timber for building log cabins

Choosing Timber For Building Log Cabins

timber for building log cabins

There are 80 or more commercial wood species that can be used in log home construction. Some of the most commonly used include Eastern White Pine, Cedar, Cypress and Spruce.

Some manufacturers offer different cuts of timber to suit the style of your log cabin. The most traditional is full scribe, which uses logs that fit tightly together for an authentic look.


Pine timber is one of the most popular options for log cabin construction, as it’s relatively affordable, durable and easy to find in large amounts. It also ages well and can be stained or painted to match your home’s exterior or interior design. However, there are several things to keep in mind when choosing the type of timber used for your log cabin.

First, consider the thickness of the logs. Thicker logs will be stronger and more stable, but they’ll also cost more than thinner logs. The thickness of the logs will also affect how much insulation you’ll need for your home.

Also, consider the type of joinery used to secure the logs together. There are a number of different types, and each requires a specific log length. For example, dovetailing and saddle-notch joinery require longer logs than other types of joinery.

Another factor to consider when choosing a company to build your log cabin is its reputation. Ask your prospective company how long it’s been in business and what previous customers have said about its work. You should also be sure to check whether or not the company is registered with an association that sets high standards for log cabin building.

Finally, when choosing a company to build your log home, it’s important to inquire about the type of wood it uses. Many companies use inexpensive pine timber that’s not as strong or durable as other species. While this timber is fine for smaller buildings, it’s not ideal for larger structures.

A few other types of timber that are used for log homes include spruce and cedar. Both of these species are durable and resist rot, insects and fungus. They’re also easier to stain than pine and do not require kiln drying, making them a more economical option. However, they do need to be protected properly in areas with harsh winters.

If you have the time and resources, you can also try your hand at cutting your own logs to build a log cabin. This can be a rewarding experience, and it will help you save money on your project. However, it’s important to remember that if you don’t have the right equipment and skills, it can be dangerous. If you’re not comfortable handling a chainsaw or using power tools, it’s best to hire someone who can help you with the project.


Choosing the right type of wood for your log cabin can make all the difference. While most suppliers use pine or white cedar, some companies specialize in using slow grow conifer timber – fir or spruce. This type of log has fewer knots and is less susceptible to rot or mould, making it ideal for log cabin construction. It also has a more natural appearance than pine, and can be stained to achieve any color or finish you desire.

The quality of the timber you choose can vary significantly between companies, so it’s important to take the time to find one that offers high standards. You can ask about the company’s reputation, and check whether they are registered with a trade association. It’s also a good idea to look at past customer reviews.

Some companies offer pre-engineered logs, which are more durable and require less maintenance than hand-peeled logs. They are also able to offer precise notching and other mill work techniques, which can minimize gaps between the logs. This will help to reduce the amount of chinking and daubing required, as well as providing a more secure seal against rain and snow.

A good choice for log home building is Northern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis). This species produces its own natural preservatives, which help to prevent rot and insect infestation. It’s also extremely strong and rigid, which can help to improve the structural integrity of your log cabin. It’s also resistant to moisture and has a low shrinkage rate, so it can stand up to harsh weather conditions.

Fir and spruce are also popular choices for log homes, as they have large diameter and length availability, but they require special care when installing them. They need to be carefully protected from rain and sun, or they will rot or mold quickly. They also need to be sanded and treated before staining, so they don’t absorb too much moisture.

Another option for log cabins is cypress, which has a similar resistance to fungus and insects as spruce. However, it’s not as strong as other types of timber, and requires a higher level of expertise to install properly. It’s also more expensive than other options, but it has the advantage of being able to withstand harsh weather conditions.


Cypress is a durable wood that is naturally resistant to insects, rot, and chemical corrosion. Its ability to stand up to harsh weather conditions makes it an ideal choice for log cabins, especially in the southeastern region of the US where cypress grows. Its natural preservative oil, known as cypressene, helps it to resist fungi and insects that could otherwise damage the wood in your log home. Cypress logs are also more resistant to twisting and warping than other types of wood, which means that your log home will last longer with less maintenance.

Cypress logs are characterized by their tighter wood grain and growth rings, which make them more resistant to shrinking, bending, and warping than other types of timber. They are able to withstand weather extremes and remain stable and aesthetically pleasing, which makes them an excellent choice for log homes. In addition, cypress timber is easier to work with than other woods. Its wood sands easily, and it is easy to cut with hand and machine tools. It also works well with nails and screws. Cypress has a pleasant scent and good paint-holding properties.

There are several different varieties of cypress, including eastern white pine, yellow pine, and nootka cypress. Nootka cypress is more resistant to fire than other species. It is also very durable and can be used to build a wide range of structures. However, it has been difficult to find in recent years due to poor forest management practices.

The type of timber you choose will significantly impact the strength, durability, and aesthetics of your log cabin. Be sure to consider all of the options available when choosing a timber for your project.

The best timber for your log cabin will depend on the size and style of the cabin you want to build. If you are building a large cabin, you may need to use larger logs than those used for smaller buildings. The thickness of the logs will also affect how much insulation you can fit into the walls and ceilings of your cabin.


One of the best timbers for log cabins is fir, which offers high strength and stability. It is also resistant to rot and insect damage and can withstand harsh weather conditions. Moreover, it has natural insulating properties, making it ideal for cold climates. Another benefit of fir is that it shrinks less than other types of softwoods. However, it is a more expensive choice than pine.

Another good option for log cabins is cedar. This type of wood is beautiful, aromatic, and rot-resistant. It is also lightweight and very durable, and it can be crafted into many different styles. It is important to remember that cedar should be kiln-dried for the best durability.

The type of wood you choose for your log cabin should be suited to your needs, expectations, and location. For example, some species are more easily available than others and may cost less. In addition, some varieties are naturally resistant to fungus and insects.

When choosing wood for your log cabin, look for old trees, as they will have more heartwood than sapwood. This will protect them from fungus, insects, and other harmful organisms, and it will also give them more stability and dimensional stability. Additionally, older trees have a better overall quality.

If you are using a sawmill to cut the timber for your log cabin, make sure the mill uses a full-scribe process, as this will ensure that the logs fit together perfectly. Alternatively, you can cut your own logs on land that you own or have access to. This is a rewarding way to build your own log cabin and can save you money.

When selecting timber for your log cabin, walk through the area to identify which trees will be suitable. Ideally, you should select a tree that is at least eight feet tall and has a similar diameter on both ends. The logs should also be as straight as possible, with only minor tapering. Once you have identified the right trees, you can start cutting them down. Before you begin, be sure to wear safety equipment, including a helmet with a face screen, gloves, safety glasses, and steel toe cap boots. Additionally, you should have a chainsaw, an axe, and wedges to use during the cutting process.