If you’re looking to buy a shepherd’s hut or are just the curious type, you might be wondering how much a shepherd’s hut weighs.
How heavy a shepherd’s hut is does matter as you may need to transport it on roads or position it on a certain bit of land. It goes without saying that all this needs to be done safely.
Huts can be heavy, so let’s dive straight in to answer your question.
How much does a shepherd’s hut weigh?
Generally, a standard shepherd’s hut without an en-suite bathroom will measure 12-14ft x 6ft.
A shepherd’s hut of standard size will will usually weigh between 1.5 tonnes and 2 tonnes (1500kg and 2000kg).
However, as the popularity and functionality of these huts has grown, so has the size of them.
Permanent built-in bedrooms, fully-functioning kitchens with Belfast sink and fridge, plus a shepherd’s hut bathroom area with power shower and toilet are all now a part of the more luxury huts.
A big shepherd’s huts with plenty of extra features can weigh anything from 3,000kg up to 5,000kg.
These general figures given here can vary quite substantially depending on the length and width of a shepherd’s hut, the construction materials used during the build and the furnishings it has been kitted out with inside. For a more accurate estimation of how heavy a shepherd’s hut will be, let’s take a look at where all the weight comes from.
Why is a shepherd’s hut so heavy?
We know a basic, standard length, unfurnished shepherd’s hut will weigh around 2 tonnes. So where does all the weight come from?
Let’s have a look at the key components of a shepherd’s hut to decipher where all that heavy weight is coming from.
A large percentage of the weight is coming from the chassis and base of the hut. This needs to be as strong as possible to support the hut for hopefully many a good decade.
Depending on whether your shepherd’s hut chassis is made from steel or solid wood will alter the weight of the shepherd’s hut. Although heavy duty steel weighs more than solid wood pound for pound, steel can be manufactured into efficient, extremely strong shapes, whereas the same shape of solid wood wouldn’t be as strong.
On the heavy side, a solid oak floor can add at least 100kg of weight to your hut. And that’s based on a basic sized hut.
You may also have issues with stability and movement with solid oak as it’s a natural product.
Oak engineered floors, laminate flooring, one using reclaimed wood or something similar will be lighter in weight.
Cast iron wheels
Although most huts come with cast iron wheels, it doesn’t make them a light option.
A 24” cast iron wheel can weigh anywhere from 40kg upwards. This means all four wheels on their own will be around 160kg. And that’s without stub axels and hub caps and any other bits, which can add around 10kg per wheel.
If you fancy a bigger wheel, the weight quickly goes up. A 32” cast iron wheel will weigh at least 60kg – so four of these be 240kg at a minimum.
Hut frame and external walls
The framework for huts is generally made out of lumber studwork with plywood panels lining the outer wall.
This makes for a nice, solid body. The external shell is then, in the traditional way, clad with corrugated iron sheets that are given a galvanised protective coating. A corrugated iron sheet at 0.5mm thickness, weighs roughly 5kg/m2, so is fairly lightweight.
Some newer style huts will use timber tongue and groove on the outside.
Wood burning stove
Any hut worth its salt will have wood burning stove. This is an essential for countrified living! As shepherd’s huts tend to be on the smaller side, so do the wood burners, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t on the weighty side. Did you know that you can also burn coffee logs on a multi-fuel burner?
A small, but extremely popular wood burner, The Hobbit built by Salamander Stoves, weighs about 50kg.
That doesn’t include the other bits such as the flue and non-combustible hearth that it sits on, which all add plenty more weight. Bigger stoves will weigh much more than this.
Have a read of my top 3 Defra-approved small wood burning stoves here.
You’ll find that the internal walls of most huts are clad with tongue and groove wood panelling with a classic, clean finish. This isn’t cheaper mdf stuff, so does add a bit of weight. Some huts are now doing a half and half finish, with wood panelling at the bottom and smooth boards on the upper half. If your hut is custom made, then the choice is yours.
All good huts will be fully insulated between the external and internal wall. Hut makers tend to use use a material such as Earthwool or more eco-friendly insulation, for example sheep’s wool which is very popular.
Doors and windows
Both doors and windows in a shepherd hut are generally made from hardwood – no PVC here!
Windows can still be double glazed which will add a bit of weight, but these items will be fairly standard in weight from maker to maker.
Additional heavy items in your shepherd’s hut
You will then have your other furnishing bits depending on what your hut will be used for. Additional items that will add weight to your hut include:
- Storage benches
- Kitchen units
- Shower unit
Can my car tow a shepherd’s hut?
Towing a shepherd’s hut shouldn’t be a problem if you have a suitable vehicle. For example, if you’re lucky enough to have Land Rover Discovery, you’ll have a maximum towing capacity of 3,500kg (3.5 tonnes).
Here are a few of the most popular SUV-type/4×4 cars and their towing capacity. There’s may vary slightly depending on engine size. For these examples, I’ve generally taken the lower range of towing capacity based on smaller engine sizes, so do double check your specific engine size and the make and model if you are looking at towing capacity.
- Nissan Qashqai (2017 and onwards) – 1,200kg
- Seat Ateca (2016 and onwards) – 1,500kg
- Audi Q3 (2011 onwards) – 1,800kg to 2,000kg
- BMW X5 (2007 onwards) – 1,900kg to 3,500kg
- Ford Kuga (2014 onwards) – 1,500kg
- Hyundai Tucson (2014 onwards) – 1,400kg
- Kia Sportage (2016 onwards) – 1,600kg
- Toyota Land Cruiser (2009 onwards) – 3,000kg
- Volkswagen Tiguan (2016 onwards) – 1,800kg to 2,500kg
- Volvo XC70 (2007 onwards) – 1,500kg to 2,100kg
So there you have it. A fairly standard shepherd’s hut will weigh around 2 tonnes – quite a heavy weight!
The bigger the hut becomes and more additional features you have it in, the heavier it will be. Heavy hut items, such as toilets, sinks, wood burner, fridges and oak furnishings will add a lot of weight to your hut which could see it tip the scales at way over 3 tonnes.
If you liked that, read more on shepherd’s huts…
Ben is the Creator and Editor of Tiny Eco Home Life. I write and publish information about more sustainable, environmentally friendly living in and around the home.
Alongside this website, I love spending time in the natural world, living a simple life and spending time with my young family (Murphy the dog!) I round up my thoughts and recent blogs on the Eco Life Newsletter.