Secure Cabin Design – Folding Roof Door – Can Opener

Folding cabin roof model

Cabin shown on steep hill

Here’s my version of a simple yet secure cabin. The idea came from Casey Brown an architect in Australia. His is all metal but a more doable version in my eyes would be made of wood.

To make it more secure for the off season or when ever you aren’t there there aren’t any window except on the front face where the swing down door covers.

French doors would be nice since they’re mostly windows and when they are open the deck would be an extension of the living space. This 3d drawing is 10×12 and the person in the drawing (he comes with SketchUp) is 6′ tall.

The swing down door would be sheathed in correlated metal and operated by a ratcheting boat winch reached through a padlocked window in the back of the structure. A couple of pulleys would be needed and the lifting beam should be a 4×6″ or so. I’m not sure how the structure of the door should be made but some welded 2×2″ steel frame work would be best to keep it strong and light. The drawing shows the cable split to support both edges because that’s what Casey did but this door would be much lighter than his so if the structure is stiff enough one 5/16″ cable could take the weight.

One important safety item that may be considered is some kind of brace when the “door” is in the up position. I think a few people commented on this. Possibly some swing down braces from the sides could lock in position. So you and yours don’t get decapitated if the cable fails!

secure cabin idea - open


Casey Brown - Ultra Secure Cabin Design

Casey Brown – Ultra Secure Cabin Design

Casey Brown - Ultra Secure Cabin Design doors closed

Casey Brown – Ultra Secure Cabin Design doors closed

Here is Casey Brown’s amazing structure called “Permanent Camping”. It’s made of steel beams with copper cladding and has a rain water collection system off the roof. Transported to the remote hillside in Australia from it’s building spot in Sydney. The folding roofs provide protection from high fire danger in the bush.

You may also like...

3 Responses

  1. Yep, I think strategic placement of steel bars would be key to making this strong and light.

  2. Thanks Derek, that cabled wall really made me think of your book. I’ll let you know if I ever build that shack where the wall turns into a roof. Other people thought I was crazy when I showed it to them. Obviously no vision 🙂 Can’t wait to see more of your stuff too.

  3. relaxshax says:

    Saw the bottom photo’d one in Dwell? Was blown away! Looks costly- but a great idea….I have a few fold-ups/ideas/designs in my own book too- but haven’t built one as of yet (I will soonish, though).
    With the above, lifting porch-roof design, the only difficulties I would see, is getting the initial forces, to drag the roof out of its straight-downward position (given the way the cantilivered beam and cables are positioned). But I’m sure the problem could be overcome pretty easily with a constructed addition of a support bar that holds the cables (close to where they join) away from the roof- making the lifting easier….
    Hey, great site btw

    -Derek “Deek” Diedricksen
    Author of “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks….
    Host of “Tiny Yellow House TV” on