Log Cabins vs Traditional-Built Cabins: Which is the Best Investment?


When preparing to invest in a cabin there comes a huge decision of choosing between a log-built cabin or a traditionally built cabin. When I sit back and imagine a cabin in the woods, I typically imagine a log cabin, but there are a lot of perks that come with living in a traditional cabin. Because of this, I did the research to see which type of cabin is the best to invest in. 

So, which cabin is a better investment? Log cabins are extremely popular but can be rather hard to sell, while traditional cabins are very versatile in design but can sometimes lack the natural feel that people are looking for. In the end, there are pros and cons to both types of cabins and the better investment comes from what you want to get out of it. 

I have such a fond love of log cabins. They remind me of other cabins I have stayed in throughout my life and I just enjoy the rustic feel. As my wife and I were deciding what type of cabin to build though, it made me curious to see all of the pros and cons that come with these two types of homes. Written down below are all of the interesting information that I learned as my wife and I researched. 

Log Cabin Investment vs Traditional Cabin Investment

Log cabins were rulers in the cabin world for a long time but there seems to be a new leveling out among cabins that is quite impressive. Traditional built cabins as well as timber built cabins and a few others are starting to become just as popular as log cabins. So what are the real investment differences?

Investing in a Log Cabin

Investing in a log cabin is great because these cabins are strong and when they are well taken care of they can last forever. Log cabins are very popular and because of that they are easy to purchase and easy to build. A lot of the reason that people invest in log cabins is because they can do most of the work themselves . 

Another great reason to invest in a log cabin is that they are very popular for renting out. Lots of families like to vacation in the woods are looking for something rustic and homey. So, if you are looking into renting out your space at different times of the year a log cabin could be a great investment for you. 

Did You Know that there are some log cabins around that were built in the 1600s and some of those are STILL IN USE!!

There are a few disadvantages to investing in log cabins and they mainly are based on the fact that it is hard to sell a log cabin. Because log cabins are so popular and easy to build people prefer to have their own built to their own specifications rather than going out cabin hunting try to find one that fits what they want.

Because of this log cabins aren’t necessarily a great investment if you are looking to fix something up to sell, or see selling in your future.

Investing in a Traditional Cabin

Investing in a traditional cabin can be great! Because traditional cabins can require more effort to build it can be way easier to sell tradition cabins and that can be a great investment. If you like to fix up homes and resell or if you just see the idea of selling in your future traditional cabins can be a great investment. 

Building traditional cabins can be a little bit more time consuming because of construction crews and materials, so if you are looking for a quick home to buy the traditional cabin route may not be the best idea for you. 

What is the Difference Between Log Built Cabins and Traditionally Built Cabins?

There are a lot of differences between log built cabins and traditionally built cabins and the biggest one is the fact that log cabins are built with logs and traditionally built cabins are built with two by fours, insulation, and drywall. 

There are other major differences that come between log cabins and traditional cabins though, so I made a cart that shows these differences. 

Log CabinsTraditional Cabins
1. Log Cabins are built entirely out of wood.
2. Log cabins have one set aesthetic. 
3. Log cabins don’t have any insulation.  
1. Traditional cabins are built out of many different materials.
2. Traditional cabins can be built to fit almost any aesthetic.
3. Typically Traditional cabins are built with insulation. 

As we can log cabins and Traditionally built cabins are quite different, and because of that they each have unique and different sets of pros and cons. knowing the pros and cons of both cabins can help you decide which is the best investment for you. 

Pros and Cons of Log Cabins

Log Cabins are great cabins, but as with all great things there always comes the list of not so great things. You can find out more about living in a log cabin in my other article here, and below I have listed the top 5 best things about log cabins and the top 5 worst things about log cabins. 

Pros

1.The biggest pro for log cabins is that they are rustic

People love the rustic aesthetic. They love rustic furniture, rustic cars, rustic clothes, and rustic cabins. Close your eyes and picture that you are deep in the woods. A little while off you can see a chimny and smoke, so you walk through the trees and into an open area with the most perfect cabin sitting right in the middle.

When performing this exercise the cabin that most people picture is a rustic log cabin. People just love rustic cabins and when asked to picture a cabin most of the time it is going to be that rustic log style. Know can say if that image is ever going to change, but it is definitely one of the reasons people still love log cabins. 

2. People LOVE the Learning Experience 

There is a lot of care that goes into building and maintaining a log cabin and people really enjoy being able to grow with their cabins. A lot of people choose to build their own log cabins and the process of learning how it all fits together is pleasant for them. 

3. Log Cabins have a Classic Natural Look

When people escape away to the woods they normally are escaping from the concrete, drywall, and steel of the city. Lots of people love log cabins so much because even though they are inside it still feels like they are out in nature. 

Log cabins have a picture perfect look that can make anyone feel at home instantly. 

There is an incredible beauty that log cabins have because when you look at one it just seems to be at home with surrounding trees and woods, and yet it still stands out from the woods as something majestic and unique. 

4. Log Cabins are Just SO Cozy

Walking into a log cabin and being surrounded by wood creates an immediate intimate feeling no matter the size of the room. People who love log cabins love this intimate and cozy feeling that emits throughout log cabins. 

This cozy feeling comes as well from the lack of insulation that most log cabins have, but being wrapped up in blankets piled up next to the fireplace laughing and talking as a family is one of the reasons people love log cabins. 

5. Log Cabins are VERY Sturdy

People always want to live in a secure and safe home that they know is going to last a long time. No home owner ever bought a home in the hopes that it would crumble down around them. One of the greatest appeals of log cabins is that they can last forever. 

Because of the way that they are built these structures are strong and sturdy. Some of the oldest historical sights still standing are log cabins. People love that when they purchase or built a log cabin it is one that can be in their family for many years to come. 

There are some awesome things about log cabins. People just love them! But there are some downfalls to owning log cabins. 

Cons

1. The Heating Bill for Log Cabins can be a Real Turn-off 

Log cabins have relatively no insulation and are known for being extremely hard to keep warm. If you are using fireplaces they only heat that room that they are in and not even the whole room will get warm, and if you are using a heating system your bill can soon become astronomical. 

A lot of people don’t like log cabins because there seems to be this myth that the logs themselves are insulation. While that is true to a certain extent, the limited insulation that the logs provide doesn’t help much against the cold winters and hot summers. 

2. Cooling a Log Cabin can Seem like You are Trying to Cool Down the World

Lack of insulation is a problem with a lot of people because almost worse than being too cold is being way too hot, and unless your cabin is properly cooled during the hot summer months they can become quite unbearable. 

If you have an air conditioning unit in your log cabin the price that it cost to cool your home is something that some cabin owners just do not love. There is a beauty in rustic but not always in the price it costs to cool it. 

3. Log Cabins can be crazy hard to sell 

When people buy homes there is always a possibility the owner will one day sell, so when a people hear about or experience how hard it can be to sell log cabins they can get really turned off. 

4. Log Cabins can Sometimes Hide Costs

Log cabins can have a lot of hidden costs like the costs of maintenance (more about that in this article), the cost of heating/cooling, the unknown costs of building, and more. Log cabins are great but like humans have their secrets. 

Log cabins need to be re-stained and re-sealed every three years and the type of stain and sealer are not cheap and can cost quite a bit when you add in the size of your log home. On top of that log homes can get mold quite easily which has to be removed. 

Once every year log cabins should be power washed to clean off all of the pollen, bugs, and dirt and while it is sprayed off it is suggested that the home should be inspected. 

When building log cabins and using log cabin kits it is hard to find a kit that has everything that you need for the exterior and the interior so you have to be very careful when examining kits so that you don’t end up have to spend extra money. 

5. Bugs LOVE Log Cabins

Bugs love log cabins and home owners tend to not love bugs. Carpenter ants, termites, earwigs all of these little critters and more like to make their homes in wood and log cabins have no shortage of that. 

Because so many people hate dealing with bugs they steer clear of log cabins because when you own a log cabin you will never be able to leave the war against bugs. 

So there are good things about log cabins and some not so good things about log cabins but all in all they can be an incredible investment if you are looking for a long term reliable cabin. 

Pros and Cons of Traditional Cabins

Traditionally built log cabins are beautiful and crafty there are so many styles and people really seem to love them. Like log cabins though traditional cabins have their pros and cons as well. 

Here are the top five pros to choosing a traditional cabin and the top five cons. 

Pros

1. Traditional Cabins Have Tons of Style Options 

When buying or building a traditional cabin there are so many different styles to choose from. You can make your cabin mountain style, shabby chic, farmhouse style, and many more. 

How awesome can it be to live in your dream cabin that is designed in your favorite style? One of the reasons that people choose traditional cabins is that they don’t want to be stuck with the rustic feel and so traditional cabin gives them great options. 

2. Traditional Cabins are Insulated

If you don’t want to worry about the hassle of crazy heating and cooling bills traditional cabins might be the best thing for you. They are insulated and make it WAY easier to keep your cabin cold and warm.

3. These Cabins can be WAY Easier to Insure

Traditional cabins have floor plans that insurance companies are used to working with and so insurance companies are more likely to insure traditional cabins for cheaper prices than log cabins.

4. It is Super Easy to Find a Contractor

There are a lot of construction companies that are building traditional cabins right now and so it is very easy to find great contractors who will be able to work with you on your dream cabin. 

5. Supplies for traditional Cabins are Easily Accessible

Traditional cabins use the same materials that are in mainstream housing and so it becomes really easy to find the materials that will be needed to maintain your cabin. 

Cons

1. Limited Floor Plans 

There are set floor plans for traditional cabins and while you can go to a contractor to tweak the designs there is a sense of limitation that comes when building a traditional cabin. 

2. Depending on materials They can get Expensive 

Traditionally built cabins can get expensive quickly just by the choices of materials that you pick. They definitely don’t have to be expensive but they can be. 

3. No Natural Feeling

When you drive up to a traditionally built cabin there is definitely the sense that this building does not naturally belong there. Because they don’t have to have a rustic feel and they can be more modern it can look quite out of place sometimes. 

4. Can Take Longer to Build

Traditional cabins can be more complicated and have more elements than log cabins and because of that it sometimes takes longer to build traditional cabin than it would to build a log cabin. 

5. They Don’t Look like Typical Cabins

Lots of traditional cabins don’t fit the mold of the rustic log cabin that most people picture and although some people love that others are not huge fans. These cabins do not have the same aesthetic as log cabins and some people miss that.

Related Questions

What are other types of cabins? There are actually quite a few different types of cabins there are log cabins, stick-built cabins, modular cabins, and timber frame cabins. All of these cabins are beautiful and can fit with any personality. 

How can you build log cabins? There are two main routes that you can take to build log cabins. You can buy log cabins kits that are pre-designed or you can use a contractor to help in the building process and purchase your own logs. 

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