Arched Cabins – Fantastic Affordable Simple Living

TAG Level - Arched Cabins
TAG Level - Arched Cabins

There are a multitude of options when it comes to building a home.  Many of the options for sustainable and/or smaller, or tiny homes, are still outside the reach of many, due largely in part to the high price of building.  Even tiny houses, which are often touted as an affordable housing option, remain relatively expensive.  For those interested in lower cost, or simpler homes than those that are typically built, one option is Arched Cabins, Arched Homes or Arched roof structures.  The diversity of options available, both in size and style are numerous, and offer many opportunities for those interested – from simple tree homes to small cabins, backyard offices, Bunkies, or even full sized homes.

Arched Cabins – Sizes and Price Ranges

Typical arched homes come in set sizes, determined largely by the arch shape itself, and the engineering and design requirements that dictate the size of the arches.  It is possible to construct an arched structure yourself, but there are existing builders of pre-made structures that can be purchased as kits to build yourself, or with the help of a contractor.

One particularly notable provider of Arched homes and kits is Arched Cabins, who provide really great options in this style of home.  The sizes and prices below are highlights of their offerings, and provide a great example of the sizes and prices of that may be possible, as well as some of the possible uses for the various structures:

8′ x 8′ and 8′ x 12′ – A great size for simpler requirements, such as ice fishing huts, storage sheds, saunas, a basic additional sleeping space, or small hunting hut.  ($1000-$1500)

12′ x 12′, 12′ x 24′ and 12′ x 32′ – The 12 foot wide structures broaden the scope of use for these designs, providing possible usage such as one bedroom cabins, studios, storage areas or larger hunting huts for 1 or 2 people. ($2200-$7000)

14′ x 14′,  14′ x 20′ and 14′ x 32′ – These 14 foot wide designs really begin to open up the usage opportunities for these structures.  At this size, it is possible to include a bedroom, small kitchen and bathroom within the structure.  It is also possible to park a car inside, meaning it can be used as a small cabin, a garage, a larger studio, or a great social space for entertaining outside the main home. ($2800-$7800)

For more information on living in small spaces, check out our articles on How to Make a Small Room Look Bigger.

16′ x 16′,  16′ x 24′ and 16′ x 32′ – In this size of structure, it becomes possible to build a dwelling that feels like a full sized home.  With the possibility of one or two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen and living space.  It can be further utilized as a large garage, or even a boat house or large office space. ($3500-$8500)

20′ x 20′,  20′ x 30′ and  20′ x 40′ – These sizes of Arch homes can provide a full and comfortable sized home for nearly anyone.  In fact, owing to the width of the structure, and the height required for a stable arch, it is even possible to have a loft within the structure.  This adds a large amount of additional space, and creates a wide range of usage opportunities, and there is enough from for multiple bedrooms and bathrooms within. ($5200-$12,500)

24′ x 24′,  24′ x 32′ and 24′ x 40′ – These are the largest of the general designs, and as is expected, can expand on the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, larger kitchen and living area, and a significant sized loft.  As a home, a cabin or an very large multi-purpose structure – office, conference room, dorm etc. ($7700-$15,000)

Check out this gallery of great structures (all photos courtesy Arched Cabins):


Where to Buy

Such arched homes can be purchased as kits in most countries, and can even be ordered online from manufacturers in Asia and other countries abroad.  Multiple online marketplaces offer numerous options, and the costs are relatively low when compared to standard ‘stick house’ building options.  Some manufacturers claim to offer pricing as low as 59$ per square meter, and the opportunity to design your own home, complete and correct to the municipal codes in your area.  Of course, prices will vary depending on the size and scope of your project.

The standard kits all seem quite similar in their included components, and come complete with ribs, ridge beam, floor plates and insulation (varied R rating, but you can pretty much upgrade to whatever is suitable to your region).  The kits also will normally include roof paneling, trim and the necessary fasteners.  You will be required to prepare a foundation yourself, or have one built for you.  Installation, interior fittings and finish are generally not included, but for enterprising DIY’ers, the interior is like a blank canvas to create anything you can dream up.  The End Caps are additional options to be included, and can either be built yourself, or installed by a contractor at additional cost.  Depending on the size of the Arch, it is possible to include a Loft in the structure, which will significantly add to the amount of useable living space within the structure, and adds some really fantastic aesthetics as well.

These pre-made arched cabins can easily be shipped anywhere in the world, either in containers, or in any format you choose, and at reasonable cost.  Construction times are quite short, and depending on your expertise and the amount of labour you are able to provide yourself, can be completed at very low cost.

As mentioned earlier, offers numerous options and sizes, and their pricing appears extremely attractive to those interested.  Their designs are engineered to tolerate significant wind forces, and the steel external sheeting also means that the maintenance requirements for such structures is also quite low – an added benefit that means you’ll spend more time enjoying the dwelling, and less time maintainng it.

It is definitely worth checking out the options in more detail.  The general feedback from those who have chosen to build an Arched house, whether as a primary home, or as a secondary cabin or studio, seem quite positive.

Overall Arched cabins’ options seems inexpensive and low-maintenance, with rapid build times – all factors that make the option particularly attractive.   Research into the pitfalls and lessons learned by others who have build such structures is invaluable, and you can read one family’s experiences in their building journey, to get more perspective.

Some great video walk throughs area available, and one such walk-through of a very small version of an Arched Home has been provided by Don’s Cab-ins which is worth a view.  Additionally, there is a great time-lapse video available, showing the build process for an Arched Home, which gives some great perspective on the relative ease with which these structures can be built.

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