Log cabin

There are many options available for anyone looking to build a new home or vacation residence. While most people opt for a traditional framed structure, it should be noted that it is not the only option available. If you are a person with a desire to live in and with nature, perhaps it’s time to consider a more natural way to build. We’ve all heard the horror story of the pig who built a house out of sticks. With the right information, however, those folks with more rustic tendencies might find a log cabin is just what the doctor ordered.

Log Cabin or Log Home

Essentially the same thing, a log cabin is generally thought of as a small structure with few rooms that is not meant to be a primary residence. A log home, on the other hand, is larger and has all the amenities of a traditional house. The two terms are becoming more synonymous as the designs of log cabins become more like those of any other home.

Do It Yourself?

One of the most appealing things about a log cabin is its simplistic design. Though there are a large number of contractors out there who will happily design and build a log home to your own personal specifications, many people have taken this task in their own hands and with great deals of success.

The number of DIY log cabin kits available on the market may surprise you. There are also many instructional books and videos out there that explain the process from start to finish. Some even include how to install plumbing and the electrical system. Anyone interested in building a log cabin has the option of having as little or as much involvement in the construction process as they like.

Styles of Log Homes

Though there are many ways a log cabin can look, there are generally only a few methods of putting the logs together. Anyone who played with Lincoln logs as a kid is familiar with the first method. Notches are made at the ends of the logs so they fit into each other and overlap at the corners. The preferred “chinkless” method involves making a notch down the length of each log so it fits tightly atop the log below it to create a wall. There is also what is called a “cord wood” style log home which is characterized by laying short logs like bricks and filling in the gaps with mortar. The finished structure shows only the round ends of the logs and has a “polka-dot” effect. Each method has its good and bad points that need to be considered before you build.

Cost Effectiveness

It is said that a functional and attractive log cabin or home can easily be built without the need for a mortgage. Surely this is true in some cases, but depending on what the individual builder is looking for, and how much he or she needs the help of hired contractors, a log home can end up costing as much as any other house.

One thing is true, however, and that is that log structures have come a long way. Even the ill-fated house of that second little pig would have a fighting chance against the big bad wolf, if he would have had access to today’s modern tools and designs.

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