Thinking About Log Cabin Layout

The layout of your cabin is important. After all, you’re spending your time there relaxing and enjoying life– why wouldn’t you want it set out how you like it? The problem is, interior design isn’t one of those things that they cover in home-ec. Many people just don’t know how to set up a log cabin’s floor plan to take advantage of the space.

But don’t worry– TruLog has you covered!

It’s important, if you’re building your cabin from scratch, to consider your priorities. Do you want to have a great view? Then make sure you’ve got a good place to put windows, clear access to the view in question, and space to appreciate it. How about some peace and quiet? Even those cabins near sources of noise like roads and rivers can seem like a perfect getaway if you remember to put the bedrooms on the far side of the building!

A couple of things that can make your log cabin uniquely rustic, is changing it up from your day-to-day domicile. If you’re the sort of person who likes to entertain, consider an open kitchen floor-plan, with lots of access to seating, prep area, and good dinners. If you like novel sleeping areas, you may want to think about adding a loft for a nice, private getaway!

What if you don’t have an eye for design?

That’s all right! There are a lot of different companies out there that offer pre-made log cabin floorplans. You’re not alone in wanting an excellent getaway without having to learn interior architecture. For a couple of good ones, take a look at these beautiful modern designs! You don’t have to settle for a low-slung, dimly-lit cabin with these gorgeous layouts.

If you’re more of a traditionalist, don’t worry! There are plenty of free plans out there to take a look at when you’re planning your cabin. If you want a more back-to-basics approach to luxury, or if you’re just looking to get some inspiration from tried-and-true design, then take a look at these beautiful, traditional log cabin designs! Did we mention that a lot of these plans are free?

Of course, if you build a cabin, you’ll want to keep it safe and sound for years to come. Looking at all of these designs, we’ve noticed one glaring issue: what do you do to protect them from weathering, insects, or rot?

We’ve already done a post on how to care for log cabins. The process involves a lot of cleaning with mild soap, curing the building materials with preservatives, and doing expensive replacements on any compromised logs. Or, if that’s not to your taste, you could always take a look at TruLog’s Steel Log Siding! No matter what the cabin of your dreams looks like, you can always keep it safe for years and years with TruLog’s protection. Contact us today for more information!

Winterizing Your Cabin: A Few Quick Tips

winter cabin photo

Photo by Sami Lazaar

It’s an unfortunate fact of Log Cabin life that the wilderness gets to be pretty feisty around November. Cold winds blow in, bringing deep snow and nasty frost. Winter rolls across the mountains, and even though we live in the age of cellphone coverage, there are still roads that get closed until next May.

We here at Tru Log understand that the year-round log cabin lifestyle isn’t for everybody. It takes a lot of commitment to withstand the weather and weather the elements for a whole winter season. That’s why we’re offering these handy winterizing tips for our customers– because it’s no fun to come back to a burst pipe or broken window!

Winterize your cabin

One of the most important things to remember, if you’re leaving for the winter, is to empty out all of the water from your pipes. First, shut off the water. Then, empty the pipes. Usually, this is done by finding the lowest faucet in the building–either a garden spigot or a utility spigot–and open it up. Then, the smart cabin-owner goes through and makes sure that all of the other faucets are open to give the system space to air out.

There will still be some water in the pipes, sadly– it’s difficult to get it all out. To address this problem, you can either use compressed air to blow the water out of its hiding places, or add a liquid with a lower freezing point–RV antifreeze, for example, or even vodka–into the plumbing system.

Regardless, make sure your pipes are properly insulated no matter how thorough you’ve been in emptying them. Look for trouble spots, like utility meters and pipes in crawl-spaces. Keep them dry and warm, wrapping insulation around any that run the risk of catching a chill– or a plug of ice that makes them burst!

The interior is done– but what about the outside?

There’s nothing harsher than a Colorado winter. If you’re not staying in your cabin for the duration, it can be tough to keep it in good repair. Wind, rapidly fluctuating temperatures, and a whole boatload of snow can take its toll as much as any burst pipe can, with broken windows, loose shingles, and more. If possible, leave the heat at around 55-60 degrees to keep the building from going through too much, and open any crawlspace vents to allow for temperature fluctuations. Shutter your windows and put a cap on your chimney, and remove all food from the premises to prevent any unwanted furry guests.

And, most importantly, remember to install Tru Log’s Steel Log Siding to protect the bones of your cabin from the elements. Our steel log siding keeps your building safe and sound, all through the winter, so you don’t have to break the bank on repairs every spring!

What are you waiting for? The snow’s coming in! Call Tru Log today for an estimate!

Rustic Holiday Decor & Your Cabin

rustic decor photoWe here at the Tru Log Log Cabin Blog are split when it comes to rustic design trends. Of course, we love a good rustic design spread. There’s nothing like rough wood and an open fire in a stone fireplace, after all! But when you’re paying somebody out the nose for some wooden coasters and a second-hand rug, we have to say– there’s a better way to do it!

This holiday season, think about decorating your log cabin with a few of our Tru Log Log Cabin Blog rustic decor tips. There’s no place like a log cabin to celebrate the holidays, and your log cabin can look its best with just a few quick fixes!

Rustic decor doesn’t have to be expensive!

The problem with a lot of interior decoration, is that once it gets to be desirable, people want to charge you a whole bunch of money for it. And we don’t blame them– rustic decor looks great! It’s just that a lot of the special details that make your log cabin look great don’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

Take garlands and wreaths, for example. You could certainly pay Pier 1 almost $70 for a wreath with lights. Or, if you’re feeling more inclined, you could get a fresher, better holiday accent for free by grabbing a few fresh pine boughs. Not only do these natural wreaths spruce up (pun definitely intended) a holiday display, but they also smell great! And, best of all, a fresh pine-bough can be had for either nothing or close to it– either source it yourself (if you have some healthy pine trees on your property) or ask your local Christmas tree farm when you’re picking up your Christmas tree if you can grab a few of the spare branches they have lying around!

Antlers are another much sought-after decoration accent. There’s nothing quite as rustic as a good set of antlers, but if you aren’t a hunter, they can be hard to track down. Think about talking to an established game-processing outfit, or the local Park Service or BLM office– a lot of organizations work with servine population management, and may be able to point you in the right direction!

No matter where you are, a rustic Christmas isn’t far away!

There are a lot of different sources for rustic decor in the small towns and main streets of the wilder part of America. Locally, the owner of Rim Frost Antiques in Fairplay, Colorado, was quoted as saying “We’re just selling things we’ve had in the barn for fifty years.” And while that may (or may not) be an exaggeration, it’s a good illustration: what we call ‘rustic decor,’ other people may just call ‘what we’ve got lying around in the old barn!’

No matter how you decorate your log cabin, we here at the Tru Log Log Cabin Blog would be irresponsible if we let you go without taking a look at our Steel Log Siding. Protecting your cabin from the winter snow and wind can make all the difference between a blue Christmas and happy holidays. Make sure you make the right call– contact us today!

Christmas in the Rockies: Doing Holidays Right

rocky mountain snow photo

Photo by davebloggs007

Feel like getting out to enjoy the holidays this year?

There’s no reason to stay cooped up in your cabin for the winter. Gone are the days where cabin fever was a requisite for living in the Colorado Rockies– now, instead, you can spend your time skiing (either alpine or cross-country), sledding (check out your local sledding hill), or celebrating the season on any number of gorgeous small-town main-streets in the Rocky Mountains!

The Colorado Rockies do Christmas right

We here at Tru Log’s Log Cabin Blog are firm believers that the holiday season is best viewed through a snow storm off your back deck, holding a cup of hot cocoa. There’s nothing like the sound of wind-blown snow through the pines, especially when you’re safe and warm inside your log cabin (which you’re protecting with our [steel log siding,] right?)

But if you feel like braving the elements, then look no further than the closest excellent little town! For instance, did you know that Estes Park has a full calendar of awesome holiday events to ring in the season?

It’s true! It starts with their “Catch the Glow” Christmas parade and celebration the day after Thanksgiving (this year, it’s the morning of November 24.) Why spend your time waiting in line for Black Friday deals when you can get out and see the best of what Estes Park has to offer? No better way to kick off the holiday season!

Of course, that’s not all that the Rockies have to offer!

No matter where you go in the Rockies, there’s bound to be something going on. We love our snow, after all, and can’t wait for the chance to show it off! From the Four Corners area, to Gunnison, to Steamboat Springs and beyond, there’s always something going on in the Colorado Rockies for the holidays.

Or, if you’d prefer, you can stay in your log cabin and spend the holidays snuggled up to the fire. We recommend the smaller marshmallows for your hot cocoa, and–if you’re over the legal drinking age–some peppermint schnapps from a local Colorado distillery (we’ve got over 50 currently operating in-state!)

Whatever you do this holiday season, let Tru Log take some of the work off your plate. With our Steel Log Siding, you won’t have to worry about working on your log cabin, even after the mountains thaw out!

Caring for your Christmas Tree: A Log Cabin Guide

christmas tree photo

Photo by USDAgov

The one thing you’ll need to make your log cabin feel like a log home this holiday season, is a good old-fashioned Christmas tree. The trouble is, like the pumpkins before them, Christmas trees have a limited window of optimal freshness. Pine needles fall off, branches dry out, and the whole thing starts turning orange if you let it sit too long.

That’s why we here at Tru Log’s Log Cabin Blog have put together this handy guide, to keep your log cabin in the holiday spirit from November 26th to New Year’s Eve!

First impressions are important

Depending on where you are this holiday season, it’s a good idea to do your due diligence before you settle on a tree. There’s a good chance that your local supermarket is importing the christmas trees from tree-farms across the country, where they’re kept fresh by nitrogen-filled refrigerated 18-wheelers. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, we here at Tru Log believe that–heck–since you’re looking for the log cabin life, you may as well go all the way!

Keep an eye out for local tree-farms that grow their own stock, either on the premises or nearby. There’s nothing like a freshly-cut Christmas tree to really get you in the holiday spirit! If the trees aren’t fresh-cut, then check the branches by gently running your fingers along the needles. If the needles flake off, or if the branches seem a little too brittle, then you may want to look for another tree–it may be that this one is already too old.

What to do when it gets home

You’ve heard it before: “Location, location, location.” When you bring your tree home, make sure you’ve got a space cleared in your cabin that is far away from heat sources and open flame (like your fireplace or woodstove.) It’s important, both for the life of the tree and the life of your cabin, that you minimize any fire danger.

Cover the floor with a tree skirt, and prep your tree-stand. Then, when you’re ready to mount the tree, use a handsaw to cut off approximately the last half-inch of the trunk, to improve the tree’s ability to take in water. A handsaw is important, as other saws might create enough friction to cook the wood, keeping it from being able to absorb any water at all!

A tree can go eight hours without water, for optimal tree-health. Make sure you get it in the tree-stand and drinking water before then, or you’ll seriously shorten your tree’s lifespan! Other tips we have, are check the tree-stand daily, make sure you mount it as close to straight as possible, and check for sap-leakage often (sap is near-impossible to get out of carpets and furniture.)

If you have any other questions about how to best live your log cabin life this holiday season, keep checking back to our Tru Log Log Cabin Blog! We’ll have log-cabin holiday information aplenty, whether you’re renting or owning. Merry Christmas!

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