Frequently Asked Questions
We approach designing all our cabins to balance features, square footage, and cost. Nothing is truly custom in our cabins, which keeps the building cost low. All the windows and doors are available as standard catalog items from major manufacturers. The cabinetry is designed to make use of readily available catalog items from big retailers like Ikea. We designed this purposefully to enable you to achieve a beautiful, modern outcome without breaking the bank and without the headaches of ordering custom components.
We encourage our customers to plan for a construction cost of at least $244.50 per square foot (the national average), including labor. So, a 168 square foot cabin will cost roughly $37,548 to build (168*244.50=41,076). This cost assumes the use of labor, and that you’ll be working with a team of carpenters, plumbers, and electricians to build your cabin. While it could be less expensive than this if you put some sweat equity into the project, and do some of the work yourself, $244.50/sqft is a good benchmark to start your planning process with. This cost does not include Land and Land prep (driveway, clearing, well and septic), and FFE (Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment). Keep in mind that if you work with a more premium builder or use more premium materials this number could go up.
Visit our cost calculator page to plan your "All in" budget.
At this time, our customizations pipeline is currently full, and we aren't taking any new requests until further notice. If you are looking to customize your DEN design, we recommend that you reach out to a local engineer or architect who can revise your plans for you.
If you aren’t in a rush with your DEN build and would like to be put on the waitlist, please fill out this form. We'll reach out to you once the queue opens back up.
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Yes, DEN’s Complete Package includes .dwg files for CAD programs, which can be modified and customized with the help of a local designer, architect, or engineer.
Almost all DEN cabins integrate a pier foundation because it's cost effective and practical for remote locations and a wide range of soil conditions. However, a DEN structure can be placed on other systems including slabs, insulated concrete forms or a basement/crawlspace. All foundation plans must be reviewed by a local engineer to meet site specific conditions.
If you’d like a different foundation drafted into your plan set, reach out to us via our Customizations Intake form.
Permits / Building Code
Many states require plans to be stamped by a licensed professional as part of the permit approval process. Our catalog is designed by our talented team of designers reviewed by professional engineers, but is not stamped by us. If your municipality requires a stamp, you will need to engage a local engineer or architect to have it reviewed and stamped.
Having your plans in hand enables you to start the conversation with your building department to ensure your Den build is compliant with local regulations. Applying for a permit is a multi-step process will involve filling out forms, submitting a set of plans, and indicating who will construct the project, i.e. general contractor, plumber, etc. Getting a building permit can take time, so make sure to engage with your building department early to understand their requirements.
All of our plans are compliant to the International Residential Code (IRC)—The 2018 International Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings. IRC is the rulebook that informs all international, state, and local building codes.
Building codes vary by state, and county, we encourage you to consult with your municipality as you approach building your cabin. They'll be able to review the plans, the conditions where you intend to build, and verify that your plans meet local building requirements.
Den structures are designed accommodate specific wind, snow and siesmic loads indicated in both our starter and complete plans.
We don't currently connect our customers to specific builders. However, we’re thinking through how to offer a certified builder program. If you’re a builder who is interested in becoming certified with us, please email email@example.com
Our plans can be read by every builder. We also offer additional assets such as materials lists, fixtures, finishes, and furnishings guides in our Complete Packages to make it easy for you, as the homeowner, to make your build look exactly like the photos you see on our site.
Since R-Value requirements differ depending on your location, we don’t make a specific insulation recommendation. All of our plans feature floor, wall, and ceiling cavities that will enable you to add insulation to match your local R-value requirements.
Yes, DEN provides a Materials and Labor Worksheet with our Complete Package.
Also known as a "Quantity Take-off" , the worksheet is an editable spreadsheet that can be used to total your project budget and assist you in the procurement phase of the project. You will use this spreadsheet together with your drawings to get a complete quote from your lumber yard.
The worksheet includes time estimates for major labor tasks so all you need to do is input local labor rates and material pricing and your worksheet will automatically create a total budget.
Fixtures, Furniture, Equipment
Den cabins are fairly small which makes heating and cooling them easy and energy efficient. Our plans can accommodate just about any heating system you prefer. We encourage our customers to consider installing a zoned or single zone ductless mini split system. In most cases a mini split offers both heating and cooling, so be on the lookout for models that list a heat pump as a feature. For our plans that feature a wood or pellet stove, installing these units will provide supplemental heat in the winter time to keep you cozy.
Yes, we’ve designed all of our plans to make use of standard cabinetry sizes from major retailers like Ikea. All of our cabins feature combinations of cabinets that are either 24”, 30”, or 36” wide. Additionally, we indicate sinks, stoves, stovetops, and refrigerators in all of our kitchen designs.
All Den cabin plans are designed to make use of standard available catalog items from the major window and door manufacturers like Andersen, Marvin, and Velux. For the triangular or trapezoidal windows featured in our A-Frame plans, these also conform to standard tolerances of most manufacturing processes.
All of our cabin plans contain a precise “Window and Door Schedule,” which is really just a fancy way of saying a list of all the windows and doors you’ll need to support the design.
The DEN Plans
We deliver our plans with an incredible amount of detail to make a DIY or professional builder succeed in delivering a structurally sound, high performing, and lasting home. Though Den plans vary between models depending on the detail required, generally they're around 12 pages and contain the following drawings: floor plans, foundation plan, roof framing plan, building elevations, build section(s), construction details (like specific flashing installation), window and door schedules, interior elevations and details (like cabinetry installation), fastener schedules, and a code compliant electrical plan + HVAC.
Yes, we include a code-compliant electrical design that includes the descriptions and locations of the breaker box, wiring paths, wall outlets, and overhead lighting. Always consult with a licensed electrician before installing any electrical system.
Starter Plans (.pdf)
Complete Plans (.pdf)
Materials Markup / Takeoff (.pdf)
Materials / Buying Guide (.pdf)
Materials List / Project Worksheet (.xls)
3D Model (.bimx)
CAD files (.dwg)
Having file issues? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll help you troubleshoot.
You can build a Den cabin nearly anywhere on Earth! We’ve designed the cabins to withstand gale force winds on the side of the mountain top, and they do equally well in a backyard in New Jersey. As you approach building your cabin, consult with your local building department to ensure that your build is compliant to all local zoning and code requirements.
Yes! Our California customers will need to seek additional engineering for seismic requirements and consultants for Title 24 compliance.
Want to know which licensing category you fall into? Check out this quick guide.
Den building plans provide a non-transferable license to the purchaser to build one, single cabin depicted in the plans in a residential context. What this means is that one plan purchase allows you to build one cabin of this type. If you’d like to build two of this same cabin, you will need to purchase two licenses. This license supports residential implementations for use with short term rentals, however, this standard license does not extend to commercial entities like hotels or real estate developers.
For licensing fees related to real estate developments and hospitality implementations please contact email@example.com