Owning a log cabin is the dream of thousands of Americans today. Those of you who already live in one know what the dreamers are thinking about. Do not rush into a cabin’s construction without giving some thought to a few basic considerations.

Spend adequate time looking at the many styles of floor, interior, and exterior plans, so you create the ideal cabin for you. Consider building from scratch rather than using log cabin kits. Constructing with log siding simplifies the entire process at a much lower cost. Exterior maintenance will be a minor exercise compared to full logs. 

Building a Log Cabin: The Styles Are Endless

There are many log cabin styles you can select, from simple to unique designs. They can be built with full round or square logs or with log siding. Building with wood log siding provides more flexibility for the inside walls with these options:

  • Log siding is one option
  • They can be pine or cedar paneling
  • Walls can be drywall
  • They can be made in a wainscoting style

This flexibility allows more choices for styling and décor than full logs. Paneling or drywall can be replaced with other materials if desired, but you can’t do that with full logs.

When it comes to the exterior of a cabin, you can create a square, rectangular, A-frame, or unique floor plan. It can consist of one, one and one-half, or two floors. Front, rear, and wrap-around porches or verandas can be added. The styles are endless and left to your imagination. Before you begin planning, you should consider the following four ideas.

Log Cabin Kits Are Not the Best Answer

Log cabin kits sound simple and convenient, but they carry some challenges you should be aware of. For one, the pieces are pre-designed to fit together, which leaves little to no wiggle room for alterations. Here are a few other issues with log cabin kits:

  • Some only come with walls and timbers
  • Others come with walls, timbers, and interior walls
  • If a part is missing, you may have to manufacture it or
  • Reorder it, which slows down construction
  • The materials may be overpriced
  • You usually pay hefty shipping costs

Cabin owners must also pay for the excavation, foundation, plumbing, electrical work, heating, and air conditioning. You must locate and pay a contractor to get the job done just like building from scratch. After all is said and done, you may not save any money.

“There are many log cabin styles you can select from simple to unique designs. Building with wood log siding provides more flexibility for the inside walls.”

Build with Wood Log Siding to Save Money and Time

Want to get your cabin built faster and save a bundle in the process? Build with real wood log siding instead of full logs. Here’s how you will save on the finances:

  • Since log siding is secured to conventional framing, you pay for siding and not full logs
  • Labor, delivery charges, and misc. fees will cost less
  • Maintenance costs will be less over time
  • The log siding is a virtually ‘no waste’ product
  • Skilled homeowners can install it
  • Pine log siding is available in a pre-finished condition

Log siding cabins simulate full log cabins very well, and there is no reason why you should not enjoy yours.

Choose an Insurance Agent Familiar with Log Cabins

Adequate homeowners insurance is necessary whether you build a log siding, full log, or timber frame cabin. A well-trained agent will understand the type and amount of insurance you need for full-time or part-time occupancy. Most larger companies carry this type of coverage. Try to bundle the coverage with your current company if this is a second house.

Log siding cabins cost less than full log cabins to insure in general. This is a benefit worth considering when building or buying a log cabin. If you install a wood-burning stove or fireplace, make sure it is safety compliant.

Building a Log Cabin: They Will Need Some Maintenance

An advantage that log siding cabins offer over full log cabins is less long-term maintenance costs. All log structures need care, and here’s what you can run into with full logs:

  • Full logs eventually expand and contract that breaks some caulking and chinking loose
  • Joints can settle and even pull apart somewhat, which will need attention
  • You may need to stain and reseal full logs more often than siding
  • Full logs are costlier to repair and require more repair time

These cons of full-log maintenance are reduced with pine or cedar log siding. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for sealing and staining your cabin, and you will be pleased with the results. Take the time to think through these five considerations, and love that cabin!

References and Resources: