What are the characteristics of log cabins?
one point or another, pretty much everyone
has dreamed of relocating to a remote log cabin in the woods, wooed
by the fairy-tale charm of these simple homes. There’s something so
wholesome and cosy about a robust timber dwelling, that we’re
instantly transported back to childhood adventures at their very
mention. In fact, this type of house has been around for thousands of years, with the first primitive
forms taking shape in around 3500 BC. Since then, these homes became
widespread throughout Europe, reaching the shores of North America
with the first settlers, where they came to symbolise pioneer life.
Relatively simple to construct from abundant natural materials, they
could be built anywhere - providing someone had the skills to do so.
Traditionally made from horizontal logs interlocked with notches, or
cog joints, at each end, any gaps were then stuff with smaller
wedges, moss or mortar to keep out the elements. Whereas once a
symbol of humble living, modern log houses can be quite the other end
of the scale, with multi-storey ranch-style abodes popular to this
are the pros and cons of log cabins?
you’re considering the move to a log home in the country, there are
a few practical considerations to weigh up before you go making any
final decisions. In terms of advantages, first and foremost, wood is
a sustainable, eco-friendly material that will suit whatever
environment it happens to be in. It’s also a relatively strong
material for its lightness, and has excellent natural sound
insulating properties - so you can be sure of a decent night’s kip!
It will also keep the heat in (if properly lined and constructed),
thus minimising any energy bills throughout winter. In terms of
drawbacks, log cabins are highly susceptible to natural degradation
from critters of all kinds, with beetles, termites and woodpeckers a
constant threat to the integrity of the structure. Wood also has a
natural tendency to shrink or contort, meaning gaps will have to be
filled or ‘caulked’ in order to keep things airtight and secure.
For this reason, logs will need to be stained or sealed every few
years in order to prevent significant decay or splitting, meaning
ongoing maintenance will be an issue you’ll need to factor in.
much will a log cabin cost me?
you’ve done your research and are sure a log cabin is for you, the
next step is to have a think about exactly where you want your
dwelling to be located, what materials you want to use and whether
you’re buying an existing property or building one yourself. It’s
also possible to renovate an existing cabin, or opt for a brand new
prefabricated model in order to cut down on construction time and
effort. In terms of prices, a basic 6m x 5m log cabin could set you
back as little as £7,000, with more opulent 9m x 13m varieties going
for over £100k. If you’ve got your heart set on the DIY option,
there are some complete log home packages from around £70k, or of
course, there’s always the possibility of sourcing your own
materials and labour and going it alone. The final price you’ll pay
will vary wildly depending on where you’re building, the quality of
your materials and the time the project takes, so make sure you
enlist the help of an experienced architect to guide you through the process.
vs traditionally built log cabin?
of the biggest decisions to make once you’ve plumped for a log
cabin is whether to go for the traditional build or prefab option. Be sure to thoroughly research exactly which option is best
for you before you invest any money. As a brief overview, the most
obvious benefits of prefabs tend to be their swift construction,
affordability and energy efficiency - great if you’re in a hurry
and on a budget. Some of the downsides to prefabs include the
potential issues with getting your utilities set up, the cost of the
land on which you’re building, and the fact that payment for the
whole property will need to be entirely upfront.