Once the crop was in the ground and safely on its way to maturity, a house could be built. Because both materials and workers were limited (workers often consisting of members of a single family), houses were small initially. However, that made it easier to not only get the house completed before winter came, it also made it easier to heat. Everyone lived in one, large room—which meant everyone was near the hearth, plus body heat could contribute to heating the house.
Generally speaking, people would live in the cabin for five to ten years, and then would build a nicer house, once the farm was established.