Homesteaders settling in the territories of the American West traditionally built log cabins; durable, rainproof, and inexpensive. Today, eco-friendly and rustically charming, log cabins with their distinctive handcrafted appearance seem to be making a comeback, with luxurious features such as whirlpools, skylight windows and heated patios.
Swedish colonists built the first log cabins in North America at the beginning of the 18th century. The design of the log cabins was influenced by typical North European farm-houses until the introduction of the Homestead Act. According to which, new colonists had to build their homes of a specific size with at least one window. These old log cabins had just one room, a spacious porch, and an elevated area for sleeping.
Building the frontier style log cabin was quite easy and required only a few days. First of all, the builder settled a solid foundation to keep logs above the damp soil. Most often, rock or stone were used for the log cabin foundation. Then the builder would square off each log and make round cuts on the top and bottom of each end. Then he assembled the logs so that round cuts would fit together. The logs were secured together with wood sticks. The remaining spaces were filled with insulation materials such as clay or mud. The windows and doors were simply cut out, and a fireplace was built afterwards.
Thanks to new construction technologies and an increased attention to all things eco-wise and natural, log cabins are gaining in their popularity. Well-constructed, weather-proof log cabins today can be built and styled similar to conventional houses. Among the advantages of log cabins and homes, experts list remarkable weather-proofing qualities with little insulation and low building costs. In addition to that log cabins require little maintenance.
A hundred years ago a log builder lived in almost all rural neighborhoods, so learning to build a log cabin was easy – people simply followed the way he built. Today, log cabin enthusiasts have access to hundreds of log cabin building manuals and resources from all over the world.
Log cabin factory kits are a practical solution for the log cabin devotee. Log packages with complete instructions can be found online from as low as $5,000, but the complete cost of the building can go twice as high. To the price of the log cabin kit you should add the costs of the assembly and the installation of plumbing, electricity, heating and other “luxuries”. The happy owner of the log cabin can actually decrease the costs by participating in the construction, even though most log building companies can provide a team of contractors to raise the log cabin. In any case, the modern log cabin can be built from scratch in less than two weeks.
Once a popular vacation dwelling located in the scenic outback, log cabins are becoming popular residence choices for many families. More than 90 per cent of all log homes are currently used as a primary residence, and many of these log homes are built in metropolitan areas. Often, when people build the log cabin for vacation getaways places, they eventually move into their log homes because of their casual rugged charm and convenience.