What is it like Living in a Log Cabin?


Log cabins are rustic and charming and it seems like a fairy tale to live in one, but I always have wondered if it is really all it is cracked up to be. When we were deciding if we wanted to build one it seemed like people either loved them or hated them, so my wife and I wanted to make sure we knew what we would be getting into before we chose to build one.

So, what is it like living in a log cabin? Many people love it and many people hate it, but what it is like really depends on the type of log cabin you are living in, the location, and personal preference. 

Living in a log cabin can be exciting and rustic but it can also be expensive and cold. There are more modern log cabins and old log cabins and the experience can be completely different in one compared to the other. Further on in this articles are all the reasons that someone could love or hate living in log cabins. 

Living in a Log Cabin

When most people picture a log cabin they think of log cabins from the 1800’s that are small buildings and seem really old. In reality log cabins have come a long way throughout history. Log cabins now can be tricked out with the newest appliances and furniture, they can be multiple stories, and they can be very nice, and yet if you like simplicity they can still be like that as well. 

The experience of living in a log cabin is unique to every home owner, but there are some basic feels and trends that spread throughout each log home. 

Living in a log cabin has a very rustic feel no matter how expensive it is. There is a old fashioned feel that comes from being surrounded by wood and every room in a log cabin has not only wood walls but wood ceilings as well. This aesthetic can be altered by adding drywall or brick in a few places, but the rustic feel never really leaves. 

Log cabins tend to be built in the woods and, as such, living in one truly can be an escape from the world. 

With everyday life there are always cars driving to and fro, noises from neighbors and people on the streets, and light coming from so many different places, so escaping away to a log cabin can be very peaceful for many people. 

Jumping back to America’s heratige in an old fashion log cabin (regardless of its size or style) is what makes living in a log cabin so appealing for so many people. The people who love log cabins just can’t get enough of them. 

Reasons People LOVE Log Cabins

Log cabins have been around since at least the 1600’s and were the type of home that the settlers of the United States built and lived in. There is a reason that these cabins are still being built today, and that is because people love them. 

Thousands of people build, buy, or move into log cabins and they all have their own reasons why, so I listed the top ten reasons that humans love about log cabins.

1. Rustic 

I touched on the appeal of the rustic nature of log cabins before, but it really is a draw for people. They love not only the look of log cabins but also the feeling of being in one. 

There is something special about waking up to log walls and wood beamed ceilings that adds a certain sense of magic to one’s life. People love this feeling and want it to be a permanate part of their lives. 

People dream of waking up in a rustic slice of heaven everyday. 

2. Location 

Not only are log cabins rustic but they are usually built in beautiful locations. Log cabins are found quite frequently in wooded areas that are rather isolated with very few modern distractions. 

People love walking outside and seeing nothing but trees and having their neighbor live half a mile away. Now not every log cabin is ridiculously secluded but even if they are not usually be surrounded by trees helps people feel like they are. 

People crave the idea of isolation and nature that helps them feel peace. 

3. Design 

One of the great things about log cabins is that they all have pretty unique designs. Plus if you don’t find one that you love it is fairly easy to have someone build you the log cabin of your dreams. 

Log cabins historically were small rectangular shaped and served merely the barest purposes. Now log cabins are stylish and can be as big or as little as you want. 

If you want a log cabin with an outhouse you can have it, or if you want a log cabin with 4 bathrooms and a sauna you can have that as well. These rustic little nuggets have evolved and are now really at the whim of the one designing it. 

4. Natural Look 

These days with so much concrete and steal surrounding us at all times people want to have a piece of nature back in their lives, and so people love the natural look of log cabins. 

When you drive up into the woods and pull into the driveway of a log cabin it almost looks like it belongs. It looks almost as if it blends in although it very clearly stands out. People love that their log cabins look like the nature surrounding them. 

Not only do log cabins look natural but they usually have nature waiting right outside their front door. How nice would it be to walk outside and see chipmuncks racing around the trees and hear birds tweeting as you ate your morning breakfast? 

The sense of nature that comes from log cabins can extend far past the actual look of the house and permeate the surrounding area as well. 

5. Feeling of Security 

Many people say they love the living in log cabins because it helps them feel safe and free of the buisness and strife of the world. Log cabins can become a freedom from worrying about the dangers of city life and the stress that are caused. 

There is a feeling of safety that the charm of log cabins can emit for some people, and because they feel safe they feel happier. 

6. Transparent

One of the disadvantages of living in a normal house is that signs of infestation and decay are normally very hard to see until the problem has grown to the point of almost irreversibility. 

One thing that log cabin owners love is that their cabin is very transparent with its needs. If a log cabin gets termites it is usually very evident right at the beginning and as such becomes easier to handle. 

This is one of the reasons that people choose log cabins over different styles and models. They like that because it is so close to nature it is normally very easy to see and fix things that might be broken. 

7. Built to Last

Log cabins are built to last. They have always been built well and when maintained properly will last far longer than its owners. 

There is a log cabin that was built in 1638 that is not only still standing but is still in use. 

More about this epic cabin 

There are log cabins all over the world some very new and some that are older than my grandparents. There are so many of these cabins because they are known for being reliable and for being strong. 

Knowing that your investment is going to last for the next one hundred years can be a peaceful and secure feeling. That is a feeling that most log cabin home owners feel about their cabin and one of the many reasons people choose to purchase log cabins over other cabins. 

8. Versatile 

Log cabins can be very versatile. If you are looking for a property for your family to enjoy over the summer but don’t really have use for it during the winter months log cabins are a great investment because they can be rented out while not in use.

People love log cabins and they are very popular so it is extremely easy to find people who will want to rent them no matter the month. Because of this lots of people by log cabins as their vacation home. 

At the same time if you are looking for a year round home log cabins are great for that as well. Because you can find or design the perfect layout for you and your family log cabins quickly become the best home people have ever owned. 

9. Environmentally Green

Lots of people choose to build or purchase log cabins because they want to be the most environmental that they can be. Log cabins use way less typical building products like concrete and mortar which allows people to feel like they are saving the planet in their own small way. 

10. Learning Experience

One of the favorite parts about owning a log cabin is that it can be a tremendous learning experience. Whether people are learning from living in the woods or helping build their own home there always seems to be a great way to teach or be taught that comes from being the homeowner of a log cabin. 

There are many more reasons that people love living and owning log cabins but there are always two sides to every coin. Even the wooden coins. 

Reasons People HATE Log Cabins

Log cabins have been around for a long time and people have loved them for just as long, but not everyone is a fan of the log cabin craze. There are a lot of people that find some pretty aggressive faults with log cabins. 

Making sure that both sides of log cabins were recognized here I have listed the top ten reasons why people have NOT loved living in a log cabin. 

1. They Can be Very Expensive 

As was established in the above section log cabins can be great investments but they are investments and normally can be rather expensive. Buying a log cabin can get pricey with cabins going for sale in the millions. Now not all log cabins cost this much but most are not cheap.

If planning on building a log cabin it generally costs about 125 dollars to 175 dollars per square foot but can get up to 400 dollars per square foot, and that is getting very spendy. With building you also have to add in the cost of land into the total price to build as well as appliances and furniture. Because of this some people just do not think log cabins are worth it. 

2. Log Cabins Don’t Hold in Heat Well

Log cabins are not insulated because it would take away from the feel and aesthetic of the home. This causes it to be hard to keep the cabin warm during the cold fall and winter months. 

This bothers a lot of people because the heating bill can be astronomical for log cabins if a heater has been installed. If the heating system in the cabin is based off of fireplaces, than it can make for some very cold winters. 

A lot of people feel very sensitive about these issues because they feel like it wasn’t explained to them upon purchasing their log cabins. There are a few trick that can help keep the heat in and the cold out, but one of the downfalls of log cabins just happens to be their insulation. 

3. Getting Ready For Hot Summers 

As was discovered in the section before full log homes have zero insulation. This means that during those long hot summers you will have to be constantly fighting the battle of keeping your cabin cool enough. 

If purchasing an older cabin it is possible that the cabin doesn’t have an air conditioning unit installed. When that is the case it can become very expensive to put in an ac unit. 

Some log cabins can be bought with an air conditioning unit already in place which brings us full circle to our heating problem. It cost a lot of money to keep a log cabin cool during the hot summer months. Because of this owning a log cabin is just not worth it for a lot of people. 

4. Bugs, Bugs, Bugs

Bugs like wood and log cabins don’t have a shortage of wood. This means that log cabins become a prime home for these little critters. Carpenter ants, termites, and even larger animals like woodpeckers like to eat or make a home out of the logs and wood used in log cabins. 

This can be expensive to fix if a problem goes unnoticed; plus it can get expensive taking precautionary measures. It is expensive to seal log cabins and be expensive to hire companies to regularly come out and spray for bugs. 

That is why bugs are one of the reasons that some people hate log cabins. 

5. Log homes can be Hard to Sell

As we can see from these two lists there are a lot of people that love log cabins and a lot of people who don’t love them. Because there is such a love hate feel towards these cabins it can make them hard to sell. 

Another reason that log cabins are hard to sell is because of the ability people have to quickly build a log cabin to their design for around the same price. This way people get a unique cabin that is suited for them and they don’t have to go through the pain of searching through a bunch of different log cabins. 

6. Electricity is complicated

Electricity is always a little bit tricky to add to existing homes and log cabins do not fall short in this aspect. Even when having a log home built for you electricity can become a sticky situation. 

7. Log homes Shrink

Newly built homes shrink for about the first 3 years that they are standing. This happens because the logs are not completely dried out upon building. This causes problems with caulking and gaps and can really be a pain to deal with. 

8. Staining and Re-staining

Log cabins need to be stained and sealed about every three years. As you can imagine the cost of the stain and sealant plus the amount that needs to be purchased makes for an expensive face lift. 

9. Insurance Costs

Log cabins are normally built out in the woods far away from fire stations. This causes some alarm for insurance companies and as such the price for insuring log cabins can be a considerable amount compared to other structures. 

10. Maintenance 

One of the biggest reasons that homeowners do not like owning log cabins is because of all the extra maintenance that is required. Not only do you have to provide all of the necessary work that comes with the upkeep of homes, but log cabins have an extra list of chores that can add quite a bit to your exspenses. 

Log cabins need to be washed down at least once a year to keep them protected from outside elements. 

Every year log cabins need to have an outdoor inspection looking for mold, bugs, and stain quality. If mold or spores are found they need to be removed immediately. If there are bugs present measures will need to be taken to remove the bugs. As was stated above if the stain and sealant is starting to fade it will need to be redone. 

Related Questions

Are Log Cabin Kits Good or Bad? Log cabin kits can be very useful and quick to build but because they are fitted together in a particular pattern there is very little room for creativity. Also, different kits contain different pieces, so it is important to make sure that the kit you are buying has all of the pieces you will need.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Cabin? Like all types of homes, there are pros and cons. With owning a cabin you have to deal with bugs and rodents and higher insurance prices, but you also get amazing views, privacy, and an escape from everyday life. 

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