Building Your Own Log Cabin? Here are 5 Tips to Keep in Mind

Sensible Advice for DIY Builders

Building a log cabin from scratch can be costly if you don’t plan ahead. If you want to save on costs and still be happy with the results, advice from seasoned log cabin builders could make the difference. Here are some tips we’re sure you can all benefit from when you start building your dream log cabin.


Tools and Materials


Making a list of the equipment, materials, and what-nots you’ll need will make a big difference in the long run. There’s nothing wrong with using some of the most modern tools and building gadgets around; but sometimes, going back to tradition really does make a difference. Take the time to learn about some traditional building tools and methods. After all, some of the most beautiful log cabins we see have been built by hand using just the barest equipment – and they have stood the test of time, haven’t they?


…I’ve found that making a list of all the tools I thought I would need was very important. Then it was easier to research how to use those I was unfamiliar with. Old timers are a wonderful source for this information and you may hear some grand stories about old-fashioned ways of doing things or how our ancestors lived…




Selecting the Right Logs


The type of logs you choose will also be a big factor to the sturdiness of your cabin. Which type of trees will you use? Will you just buy the logs or stick with an old-fashioned uprooting done with a few of your buddies? If you do choose to uproot, make sure you consider dead standing trees as opposed to living ones. For one, dead trees are a lot lighter and for another, you won’t have to worry about splitting and warping issues when drying ‘live’ logs.


…If you use a windfall or a log washed up by the river, be sure to inspect it very carefully for insects, rot and sand. Insects and rot make for a weak log, and sand will dull any cutting blade. While removing the limbs from a large tree, watch for those that are usable as dowel pins. This can save you time searching for them later…




Cabin Eaves and Roofing


One of the things that you’ll need to remember is to use logs that extend beyond your planned walls if you need to have an overhang for your roof. Also, you can use different roofing materials as you desire, but take note of how it will look when finished and whether it’s really an ideal choice especially if you want it to last a long time.


…Sod is our roofing material of choice. I put a cheap fiberglass tarp over the crown and multi-fold it because I don’t take the time to smooth and even the rafter ends. Next comes good quality plastic roofing, then another layer of cheap tarp. The sod roots will grow into the upper tarp and make a strong bonded surface that extends over the crown. On a steep sloped roof, I use one or more retainer logs to control slippage…




Continue to Page 2 for More Tips!


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