Building a Log Cabin in the Woods

Modern log cabins are comfortable, majestic structures with a cozy rustic appeal. They are easy to maintain and energy efficient. Pine, spruce and fir are the most common wood species used in modern log homes. These woods are also kiln dried to prevent shrinkage and warping.

Watch this mesmerizing time lapse of a single dude building a tiny log cabin in the woods. No narration or talking to the camera, just crunchy footsteps on the forest floor and power tools shaping logs.


A log cabin’s foundation is a crucial aspect of its construction. It needs to be sturdy enough to bear the weight of the cabin and protect it from settlement and subsidence issues caused by movement in the soil beneath.

Foundations for log homes can be constructed from a variety of materials, depending on the site’s location and rock and soil type. It is also important to consider the wood used in the log home’s building. The type of wood will affect the performance and longevity of your log cabin. For example, pine can be a good choice for a foundation, but it is best when it’s used from old trees. New pine has a high shrinkage rate and little resistance against insects, fungus, or decay.

When choosing a foundation for your log cabin, it’s best to stick to the basics. There is no need to invest in advanced types of foundations such as raft, reinforced wide strip or piles unless the ground is particularly unsuitable for standard concrete slabs.

The simplest option is to use a pad foundation which is built on the surface of your land. To build a pad foundation, identify the entire load bearing timbers from your floor plan design and mark them using pegs. Once this is done, dig up all the mud inside your anchors to a depth of 60cm and a width of 30cm. This depth and width will ensure that the 12 inch logs can fit snugly on the foundation. Once the foundation is in place, it should be treated with creosote to help prevent moisture from rotting the logs underneath. This is especially important if you live in an area where snow falls frequently.


There are several types of log cabin style siding that you can choose from when building a new home or adding on to an existing one. Some are more traditional than others and will require a significant amount of maintenance to keep them looking their best. For example, spruce wood is relatively soft and needs to be regularly sealed while cedar offers natural resistance to fungus, pests and shrinkage. However, it can be more expensive.

There is also the option of using man-made cultured stone as a siding material for log homes. This can provide an authentic look and is much easier to maintain than natural logs. This type of stone can also be used as accent pieces in key areas such as the entrance or as an alternative to the roof.

The type of log cabin style siding you choose will depend on your goals and budget. For example, a full log build will provide the most authentic look but is very expensive. A half log build uses a split log that installs flat up against the house, which saves resources and provides a similar look to a full log build at a lower cost.

Other options include a quarter log, which uses squared edges instead of round ones to make it easier to cut and build with. This technique also allows wall studs to be installed directly up against the logs. This helps to increase energy efficiency. Chinks are then notched into the ends of the logs to create an appearance that is similar to mortar joints.

Another alternative is steel log siding, which uses a Styrofoam backing and is molded to look like real wood but is more durable than wood. It is also a good choice for homeowners who want to reduce their carbon footprint or live in an area with harsh weather conditions.


Insulation is the key to ensuring your log cabin is a comfortable place to live all year round. However, not all insulation is created equal. The type of insulation you choose can have a significant impact on your home’s durability, strength and aesthetic. It can also affect its ability to retain heat and moisture. For this reason, it is vital that you choose the right insulation for your project.

Choosing the right type of wood for your log cabin is also important. Oak is a popular option because it is extremely durable and has a high resistance to decay. It is important to ensure that all oak wood used in a log cabin is kiln dried to prevent any warping and shrinkage. Fir is another common choice for log cabins, but it is not as resistant to insects and fungus as oak. It is also not a good choice for areas with heavy rainfall.

If your log cabin has thick and solid walls, then you may not need to spend much money on insulating it. However, if your walls are thinner than 58mm, then you should consider investing in some more insulation. This will help to keep your home warmer and more energy efficient.

For the floor of your log cabin, you will need to install a layer of insulation between the floor joists. Once this is done, you should lay a waterproof membrane over the top of it. This will prevent water and air from soaking through the bottom of your log cabin. It is also a good idea to add a strip of vinyl around any moveable doors or windows to further seal the gaps between them.

Doors & Windows

Well-designed doors and windows are the finishing touches that perfectly compliment any log cabin in the woods. They allow natural light and a view of the surrounding landscape to infiltrate your home, while keeping out cold drafts, pests, and other elements that may damage the interior. In addition, strong and secure doors and windows can deter burglars and other unwanted intruders.

When it comes to selecting materials for doors and windows, GLH offers a variety of custom options including double-hung windows with a standard screen or storm window for added protection against the elements. Alternatively, sliding glass doors are available for an unobstructed view of your beautiful surroundings.

The doors and windows that are used in a log cabin are as important to the overall strength of the structure as the logs themselves. For this reason, they should be sourced and crafted from high-quality, durable materials. Our doors are made from hand-peeled, hewn, and chinked pine that is kiln dried for superior durability. Our chinking is comprised of a combination of ingredients to achieve a more effective seal against insects, fungus, and moisture.

Traditionally, chinking was applied to fill in the gaps between logs and stone walls. In addition to providing a weather-resistant seal, it also helped prevent insects, vermin, and snakes from entering the cabin. Depending on the recipe, chinking was often comprised of clay, mud, sand mixed with water (or spit as some pioneer recipes called for), grass, swamp moss, oakum, livestock hair, or corn cobs.

The ground around a log cabin should be regularly cleared of brush, vines, and other plants that can damage the structure. Moisture is another major cause of problems for log homes, which is why it’s essential to keep your cabin well-insulated and properly drained. Regularly checking the foundation for cracks, dampness, and other signs of moisture should be a priority for all log cabin owners.

Finishing Touches

Adding accent pieces and furniture is another important step to creating the perfect log cabin in the woods. If you’re looking for a rustic feel, look for decor that incorporates antlers and wildlife art to help bring a bit of the wilderness indoors. Alternatively, if you prefer a more modern look, select pieces with clean lines and minimal ornamentation to ensure the log walls remain the focal point.

In addition to deciding on the overall design of your log cabin, you will also need to choose which type of wood to use for the building material. This can affect the look and performance of your cabin, as not all woods are created equal.

Some common construction woods include cedar, pine, oak, spruce, cypress and fir. Cedar is often preferred because it offers the best mix of durability, beauty and performance. However, it can be susceptible to moisture and insect problems if not properly sealed and maintained on a regular basis.

On the other hand, pine is strong and durable and has a natural surface texture that can withstand harsh weather conditions. In addition, pine is relatively inexpensive and easy to find. Fir is another popular choice for log cabin construction because it’s lightweight and resistant to fungus, insects and decay. However, fir is more expensive than other types of lumber and has a high shrinkage rate.

Once your cabin is built, you can enjoy its cozy and natural appearance. If you’re looking to add more color, consider using bold area rugs or curtains to complement the natural tones of the log walls. Ultimately, the key to choosing the right log cabin furniture and accessories is to pick items that you truly love.