The Signal Shed

The Signal Shed


This off-the-grid cabin in Northeast Oregon, named the Signal Shed, was recently featured in Sunset Magazine, and the couple who spent two years planning and two weeks building the cabin are now offering the plans and prefab models for sale.

Mariah and Ryan Lingard fell in love with the woods and lakes of Joseph, Oregon and purchased some partially burned, partially logged land after seeing an ad in the local paper. The 100×150 foot parcel of land cost them $47,000 and is located smack dab in the middle of hiking, skiing and snowshoe territory. The couple has a full-time home in Portland, but they make the 6-hour trip to the Signal Shed about four times a year.

After two years of planning and extended weekend camping trips to their land, the couple built the 130 square foot cabin over a two week period with friends and family. The materials cost about $10,000 and the cabin features several recycled windows, IKEA cabinets and laminate flooring. They found the barn door hardware and the woodstove on Craigslist. The cabin rests on a floating pier to minimize impact on the land and cedar screens used to lock it up when Mariah and Ryan are not around. The Signal Shed has no running water, no electricity and the couple uses the woodstove for heat and some cooking.

Mariah grew up in an off-grid home in rural Oregon and is not bothered by the lack of running water or the portable toilet. The couple heat up water on the stove or in a solar water heater, and read at night by candlelight or oil lamp.

The structure was awarded a 2011 Residential Architect Magazine design award. As an architect, Ryan is now offering the Signal Shed plans for sale in limited quantities. It is being sold for $18,000 for a prefab modular structure and detailed plans are being sold for $1,000.

Photos courtesy of Sunset and Ryan Lingard


By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]


    • I agree, $1000 seems way too much for a house this size (even with its high details). I also think $10,000.00 seems a like a lot for such a small house. I think it would be cheaper to build some thing similar using similar plans that cost a lot less.

      I still think the design is way cool. Perhaps if they had solar panels and/or wind mill to bring electricity or use to filter rain water.

    • The price seems high given the simplicity–not like he worked out a detailed water gathering system or gives a plan for solar power.

      Also, while I like the look of it at first, now that I’m looking at it again, I’m seeing those ladder rungs as bound to hurt a normal person’s foot, and a bit awkward to climb down onto from the bed, being flush on the side wall rather than at right angles to the edge of the loft.

      I *do* like the spirit of a simple getaway cabin with wood burning stove, and I like that the windows and entry can be secured/covered. I don’t know how common break-ins to rural cabins actually are, but family friends with such places have had to deal with such–some have their places regularly pilfered. Even if it didn’t actually happen that often, the ability to easily secure the place vs. casual looting would give some peace of mind. THumbs up for that aspect of this.

  1. That’s about $136,000 an acre? Youch! And I agree, $1,000 for some plans seems like a lot for something that only cost $10,000 to build.

  2. I’m so over this link being posted around the Internet. For the reasons above. Anyone could build this without plans. If the guy wasn’t selling it that would be another story. It’s just too pretentious.

    • No problems for me. Perhaps you should try it on another computer. If I’m having problems with a website, I first try different browsers (that I use less often). Then I’d try clearing the cache and temporary files. Last attempt would be to try my other laptop (which is basically just a backup). Must be a problem on your end though; it’s been loading just fine for me.

    • Something is delaying this website from loading

      Now, something delaying the website when you try to leave a comment… Well, that’s been a problem for quite some time! And continues to be, apparently! It leaves the comment, but doesn’t refresh.

  3. I also find this site consistently slow to load compared to most others I visit. Same with the comments. I usually open another window and check to see if the comment is up, usually the first window is still thinking about it by the time I view it up on the second. Then I just close the first window and go from there.

  4. i have to agree with the above posts. $1000. is way to much. i can buy a couple of designs on this sight and than go buy a few small house books and probably wouldnt even spend $100.

  5. This is just ridiculously expensive. For $47k I can buy 10 acres of land with a well and electricity with a 2 hour drive of Austin, Texas. Given today’s broken economy, should we be focusing on truly affordable housing and not rich people’s playhouses?

  6. If built the way they’ve done it, I feel its a pretty gorgeous little cabin, and one that could be built easily enough. But I do agree, even without plans, this cabin would be straight forward enough to construct/figure out. That said, I’m a fan of this cabin and even featured it on my blog once- I just feel the architect would sell a heck of alot more plans overall if he dropped the price- esp. in this economy. Great photos too…and thanks for the update in pix, info, and backstory Kent! A good post.


  7. $1,000 per set of plans only means his opinion of himself is elevated. Guess he hopes to pay off the land, as well as upgrade to 1st class for return flights . . .