Can Log Cabins Have Basements?


When working with a log cabin you want to keep prices low, but that’s not always the easiest thing to do. Basements are one of the low-cost options out there to increase the square footage for your home, but can log cabins have basements?

Can log cabins have basements? Basements are an inexpensive way to increase the square footage of your cabin. They provide extra space that can be used for storage or can be turned into a whole other room that can be used for guests, as an extra bathroom, a laundry room, or even a recreation room. 

Using a basement to increase the space of your cabin is a great choice and can serve many functional purposes as well, especially if your cabin is on a slope. There are a number of concerns with log cabin basements such as the pros and cons of building a basement during the construction of the rest of the cabin versus building it later, what floor best works for a log cabin basement, and how to make your basement seem lively.

Should I Build my Basement When The Rest of the Cabin is Being built?

When building a cabin you’ll want to carefully plan out the construction process. From all the city codes you have to follow to the aesthetic that you are trying to go for a log cabin takes a lot of work to maintain and that work will only get harder if you don’t start off with a solid plan.

In that planning process, you will want to consider if or when you will want to add the basement to your log cabin. Basements may be a cheap way to increase your log cabin’s size, but even cheap expenses are still expenses. So what are the benefits of building your basement with the rest of your house?

When working with multiple contractors and subcontractors the name of the game is getting each of them to work together. If your first subcontractor doesn’t connect his part of your house into the next subcontractors than your having to play a guessing game of what their intentions were. So it is best to plan this whole process out from the beginning that way everyone is on the same page.

There are plenty of homes where you can just tell that each owner added something new to the house and none of it worked together. Now, when the nth owner of the house gets it they are totally lost with how this house was even constructed. Don’t do that to yourself get everyone working on the house on the same page by starting with the basement plan and leading up to the construction of a homely log cabin on the top of it.

Should you, for whatever reason, not be able to build a basement in the original construction of the cabin, what then? First, attempt to mitigate the confusion that can come as a result of the time between the construction of the basement and home by having a plan written out about what you want to do with the basement. This means drain lines, HVAC ducts, etc.

Anything that you want in your basement should already be planned from the start of whatever piece of the cabin you start with. That way there are no surprises.

Additionally, have your future rooms marked on the original blueprint as to be completed later, this way you don’t need someone checking your blueprint twice to approve everything. Also if they are on the blueprint but not marked to be done later than your contractor is assigned to do this and he’ll have to build all of it, so make sure those blueprints are marked correctly.

What Are The Best Floors For a Log Cabin Basement?

The cheapest option for flooring is concrete. You’ll generally want to go with this form of construction and just modify what is on top of that concrete to give your basement the feel that you want. If you are going to stick with a concrete floor you may want to look into ways to make the floor a little more visually appealing than the average variety of concrete.

You can try using dyed concrete or asking your contractor for a troweled finish. Both ways are good ways to advance the visual appeal fo your floor.  If the slab of concrete is the only flooring that your plan on using see if you can ask for insulation and/or radiant barrier to attempt to remove some of the extreme temperatures that basements can sometimes reach.

If you plan on adding more to the basement you have a couple of options. The cheapest are carpet and vinyl, but you can always go fancier with tile and stone, but you will have to pay a higher price for those. Otherwise, you can stick with wood to add more logs to your log cabin.

If you want a more natural wood floor you’ll need to separate the wood from the potential wetness of the concrete. Of course, you could use engineered wood instead to counter the warping nature of more natural woods.

How to Make Your Basement Lively

Basement can have a very eerie feeling to them. you can sometimes feel like you are in a tunnel or worse a dungeon, and no one wants to feel like that. To remove these sensations your best options are to create more space or add more light.

These are old architecture tricks from way back in the 1600’s when France decided to clean up Paris by opening up the city to more empty spaces and more light. To do this your best option is to have high ceilings. Have ceilings that are 9 to 10 feet high.

Keep in mind that you have ducts over your head for the rest of your house as well as any wiring, plumbing and other similar cords and pipes that will be hopefully, covered by your ceiling. Having a high ceiling provides plenty of space for these things to be covered.

To add light the best thing you can do is add windows. Not all basements will provide that opportunity but if possible that the natural light of the sun it will really bring the room together and take it out of the dark and dreary tunnel/dungeon feeling that you could be getting.

Finally, the cold is a dampener on any mood go ahead and warm up you basement with insulation preferrablly this will keep everyone toasty and may even get people to forget that they’re underground.

Related Questions

How do you regulate the extreme temperatures that basements can reach? The best way to regulate the temperatures of a basement is with insulation and proper heating. Get insulation both inside and outside the basement if you need to. Try insulating your concrete slab before construction if possible.

For temperature remember that it is the cold that is the problem. When it is too cold it will get too humid as well. So keep your basement warm. In general, you want to try to keep your basement at around the same temperature as the rest of your house. So if you’re not comfortable neither is your basement.

How much does it cost to build a log cabin? Well, this all depends on how complicated you want the construction of the log cabin to be. There are ways for you to generally figure this out such as the log home calculator, but it’s up to you how much you want to put into your log cabin. I suggest setting a budget and as always have a fair amount of buffer room so you don’t go overboard with your plans. I’ve seen several people try to stick to about $20,000 but that is always up to you.

Keep the cost within your bounds to handle and do your research as building codes and contractors can cost you more than you would expect. So monitor the expenses that you are putting into your cabin, make and stick to your budget as best as you can, and make sure you have a little extra money that you can throw at any of those unforeseen problems that pop up.

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