Heard the one about the log home someone built for less than $100? It’s not a long story because it didn’t last through winter. There are plenty of people out there who claim you can build a robust cabin with just your arms, some hard work, and less than the cost of a cheap suit. But, the reality is, if you want to experience log cabin life to its fullest, it’s going to take a lot more than that. And, if you wish to get anything near a life of luxury, it’s going to be worth the investment.
In today’s guide, we’re going to talk you through all the different ways you can achieve your dreams of owning a log cabin. And, the good news is, it is a lot easier than you might think. You have three choices, in principle. The first is to buy a log cabin kit from a building company, and the second is to design your plans and source your logs, precut and ready to go.
The third? Well, it’s a lot more work, but it is possible to cut down trees yourself. You will need a lot of home building experience already, and peel your logs, dry them and cut them to perfection before you even get started. In short, it’s going to take you a long old haul to go down the complete DIY route. And, in general, terms, it’s far more cost-effective to hand over the reins.
OK, with those basics in place, let’s take a closer look at everything you need to consider - read on to find out how to build your dream log cabin!
The log cabin kit
There are plenty of firms out there who offer log cabin kits, and they are very popular. Especially amongst those with little building experience. Log home manufacturers arrange the kits based on what they know works, and you just buy them off the shelf. It’s that simple - although there are some issues which we will explain later.
The most important thing to realize about log cabin kits is that you need to consider your construction budget, as well as the price of the kit itself. As a rough guide, it’s going to cost three times as much to build as it is to buy the kit. So, if you have a budget of $650,000 to build the entire cabin, you should be looking at a package worth in the region of $150,000.
You also need to consider that often; the kit will only contain the shell of the building. So, you will get external walls and a roof, but not necessarily walls, stairs, and doors. Bear this in mind when you are looking for kits, as you could end up stretching your budget a little too far.
Of course, not everyone wants the cookie-cutter log cabin that you see everywhere. And, for those who want a bit more flexibility with their log home, you will need to think about designing your cabin yourself. Some building experience will help, of course, although finding an architect is the perfect option for those that have none. Once you have completed your design, you will need to order your logs.
The ideal places for this are professional log home builders. They will have the experience you need, and give you your logs exactly the right size. They will come already dried, peeled, and ready to go. And, for a bonus, most firms will deliver them to your construction site. And that leads us nicely to our next point!
Find the right location
As anyone with a log cabin will tell you, the home itself is only a small part of the experience. It’s the views and the location that make up much of the charm of owning a wooden building. Thanks to the vast expanses of the United States, you have a lot of options here. Just check your local state regulations on land and building. Please make sure you do this before getting started - you might be surprised by the amount of people that fail to do so! And, if you don’t have the permission, your dreams could end before they even get started - at an enormous cost.
As for the best locations? Well, that’s up to you entirely. Many people consider the log cabin as the perfect abode for forest living, of course. But, there is nothing at all stopping you from building in the city, near a coastline, or anywhere you like. The key thing is to make sure that the ground you build on is suitable. A land surveyor will be able to check things out for you and assuage any of your fears.
One important thing to bear in mind is amenities. While some locations might be stunning and beautiful, it might be the case of living off-grid if there are no mains resources for power and water. This might be your ideal living state, of course - but if not, it’s something you need to be aware of.
Find a builder
You will need a building firm of some sort to help you construct your cabin. Even if you plan on building the new home yourself, there is a lot to think about. Trucks, diggers - maybe even cranes will go hand in hand with laborers and other building specialists. You can hire them all separately, of course. But, in the vast majority of cases, you will find it much more cost-efficient to hire a team who will come with all equipment ready to go.
So, make sure you ask around and find good firms with the right experience. You’ll need to get as many quotes as possible, and bear in mind you are likely to go over that amount. It’s typical for building projects to cost anything up to 10-15% more than the original budget, so plan for that accordingly. It could delay your completion for some time if you don’t.
You won’t be surprised to hear that wood cabins need a lot more care and attention than average, stone-based homes. And, you have to be in maintenance mode right from the start. If you are buying a kit, your logs may already come with the requisite treatment. However, if you are ordering your logs in, you might need to go down the DIY route.
There is plenty to think about, such as chinking, caulking, and staining. And, all of it is necessary to give your log cabin the protection it needs from the elements. Head over here to find out more about what you need - http://mountainhomebuildingproducts.com/. Water damage, the sun, and cracks are all serious problems for log cabins, and it’s essential that you have the right protection in place.
At this point, it’s time to make some final decisions. With everything ordered, including a crew and your logs, you need to make some decisions. Consult your plans one more time, and head down to the location you are building on. Before getting started, make sure that everything is in place, and that you get the best views possible.
While the design of your home is set in stone by now, the direction it faces may not be. And, if you are spending a fortune, make sure it delivers everything you have dreamt of. Once you are happy with the placement of the cabin, it’s time to lay some foundations and get building.
Flexibility with building
Of course, sometime, even the best-laid plans come unstuck. So, it’s important to have a little flexibility when it comes to the building work of your log home. In theory, everything should go swimmingly - but life isn’t like that, of course. Be ready for a few mishaps and organizational issues, as well as some human error.
While this stage can be frustrating and - dare we say it - more expensive than you thought, hang in there. It’s time for cool heads, not hot ones, and calmness will get you a lot further down the road than anxiety. There is no ‘right way’ of building, and you also have to be prepared for ‘your way’ not being possible. In the vast majority of cases, you will be happy with the results, but you might have some struggles getting there. If you are looking for a luxury log cabin lifestyle, however, you've got to take some rough before you get the smooth.
Kitting out your space
As soon as the walls and roof go up, you can start bringing in your furniture. If your cabin is completely sealed, it’s just like living in a typical home, so you can be as luxurious as you like. You certainly don’t have to kit out your cabin like a boy scout hut - and there are plenty of excellent examples of luxurious living in log homes. Head over here for some inspiration - http://www.fodors.com/.
OK, so there you have it - your complete guide to building a log cabin home. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
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