Prefab Tiny Cabins: The Complete Guide | Esh's Utility Buildings (2024)

Prefab Tiny Cabins: The Complete Guide | Esh's Utility Buildings (1)

Tiny cabins are all the rage these days. And it’s no wonder why, these diminutive dwellings offer all the benefits of a traditional cabin but in a fraction of the space (and cost). Plus, they’re often far more sustainable and efficient than their full-sized counterparts.

But if you’re thinking of making the switch to tiny living, where do you even start? For many would-be tiny-cabin owners, the biggest obstacle is simply finding a suitable cabin to call home.

Fortunately, there are now several companies that specialize in prefabricated tiny homes, making it easier than ever to go small. We at Esh’s Utility Buildings are just one of many such businesses, proposing a wide range of both off-the-shelf and custom-built tiny homes.

Not sure if a prefab tiny cabin is right for you? Keep reading to learn more about everything you need to know on going small.


An overview of prefab tiny cabin options

When it comes to prefab tiny cabins, there are various approaches that manufacturers take. Some companies, like Esh’s Utility Buildings, focus on producing several high-quality homes, while others mass-produce more affordable models.

The former approach tends to result in a higher price tag, but you’ll generally get a lot more bang for your buck in terms of features, build quality, and overall livability. Conversely, the latter approach is more affordable, but you may have to sacrifice some of the finer details.

It’s also worth noting that not all prefab tiny cabins are created equal. Some are designed for full-time living, while others are better suited for use as vacation homes or guest houses.

As you’re shopping around, it’s important to keep your needs and wants in mind so that you can find a cabin that’s perfect for you.

That being said, below are some of the most popular prefab options available today!


One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to get your hands on a prefab tiny cabin is to purchase a kit or flatpack. These are essentially pre-cut and ready-to-assemble homes that can be shipped directly to your door (or construction site).

Kits usually come with detailed instructions, making them a good option for those with some basic carpentry skills. Flatpacks, on the other hand, are usually just a bunch of panels and components that need to be put together. These can be more challenging to assemble, but they’re often cheaper and easier to transport.

When you’re not quite ready to commit to a full-fledged cabin, this might be a good option for you.

Prefab cabin shells (shed-style)

If you’re looking for a simple, no-frills cabin, then a prefabricated shell might be the way to go. These are typically shed-style structures that come with all the necessary framing and exterior cladding.

They generally don’t include any interior finishes or fixtures, but they can be easily customized to your specific needs and taste. This type of cabin is perfect for those who want to build something themselves or hire a local contractor to do the work.

Finished prefab cabins/tiny homes

For a ready-to-move-in tiny home, you’ll want to look for a company that specializes in finished prefab cabins. These homes come complete with everything you need to live comfortably, including interior finishes, fixtures, appliances, and furniture.

Of course, all of this comes at a premium price, but it’s worth it if you want to avoid the hassle (and expense) of outfitting your cabin from scratch.

We at Esh’s Utility Buildings offer a wide range of prefab tiny cabins, from basic shells to fully finished homes. No matter what your budget or needs, we’re sure to have a cabin that’s perfect for you!

Custom-built on-site

If you have specific requirements for your cabin, then a custom-built on-site option might be the best way to go. With this approach, you’ll work with a local contractor to design and build your cabin from the ground up.

This is generally the most expensive option, but it also allows for the most customization. If you have your heart set on a particular style of cabin or want to be involved in every step of the construction process, then this is definitely the route for you.

Prefab Tiny Cabins: The Complete Guide | Esh's Utility Buildings (2)

6 Benefits of a prefab tiny cabin (shed-style)

From the ultimate in simplicity to full-fledged guest houses, there are plenty of reasons to choose a prefab tiny cabin over a traditional stick-built home. Here are just a few of the benefits:

1. They’re easier and faster to build.

One of the biggest advantages of prefab construction is that it’s much faster and easier than traditional stick-built cabins. With a prefab tiny cabin, most of the work is done in a factory setting, so it can be assembled on-site in a matter of days or weeks. This is a huge benefit if you’re working with a tight timeline or budget.

2. They’re more affordable.

Prefab tiny cabins are also more affordable than their stick-built counterparts. Because the construction is done in a factory setting, there are economies of scale that keep the costs down. This makes prefab an attractive option for those working with a limited budget.

3. They can be easily customized to your specific needs and taste.

Another great benefit of prefab tiny cabins is that they can be easily customized to your specific needs and taste. With a custom-built shed, you’re generally stuck with whatever floor plan the builder gives you. But with a prefab cabin, you can choose from a wide range of floor plans and finishes to create the perfect space for you.

4. They’re easier to transport and relocate.

If you ever need to move your cabin, it’s much easier to do with a prefab than a traditional shed. Because they’re typically built on a trailer chassis, they can be easily relocated to a new site. This is a great option if you want the flexibility to move your cabin in the future.

5. They have a smaller environmental footprint.

Prefab tiny cabins also have a smaller environmental footprint. Because the construction is done in a factory setting, there’s less waste and fewer resources used in the building process. This makes prefab an attractive option for those who are looking to build a more sustainable prefab tiny cabin.

6. They can be used for a variety of purposes, from full-time living to vacation homes and guest houses.

Prefab tiny cabins are also versatile and can be used for a variety of purposes, from full-time living to vacation homes and guest houses. No matter what your needs, you’ll find that a prefab cabin can be the perfect solution.

Prefab Tiny Cabins: The Complete Guide | Esh's Utility Buildings (3)

Why is buying a prefab tiny cabin cheaper than building one?

Cost is always a consideration when building a new cabin, but small prefab cabins have been shown to be more affordable than taking the time to build one from scratch.

Reasons for this vary but often include economies of scale in the factory setting, as well as the fact that many prefab tiny cabin manufacturers use sustainable and recycled materials.

Flexibility of interior options

When buying mini prefab cabins, you’ll also find that there is more flexibility when it comes to the interior. For instance, small prefab cottages often come with floor-to-ceiling windows, which can help to brighten up the space and make it feel more open.

Other popular interior features include lofted ceilings, exposed beams, and rustic finishes. These features can add character to your prefab cabin and make it feel like a true home.

You can often choose from a wide range of floor plans and finishes that not only match your taste but also your budget.

Buy local

You also have the option to buy local when looking at prefab options for your new cabin. There are a number of small prefab cabin manufacturers located across the country that can ship their products to your build site.

Buying locally has a number of benefits, including supporting the domestic economy and often reducing the environmental impact of your purchase.

It’s also worth considering that a local company will likely have a better understanding of the building codes and regulations in your area, which can save you time and money during the permitting process.

If you live in the Kentucky area, we at Esh’s Utility Buildings would be happy to talk with you about your prefab tiny cabin options. Our team has years of experience in the shed industry and can help you find the perfect solution for your needs. Contact us today to learn more!

Options for finishing your own prefab tiny cabin (shed-style)

A plethora of prefab tiny cabin options exist on the market today. From floors to insulation, walls to windows, there is a range of choices for customizing your space.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular options for finishing your new shed.

Add flooring

One crucial consideration when finishing your prefab tiny cabin is what kind of flooring you would like. There are a few options available, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Some standard flooring options for prebuilt small cabins include:

  • Wood: Wood is a classic flooring option that can give your cabin a warm and inviting feel. It’s also relatively easy to install, making it a good choice for those who are looking for a DIY project. However, wood is also susceptible to water damage and needs to be refinished or replaced every few years.
  • Laminate: Laminate flooring is a more modern option that offers the look of wood without the maintenance. It’s also easier to install than wood, making it another good choice for those who are looking for a DIY project.
  • LVP – Luxury Vinyl Plank: LVP is a relatively new option that offers the look of wood or stone without the price tag. It’s also water-resistant, making it a good choice for those who live in humid climates.
  • Carpet: Carpet is another popular flooring option that can give your cabin a cozy feel. However, it’s important to note that carpet is not as easy to clean as other options and can be a breeding ground for dust mites and other allergens.

Add insulation

Another essential deliberation when finishing your prefab tiny cabin is how you will insulate the space. This is especially important if you plan on using your cabin year-round or in a climate that gets very cold in the winter.

There are a few different insulation options available, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Some common insulation options for prebuilt small cabins include:

  • Fiberglass batting: Fiberglass batting is one of the most popular insulation options and can be easily installed by yourself. However, it’s important to note that fiberglass can be itchy and dangerous if not handled properly.
  • Spray foam: Spray foam is another popular insulation option that can be easily installed by yourself. However, it’s important to note that spray foam can be messy and difficult to clean up if you’re not careful.
  • Rigid foam: Rigid foam is a more expensive insulation option, but it’s also more durable and effective. Rigid foam can be difficult to install by yourself, so you may need to hire a professional.

Add wall covering

Once you’ve decided on a flooring and insulation option, the next step is to choose a wall covering. This is where you can really get creative and make your cabin your own.

The walls of your cabin can be finished with a variety of materials, including:

  • Wood paneling: Wood paneling is a classic wall covering that can give your cabin a warm and inviting feel.
  • Shiplap – Shiplap is a more modern wall covering that has become very popular in recent years. It can be painted or left natural, depending on your preference.
  • Drywall – Drywall is a common wall covering that is relatively easy to install. However, it’s important to note that drywall can be susceptible to water damage.
  • Wainscoting – Wainscoting is a wall covering that is typically used on the lower half of a wall. It can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, PVC, and composite.
Prefab Tiny Cabins: The Complete Guide | Esh's Utility Buildings (4)

Examples of finished prefab tiny cabins (shed-style)

Now that you know how to finish your prefab tiny cabin, let’s take a look at a few examples of finished sheds.

Double-wide cabin (960sq ft)

This double-wide cabin from Esh’s Utility is a great example of how you can finish your prefab tiny cabin to make it your own. Our friend, Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn, purchased the double-wide cabin from our team and has fallen in love with it.

Check out her story and see the cabin for yourself on our YouTube channel here.


A barbershop may seem like an unlikely place for a prefab tiny cabin, but they really can be used for just about anything. Some of our customers have purchased prefab cabins to use as barbershops, and they’ve been a huge success!

Take our customer, Todd Frank, as a prime example. Todd was looking for an affordable place to operate his home barber business called Todd’s Barber Shop, and we provided him with a small prefab cabin for his barbershop shed in Bowling Green, KY.

Todd opted for a Ranch Shed with a durable white vinyl exterior and a gray shingle roof. Adding a dormer over the front door allowed for a more spacious ceiling area. Transom windows on each side of the barbershop shed help to give plenty of extra natural light. Read more about the many benefits of dormers in our blog here.

We think Todd did an amazing job with his backyard barbershop shed and we’re proud to have played a role. Check out the full video on our Facebook page here!

Seriously, what’s more manly than getting your haircut in a rustic, wooden cabin by some of the best barbers in the business?

Office space

If you work from home, then you know how important it is to have a dedicated office space. But if you don’t have the extra room in your house for an office, then a prefab cabin could be the perfect solution. Just add a desk, a chair, and voila – you’ve got yourself a cozy home office space!

We built this 14×28 office shed for our sales lot in Glasgow, KY. Since we sell sheds, why not put our office in a shed!? We finished the interior walls of the office shed with painted wood grain paneling and trim. The flooring is a durable vinyl plank product. 3 windows bring natural light into the office shed. We even included a front porch to welcome customers to our office in a shed!

Check out the full walkthrough of our prefab tiny office shed here!


So, there you have it, everything you need to know about prefab tiny cabins – from how to finish the interior walls to some examples of finished prefab sheds. We hope this has given you some inspiration for your own backyard project! If you like tiny homes, check out our article on the cost of livable sheds here! If you need ideas for your cabin or shed porch, check out this article providing Shed Porch Ideas and Inspiration. Additionally, we offer information and guidance concerning your tiny house shell questions.

If you’re ready to get started on your very own prefab cabin, then head over to our website or give us a call at (270) 477-2529. We’ll be happy to help you find the perfect custom-built cabin for your needs!

Prefab Tiny Cabins: The Complete Guide | Esh's Utility Buildings (2024)


How much does it cost to finish a tiny house shell? ›

Type of buildingFeaturesPrice Range
Tiny House ShellFully finished exterior of a tiny house; can be built on a trailer or set on a foundation$10,000-$55,000
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How to build a tiny house cheap? ›

Another way to keep costs low is to buy pre-fabricated kits or plans for tiny houses that come with all of the necessary components and instructions needed to complete the build. These kits usually cost less than buying all of the materials separately and they provide an easier building process as well.

How hard is it to build a tiny house? ›

Building a tiny home is a tough first building project. If you're not already an expert DIYer, it demands some serious commitment to learning from detailed and often complex resources, not to mention a higher tolerance for error.

Is it cheaper to buy or build a tiny house? ›

The average cost of a tiny house is a reasonable $30,000 – $60,000, although they can cost as little as $8,000 or up to $150,000 depending on the amenities you choose to include. It's typically cheaper to build a tiny house than to buy one prebuilt, but don't get too caught up in the savings.

How long do tiny homes last? ›

Generally, you can expect a tiny home to last 30-50 years. Location may also play a role, though.

Where is the cheapest place to put a tiny house? ›

Tiny houses are most affordable in North Dakota, Arkansas, Kansas, and Mississippi. It would cost more than the average salary to buy a tiny house in Hawaii or Montana.

Is building tiny homes profitable? ›

This means that a tiny home can be rented for between $800 and $1000+ per month. If you handle your tiny house rental property effectively, it will be worthwhile. Because tiny homes are inexpensive and easy to build and maintain, you can purchase or build more than one of them to increase your revenue.

How much does it cost to build a foundation for a tiny house? ›

The cost to build a tiny house on a foundation is $33,000 to $78,000+, not including the land. Building a foundation costs $3,000 to $8,000 on average, depending on the type. A concrete slab foundation is the cheapest, with pier footings and crawlspace foundations priced at the higher end of the range.

Is it hard to get approved for a tiny home? ›

Unfortunately, zoning codes in California often impose restrictions that make it difficult to get approval for tiny houses. While the regulations vary, some common hurdles tiny house developers encounter include: minimum size requirements for single-family residences.

What is the best size building for a tiny house? ›

The average size of a tiny house is 400 square feet or less, while a tiny home on trailers is 8.5 x 40 by 13.5 feet or 320 square feet overall. You could expand as large as 1,000 square feet assuming you wanted to. However, this size is more common for smaller houses. It all varies depending on what you need.

How do you power a tiny house? ›

For a tiny house on wheels, the most common ways to bring electricity in are through an RV plug, or a twist-lock 120 volt input. These both basically look like outlets on the outside of the tiny house. With them, you'll plug in the whole house.

How long does it usually take to build a tiny house? ›

How long does it take to build a tiny house? The industry average to build a tiny home is about three months for professionals, according to Haery. DIYers can take a year or more.

Can you buy the shell of a tiny home? ›

You can order a shell from any one of our four tiny house models, or a ground up custom! Finished on the outside, you just finish the inside. Mustard Seed Tiny Homes can also customize your tiny house shell to your needs.

What is the most expensive part of a tiny house? ›

Inside your tiny house, the kitchen and bathroom are often the costliest areas, just like in a traditional house, Dobrowolski says. You can opt for smaller versions of appliances and fixtures, but the plumbing and electrical work will cost roughly the same as in a traditional house.

How much does it cost to build a 24x24 cabin? ›

Log cabins cost between $125 and $175 per square foot. Some factors that influence the cost include whether you build on flat land, if the land needs to be cleared, and the cabin's square footage. Log cabins have a similar price per square foot as the cost to build a house, which is about $100 and $200 per square foot.

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