If you’ve decided to turn your log cabin dream into reality and plan to build your own log home, then you’ll want to do as much research as you possibly can before you begin. The best log cabin advice often comes from those who have been there, done that, and have grown from their experiences – that way, you can learn from their success stories as well as their mistakes. You can also discover a lot from log home building companies and contractors, as they’ve often been doing what they do for a very long time and have built many different kinds of log cabins. Another thing you’ll want to do is study floor plans and log cabin designs to see what can work best for you and your family.
Before you start building your log cabin, you’ll want to get very clear on the way you want to go about it. If you want an eco-friendly home, then you’ll need to set that intention right from the very beginning, so you won’t be swayed off course by cheaper or easier options. How will you source your building materials? Will you use sustainably-sourced logs? How about repurposed ones from old structures that are being demolished? Repurposed logs often tend to be much cheaper to buy, if not altogether free. When you build your home, you’ll also want to pay attention to energy-efficiency. Most people desire an energy efficient home that won’t cost a lot to heat in the winter time or cool in the summer. What you spend while building your log home you will save in the long run if you remain mindful of energy efficiency. Your overall log cabin design will reflect how energy efficient it will be – the larger the surface area it covers, the more expensive it will be to heat; the smaller and more compact it is, the cheaper it will be. Building from the ground up is always a wise choice when it comes to building a log cabin, while building outwards on one level will always cost you more. That’s because heat rises, and if your home includes a second level then those upper chambers will be warmed from lower heat sources. This is definitely something you'll want to bear in mind when choosing your log cabin design.
When it comes to your logs, you’ll want to keep them as dry as possible for building. Source logs that have had ample time to dry out – this is why repurposed wood is always a good option, because it’s had literally years to dry out completely. Logs with high moisture content require more time to set. As water evaporates from green or wet logs, the logs shrink and change shape. If you build a home with green logs, it will re-set and cause structural damage, then you’ll have to star over again. The kiln drying process often dries wood to about 19 percent, but you’ll actually want it even dryer – a 12 to 15 percent moisture content is optimal when it comes to choosing the right wood for your log home. Another important piece of advice is to include a roof with long overhangs and covered porches in your cabin design. These features will protect your logs from excess moisture after your home has been built and help keep it weather-proof. Pay close attention to landscaping features and keep water sprinklers far from your finished log cabin to keep the outer walls dry. These are just a few log cabin building tips to help get you started.
Building a log home is a great adventure, and when you go about it in the right way – by taking your time, saving your money, and gleaning as much information as you can before you start – you are bound to have the best possible results.
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