Building Log Cabins

Building log cabins on you own property is symbolic to the American pioneering spirit. They can be inexpensive, made from locally available materials and can be quite elaborate.

If you have a plentiful supply of trees on your property, you can began building a hewn shape log-cabin with very little tools required. A home of logs and split lumber shakes or shingles can be put up quickly by one or two people.

Now, they are still an economical way to build and with modern techniques and materials they can be made to last a lifetime and even centuries. You can also buy a log cabin kit.

There are two methods or styles of log preparation. You can leave your logs round or you can hewn shape them.

Traditional log bulding techniques were broght here from Scandinavia. The first American log-cabins were probably built by Finnish colonists at New Sweden, near the mouth of the Delaware River, in 1638.

By the 1800's they were common from the east coast to California and from the Soutwest all the way up into Alaska.

Some people are still building the traditional way in the backwoods of the United States. The chainsaw has ended the need for many of the "old skills" and few people exist today who can notch logs with an ax as skillfully as their gradfathers once did.

However, the greatest investment is your time and labor, rather then tools or materials. Now, get a glass of tea and sit back and learn how to build your own home out of logs.


Just a few notes to consider:

When choosing your trees, many books may not tell you that there is a right time in cutting your trees down. The best time is in the dead of Winter when most of the sap is in the root system.

The tools you need are minimal depending on how labor intense you want to make it. You can often take your log to a saw mill.

Make sure you take your time on the foundation and sitting.

Tight Fitting Notches keeps the wind out and cuts down on cocking material.

Raising the Walls is always easier with about four men and a tractor with a frontend loader is helpful.

Return from Building Log Cabins to homesteading your home

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