Exterior Projects

Ana White | Build a Quartz Tiny House – Free Tiny House Plans | Free and Easy DIY Project and Furniture Plans

Free plans to help anyone build simple, stylish furniture at large discounts from retail furniture. All woodworking plans are step by step, and include table plans, bed plans, desk plans and bookshelf plans. Thousands of readers are saving by building their own home furnishings.

Source: Ana White | Build a Quartz Tiny House – Free Tiny House Plans | Free and Easy DIY Project and Furniture Plans

Exterior Projects

Build this Cabin for Under $5,000

When I came across this article/guide, I knew that I had to share it.  Most of you probably don’t have a chunk of land to build something like this on, but for those who do, you will love this simple cabin plan.  The plans come for free from Mother Earth News.  I am not sure of the year that the $5,000 figure comes from, but hey, a simple cabin plan is always worth a look.  cabin assembly diagram

There are some construction techniques that are a little more old school that what you would typically see in new construction today.  The floor is tongue and groove (T&G) instead of plywood and many of the joints call for techniques that add a lot of strength, but can probably be sidestepped.  The top of the porch posts are notched, mitered, and lag bolted, the sill framework has a half lap joint at the corners and there are rafter supports that are notched in where you might see simple blocking today.{01269B31-2863-4866-913E-7147CF196A34}

The plan includes a complete material list that you can utilize to price your items and see how close you are able to get to the $5,000 figure.  There are areas where you can probably replace the material with other items to save a bit.  These areas will give you an opportunity to make this your own.

Good luck with this project should you choose to move forward.  If you don’t build with this, it couldn’t hurt to review the plans for future consideration.  A technique picked up here and there will often lead to a better project in the future and might even give you the knowledge to build something properly when the time comes.


Exterior Projects

Build an Amazing Shed. Free Plans from FH


If you are a homeowner who mows their own lawn and snow-blows their own driveway, you will probably have a need for a shed.   During the winter months, it is nice to stash the mower and garden implements away and make room for the snow removal equipment.  I do realize that half of the country might read this and wonder what we are talking about, but those in snow areas will understand.

Family Handyman is a fantastic magazine that I have enjoyed for years.  The following shed plan was featured in 2013 and is a perfect project for someone who doesn’t want the run of the mill, pre-built, shed that can be dropped on site.  Those are typically boring, vinyl sided, and nondescript.

The following shed is a real thing of beauty and includes custom windows and doors (site-built) along with features that make any structure jump out such as corbels/brackets.  Visit Family Handyman using the link below.  You will find the free construction drawings to build your own shed along with the complete material list.  If you want to purchase the back issue that includes the complete article to go along with the plans, you will find them in the July/August 2013 issue of The Family Handyman.


Dream Shed Made Easy: The Family Handyman.

Exterior Projects How To's

How to Build a Cheap, and Beautiful, Storage Shed – Step by Step

Just about everyone could use a storage she at some point in their life.  You could opt to purchase one that is a prefab vinyl job, buy one from a local shed company where they will drive up and drop it in your yard, or build one yourself.


If you are like me, you will probably build one yourself.  For many, this project will take weeks to complete.  Delays in outdoor building projects can come from your schedule or weather.  This shed will allow you to use inexpensive material and it will be something that you can build in your garage on rainy days.  The shed is essentially a series of panels that are then assembled.  I build a playhouse with my son many years ago with this technique.  It took up one side of the garage for a couple of weeks, but it was a fun (and dry) project that was built in a controlled environment.

This shed plan comes from The Family Handyman.  I love their projects since they are generally very thorough.  The plans come with a full material list and include an exploded view drawing (the most helpful part on a job site).

Good luck with your own shed.  Have fun and stay safe.

Full Plans: How to Build a Cheap Storage Shed – Step by Step | The Family Handyman.

Exterior Projects How To's

Free Circular Saw Cross Cut Jig Plan – Vinyl Siding Cutting Jig

Free Circular Saw Cross Cut Jig Plan

If you aren’t a vinyl siding installer, you probably won’t have a vinyl siding cutting tool (Bullet Tools 209 EZ Shear SST 9-Inch for Siding Trim, Dust Free Flooring and Siding Cutter
).  However, you can easily make your own for just a few dollars.  In fact, you might be able to use scraps from other projects to build this jig.

Vinyl Siding Cutting Jig

cross cut jig for siding

The real beauty of this jig is that it isn’t just for vinyl siding.  It is a cross cut jig that you will grow to love.  This jig will eliminate the need to drag a chop saw everywhere you go.

via Free Circular Saw Cross Cut Jig Plan – Vinyl Siding Cutting Jig.

Exterior Projects

Free Bunkie Plans – A DIY Sleeping Shed

If you are an HGTV fan, you might also be a fan of Sarah Richardson.  Sarah has had a couple of fantastic shows that demonstrate her unique ability to renovate a home.  She works on a higher end than the folks you would find on other shows such as “Flip This House”.

bunky-plans bunkie-cabin-layout

Sarah had a show a couple of years back that followed her during a renovation of an island cottage that she owns with her husband (I know, rough life).  The project was fantastic to watch as it showed Sarah making decisions that made it clear that she doesn’t just make choices for the camera in her other projects.   She was going to have to live with her design decisions and they weren’t much different than decisions made on her “Sarah’s House” shows.

The part of the project that stood out for me was the “Bunkie” (or Bunky).  I hadn’t heard this term before, but it is rather common up North (Canada).   The Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines “bunkie” as “a small outbuilding on the property of a summer cottage providing extra sleeping accommodation for guests”.

Since I am neither Canadian, nor from a family that would have grown up with a “summer cottage”, I hadn’t heard the term until watching the show Sarah’s Cottage.  After seeing the episode, I wanted my own bunkie. Well, my son (age 10) wants his own bunkie.  We are fortunate enough to have a tiny summer cottage and sleeping more than 6 would be a big stretch.  A bunkie might just do the trick.

I located the following plan while browsing the Lifestyle section on Flipboard (A fantastic iPad app).  The reason that I liked this plan is that it is well documented and has a number of photos that display each step.  A bunkie is essentially a shed with a few more creature comforts.  That, and perhaps a little more attention to details such as gaps, windows, doors, and tolerances.  Click on the first picture to view the full how-to for this bunkie.  There are a few links at the bottom of the post that might just inspire you in terms of the design.  Again, the project construction portion is just like building a shed, or outbuilding.  Finishes are going to make the difference.

Good luck with your own bunkie project.

Free Wood Cabin Plans – Free step by step shed plans.

sarahs cottage bunkie Sarah Richardson bunkie


Sarah Richardson Bunky:

Designer of Sarah Richardson’s Bunky:

Some fantastic Canadian Bunkies from the Tiny House Blog: