How to Build A One-Room House

a tiny blue hours in the grass

A one-room house is a very convenient and easily constructed home for a single person or a couple. Similar to a studio apartment, it is a standalone structure, providing more privacy than an apartment and can be a simple addition to your property.

Step 1: Prepare Your Foundation

You will use a standard concrete slab foundation. Dig an area that is twice as deep as the intended slab in a roughly 25x25 area. Clear the ground of any large stones or other such obstructions. Lay a loose layer of gravel over the area and then cover it with a polyethylene membrane to keep out moisture. Build a wood frame around the perimeter of the area and place screed rails on opposite sides of the exterior of your frame to hold up your straightedge which will be placed across to level the cement after it is poured. After pouring and leveling the cement, remove the screed rails and the straightedge. Use trowels to smooth and even the concrete then leave it to cure for the required time.

Step 2: Build the Structure

Add cinder blocks to your cement floor by applying mortar and placing the cinder blocks on top. The rest of the cinder blocks can be dry stacked. You will continue laying rows of cinder blocks to create your walls. When you get to an area for a window or door, leave a space. You can later use half cinder blocks to plug up any gaps. Use a plumb line to ensure that the blocks are resting even. When you have completed the walls, fill the cavities of the cinder blocks around doors and windows with concrete. Repeat this process for cinder blocks every four to six feet as well for structural durability. For extra insulation, fill all the remaining cavities with sand, cement, or mortar.

The best roof for a one-room house is flat with a pitch of at least ten degrees. The pitch allows water drainage. Make the overhang one foot or more so that the runoff does not damage the structure.

Use the manufacturer’s instructions for installing doors and windows. This is to ensure coverage by the manufacturer’s warranty and also to guarantee a proper fit. After installing the windows and door, open and close them to check that they are well placed and in working order. Make sure that they close tightly and do not let in any drafts.

If you are doing the electrical work yourself, place the electrical boxes and wiring now. Place two outlets per wall, leaving five feet of space between them. Connect everything to the circuit box and test the connections to make the electricity is being conducted properly. If not, hire an electrician or contractor for this, as well as the next step: Plumbing.

The bathroom should be in one corner to maximize space and it should measure about 7x7. Put the water heater in an unused corner of the bathroom. Your kitchen and bathroom should be on the same wall.

Put the main water line under the kitchen sink. Run the main water line from the kitchen to the bathroom. Create a continuous line between the bathroom sink, the toilet, the shower, and the water heater. Run another pipe parallel to that one for hot water to route back through.

Step 3: Finishing Up the Interior of your One-Room House

You can finish the walls with plaster or drywall. Also, choose what kind of finish to give your floors, carpet, linoleum, and so forth. For your ceiling you can use beams or railroad ties for a rustic look or finish it with drywall. Now you will also want to install the kitchen and bathroom appliances as well the kitchen cabinets.