There is a popular idea that the log cabin home is the ultimate house for homesteaders or those who just wish to live a more self-sufficient life in a country setting.
A beautifully built and maintained log house is certainly a sight to behold, but before jumping head-first into log cabin construction, there are some things you need to consider.
Why Build a Log House?
A log house often evokes a certain feeling of returning to the land or going back to the basics, as these homes are often synonymous with the new beginnings pioneers experienced. Aside from the traditionalism of building with logs, here are some other advantages:
While looks alone are never a good reason to build any type of house, it goes without saying that it is a very important advantage to many people. A well-crafted log house is really a piece of art and a home that will be enjoyed for many generations. Depending on your region, selling a property with a log house may be easier than a traditional home.
2. Energy Efficient
There is a bit of a controversy when it comes to the energy efficiency of log homes. Some log house owners and builders claim that the solid nature of logs offers incredible energy efficiency.
They stay warmer in winter and cooler in the summer. It’s generally agreed that cedar logs offer the best insulation for building. There is another side to this argument which you’ll see below.
A properly built log house is going to easily outlast the person that built it (and many generations after). The longevity of log buildings speaks for itself when you see the house still standing after hundreds of years.
4. Weather Resistant
A sealed log home is going to be able to withstand storms and other inclement weather with ease. It isn’t uncommon to hear stories of log homes still standing after hurricanes, major earthquakes and harsh wind storms. If you live in an area that experiences dangerous weather conditions, going with logs could be a very wise decision.
Why Not Build a Log Home?
Regardless of how much you love the look of a log cabin, don’t fool yourself into thinking there aren’t certain disadvantages. These disadvantages aren’t necessarily reasons to avoid building with logs but rather to prepare you for certain drawbacks.
Just like any house, log homes require regular maintenance to keep them structurally sound. The exterior will need to be resealed every three to five years, possibly more or less depending on your climate which can be very expensive and time-consuming.
Logs will naturally shrink over time, which means you’ll need to chink/insulate again as the home settles.
2. Susceptibility to Pests
Traditional and log homes alike are susceptible to rodent and insect damage if prevention isn’t taken seriously. Log houses can be more difficult to deal with, however, since certain insects and bees are attracted to wood. These bugs can cause expensive damage in the form of bored holes in the logs.
3. Electrical Complications
Since traditionally framing is obviously not used with log construction, setting up electricity in the house can be tricky. You are going to have to hire an electrician that is experienced with log homes if you want it done right.
4. Lacks Natural Insulation
A very common complaint of log houses is the lack of insulation. This is a bit ironic because the warmth of a log cabin is often a major advantage people cite. The truth is that the natural insulation of a log house can be very disappointing if the structure wasn’t built properly and by a professional. If you are building a log cabin from scratch, you can avoid this problem, but if you are buying a property with a log house, you may be in for a very expensive issue to fix.
Log houses will always be a dream home for many people. Just like any house, it’s important to carefully consider the pros and cons of a log house before building one or moving into one.
Do you or have you lived in a log home? Please share your experiences, good and bad, in the comment section below.