Basements can be improved with a little imagination to create a more exciting and usable space. You can even convert your basement into a log cabin by adding real wood log siding to the walls. You do not have to stop at that. Add pine paneling to the ceiling and pine flooring and you have an authentic log cabin look.

Start by taking accurate measurements of the walls, ceilings, and floors. Order the materials including trims, furring strips if needed, nails, and finishing materials. Prep the walls for installation of trims and siding. Get the ceilings and floors ready for the wood products, and put it all together when the materials arrive.

Chose Your Siding Profile for a Basement Log Cabin 

What will you use your ‘new’ basement for? Will it be for recreation, exercise, living quarters, or a man cave? Whatever you choose, basements look great with any of the four most popular wood log siding profiles, including:

  • Quarter log – This most economical siding is available in 2×6 and 2×8 sizes
  • Half Log – The most popular size milled to 3×6 and 3×8 sizes
  • Premier-D log – 3×8 and 3×10 sizes give an authentic log home look
  • Hand-hewn – The surface is milled to look like it was hand-hewn with an axe 

All these profiles are available in an unfinished surface and a pre-finished surface. Each piece is tongue and groove with an end-matching design for fast and easy installation. Real wood siding is more realistic than any synthetic log siding.

Prepare the Walls for Your Basement Log Cabin 

While the log siding is on order, you can begin the pre-wall preparation. Most basements are in some stage of completion but need a little basic work for siding installation, such as:

  • Concrete walls – Add furring strips to the walls to hold the log siding
  • Drywall – Place the siding over the drywall and nail it into the studs
  • Unfinished studs only – Nail the siding to the studs

The beauty of tongue and groove siding with the end-matching design is they can be end-butted together anywhere between the studs. There is no need to cut and splice pieces to fit the center of the wall studs with face nailing.

You can even convert your basement into a log cabin by adding real wood log siding to the walls. Add pine paneling to the ceiling and pine flooring and you have an authentic log cabin look.

Install the Log Trim and Siding

Once the log siding and trims arrive, place them in the basement for a few days to acclimate to the current humidity and temperature levels. Installation is quite simple with these steps:

  • Secure the log trims around the doors and windows first with a nail gun and the correct size nails.
  • Start nailing up the bottom row and cut the end piece where necessary.
  • Use the cut piece to begin the second row and repeat the process.
  • Cut out holes for all electrical outlets and switches.
  • Leave space at the tops of the walls if you are adding a new ceiling and trim.

Once finished, stain the wood and add a top clear coat when the stain is dry. You may also skip the stain and finish with a clear coat only. Check out this installation video before you start.

Install Pine Flooring and Ceiling Paneling

Why stop your basement log cabin built with walls only? Why not add pine flooring and knotty pine ceilings? Before you start any of the three areas, make a plan for coordinating all of them so trims and baseboards are not a problem.

Knotty pine flooring and paneling are also available from The WoodWorkers Shoppe. They come in several widths to coordinate with the log siding wall profiles. Adding wood floors and ceilings gives a rustic and homey atmosphere to anyone’s basement. Tackle all three projects if you have the skills and time to install them. If not, there should be several contractors in your area that will do a quality job.

Stain and Finish the Siding, Flooring, and Ceilings

After installing everything, it is time to stain and add a top clear coat or just finish with a clear coat. You have three options: do the jobs yourself, hire a painter or order pre-finished wood products. Do not walk on the flooring or move furniture in until it is completely dry.

Your new basement log cabin should look fabulous, and it will be a pleasure to use it and show it to friends, family, and colleagues.

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