Tips and Advice for Planning the Construction of a New Log Cabin

New construction of log home being built


Building a log cabin is a great investment of time and passion. Not only do you get to create a vacation home someone can use to escape from the stress of work and life, but you also get to build something new and incredible. Unfortunately, trying to be too innovative with a log cabin can mean a lot of reinventing the wheel. 

These are the basics and some advice for how to plan your log cabin! You can make it into something incredible.


Picking the Right Material

Whether you decide to go with half-log siding, or something less traditional, it's important that you get high-quality and moisture-resistant materials. The most popular material for log cabins is Cedar by far since it's durable and is naturally moisture-resistant.

Vinyl log cabin siding is becoming more popular in recent years since its finish and appearance are able to look more realistic than it ever has before. This can still be sturdy, needs no maintenance, and will keep your home well insulated, but it's not what many think of when they plan their dream cabin.


Getting Enough Insulation

Although log cabins are great because they allow you to capture a rustic look, that shouldn’t have to come with feeling like the structure’s temperature control is stuck in the 1800s. The main areas log cabins lose heat is through their siding and roof.  Fully insulating these spaces will stop air leakage and will keep the temperature at one comfortable level.

Roof and exterior wall insulation can provide wonderful climate control for your log cabin, keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. This makes them an ideal choice for anyone wanting an energy-efficient vacation property that will last for years to come!


Picking a Floor Plan That Flows

There are hundreds of log cabin floor plans to pick from, yet it's difficult to narrow down those choices. Most log cabins have an open floor plan, with high ceilings in common areas and more cozy rooms. 


Interior of new construction log home

Don’t Forget Storage

Although most log cabins are vacation properties, many are not, people assume they won't need a lot of storage at them: but you'll always need more storage. While you're still in the planning stages, make sure to set aside enough room for storage in extra closet space, built-in cabinets, and more. 

You'll also need storage on the property outside of the cabin itself. A small shed or storage building that's built as sturdy as the house is a good idea. While building, it's cheaper to use the materials you have on hand to construct this rather than doing it later.


Considering Pipe Placement

If you're building your cabin in an area that often freezes in the winter, you need to be careful about pipe placement. Although most contractors and builders know this, if you're building it yourself, you may accidentally put your entire property at risk.

Of course, you can protect your pipes by insulating any of them before the temperatures drop and turning off the main supply valve, but you should also try to keep lines and water as central to the building as possible. Talk to a professional about this while building.

Locking Moisture Out

Moisture is a killer when it comes to buildings like cabins. Although we love our log cabins, many people are not there often enough to be able to constantly maintain them or notice the moment mold or rot appears. If you're away for a couple of months, that could be long enough that a lot of damage can start before you get back.

Log cabin stain is necessary to protect the wood. Log cabin stain works by sealing the logs from any more moisture that could get into them, allowing them to last longer when properly treated. This can also result in an attractive finish that boosts curb appeal. You’ll also need to use caulk or chinking made for log homes to seal any cracks or gaps between the logs to prevent airflow.


Log home with no stain, medium stain, and dark stain


Deciding on Internet Options

If you want to use the internet while you're staying in your new cabin, it needs to be able to connect. Putting in a new line of coax can be expensive if you're the first person in your area getting it, which leads to many choosing satellite internet. 

Compare rates, and then seriously consider if you want the internet in this part of your life. Cabins are a great escape from the stress and constant noise of social media. If your phone is able to connect in case of an emergency, it's not always necessary to have full internet service in your cabin.


Your Cabin Should be a Dream Come True

Whether you're building this for yourself or building it to sell, your cabin should be everything someone would want for a getaway. Consider some of these tips when you construct yours.

Also check out our post on the Pros and Cons of Log Homes!



George Burke is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise on construction projects and materials. He lives in Winter Park, Florida where he enjoys spending time with his wife and working on projects in his spare time. Brian’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a new construction industry resource launching in the New Year.