Why Do People Live in Log Cabins?


As a builder and resident of log cabins, I of course have a list of reasons for why I chose to stick with my rustic home as opposed to going with the more conventional stick-built homes. I did plenty of research before I officially landed on the idea of building my cabin, so I’d like to share that with you.

So, why do people live in log cabins?  It’s cheaper, greener, and healthier. People who live in cabins constantly report feeling better, spending less money, and being closer to nature.

How exactly are log cabins cheaper? Log cabins can save you money short term and in the long run. And they are more efficient to boot. Plus, when you’re closer to nature, your mental and emotional health always benefit. Throughout the rest of the article I am going to go more in depth about why many people chose to live in a log cabin, and why it may just be the best choice for you as well.

Break the Mold Without Breaking the Bank

Log cabins are picturesque, for good reason. There is something truly American about a cabin on top of a hill, surrounded by trees and framed by the rising sun…. oh wait, that’s the logo on those maple syrup jars. My bad.

One of the first reasons people start looking into log cabins is just because they look beautiful. When you picture your dream house, you don’t usually picture a run of the mill house in a sub-burb somewhere. Log cabins have some of the best curb appeal in curb appeal history. They are American, rustic, and just plain alluring.

Because log cabins are smaller, they are a lot cheaper to build. They require less materials and less time, meaning you’ll be paying less for the labor to build it. Many cabins are built from reclaimed wood, and that is even cheaper than brand new wood, so that’s another expense you can deduct from your budget.

Cabins, especially when commissioned to a professional cabin company, only take about six to eight weeks to build. They can be built in sheltered warehouses, away from the elements, and transported just about anywhere. Log cabins definitely makes buying or building homes easier, better, and cheaper.

Besides just the advantage of their size and the initial savings that brings, log cabins are a great investment in the long term. Log cabins last a long time, and I mean a long time. There are log homes in Europe that are still being lived in that date back more than 800 years. And the oldest one on record is a log church in Russia that was built 1,700 years ago. If you build a log cabin, your family will be living in it for generations.

In addition to transcending the ages, log cabins are also extremely durable. They are famous for outliving natural disasters like tornadoes and floods. In one memorable story, an entire cabin was ripped from its foundations by flood waters and floated downstream before coming to rest, completely intact, and still perfectly habitable. 

So, if you chose to build and live in a log cabin, know that you’ll be investing in something that will stick around for decades. Not even the hail storms in Colorado could knock your home down, and that’s saying something. 

Go Green or Go Home

Most log cabins are built using recycled, up-cycled, or re-purposed wood. A lot of times, when houses are condemned, the wood and other materials used to build that house just go to waste when it’s torn down. Some cabin builders chose to buy this wood to build their cabin.

This is good in a few different ways. First, it saves the building money, as they’re buying wood at a discounted price. The wood is already treated, meaning it already has protections against bugs and weather, so the buyer gets all the benefits at half the cost.

Second, it prevents materials from going to waste and clogging up land fills. We all have to live on this planet, so it would make sense to help take care of it. The more wood we can recycle and re-purpose for future building projects, the better off we’re going to be.

Lastly, trees are a renewable source. Trees are constantly reproducing and growing. We’re not going to run out of trees anytime soon, so it makes sense to keep using them to build. You get to build houses that cause the least harm to the environment.

Speaking of the environment, log homes are definitely among the most green homes on the market. Log home are so efficient, that many stick-built (i.e. conventional homes) often borrow and mirror techniques that are used to build log cabins.

Log cabins are very well insulated, if built and sealed correctly, and they show significantly lower utility bills. In fact, log cabins are roughly 30% more efficient than stick built homes.

In addition to being more efficient energy wise, log cabins are also more efficient time wise. Log cabins take a lot less time to build than traditional houses do. After commission, log cabins can be completed in as little as six weeks.

The less time it takes to build something, the smaller that thing’s carbon footprint is. Less waste, less time on site, less materials, less people, the list goes on and one. Because log cabins are “less” in just about every aspect, they end up being so much more.

The little time spent on site is mostly due to the fact that most cabins are actually built off site. Most cabins are built in sheltered warehouses. This prevents the home from being exposed to the weather during construction. This adds to the quality of the home and reduces impact to the place where the home will eventually rest.

When We’re Happy, We’re Healthy

While log cabins can’t scientifically prove to improve health, the fact still remains that people who live in cabins consistently report being happier than they were when they lived in their stick-built home.

There is something about being close to nature that rejuvenates, calms, and enlightens. This “something” is the reason so many people pay oodles of money to stay at fancy camps to “get away” and “disconnect.” Why spend all that money every year when you could just build your own cabin and reap those benefits every day of your life?

As well as helping us feel grounded, cabins can give those who build them an immense sense of accomplishment. Your cabin is completely up to you, and you can customize to your heart’s content. Living in a space specifically designed for you just feels better. Why else do you think teenagers feel the need to plaster their bedroom walls with posters?

Plus, if you yourself are building your cabin, you can feel very accomplished indeed at when it is completed. If you’re satisfied and happy with your living space, your mental and emotional health are going to skyrocket.

The second benefit to building your cabin yourself is all the skills you can learn in the process. How many people can claim that they know how to build a log cabin? Building houses (and/or cabins) can teach you the manual skills like building walls and installing toilets, but it can also teach you skills like creativity, adaptability, frugality, and perseverance. 

Related Questions

Are log cabins more expensive than traditional houses? Log cabins are usually listed for more than traditional stick-built homes on the real estate market. However, they usually sell much faster. They are also a better investment, as they are more durable and more efficient. So in the long run, usually log cabins end up costing less than traditional houses.

Where are log cabins found? Log cabins are usually found in the country, and are lived in by the people who make their living off of the land. Usually these people work as loggers, farmers, or hunters, to name a few. Often people live in log cabins seasonally. The first log cabins were built in America by the Swedish settlers in the Delaware River Valley around 1638.

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