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The High Sierra Cabin is an award winning design that has been featured in Sunset magazine (August, 2006) and Tahoe Quarterly magazine (2005 special mountain home issue). The original design overlooks a rugged wilderness high in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. This off grid cabin is isolated and snowed in much of the year. It is used almost every weekend, has self sufficient power and heating and is protected from deep snows and vandalism. The design is patterned after the humble mountain utility buildings common in the region. The owners required a rugged fireproof high security cabin contrasted with a very bright modern interior. The structure is made from structural insulated panels which were prefabricated then shipped to the job site ready to assemble. This process considerably shortened the on site construction time in this remote location. When a building project is many miles, (and out of cell phone range) from the nearest supplies it is convenient to have hundreds parts to handle (prefabricated S.I.P.) instead of tens of thousands (regular wood frame construction). Outside the S.I.P. walls are clad with zinc aluminum corrugated metal and the S.I.P. roof is topped off with standing steam metal roofing for textural variety. The surrounding porch, which nearly doubles the usable floor area, is constructed of native douglas fir and ironwood decking. The detailing is intentionally simple and unembellished. The windows and gliding glass doors are secured with sliding shutters secured from the interior. One hidden keyed lock permits access. Inside, the furnishings and detailing is Swedish Modern with laminate flooring, cable railings, and simple douglas fir trim. Clearstory windows and vent skylights give an extraordinary interior brightness to enhance the winter light and accentuate the art filled colorful interior. Electric power is provided by solar photovoltaic panels on the roof with battery storage. Propane is used for cooking, backup for passive solar water preheating and for the backup electrical generator. The S.I.P. weather skin is an excellent foil for the deep snows, heavy winds, and insulates so well that a small Scandinavian wood stove easily and quickly heats the interior. This tough yet elegant cabin requires very little maintenance and provides maximum comfort, security and fireproofing in an extreme climate. This cabin can be adapted to any aesthetic taste or neighborhood by finishing the outside with any kind of roofing from shingle to tile and the exterior walls with stucco, wood, cement fiber, lap siding, shingles or stucco. By using colored metal roofing and siding the design can take on the hues of sky, forest, desert or even camo if one desires.
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Floor Plan - Main Floor
Floor Plan - Upper Floor
Full Specs & Features
Main Floor : 740 sq/ft
Porch : 512 sq/ft
* Total Square Footage typically only includes conditioned space and does not include garages, porches, bonus rooms, or decks.
Ceiling Details : Upstairs Loft: Ceiling vaults to 12'Main Level: Ceiling vaults to 20'
Main Ceiling : 8'
Primary Pitch : 7:12
Roof Framing : SIP
Roof Load : 120
Secondary Pitch : 4:12
Exterior Wall Framing
Exterior Wall Finish : Metal
Framing : SIP
Insulation : 24
Seismic Rating : d
Main Floor Master Bedroom
Walk In Pantry Cabinet Pantry
Additional Room Features
Great Room Living Room
Suited For Corner Lot
Suited For Sloping Lot
Covered Front Porch
Covered Rear Porch
Grill Deck Sundeck
Structural Information Provided
Structural 1st Floor Framing
Structural 2nd Floor Framing
Structural Roof Framing
Energy Efficient Features
Passive Solar Systems
What's included in this plan set
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*See important information before purchasing
Each set of construction documents contains:
Title Sheet — Title, index, engineering data, project data
Foundation (& Floor Framing) Plan — With dimensions, details and schedules.
Floor Plan — with structural callouts, window and door sizes, etc.
Exterior Elevations — Showing all sides, calling out materials, heights, etc.
Cross Sections — Fully noted cross sections to illustrate building assemblies and key details.
Roof Framing Plan — Roof structural sizing, layout and structural detailing
Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing Plan & Schedules
Specifications — Qualifications of major construction items.
For use by design professionals to make substantial changes to your house plan and inexpensive local printing.
PDF plan sets are best for fast electronic delivery and inexpensive local printing.
One electronic set for bidding purposes only. Not a legal building set for construction.
Ideal for semi-sloped or level lot, home can be built off of grade, typically 18” - 48”.
Ideal for lot conditions where the home needs to be off the ground. A pier foundation consists of wood posts or concrete piers connected by beams to support the home. Some lots may require drilling deep into bedrock to support the posts.
*Options with a fee may take time to prepare. Please call to confirm.
Additional Construction Sets
Additional hard copies of the plan (can be ordered at the time of purchase and within 90 days of the purchase date).
Audio Video Design
Receive an overlay sheet with suggested placement of audio and video components.
Educate yourself about basic building ideas with these four detailed diagrams that discuss electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and structural topics.
Receive an overlay sheet with suggested placement of lighting fixtures.
Mirror Reversed Sets
A mirror-reversed set is a printed copy of your house, resulting in the same image you would see if you held the drawing up to a mirror. Everything, including the text, is backward in relation to the original design. These kinds of drawing are typically used to reorient an original plan more advantageously on a site, either because the homeowner prefers it that way or because of limitations of the site itself. Note: Mirror reverse sets are only available with a 5 copy or 8 copy set. With a Reproducible, PDF, or CAD set, you can print mirrored copies locally. In addition: 5 Copy set selected, should only allow 4 mirrored sets to be selected. 8 Copy set selected, should only allow 7 mirrored sets to be selected.
Unless you buy an “unlimited” plan set or a multi-use license you may only build one home from a set of plans. Please call to verify if you intend to build more than once. Plan licenses are non-transferable and cannot be resold.
We offer a 90% credit when you upgrade from a set, that is not for construction, to a 5-Copy set (or greater).
“Our goal is to design sustainable buildings that naturally heat and cool themselves and use a minimum of offsite energy.” A solar environmental architect with a degree from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, David has designed over 500 passive solar and alternative construction buildings. His work, which combines a deep understanding of regional traditions with expertise in solar technology, has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, Los Angeles Times Home, and Sunset magazine. He received the “Passive Solar Pioneer for 2007” award from the American Solar Energy Society. His most recent book is The Passive Solar Primer: Sustainable Architecture. David designed an innovative solar cabin that was built at Sunset’s headquarters to wide acclaim.