Marc’s California Custom Cabins

Marc Hyman from Santa Barbara, California contacted me a while back about his new business called Custom Cabins. It is so neat to see more and more builders considering small spaces. Marc shared his ideas with me, so I will let him tell you more about Custom Cabins.

After researching the market for the past 3 years, I have come up with a common sense approach to building small, tight, eco cabins.

In a nut shell, I do what most weekend / amateur / average eco dreamers can’t do for themselves. I deliver a properly framed and built shell of a cabin with a sturdy base, watertight walls and roof, and square walls. I avoid doing interiors in order to deliver a very affordable product. The average guy / gal can go to HomeDepot and buy flooring, shelves, wall coverings in order to complete the cabin themselves or with the help of a good handyman (handyperson).

This allows me to deliver an affordable, highly flexible / adaptable space.

It also allows me to finish very quickly – 3 to 5 days and move on to the next eco-warrior’s project.

Most green homes and green builders offer too many expensive features. The key to going green, lowering your carbon footprint, reclaiming your life is getting rid of all of the unnecessary trimmings.

My eco-shells appear to be a good start on the road to a slimmed down lifestyle.

My goal is to set up offices throughout California, the West and Southwest to market and build these eco cabins.

Tumbleweeds are nice but way too expensive.

I believe I have a viable alternative.

I am starting in my area. I can deliver a 10 x 12 shell for about $7500. The outer walls are plywood covered with Tyvek and then siding , either FSC T&G or cementicious siding.

You can contact:

Marc S. Hyman
California Custom Cabins

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Parrot whisperer - September 24, 2010 Reply

Prices, though? It’s great to hear from someone why appreciates the importance of keeping the price down, but it doesn’t tell you much until you see the price for yourself. I searched the blog for a dollar symbol. (site: $) Nothing.

I appreciate that the *custom* part prohibits a catalog, but a portfolio of previous work is always a good idea.

    Kent Griswold - September 24, 2010 Reply

    Good point, I’ll see if he will give me some idea of costs and I’ll update the post.

Irene - September 24, 2010 Reply

I see an approx. price of $7500 right in the article; there is contact info to discuss pricing on his Web site. I think the work appears to be very nice on the surface but those considering should contact him for more detail.

Bob H. - September 24, 2010 Reply

Would make a great weekend retreat or camp. Nice concept. I like the shed roof and french door. Price seem high, but it is California.

Debra Jordan - September 24, 2010 Reply

Way to go! I love what you say here: “Most green homes and green builders offer too many expensive features. The key to going green, lowering your carbon footprint, reclaiming your life is getting rid of all of the unnecessary trimmings”. I totally agree. Anyone who has had the opportunity to travel abroad can see the simplicity in many smaller homes. Everything we do here, from building homes to cars to alarm clocks, is so complicated, so many options! Not necessary to be happy.

Andy - September 24, 2010 Reply

The best price I have found for a shed/barn / small retreat/ house is Barn Raisers in New York. In fact I talked to a custom builder who said HE even bought two sheds from Barn Raisers. At any rate , I still push for those builders who not only offer small homes, etc, but also do good work on a budget. I like these homes and several others. I still have a problem but 50,000 for a small home when you can do it for 15,000. I do understand people wants choices….but many like the Tiny Home idea because they have limited budgets. Peter King is probably the cheapest I have found but with good quality. Thanks for all the ideas. Andy

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Agent K - September 24, 2010 Reply

Does anybody else have experience with or worry about wind resistance on the road without a symmetrical design?…Please share

Kay in KCMO - September 24, 2010 Reply

This is a terrific idea – let the homeowner do the finish work. S/he will be able to pare down expenses in a way that a builder can’t.

Arlos - September 26, 2010 Reply

Marc, how do you get around California contract law?

di - November 10, 2010 Reply

I like the different shapes and sizes along with varied windows.

custom homes Austin - November 13, 2011 Reply

Customizing an eco-friendly cabin sure is wonderful especially these days when many people are joining the bandwagon to go green. It’s true though that it need not be expensive nor complicated. Custom cabins or homes can definitely be simple, functional and worth living in.

Linton - May 30, 2014 Reply

Hi, our off-grid Amish shop in Kentucky can currently build modular cabins built to residential codes for under $70 per sf finished and under $40 per sf unfinished insulated shell, plus delivery charge. Depending on size, cabins can currently be built/delivered in as soon as 4 weeks after order. 5 cabin models offered in various sizes each. We can place them on crawlspace, basement, piers, or slab foundation. Please see for all pricing, pic’s, video’s, options, delivery info and more. Solar power options also.

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