Easy-to-Build Log Cabin Plans

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The best approach for developing easy-to-build log cabin plans depends on your accessibility to construction materials, geographic location and skill level. A well-built log structure can survive for hundreds of years, as many intact, medieval Norwegian stave churches attest. Their stout timber frame architecture weathers the worst Scandinavian winters. Whether you need to quickly erect wilderness shelters or choose a refined vacation retreat, all styles of easy-to-build log cabin plans share common characteristics.

Foundation

  • The resting place for your log cabin must be carefully planned step-by-step. In Alaska and northern latitudes, concrete piers should always be poured well below the frost line. Depending on available natural materials and your proximity to retail construction supplies, you will build either a structural or cosmetic foundation.

    Structural foundations for planning your log cabin usually require permanent footings and several cubic yards of concrete and/or rock. Construction materials will vary according to your budget, layout design and material availability. They appear most commonly as either poured concrete pads or reinforced block walls.

    Cosmetic foundations utilize composite materials like artificial stone to create cost-effective veneers. When assembled professionally, man-made rocks appear quite realistic. They often skirt around structural piers or steel posts.

Walls

  • Selecting the best tree for the walls of your log cabin plans usually depends on geographic location. Whether using cedar, cypress or pine, you should consider the main methods that are all relatively easy to build. Both the rustic and traditional approaches require knowledge in the use of block and tackle and/or winches. Personal safety should always be emphasized, especially when dealing with heavy objects of crushing potential.

    Rustic homemade log cabins are assembled quickly, like Lincoln Logs. Notches are rough and create narrow spaces between logs called "chinks." Logs are usually pinned together with spikes or auger-pegged.

    Traditional Scandinavian log work involves the art of scribing and carefully notching each log for a seamless fit. Several notch variations have evolved for specific stylistic and structural requirements.

    Accelerated log building requires a hoist system for optimal productivity. It consolidates the time-consuming scribing process by stacking rough-notched logs simultaneously.

Roof

  • Traditional log cabin plans commonly include easy-to-build gables that are assembled on the ground. Purlin and rafter logs are notched identically to log walls. Depending on your desired pitch and anticipated snow loads, trusses are covered with any appropriate combination of roof planking, plywood, felt, tarpaulin, tar paper, recycled press plating, flattened coffee cans, asphalt shingles, sheet metal, sod and/or terra cotta tile.

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