"Homes-for-the-Homeless ‐ built by the homeless"
A design for small, low-cost demountable homes with full facilities (cooking, washing, shower and toilet).


•   Original Concept
•   Basic Layout
•   Prelim. + Planning

Main Panels
•   Floor Panel
•   Side frames
•   Bed-side fit-out
•   Table-side fit-out
•   Roof details
•   Front Panel
    • L Bed-support
•   Back Panel

•   Water Closet/toilet
•   Divider Cupboard
•   Hot-Water tank
•   Electrical/safety

•   Erection sequence

•   Major variations
•   Materials
•   Ply-cuts
•   Super's guide



© Plateau Group


This H4H design is available to any volunteer groups for non-commercial use, but please make a formal request.

Sorry about this

At the last minute I accidentally wiped out the main file and got left with a whole series of old notes.

Don't bother to tell me this because I already know. It's a problem of age.

Workshop Basics

Requests for Volunteers

The intention is to build these cabins either as a series of one-offs ... or on a mass assembly basis ... in a very basic 'factory' environment. Any covered space with access to toilets and an electrical power point is the only real requirement.

We also rely on a totally unskilled volunteer workforce who will be employing on the most basic of tools and other equipment, under the guidance of a supervisor, who we assume would have some basic home-maintenance skills. No tradesmen are anticipated.

This form of basic manufacture is only possible if the timbers are largely pre-cut to size, highly standardised, and assembled into ply-covered frames with only the most basic of equipment: namely an electric drill for each fabricating volunteer, and a more general access to a small hammer and handsaw on occasions.

We propose that a ban should be placed on the use of electric circular saws, by anyone other than the supervisor.

Each panel will be light enough in weight so that two or three of the older volunteers can easily lift, carry, and turn it over. There are six main panels and they will all be assembled on the flat, roughly at waist height. So there is no ladder-climbing, stretching, or over-reaching, since the widest panel is only a bit over a metre from edge to centre.

Everyone can participate. If people are unsure of their physical abilities, there are always jobs in sanding, cleaning, painting, and coffee-making for those wary about using tools initially.

  • We need people to read and check -- and to mark up the timber according to the specifications.
  • We will need people to clean up during the workshop and afterwards.
  • We will need 'runners' to go down to the hardware store, and to buy lunches.
  • We need people to sort out gift packets of woodworking consumables, such as nails, jolts, screws, gutter-bolts and nuts ... and tools such as drill bits, screwdrivers, wire, etc. We anticipate that these should flow in once a project gets underway.
  • For construction, we need batten timbers (stripped from throw-out furniture), spare tools, and paint.
  • We will undoubtably need extra electrical power cables, doublers, and multipoints.
  • We will need to equip the cabins, with mirrors, plates, kettles, saucepans, cutlery, can openers, scissors, wire (and better) coat hangers, First-aid kits, old sewing kits, Tin boxes for needles, pins, cotton, etc. So someone needs to organise this.


General Fabrication Details

Some General Explanatory Material


Public Relations

Booklet Names of funders

Name and contacts of group

Allocate each cabin built a code number

Ask for junk

Ask people to turn up with jars of old nails and screws they no longer need

Ask people to turn up with lengths of 10-15mm timber that can be cut down to make battens (Make them 30mm wide) You need a lot of scrap timber in the 10mm to 40m sizes as battens behind the ply, so length is not important.

Electrical fittings


Plateau Group Convenor: Stewart Fist
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