Despite the advances we have made, humans still desire a primal survivalist experience. And one of this is living in a log cabin. Because no matter how expensive or fancy the design may be, there is an unmatched rustic feel about living in a log home.
There is something very cool about a log cabin lifestyle. If you are a casual observer, living in a log cabin can seem straight out of the movies. A beautiful home nestled in the mountains with snow fluttering outside the window – could it get any more idyllic?
However, if you have not lived in such an old fashioned home, it is natural to ask, what is it like living in a log cabin? After all, there is no place or home that is perfect. So in this post, we discuss what to expect living in a log cabin. We also weigh in on the pros and cons of owning a cabin.
Let’s get started.
What is it like living in a log cabin?
To say that living in a log cabin is different is an understatement. Here are the reasons why.
- Natural beauty.
Log cabins are typically located in picturesque locations. There is an abundance of woods and mountainous landscapes in the case of many log homes. A log cabin that faces a gorgeous water body is also a common sight. All of these pristine conditions add to the overall charm of a log cabin.
Except for some exceptional soul, everyone dreams about waking up each morning in the lap of nature. And you can’t get close to this dream better than living in a log cabin. Apart from admiring the landscape from your bed, you will become a nature enthusiast, even without knowing it. You will either feel the wind blowing through your hair or watch the snowfall, depending on the season. And who can resist staying inside closed doors in such luxury?
- You need fewer items.
A log cabin lifestyle naturally requires you to rely on fewer things. This may stem from using a single item for multiple purposes or not requiring fancy cutlery or gadgets. Moreover, even a log cabin with the most ingenious designs does not have a lot of storage.
So you have a limited resource to work with. And you will do exceptionally well too!
- It is cozy.
There is one thing about living in a log cabin that you can’t argue with. And it is the coziness of it all. Picture this – a wood stove crackling in the corner, rugs thrown over the floor, warm cocoa in your hands, and a fluffy blanket covering you. Irrespective of what you have heard or read about living in a log home, you can’t beat the coziness in these homes.
Apart from this idyllic setting, the combination of wood designs in a small space just makes everything more appealing. This is something that cannot be replicated in construction with concrete. If you ask a log cabin owner or anyone who has had a taste of this wonderful life, the coziness is one of the highlights of a log cabin lifestyle.
- You become aware of your surroundings.
Even without meaning to, you become acutely aware of your surroundings while living in a log cabin. The reason is that you are surrounded by nature, which can also mean unstable weather. Moreover, most log homes typically do not have insulation or air conditioning.
So you will have to keep a constant watch and be in tune with the weather. In the summer months, you will need to keep the house cool, usually by ventilating. On the other hand, gauging the snowfall and its intensity is essential, so you don’t freeze from the cold.
- Maintenance and utilities can be a pain.
If you own a log cabin, then you understand this perfectly. Irrespective of age and design, the longevity of a log home depends on how well you maintain it. While it is true that older homes need more work, don’t assume that a newly built log cabin can withstand extensive neglect.
Electricity and plumbing in a log cabin can also be a problem. It is especially true if the home is more than a decade old. Even with an alternative source of power, electricity, and plumbing, or lack of it, is an age-old issue in a log home.
Pros and cons of owning a cabin.
Whether you own or temporarily live in one, log cabin pros and cons is an inevitable topic. It is because these wooden structures do have their drawbacks despite their enviable nature. As a casual visitor, you may not be too concerned with the disadvantages as you are merely experiencing the log cabin lifestyle.
However, for someone who dreams of owning a cabin, it is crucial to weigh the pros and cons before you put down your hard-earned dollars. Log cabins are a fantastic investment, but they are a long-term commitment in many ways.
Therefore, we will talk about the pros and cons of owning a cabin in this section.
Let’s discuss the pros first.
- Resistance and durability.
Log cabins are made of timbers from trees, which essentially makes them a part of nature. Well-built log homes can easily last up to half a century if they are well cared for. Some wooden structures in Europe are easily over 700 years old, which is impressive.
Now, your log cabin might not stand as long. But a good quality log cabin can withstand natural disasters like a champ. And if you use the logs from trees such as cedar and redwood, the log cabin can resist decay very well.
Of course, if your log home uses steel in the construction, it can last even longer than a traditional log home.
- A green option.
Among the many admirable things about the younger generations is their concern for the environment. Many of them are always looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. And returning to natural living in log cabins is one of their efforts.
Aside from its location amongst nature, the log cabin lifestyle is sustainable in many ways – from off the grid power options to growing your veggies and fetching the water from the nearby streams. If you are looking for a sustainable form of living, you can’t get better than living in a log cabin.
And it is not just the young that get a green option from log cabin homes. Some builders build these homes from dead trees. Similarly, some log builders and companies commit to buying timbers from forest that have a certification for sustainable practices.
Another fantastic advantage of log cabins is their versatility. As a proud owner of one, you can bring your family to live in it any time of the year. This way, you don’t have to spend an extra cent for enjoying a dream vacation.
On the other hand, you can rent out the cabin when you are not living in it. You will be surprised to know that people are looking to rent a log cabin at any time of the year. So the cabin serves you when you need it. But it also brings in decent income when you don’t need it.
Another aspect that makes log homes versatile is its design. Unlike other types of buildings, log homes are almost always built to your specifications. This makes them genuinely personalized, and there are no two log homes that are the same. Their versatility in design means you can tailor-make your dream home.
- Controlling the potential damage.
If you are a log homeowner, then you will greatly appreciate this feature. In a typical home, insulation and the walls mask all types of damage. This can result in significant loss because you don’t see the damage until it is beyond repair or very severe.
But a log home is very transparent in this regard. Whether it is damaged due to termites, moisture, or something else, you can see it as soon as it manifests. Because you can see any potential problem as soon as it begins, you don’t have to spend a lot of time repairing it. Similarly, you don’t have to spend a mini fortune repairing the massive damage.
The advantages of owning a log cabin are pretty fantastic. Nevertheless, similar to other structures and buildings, log cabins too have their share of disadvantages.
Now let’s discuss the cons of owning a log cabin.
- Log cabins are expensive.
It is no secret that building or buying a log cabin is an expensive transaction. Most log cabins start from $125 per square foot and can go up to $400. This is by no means budget-friendly. But that is not where the expenditure stops.
You have to take into account the cost of the land, the furniture, and the appliances. So although log cabins are an excellent investment, but it is also easy to see why others don’t bother with it at all.
Insurance is another finance issue that you need to consider. Since most log cabins are typically far from fire services, insurance companies won’t be competing to cover your log cabin with insurance. If you are lucky to find a log cabin insurer, be ready to shell a considerable amount.
- Bugs and critters are real.
Unlike a romantic scene in a movie, bugs and critters can be real problems in a log cabin. For some reason, everything from carpenter ants and termites to woodpeckers loves log cabins as much as their owners do. So you might find yourself in an endless battle against these unwanted visitors. Some larger rodents such as mice and rats can also take up real estate inside your dream cabin.
There are treatments and solutions to get rid of these creatures. However, taking these precautionary measures can cost a lot of money. Moreover, fixing the damage caused by these critters as a DIY can be time consuming and expensive. But so can hiring the services of a repair or a pest company.
- The hot and cold.
Log cabins, especially the older ones, are infamous for no insulation. While this may sound tolerable in theory, this can be a constant annoying problem. In the summer, you will be struggling to keep your log home cool. With no option for switching on the air conditioning, all you have are the windows that will keep your home cool and not suffocate you with the heat. You might be able to fix an AC unit, but it won’t be easy or affordable.
Similarly, you will find yourself continually struggling to keep the cabin warm and livable in winter. Log homes do not have the luxury of central heating, so all you have is your wood stove to work its magic and keep the entire house warm.
- Cost of maintenance.
Another considerable deterrent for potential log cabin owners is the maintenance aspect. These timber structures need constant inspection and regular maintenance. You will need to conduct a thorough log cabin inspection every six months to a year. During the examination, you need to watch the stain’s quality, signs of molds, and pest infestation, among others. You will also need to inspect the chinking or the sealant between the logs.
Moreover, a log cabin requires re-staining and re-sealing every three years or so. However, the frequency of upkeep will depend on the location and the age of the log cabin.
Living in a log cabin has several benefits both for the mind and for the body. It is an excellent investment and a fantastic way to get back to our roots. For those looking for sustainable ways of living, it doesn’t get better than a log cabin lifestyle.
But as enchanting as living in a log home can be, it is not without its downsides. So if you plan to own a log cabin, consider all the log cabin pros and cons first. This way, you don’t have to deal with the aftermath of a wrong decision about owning a log home. After all, log cabins are an investment of a lifetime.
My name is Eugene Thornhill. I'm an outdoor enthusiast who loves nothing more than being one with nature. I've lived in numerous outdoor homes and even constructed my own. Living off-grid is something I'm very familiar with, more so than living in the city. For many years I've dealt with the many problems of living off-grid. It's time to pass on my knowledge through Cabinguides.