There’s a new trend in architecture, and honestly, we completely approve of it – it’s DIY! Imagine building up and creating your own home or holiday cabin! How awesome would it be to lounge about and live in the fruit of your own efforts? And don’t worry these architectural designs don’t require too much of an effort either! These simple DIY structures are often flat-packed or come with a complete kit that helps you with the entire step-by-step process. This collection of DIY architecture proves not only how simple and economical this technique is, but also how much construction waste and unnecessary materials it cuts down on! From a DIY tiny home on wheels that is inspired by desert architecture to a DIY A-frame garage – I hope these innovative structures inspire you to take on your own DIY architectural project!
Lola is a tiny home on wheels that’s part of designer Mariah Hoffman’s larger multi-disciplinary design studio and brand Micro Modula, one that explores “home, place, and the self.” Over the span of five years, Hoffman gradually transformed an old utility trailer into a 156-square-foot mobile tiny home. Born out of a daydream to build her own home, Hoffman built Lola to “learn all the necessary skills for [her] personal and creative survival.” Particularly spurred by the essentialist edge of desert modernism, Hoffman turned to construction materials that aesthetically met the bill and also provided some functional elements for the home to brace the seasons as well as the local critters.
2. AirCrete Home
In the quest to find the perfect substitute many alternatives like foamcrete, papercrete, and hempcrete were created. Now we’ve got aircrete – a foamy mixture of air bubbles and cement which is cost-effective to produce, DIY-friendly, and has the essential safeguarding properties needed for construction. Hajjar Gibran had the idea to create AirCrete homes and DomeGaia brought it to life. The aircrete mixture is a lightweight and low-cost building block that is fireproof, water-resistant, insect-proof, and serves to insulate the structure. AirCrete reduces construction costs by 10 times and is an easy material to work with for single-story homes.
3. The Den Garage
The Den Garage is a DIY garage floor plan from Den Outdoors that allows owners to build their own garage while following Den Outdoors’s blueprints. Presented in three different packages, Den Outdoors has available floor plans for two-car and three-car garages. The two-car garage spans 650 square feet while the three-car garage stretches a little further, covering a total of 950 square feet. Similar to the company’s collection of cabin designs, the garages maintain that same classic A-frame structure that exudes rustic energy without compromising the structure’s geometric, contemporary appeal. Adding to the garage’s modern look, Den Outdoors outfitted each garage floor plan with weather-resistant, floor-to-ceiling windows for owners to show off their cars without fear of the elements getting to them.
4. The Zome Building Kit
You don’t have to be an architect to want to build a bamboo structure of your own thank to the ‘Zome building kit’ by Giant Grass! The studio has made a DIY kit that is basically a larger-than-life LEGO project which can live in your backyard or be scaled up to create a community space. The ‘zome’ is a flexible space that can be used by children to hang out in the backyard, like a gazebo for you to entertain guests in, a greenhouse for seedlings, a creative space in the office, a quiet space for yoga at home, or a glamping tent – it can be anything you want it to be. This DIY kit is perfect for those who want to live sustainability and enjoy working on projects which result in a productive reward. The kit comes with all accessories needed – 350 precision-made bamboo strips, nuts, bolts, and an installation guide to make the 3m x 3m ‘zome’.
5. System 00
Backcountry Hut Company released a collection of DIY A-frame cabin kits that allows buyers to build their own cabins without construction permits and little to no heavy machinery. Each cabin ‘system,’ comes prefabricated in a flat-pack layout that can be assembled either by amateur or professional builders depending on the model. System 00 is described as Backcountry’s “essentialist A-frame shelter.” Stocked with only the essentials, System 00 measures 10’x10’ and was designed to welcome living spaces such as a single bedroom with room for one sleeping bunk, a meditation studio for yoga, or an open space for working on art.
Dubbed as EconOdome, each structure’s frame and triangle panel kits come pre-cut and partially assembled with detailed instructions – so better than IKEA and you get a whole home instead of just a couch! EconOdome homes are built similarly to conventional homes involving a foundation and the main floor. Once that is in place, the vertical walls and roof is added in. There are 130 triangular roofing elements that connect to form the dome which has 10 equal sides. To minimize waste, parts in the DIY kit are cut to fit precisely with no additional work required on that end. The wood also comes with pre-drilled holes for stainless steel screws and caps to make assembling it super easy.
7. Nathalie and Greg Kupfer’s Micro-cabin
Nathalie and Greg Kupfer’s micro-cabin is built from repurposed waste findings and secondhand furnishings, outfitted with rainwater collection sites and solar systems for off-grid living. Retired industrial designer and former paramedic, Nathalie and Greg Kupfer began work on their off-grid micro-cabin in Canmore, Alberta after receiving a plot of ranch land and a decrepit shed from two neighbors. Following the cabin’s fortuitous beginnings, the Kupfer’s conceived a layout for their snug, solar-powered, 97-square-foot micro cabin built from recycled and repurposed outfittings, amounting to a total net cost of only $50.
8. The Kabinka Cabin
A Hungarian company called Hello Wood has designed a tiny minimalist cabin that you can assemble yourself for creative space solutions or just an escape from your living room. The prefabricated cabins start at $10,200 and have been crafted in a way that anyone can put together, it is truly the ultimate DIY project. With the tiny home market ‘growing’ rapidly, the Kabinka cabin is positioned to be like IKEA furniture – easy to assemble with an aesthetic that is loved by most. The Kabinka cabin comes in four sizes that range between 129 and 215 square feet.
Setting up camp has never looked so good and it setting up a minimal glamping cabin just got a whole lot easier thanks to Den! The cabin design studio has a range of flat-packed DIY-style kits that let you assemble your own A-frame cabin in a few days. The average size is 115-square-foot (10.68-square-meter) with models that are larger and smaller depending on what you are looking for. Once assembled, you can see the slanted wooden walls and a floor-to-ceiling triangular window just like how we drew a picture of a cabin as children. The space is minimal and can be transformed into a cozy getaway, a yoga studio, or a creative retreat! The prefab pieces for the cabin are made in New York and come with pre-drilled holes, all wooden structural parts that lock together, bolts, and even door hardware.
10. Yakafu’s flagship DIY bakery
Kostas Chatzigiannis Architecture completed a Yakafu’s flagship DIY bakery in Anji, China. The brightly colored structure is bold and instantly attracts attention! Adults and children can learn how to bake pastries and bread in the double-storey building which is highlighed by terrazo surfaces and metallic detailing. DIY has never been so graphic and intriguing!