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Small Log Cabins

Updated on February 6, 2011

Log homes have always been one of the main stays of construction.  From small log cabins to large luxury log homes there is a wide berth of individuals who own buildings made from log.
In the early 1980s log home manufacturers began calling their products 'log homes'. This term gave the feel for an up to date home that could be lived in year round. The early cabins were dark, small, and drab to many people's way of thinking. So the word 'cabin' had a negative connotation. But today with people's interest in a less complicated way of life, a rustic feel, and country living log cabins are in.

Small Log Cabin

Small log cabins have the same materials that larger homes are built from. They are not constructed with left over building products or lower grade logs. Cabins are simply built on a smaller scale. The smallest of these would be around the 300 square foot mark. These are designed for locations such as outposts, snow mobile warming shacks, or a tiny hunting cabin. The layouts serve to offer a dry, warm shelter from the elements and, if you are lucky, a kitchenette and a bathroom.

Mid Sized Log Cabin Plans

Mid sized small log cabin plans are ones which typically offer a small great room, kitchen, bath, bedroom, and open loft. Some layouts as small as 480 square feet can offer this, but more commonly the square footage climbs to about 800 to 1000 square feet. These cabins are perfect for weekend getaway abodes, or vacation homes. They have just enough design elements to make one comfortable but not to store extensive belongings or host very many guests.

Montana Log Cabin

Largest of Cabin Plan

The largest of the small cabin plans would be the layouts of 1000 to 1200 square feet. With careful planning even a three bedroom, two bath, great room, and kitchen can be fit into this area. Another benefit to building a slightly larger cabin is that it can be resold as a full time home to some buyers.
Though cabin is usually associated with square footage, that is not always the case. Some people call a 5,000 square foot log home a 'cabin'. With the rustic, natural, and tranquil feeling that these homes have earned 'log cabin' almost refers to a feeling, a mood, an atmosphere that cannot be duplicated anywhere else.

Handcrafted Log Cabin

Scandinavian Log Cabins

Another style of small log homes that deserves our attention is the Scandinavian log cabins. These are ones of handcrafted log home origin. They are designed using hand peeled logs, large 12 to 15 inch diameters, and the full scribe method. Scandinavian full scribe refers to the channel that is cut into the underside of the log to form it to fit over the log underneath it. The less expensive, and less skillful alternative to full scribing is the chinking style. Instead of the half moon channel on the underside of the logs, the logs are chainsawed flat on the top and bottom and then stacked. There is no overlap of wood on wood to help seal the home against the harsh west winds. Builders depend solely on chinking and caulking to air proof the home. The Scandinavian full scribe method is far superior.

Alaska Small Log Cabin

Remote Log Cabins

One interesting type of cabin is the 'air plane' models offered by Cowboy Log Homes and Lake Country Log Homes. These are ranch style cabins ranging between 320 and 980 square feet. What makes them unique is they are designed to be transported by bush plans to remote access locations. The sub floor becomes on flight, the walls are another flight or two (depending on the size of the cabin), and the roof system is the final load to be flown out. The focus of these cabins is to minimize trips with the planes and minimize building time. To make this happen all of the interior walls of the cabin are solid stacked logs. Also the gables of the cabin are stacked logs. For the roof system a ridge pole is provided instead of standard trusses. Rafters are set on 24 inch centers. Metal roofing is applied and 1x6 pine tongue and groove finishes the soffits and ceilings.

Red Cedar Cabin

Red Cedar Cabin Built Near London
Red Cedar Cabin Built Near London

Red Cedar Cabins

Small log cabins that are machine cut and be built using either Lodge Pole Pine, White Pine, Douglas Fir, or Western Red Cedar. Handcrafted log cabins can be crafted from Lodge Pole Pine, Engelmann Spruce, Douglas Fir, or Western Red Cedar. The Engelmann Spruce and be machine cut but due to the excessive checking it is not recommended for machine cut cabins.
Western Red Cedar is of course the most costly of cabin material, but there are a few different ways to look at cost. Red cedar has a life span of 100 years. It checks the lasts of all the logs. With natural oil resins it repels rot, wards off bugs, and pretty much endures. Though all cabins should have regular maintenance, there is no doubt that Western Red Cedar is the most durable.

Your Small Log Cabin

So whenever you are ready to build your dream cabin be sure to consider our small log cabins. With over 13 years of experience in planning, design, and construction Cowboy Log Homes is ready to work with you.


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