin can be installed even where a larger structure could not, because of its lesser size and lesser foundation requirement. Once seismic, wind and snow loads of your site are addressed via proper engineering, the other primary consideration will be the bearing capacity of the soil which will influence final foundation design.


What type of foundation is required to support a Cabin?

A concrete pier foundation system. Why?

  1.   Because it requires a minimal amount of excavated area which saves on expensive machine time or it allows for the option of being hand dug.
  2.   Because minimal excavated area means less disturbance of the natural terrain.
  3.   Because it requires a minimal amount of concrete, rebar, forming materials, etc.
  4.   Because it is easily adapted to flat or sloped building sites.
  5.   Because with Sonotube and
  6. Bigfoot forming systems it is very Do-It-Yourself friendly.


I would like a Do-It-Yourself Cabin Kit.

What type of building assistance will Shelter provide?

Shelter provides the following building assistance with the Do-It- Yourself Cabin Kit:

  1. Preframed Panels shipped in proper order of construction.
  2.   Labeled panels and componants that correspond with labeled building plans.
  3.   Written instructions.
  4.   Instructional photographs.
  5.   Phone and email consultation.


As the Owner what are my responsibilities regarding Cabin Kit delivery?

Your Cabin Kit will arrive bundled and stacked on a flatbed trailer. Some componants, such as doors, windows or metal roofing will require hand unloading to avoid damage. Other componants, such as Preframed Panels may be dumped as any typical lumber delivery would be done.

As the Owner your responsibilities will be to:

  1.   Provide sufficient truck and trailer access and turn-around area.
  2.   Provide sufficient hands-on labor for a one-hour unloading time (at least 2-persons capable of lifting 75 pounds per person). ( Do not include the Truck Driver . He only brings and unbinds the load.)
  3.   Provide a forklift (or similar) if truck or site conditions do not allow for load dumping.
  4.   Provide final Cabin Kit Payment upon delivery.


What materials are included in a Do-It-Yourself Cabin Kit?

The Panelized Cabin Framing Kit includes:

  All the necessary Preframed floor, wall and roof panels to frame your particular Cabin model. In other words all floor joist, floor sheathing, wall studs, wall plates and headers, wall sheathing, roof rafters, roof sheathing and ridge beam. Also:

  •   All roof eave trim: Cedar fascia, barge and rake trim
  •   Treated floor girders per Cabin design.
  •   Installed R-30 foam floor insulation
  •   All necessary fasteners
  •   Installation instructions

In Addition you may add the following items to the Panelized Cabin Framing Kit :

  •   Roofing Materials
  •   Windows
  •   Doors
  •   Siding & Soffits
  •   Panelized Deck
  •   Preframed entry steps
  •   Gutters & Downspouts
  •   Wall and Roof insulation
  •   Interior T&G 1x6 pine for ceiling and wall surfaces


 How much does the average Preframed Panel weigh?

Floor Panel Weight

All preframed floor panels are framed using 2x6 floor and rim joists with ¾" sheathing on the top, 3/8"sheathing on the bottom and 4 ½" R-30 foam insulation in between.

The net weight of a preframed floor panel is 6.25# per square foo. A typical Cabin floor panel will weight from 2-300# .

Wall Panel Weight

All preframed wall panels are framed with 2x6 studs and 7/16" wall sheathing

The net weight of a preframed wall panel is 3.3# per square foot. A typical Cabin wall panel will weigh from 1-200#.

Roof Panel Weight

All preframed roof panels are framed with 2x6 rafters and 7/16" roofl sheathing

The net weight of a preframed roof panel is 3# per square foot. A typical Cabin roof panel will weigh 200#

Other Weights

Building support girders: 10# per lineal foot.

Exposed roof ridge beams: 12.6# per lineal foot.


How much building help should I have?

Your quantity of building help is all about your own physical and carpentry capabilities.It is recommended that at least two persons team up on Cabin construction. Panels will be in the 2-300# weight range and they can be moved using a simple two-wheeled garden cart, but when it comes time to set ridge beams and roof panels a second physically capable person will be a great asset . It is also recommended that boom truck services be used to place the ridge and roof panels. The ridge height of the Pasayten and Excelsior Cabins is 21.5' from grade.


What carpentry skill level should I or my helpers have?

At least one person on your crew should be of good carpentry ability . Which means that this person should understand and be experienced with normal floor, wall and roof framing technique. This person should also have familiarity with dealing with the challenges related to working on ladders and scaffolding, maintaining accuracy, and maneuvering heavy objects. A good crew arrangement includes this person, another with some elementary carpentry skills to fill the role of "carpenter's helper" and a third person as a general laborer.


 How long should I expect framing panel assembly to take?

The Pasayten model Panelized Cabin Framing Kit (496 sq.feet) will take 3-persons (with boom truck assistance), 6-days to assemble.


What type of tool assortment should I have available?

  •   A tool belt with the typical assortment of hand tools: hammer, pencil, 25' & 50' tape measures, speed square, chisel, cats paw & chaulk line.
  •   6' & 8' step ladders
  •   24' extension ladder
  •   Builder's level or water level
  •   Skil saw and cord
  •   4' level
  •   Plumb bob
  •   Drill with 3/8" & ½" auger bits (12")
  •   ½" ratchet with socket set
  •   1-rolling scaffold tower 16' tall (for setting roof panels).
  •   2-wheeled cart (for moving panels and beams).


Can interior finishing materials also be supplied with the Do-It-Yourself Cabin Kit?

Yes , as mentioned above, wall and roof insulation as well as pine T&G 1x6 paneling boards can be included with the Cabin Kit. Other finishing materials such as pine interior doors or trim wood can be as well. Your building situation should determine what interior finish materials are included with your Cabin Kit. For common interior finishing materials (such as drywall or floor covering) it often will make the most sense to purchase them locally rather than to pay extra freight on the same materials sent from Shelter. However, if you are building on a very remote site, then Shelter supplied finish materials would make perfect sense.


I am interested in having Shelter Craftsmen build my Cabin.

As the Owner, what will be my building responsibilities?

Your building responsibilities will include :

  1.   Providing sufficient truck & trailer access and turn-around area within 75' of Cabin location.
  2.   Provide on-site power with a minimum 20 amp breaker.
  3.   Provide outhouse or bathroom access.
  4.   Provide properly installed Cabin foundation. (Some acceptions apply )
  5.   Provide proper permitting.

In addition , if your building location requires overnight lodging & meals or ferry travel, It will be the Owners responsibility to compensate for such expenses. Typically, if your site is within 75 miles of Bellingham , WA (excluding the San Juan Islands ) these expenses will not be incurred.


What building services will Shelter provide?

At Shelter we like to say that we will do the hard parts so you can do the fun parts.

What that can look like is that Shelter Craftsmen arrive on-site with the Cabin delivery. We will unload the delivery truck, assemble the panelized Cabin Kit and continue with the installation of your roofing, siding, windows and doors. We can even install your gutters, entry steps and paint your Cabin as well. At this point you will have a Weathertight Cabin Shell . Also, at this point, the "hard parts" of the building process have been completed and now yourself or other trades people of your choosing will be able to complete the Cabin interior to your specifications.

So, Shelter building services range from erecting only the panelized Cabin Kit to full completion of a Weathertight Cabin Shell. The choice is yours.


Can I still be involved in building my Cabin even if Shelter Craftsmen are involved?

Yes , as circumstances allow, Shelter is willing to consider a cooperative work arrangement by trading out a Shelter workman in trade for your own participation on the crew. Cabin cost would be adjusted accordingly.

Besides that, once Shelter has completed its primary function of building the Cabin shell, then the rest of the building process is still available for your hands-on involvement.


 What is the expected payment schedule for a Shelter built Cabin?

  1. 15% Building Deposit at the time of Cabin order.
  2. 40% at commencement of Cabin panelization at Shelter shop.
  3. 35% at delivery of Cabin Kit to building site.
  4. (or 50% if delivery is a Do-It-Yourself Cabin Kit)
  5. Final 10% at completion of Shelter construction of Cabin .


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