Can Log Cabins Be Moved?


I have always wanted to know if you are able to move a log cabin. It seems like you would be able to; I mean, it’s just like playing with lincoln logs right? I was curious so I did a little research and here is what I found.

Can log cabins be moved? You can move a typical log cabin, but not without heavy equipment and some disassembly.

Methods of transporting log cabins vary depending on the weight and construction of the cabin. It also depends on how far you want to move your cabin.

Why Should I Move My Log Cabin?

First off, you need to decide whether you want to move your log cabin or not. The reasons for transporting you log cabin could vary wildly depending on your specific location and circumstances, but here are some of the most common reasons.

  • Structural damage due to a natural disaster. When disaster strikes, some like to take it as a sign that its time to move. In a situation like this, it would probably be easier to simply perform some repairs, but if you have caught the adventure bug, then maybe you are determined to move. Depending on the damage, this move may be difficult, but still possible.
  • Flooding. If your cabin becomes flooded, then you may want to relocate it. I have read of some coastal cabin owners who wanted to move their cabin a little further up a hill as to avoid flooding. That is not a bad idea. Plus, if you are too close to the shoreline water may seep into your foundation and cause some serious damage to your cabin later. If that is the case, it may be a good idea to consider moving your cabin depending on its construction.
  • Transporting a cabin to your own land. The most common reason people are looking to transport a cabin is that they recently bought a cabin on a different property and are looking to transport it to their own land. This can be one of the most difficult moves out there so make sure you are able to move the cabin before you commit to a buy like this.
  • A change of scenery. Some people just don’t like the location of their current cabin and are looking to upgrade their view. If you have an area in mind, make sure that you have enough space to fit your cabin!

While there are many different reasons as to why you may want to move your log cabin, the steps taken to transport it are about the same. Let’s take a look at how to do just that.

Moving a Cabin “Lincoln Log” Style

One of the simplest ways to move a log cabin is to disassemble it “lincoln log” style. Do you remember Lincoln Logs? They are kind of like legos, but made as to be shaped like an old axe split log. They were great fun and you may be able to move your log cabin just like your old Lincoln Logs.

This method can be difficult and quite pricey depending on the size of your cabin. I would definitely only recommend this for smaller cabins. Remember that to remove the logs, you will have to scrape off any adhesive and insulation that used to keep the walls together. You may even have to knock down some plaster if your walls are plastered. Not to mention that you will have to remove the roof, which can be very difficult. Really the only way this method is more cost-effective than the more traditional method of transporting cabins is if you are moving your small cabin only a short distance. If this is the best method for you, here is how you go about doing it.

First, you will have to remove the roof so you can get to the logs. Remove the shingles to get at the insulation. To remove the shingles I recommend using a tear-off shovel which are specially designed for removing shingles. If you don’t have a tear-off shovel, you can buy one here. After all the shingles have been removed, cut the ice and water barrier, and remove any other insulation. Once all insulation has been removed, you should only be left with the ribs of the roof which can be easily torn down. Feel free to try and save some of the shingles, lumber, and insulation as they may still be usable. This job is easily accomplished with three people but can be done in a fairly reasonable amount of time if one person works hard at it.

Next, remove all the insulation and adhesive from the walls of your cabin. This will make it easier for you to remove the logs.

Start from the top, and remove the logs one by one. This may take a while and may be easier with the help of a Bobcat or crane. Pay attention to what you will specifically need before you being.

Once all the logs have been separated you will be ready for transport. As I said, this is not the easiest method, but it is pretty straightforward.

Moving a Cabin in One Piece

The idea behind this method of transportation is to remove the cabin from its foundation and transport it with the walls and roof still intact. This method can be easier but requires more specialized equipment than the lincoln log method. Some tools that you will be needing before you get started are screws, large steel beams, various power tools, and a trailer large enough for transportation. All this along with the usual clamps, hammers, etc. needed for a big move. Once you gather your supplies, you are ready to go.

The first thing that you will need to do is dig to the foundation of your cabin. Once you have hit the foundation of the house, brace the walls and the ceiling to be lifted up from the foundation. These braces will also need to be strong enough to support the house during transportation, so make sure they are strong! After the cabin has been properly secured and the foundation has been broken, insert the steel beams under the cabin to lift it off the ground. Those steel beams are going to be the only thing supporting the cabin so make sure that they are securely fastened to the cabin before you lift it. Using a Bobcat, lift the cabin, and move it so you can place the trailer underneath it. Log cabins can be very heavy, so make sure that the trailer is sufficiently strong to support the weight of the cabin. There are some cabins that are too big and heavy to be practical for transportation so be aware. Once the cabin is attached to the trailer, drive carefully to your destination. Be aware that you may exceed the weight limit of several roads and the cabin may be too wide to fit across some bridges or through tunnels. A good road is essential to any successful move. Make sure that you have a good foundation already set up at the location you are moving your cabin to, and set it down gently.

Additional Questions

How much does it usually cost to move a cabin? Moving a log cabin can be difficult and expensive. A lot of the cost depends on how big your cabin is and where you want to move it to. Renting a trailer and a Bobcat can be some of the largest expenditures, so if you know of anyone that could lend you these, it could potentially save you hundreds of dollars. Typically, moving a log cabin costs about $7500 so make sure that your budget can handle that.

Would you recommend moving a log cabin? Most people do not recommend moving your cabin. They are usually not valuable to be moved, IE the cost of moving is greater than the actual value of the cabin. If you have a lot of sentimental value invested in your cabin and a lot of money to invest, then you may be able to do it. Usually, the better option is to just build a new cabin. You can always recycle some of the materials of your old cabin on your new one. That can get you a similar feel, while still being cost-effective.

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