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Compact Cabins: Simple Living in 1000 Square Feet or Less Paperback – February 5, 2010
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About the Author
Gerald Rowan is the author of Compact Cabins. Retired from full-time teaching, he now teaches architectural history part-time at various schools in Pennsylvania, including Lehigh University and Haverford College. He has owned and renovated more than 60 small houses and cabins.
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So what's wrong? The designer clearly was a designer in the 70's. Almost every design features a bathroom off of the kitchen!? Who travels through a kitchen to take a shower, then back out thru living room back to the bedroom. It's the layouts that seem like the have no rhyme or reason why they put things where they do. Bathrooms should be near or connected on suites to bedrooms not past a kitchen. None of the designs even have a tv. So these are all mainly off grid designs even though only a few show solar (most just say optional solar). Few show propane or water tanks or other needed items of a good design like storage. Two story designs with main bedrooms upstairs need the full/three quarter baths need to be with them upstairs not half baths.
The whole book needs an upgrade for the 2000's with new appliances, tv's , solar, pocket/sliding doors, window options, etc
Also some actual building details would also be nice to see not just basic 2d sketches. The plans should/could even be offered for sale for full blueprints etc
So ya want some ideas and lots of pretty decent info on all sorts of things grab this up but the interiors need help bad
My favorite thing is the way the book is organized, the cabins are arranged in sq/ft. order as you look through the first half of the book, going from just over a hundred feet to almost 1,000 (but most are 600 sq/ft or fewer). Each design gets a floor plan and an elevation (exterior drawing), covering two pages per cabin.
The second half of the book gives excellent overview-level information about green building, energy efficiency, off-the-grid ideas, incorporating garages, RV-concepts, and even a few designs using shipping containers!
There is a great chapter on using modular designed 12' x 12' sections to create a mobile living space, whereby you can truck in your cabin, add to it as you can afford to, and even design your own cabin using 20 or so "modules" that the author pre-designed and included in the book (i.e. 4 bedroom modules, 4 kitchen modules, 4 bathroom modules, living rooms, dining areas, etc.). It's a really fun addition to the book.
This is not a book to go deep into any one subject, but it is an excellent overview for the new reader who wants a LOT of survey-level information on cabin concepts. And the 50 designs rank among my favorites for their creativity and individuality. How many round, half-round, quonset hut or yurt-style cabins have you seen in cabin books lately?
Like I said earlier, best design book I own. Buy this book, you will NOT be disappointed.