Frequently Asked Questions

Pricing

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. Keep in mind that if you work with a more premium builder or use more premium materials this number could go up.

Here's a few other considerations:

— The benchmark we represent is a national average and doesn't reflect specific localized pricing. For example, if you were to build anything in Malibu CA, it would be more than nearly anywhere in Texas.

— We don't dynamically reflect the daily and weekly fluctuations in materials cost. For example, since COVID began the cost of lumber has increased as much as 60% in some localities.

— The forecasted pricing also excludes two main cost categories: Land and Land prep (driveway, clearing, well and septic), and FFE (Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment). This exclusion is traditional in all housing pricing models.

— The best way to understand the DIY/materials cost is to buy a plan and show it to a local building supply store and request what's called a "take-off" (a free service) and they will give you an estimate of materials and costs for everything they have in inventory that will enable your build.

Customizations

Yes! We offer customizations for all customers who purchase a Complete package, for an additional project fee.

Den plans are provided to you only after countless hours of research, development, and testing. In order to deliver on our promise of the perfect blend of architecture, simplicity of design, and cost, we stand behind every plan as is.

That said, the Den team is happy to work with you to make changes to any plan to better suit your needs. Our plan Packages for all designs enable you, an engineer, or architect to quickly and easily modify your Den design, though we're happy to take those projects on in house.

To learn more about our customizations process, check out our Customizations page.

Our Packages enable you, an engineer, or an architect to quickly and easily modify your DEN design, though we're happy to work with you on Minor and Moderate Changes. 

Our estimated customization costs with examples are listed below. Once you’ve purchased your Complete Package and we receive your customization request, we will calculate the costs according to your specific needs.

Minor Changes

$150 - $500 each

General

- Add, remove, or change decks and patios

- Move or change doors, windows, and skylights

Bedroom

- Add, move, or expand a closet

- Expand room size

Kitchen

- Add or change appliances and cabinetry

Foundation*

- Change foundation to crawl space, slab on grade, concrete pier, or full unfinished basement

Moderate Changes

$500 - $1000 each

General

- Increase or decrease design footprint

- Add or remove dormer

- Significant window changes such as a full curtain wall of windows

- Add a breezeway or covered walkway

- Change roof pitch

- Rearrange floorplan to add or change storage, rooms, and layout

Bathroom

- Rearrange bathroom layout

- Add a sink, shower, toilet, or tub

Kitchen

- Expand the space

- Add or change a pantry

Foundation*

- Change to a fully finished basement or walk-out basement. 

*DEN recommends having your foundation reviewed by a local engineer to meet site specific conditions.

 

Need something else? Email us at support@denoutdoors.com and we'll discuss!

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 come standard with a pier foundation because it's cost effective and practical for remote locations. However, a Den structure can be placed on a slab, insulated concrete forms, a traditionally poured reinforced concrete basement/crawlspace–basically any foundation you need!

If you’d like a different foundation, we’re happy to provide that to you. Just email us at support@denoutdoors.com to learn more.

Permits / Building Code

Many States require plans to be stamped by an Engineer certified to your State or municipality, while other States don’t require a stamp at all. Our entire catalog is designed by licensed architects and reviewed by our team of engineers, but is not stamped by us. If your municipality requires a final stamp of approval it will need to be done locally.

Having a set of plans in hand enables you to start the conversation with your local building department to ensure your build is compliant with all local regulations. Applying for a permit is as easy as filling out a form, appending a set of plans to your submission, and indicating who will contribute to the project, i.e. general contractor, plumber, etc. You will also have to have your building plans approved by a few other parties before you start building, so make sure you’re planning for that as well.

Some of the plans Den provides don’t require a building permit in some municipalities, however, others do. As you approach building your cabin, we encourage you to consult with an experienced local engineer to review the plans, the conditions where you intend to build, and all local building 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. If your plan isn't IRC compatible, it might not get approved for building and you should be dubious about its design and engineering.

Since building codes can 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 all local building requirements.

Builder

Generally speaking, our plans are designed to be easily used by any builder who has experience with blueprints i.e., every builder! We also offer 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.

Currently, 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 hello@denoutdoors.com

Check out our guide on How to Find a Builder!

Materials

Most Den cabins are designed with standard concrete pier or helical pile based foundations to make it easy for the DIY builder to set their own foundation in a variety of site conditions. Using these types of foundation systems also limit the impact to the land Den cabins sit on.

The Modern Loft Barnhouse and Modern Cottage both feature an insulated slab foundation. 

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.

Yes, all of our plans are available in the Metric system, in addition to the the English/Imperial system.

We are the one of the only plan providers who has completely redesigned each of our models natively for the metric system. We did not do simple unit conversions from the Imperial plan sets which would leave you with complicated measurements full of decimal points and confusion. Our metric plans are clean, accurate, and (perhaps most importantly,) buildable!

To read more about our Metric plans visit our Den Global page.

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 support@denoutdoors.com and we'll help you troubleshoot.

Other

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. Once you’re part of the DEN team, we have CA based partners we can introduce to you to localize the design across all your requirements.

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 developer@denoutdoors.com