What is the most fire resistant and secure and cheap way to build a small one room cabin in the woods?

Asked by Greg Carson
Libby, MT

This is in Northwest Montana. We are older and out of work right now, any help would be "Great"!!! Thank You, Greg



The term easy to build is solely dependent on the ability of the builder. For a one room cabin typical stick built framing might be the easiest and most cost effective. 

An alternative to stick building, if there is ample access to the site is to purchase a Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) shell package.

  • This reduces time of construction significantly and increases energy efficiency of the home.
  • This system is panelized and can be erected within days versus weeks.

Class 1 fire rating

Typically SIP panels have a Class 1 rating for fire or a 1 hour fire rating before catastrophic failure.

  • Your fire rating comes primarily from the finish surface applied to the framing.
  • For the roof, look at durable materials which are resistant to fire such as clay, cement or metal roofing.
  • For the siding consider stone, brick or metal for the facade.
  • As for the interior use a fire rated gypsum panel which will also give you a 1 hour fire rating.


One additional factor which I briefly touched on is cost and budget.

  • If you properly plan in the design stages, you will save in the end.
  • Field engineering/design will always cost more by the time the process is complete.

If you would like additional information feel free to look up my email and website information in the Find a Pro Section.

Good Luck on your endeavors.


For more information:

Read "Are SIPS worth it?" a Q&A answered by Elizabeth DiSalvo.

Tagged In: sips

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