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Project of the Week: Rigid frames make flexible cabin

Don and Dave Runyan provide plans for carpentry projects.
By Don and Dave Runyan, For The Oklahoman Published: January 21, 2013

Popular from Canada to the Caribbean — and all points in-between — this strong and economical cabin project is a fun and affordable way for do-it-yourselfers to acquire a vacation home. The key to the cabin's open design lies in the “rigid frames” that support the roof. Functioning like trusses, the frames eliminate the need for interior load-bearing posts or walls.

A Canadian reader wrote from Ontario to report that his cabin “didn't even budge” during a heavy snowfall that collapsed 15 nearby cottages under the weight of three feet of snow. A reader in Florida wrote that her two cabins in the Bahamas were still going strong, having “survived nearly 30 years of seaside weather (including hurricanes!).”

As pictured, the cabin requires 13 rigid frames and measures 20 by 24 feet (plus a 6-foot-deep covered deck), but the structure can be lengthened simply by adding frames. Windows are built into the end walls only, and the interior can be partitioned as preferred. The project calls for standard materials that are stocked in virtually every lumberyard.

The Rigid-Frame Cabin plan, No. 370, is $9.95 and includes step-by-step instructions with photos, construction diagrams, a complete shopping list and cutting schedule and a toll-free help line. Before starting, do-it-yourselfers should be sure to review local building codes.

A package of cabin plans, No. C81, is $22.95 and includes this project plus plans for two other cabins. Please include $4 per order (not per item) for postage and handling and allow about two weeks for delivery.

To order by mail, clip this article and send it with a check or money order to U-Bild Features, c/o (The Oklahoman), 821B S Tremont St., Oceanside, CA 92054. To order by credit card, or to request a free catalog, call 1-800-828-2453. Visit U-Bild on the web at


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