If you have a parcel of land you want to use for putting up a log cabin, you may have a hard time deciding whether to build or buy an already built one. Regardless of your decision, you need to familiarize yourself with some basics about log cabin types. Either way, making your log cabin from scratch can be an exhilarating and cost-effective experience.
The popularity of log cabins has grown immensely over the last couple of years. Log cabins, just like the name suggests, refer to homes that have been specially constructed using logs of timber, and they are sometimes known as timber homes.
Log cabins are exceptionally beautiful, and they can be designed and built to suit your family’s needs at very friendly prices.
When most people hear about log cabins, they imagine a log home in the mountains. Others imagine a tiny house in the woods, and others a very cozy lakeside cottage. The image you have helps in the determination of the style you want for your log cabin, as well as the construction options you have.
Table of Contents
- What are Log Cabins
- Types of Log Cabin and Construction Styles
- Other Classification Types of Log Cabin
- Types of Log Cabin According to Production Technology
- Types of Log Cabins Based on the Type of Wood Used for Construction
- Types of Log Homes Based On Their Structural Features
- Types of Log House Based On Their Functionality
- Are Log Cabins a Worthy Investment?
What are Log Cabins
A log cabin is a small house with a raw, less finished, or architecturally complex structure. These structures were first built in Europe and America as first-generation home buildings for and by settlers.
When most people are thinking about constructing conventional homes, the type of construction they want isn’t usually the first thing they think of. People often worry about efficiency and finishing materials, but other vital considerations must be analyzed. To better understand and choose the perfect type of log cabin, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the various types of construction styles and type to decide whether you want a stick-built, log, modular, or timber-frame home.
Log cabins have existed for hundreds of years, with the first cabins originating from the Scandinavian countries. The settlers in these countries were the first to introduce log cabins’ style and look to the United States. Traditionally, log cabins were built using round logs and not the hewn variety in the market today.
This was because hewing the logs or making them square is time and energy-consuming, and log cabins were mostly built quickly to provide shelter in the frontier for settlers. The professional log house builders from traditional days used the best logs harvested from older trees that have smoother straight lines and the most minimum limbs. This is because these logs fitted well together, and they didn’t require any hewing, just a careful notching and dovetailing to reduce the gaps between the logs. This also reduces the amount of time used insulating or chinking the logs with rocks, sticks, or mud.
As time passed and there were technological advancements globally, even construction types of log cabins changed. Square log cabins or hewn log cabins were constructed after a primary residence is already in place and efficient in superior insulation.
These log cabins became necessary with time, mainly when the round logs had been used up already by the initial settlers. Some of the most common types of square log cabins are such as D-style log cabins. These log cabins are secured using logs that extend beyond the corners, locking them together with the attaching walls at either side.
These structures have a very environmental-friendly nature, which has contributed to their rising popularity, especially in Europe and America. They are also relatively cheap to put up, and as an added advantage, the potential owners have the autonomy of choosing and crafting designs that appeal to them. These structures are constructed using timber that is carefully molded to produce a satisfying look of nobility and a comfortable feel.
Types of Log Cabin and Construction Styles
With time, log cabins have tremendously improved in style and design, from the few limited construction styles to various construction styles, methods, and materials. When deciding to have a log cabin for your home or not, it’s crucial to analyze the different kinds of construction to better understand what log cabins are all about.
There is more than one type of log cabin, and the different types there are totally separate and very distinct, mainly due to the builder’s specific preferences.
There are different types of construction models for log cabins, which makes it challenging to understand some of the subtler differences between the different kinds of log cabins. Log cabins are constructed using unique and charming styles, and these other methods of retrofitting are imperative in getting the perfect look of your desired and ideal home:
Full-scribe log cabins
This is one method of constructing log cabins that are still being used today. The full scribe method of construction involves stacking the logs horizontally and on top of each other. These logs are usually previously cut or milled to settle tightly and without any gaps between them.
These log cabins have little to no frame, and their logos are visible from both inside and outside. During the initial years after constructing these cabins, the logs settle and shrink, which necessitates the need for individual adjustments to tighten the joints.
It is very crucial to keep an eye on the joints to ensure they are tightly secured together to prevent the formation of an air gap, mainly because there’s no insulation used when building.
Chink log cabins
The chink method is an older method of building log cabins that uses full logs stacked one on top of the other. For chink log cabins, however, the log isn’t fitted together, as s the case of full-scribe cabins. The gaps left between the logs are filled suing a type of mortar called chink, hence the name.
These log cabins require frequent reapplication of the chink, especially after the initial years after the cabin has settled to keep the cabin at its maximum air and watertight. Chink log cabins are easier to construct because the logs used don’t require any scribing to one another before building.
Corner post log cabins
If you prefer a different style of building your log cabin to chink and full-scribe styles, you can use the corner post style and have options on what you should do with your home’s corners. When using this style of construction, either full scribed or chink full logs are used to create the frame and walls for your home.
However, this type of log cabins uses squared off posts on the corners to ensure the logs have a natural place to end and frame these edges as well. These logs are attached to the post at the cabin’s corners, which creates a stable and impressive design with a smoother edge finish.
Post and Beam log cabins
In Post and Beam log cabins’ construction, logs are placed vertically to hold the bigger horizontal logs in position and sections. Log cabins constructed using this style use few logs, making them more cost-effective than chink or full scribe style cabins.
Post and Beam construction style involves filling the areas between the vertical logs using some type of old-style stick-built frame. Post and beam log cabins are considered low maintenance as they experience less settling and shrinking over the first initial years. The exterior of these cabins can be finished using timber or half logs based on your preference.
Hybrid log cabins
It’s not unusual for people to use half a quarter logs, log, look sidings, and log veneer to have their homes appear as log cabins. When constructing hybrid log cabins, these logs are used with either a timber-framed log or a post and beam to give the cabin’s exterior a fine finish, resembling full-scribe homes.
The materials can also be used on even stick-built homes to give them a log-home-feel. The different methods used in construction help create a hybrid home with all the charms and appearance of a log cabin but with the same ease used in the construction of traditional stick-built homes.
When constructing a log cabin using hybrid style, it’s imperative to choose a quality and durable log-look siding such as steel siding. Shrink siding doesn’t shrink or expand as most half logs do, and it has very low maintenance compared.
Hybrid log cabins with a good log-look siding are insulated and comfortable too, and it allows you to enjoy more benefits compared to wood-facing ones.
Timber frame log cabins
These log homes and cabins are constructed using the same design as post and beam homes, with a slight difference. Timber frame log homes use squared-off logs for the frame instead of rounded logs used for post and beam style.
Cabins constructed using this style have no issues with settling, and they are easy to build. When building these homes, any type of siding can be used on the exterior and half logs, too, and be used to create a log-cabin look.
Other Classification Types of Log Cabin
There are different types of log cabins used at homes, for official or personal usage. A log cabin is a very important and wise investment. The different types of log cabins available in the market today are grouped based on such factors as:
- The technology used for production
- Purpose of the log cabin
- The architecture delegated to do the work.
- The type of wood used for the construction and designing of the log cabin.
Types of Log Cabin According to Production Technology
Log cabins can be grouped into machine-made and handcrafted log cabins based on the technology used in their production.
Handcrafted log cabins
Handcrafted log cabins refer to log cabins that are joined using natural logs, and their natural features stay visible even after applying finishing treatment. Handcrafted log cabins are characterized by durability, uniqueness, and a lot of popularity, especially among enthusiasts and lovers of log cabins.
These log cabins are also considered valuable ones, especially at a time when labor automation is emphasized. The walls of these homes are notched using these natural and handcrafted logs of different shapes and sizes.
Handcrafted logs create a more natural and organic look for your log cabin using logs carved and stacked on top of each other on outside walls. Some handcrafters prefer making the logs into the flat interior and exterior faces and with rectangular profiles for a more authentic look.
Handcrafted log cabins are now considered part of the luxury category with very high endurance, demand, and value. Generally, handcrafted log homes use larger logs for construction, and subsequently, they are a high price tag.
Handcrafted log cabins are ideal for people who want to get the ultimate appeal in aesthetics and charm. The handcrafted structural types of log cabins use logs that are processed manually and then molded to suit and harmonize with other logs. This log cabin is considered the very stable and attractive construction preferred by most log cabin builders.
Machine profiled log cabins
As the name suggests, these log cabins are constructed from uniform logs and machine profiles using mechanical equipment. The logs used in the construction of machine profiled log cabins are rounded and then later turned to be built in different rectangular shapes.
The shapes produced are very precise given that they are machine profiled and processed using advanced technologies for higher precision and greater perfection.
Types of Log Cabins Based on the Type of Wood Used for Construction
It is crucial to carefully choose the material you want to build your log cabin. Log cabins can be made from a variety of tall trees, but one that lasts requires a narrow selection of types of wood.
The wood used for the construction of log cabins should help in crafting a steady, virtually appealing, and sound structure that maintains its value, appearance, and strength for many years to come. Log cabins are mostly made from some of the most popular wood types, specifically pine and spruce.
Spruce log cabins
Spruce is one of the best wood types for construction, especially of log cabins or garages. This wood type is also known as white wood, and it is very resistant to insect infestation and decay. This acts as an advantage considering that the wood will be exposed to various weather elements.
When choosing an ideal log cabin, it’s important to ensure that North American or Spruce timber is used to prevent the reduction of the wood’s life expectancy and quality due to exposure to outer weather elements.
Another popular and high-quality wood used in the construction and differentiation of log cabins is Scandinavian pine. This pine is considered very dense and with a tight grain caused by the slow-growing seasons in the cold climate regions.
Scandinavian pine log cabins are a bit costly, but if you don’t have a budgeting problem, they are the best option and a worthy investment.
Types of Log Homes Based On Their Structural Features
Before deciding on materials for constructing your log cabin, it is important to decide on the design considerations you have in mind. When it comes to structuring, different types of log cabins have different log shapes, and this style affects the general look of your cabin and the overall construction process. As such, the structural types of log homes to consider when building a log cabin are:
Round log type log cabins
Log cabins constructed using the round log type of construction or the double round style have logs with a more circular look and a rounded cut. The top and bottom parts of these logs can be cut into a fine line to ease the logs’ stacking.
Swedish Cope type log cabins
This type of log cabin construction style is ideal for people who prefer a cascading look for their log cabins and homes. The Swedish Cope type entails cutting out a small circle from the log’s bottom, which is equivalent to the rounded top part of the log found beneath it.
The square and rectangular type log cabin
The logs for this type of log cabins are cut in a uniform pattern. This ensures that it is easy to cut these logs in the first preparation stages and stack them together. The square and rectangular types of log cabins have a more angular look compared to other types.
D-Log Type of log cabins
If you have any reservations about a rectangular design for your log cabin, there are plenty of options and designs equally as good. Some people believe that rectangular cuts in the construction of a log cabin give the cabin a resemblance to the angled- constructions found in cities.
These cabins have a naturally rounded shape, which allows ease of stacking while maintaining the timber’s rounded log appearance.
Types of Log House Based On Their Functionality
Log cabins are worthy investments, they are very attractive and charming, and they are constructed for various purposes depending on the preference of the cabin owner. The type, style, and construction of log cabins are dependent on your budget and preferences for functionality and use.
Clockhouse log cabins
This refers to log cabins with a conventional English design used as either home offices or as garden buildings. The doors and walls of Clockhouse log cabins are exceptionally large to permit good ventilation and lighting and to create an airy and lighted interior.
Camping pod log cabins
This is a suitable choice of log cabin type for people looking to use their timber houses as garden sheds. The camping pod log cabins are efficiently designed to store gardening equipment and tools in a safe and attractive place.
Garden cabin Rennes
Log cabins constructed as garden cabin Rennes are multipurpose and the best-valued timber structures available. The garden log cabin can serve as a playhouse for young kids, store tools, or as a small office space depending on your needs and personal preferences.
The garden log cabin is constructed using very dense and robust Nordic pinewood or Scandinavian pine with thick walls for comfort during both summer and winter seasons.
There are many more different types of log cabins, which are inclusive of but not limited to open-floor plans, A-frames cabins, multi-family cabins, and the traditional American log cabin.
Depending on your personal and functionality preferences, budgetary constraints, and preferential requirements, you’ll find the ideal type of log cabin to fulfill your needs and meet your requirements.
Are Log Cabins a Worthy Investment?
Log cabins make up a magnificent and charming addition to the garden, should you decide to have one constructed there. They provide you with a cool, natural, and quiet space and environment to wind down and relax at the end of a tiresome and long day, and they can be used for entertainment purposes as well.
Log cabins are considered very strong, sturdy, and durable structures that can withstand different types of seasons and weather conditions, harsh or otherwise. Log cabins are attractive and charming, and they give your garden a luxurious touch.
Log cabins are built to suit and fit your preferred lifestyle, regardless of whether you want a home office or a perfect studio in your garden. Log cabins can also be designed with different and several rooms to suit your needs and preferences.
Unlike other garden structures, you can upgrade a log cabin to include the majority of the features you want, and the log cabin can serve as a gym, a party room, or even your own personal man cave!
This type of house has a low energy consumption, as they are made entirely from natural materials such as logs, which are very good insulators. Logs help keep the cabin cool over summer and warm during winter, so you don’t have to run your heater or the cabin’s air conditioner all day for comfort.
The low energy consumption makes these structures very environmentally friendly, and the natural materials used in construction are also good for the environment. They have a very strong construction of interlocking logs to make them weatherproof and to withstand any weather with a lot of stability and reliability.