Is there anyone here that can build a log cabin?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Unregistered-1427815803, Jan 31, 2004.

  1. I seriously considering a log home for our next homestead. I would like to use one of those kits. However, I have no building experience and am not very good a stuff like that. I had to take my butcher block island apart 3 times before I got it together right. Does anyone here have any experience with a log kit and does anyone put them together for other people? Also, does anyone hire out to do re-wiring, lay flooring, and other remodeling projects if I decide to go with a fixer upper.
  2. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    There are many people who are quite skilfull at most of what you would need done. Finding someone who isn't busier than a one legged guy at a butt kickin' contest is difficult.

  3. joan from zone six

    joan from zone six Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    the kits alone are horribly expensive for what you get
  4. I've helped a number of others with rewiring and have wired several new buildings and a home. None have had a fire or burned down yet. lol.

    I'm pretty much a jack of all trades. Log homes I've not dealt with and really wouldn't care to unless doing it from scratch like in the Foxfire books. I've studied them and it seems easy enough if you just think each step through.

    The others I've helped generally provide transportation costs, room and board.
    Since most have been neighbors, it is usually just some good meals with no transportation or a room required.

    If you aren't too far away I mght think about helping some.
  5. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    Northern Wisconsin
    I have built several log homes, but none of them have been "kit" homes.

    My opinion of kit homes is this: some of them are absolutely well built and fabulous (also, very expensive) while others are shoddy built behemoths that would give a cheap mobile home a run for which is the crappiest. The best are energy effiecient, well designed and will give you a lifetime of happiness. The worst are energy hogs, need continuous maintenance, and will have you constantly frustrated. Unfortunately, there are no standards for log homes.....and you, as the buyer don't know if you're buying the Cadillac of log homes.....or the Yugo of log homes.
    The ONLY way to know how good a particular log home happens to visit several of them that are at least 5 years old. Period. This gives buyers a reasonable time to let the "new home elation" wear off into a more sensible outlook of how well the home actually performs. If you happen to fall prey to salespeoples claims without checking things out, you will have nobody to blame if your log home happens to be a "Yugo".

    Wiring a log home isn't all that more difficult than wiring a regular stick built house. If you want electrical outlets imbedded within the logs, all one must do is plan ahead.
    Wiring is actually quite simple, but must be planned for, especially the switches placed along entry doors.

    Frankly, its my belief that if you're going to hire out all aspects of building a log home (be it kit, custom or otherwise), it will wind up costing you an astronomical sum......and I can't help but think you'd be money ahead buying an existing building.

    Any kit log home company worth its salt, will at minimum, offer a video to guide you through the aspects of construction. It may even offer a hands on training course.
  6. I don't know what part of the country you're in, but, a realtor just referred me to this log home company:
  7. tacomee

    tacomee Member

    Aug 6, 2003
    You could have a metal building put up for half the price. The're generally cheaper and nicer to live in as well. As a fool who personally built a couple log homes... I'd advice you to not try.
  8. rafter

    rafter Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    We built one from "scratch". IMO everyone should build at least one that way...using only a draw knife, chainsaw and a very heavy hammer or sledge to drive spikes.

    It will teach you how hard of work you can do...and to admire our pioneer fore fathers.

    Since then we have refurbished an old log cabin built in the 20's and lived in a few kit log houses.

    They all have one thing in common...they are high maintainence.
  9. My husband and I just added on a breakfast room and laundry room to an existing lod home that we bought. My husband is a builder anyway, but had never built with logs. Once he figured out his cuts and notches, it went smoothly. I was his only help and those logs are VERY heavy. We had to have the whole house wired( the person who lived there for 15 years had only the very basic wiring done and it was not done right, so we redid everything.) Our electrician didn't seem to have any trouble at all. We also had to have all plumbing redone, again because previous owner didn't use quality materials and only did the very least to get by. In rereading this, I realize I misspelled "log" in my first sentence and I am not good enough on the computer to go back and fix it without having to retype everything!! We have a lot of work to do to our home before we can move in. We can hardly wait though!
  10. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2002
    South West MI
    I've had a couple of log homes and their ok but I wouldn't build one without radiant floor heat if I did it again. Get a good maintance program going and make ALL your overhangs at least 4'.

  11. cashcrop

    cashcrop Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    Do your home work! Don't get in a hurry!!

    This in not neccessarily an endorsement...juts how it was. My brother has an old timer log home(they have a website. Their logs are one of the few according to my brother that are kiln dried. He loves it. He and his wife did 3 yrs of research. Got a old timer log home dealership so, that knocked 20% off the cost of it. He could have built it himself but, acted as the general contractor instead. Look at They not only have log home building products but books and videos on log home building! Attend the log home expos. As for a log home being high maintenance it can be but, so can your stick houses. We can fool ourselves into thinking that stick houses aren't but, if a log home is built right from the start it should be just as good as a standard built stick house IMHO. Up front it can be more expensive but, how many stick houses have you seen w/ a steel roof? How many times do you have to reroof a steel roof? I don't know if I would build one if I didn't intend to live in it for the rest of my life though! I more than likely wouldn't.
  12. I can't give any experience with log homes, as i haven't built one nor have i even lived in one. i had some neighbors with a log house and the only complaint i know they had is, the logs get dusty on the inside and that's rather difficult to clean. i want to build a heavy timber house,
    this is one company i'm looking at. they claim that you don't need a heater/AC unit and they also offer options for going off grid. sounds too good to be true, but it makes sense based on the science of it. check it out.
  13. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 9, 2003
    I'll be the devils advocate. Don't build with bug food.

    Reconsider building with logs. They can be beautiful. You can do it yourself. But you are having trees cut down to build your house. They are not renewable in our lifetime, they're not a bargain, and they're more susceptable to damage from storms, water, fire and bugs.

    I own a small pest control company and I know the termites are winning. Despite what you see on TV ("one call will kill them all"), man is losing the battle to save wooden structures from their attack. 10 year guarantees used to be common. Now its hard to find a 2 year. With any treatment, you must sign up for regular ongoing service. Check the guarantee, "if YOU find termites, we'll come and do a limited treatment at our expense. Otherwise we want you to pay us to look for the termites each year, or every 3 months (in the South)." Talk about hiring the fox to guard the henhouse.

    Do you really want to use chemically treated wood to build your home? Or do you want to go with untreated logs and pray the bugs don't find them?

    My sister and BIL love them and have owned 2 high end log homes (CO and Montana). Both have had some kind of gnat that apparently got established in moisture trapped in the chinking. (There's a lot of chinking). Both have had carpenter ant problems. Termites are less of a risk here than the South, but I have treated an infested log structure high in the mountains.

    If you are interested in building your own, consider cement. You can build your house with very little skill and no special tools. You can virtually eliminate any CO2 emissions with the addition of fly ash to the mix. It will outlast you and many more generations.