Having a log home on a lake is a dream for many. Some families build log cabin lake homes as a place to get away on weekends or summer vacations, while others may plan for a total lifestyle shift, building a lakefront log cabin as a place to retire. Whether you plan on using it as a second home or as a primary residence, there are a few essential ideas to keep in mind when building the log cabin lake home of your dreams.
These six tips, many of which are often overlooked in the planning process, provide expert advice that can pay off in the long run. From building materials to smart design strategies, these recommendations can help you build your ideal log home on a lake:
1. Stick to a Natural Aesthetic
Modern trends and exterior decor styles can come and go in suburban settings. There’s nothing worse than being stuck with an outdated design that has lost its charm after a decade. Instead, stick to a classic, natural aesthetic that calls on earthy colors and iconic architecture to highlight the appeal of lakefront log cabins. A-frames and classic cabin layouts never go out of style. Plus, log cabin lake homes with rich brown, green, and rust tones are sure to keep their allure for many years. Furthermore, including additional features, like collected stones or pebble pathways will easily convey the natural aesthetic.
2. Choose More Durable Log-Style Siding
Unless you want to be doing nonstop maintenance and repair work, it’s best to swap the natural timber for more durable steel log siding. TruLog makes an awesome selection of low-maintenance steel siding that looks just like real, authentic wood. The heavy-duty strength of steel ensures that you can kick back and enjoy lake life instead of messing with warped or rotten logs, termites, chipped paint, or moldy siding panels — just a few of the common annoyances involved with log cabins made from real wood.
3. Build with Flood Zones in Mind
The lake may seem harmless on a calm day, but keep in mind that all bodies of water are at risk of flooding in the right conditions. Many lakes are fed by nearby creeks, too, which can add another element to flood fears. If you’re new to the area, do your homework and check with local authorities about flood zones and seasonal weather threats. After hearing advice from local experts, you may decide to add stilts or move your log cabin just a bit further up from the shore. It’s also important to integrate adequate drainage strategies that can deal with typical water runoff from storms.
4. Integrate Outdoor Living Spaces
What are lakefront log cabins without an outdoor deck to sit and watch the water? This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people get so caught up in the aesthetics of their lake home that they leave out integral features like decks, patios, garden spaces, outdoor kitchen areas, and outdoor shower facilities. Depending on your interests and activity level, access to the water may be necessary, too.
5. Source Materials Locally
It’s easy to start finding providers online in the initial stages of planning, but the reality is that sticking to local providers can be financially smart and environmentally responsible. Transportation costs can skyrocket when shipping large, heavy materials needed to build log cabin lake homes. Relying on local providers when possible can help cut down the carbon footprint and serve as a way for homeowners to cut costs. Plus, local providers are typically a wealth of knowledge for getting to know the unique challenges and benefits of the area.
6. Coordinate with the Sunrise and Sunset
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when designing plans for log cabin lake homes is overlooking the impact of the Sun when positioning the structure near the lake. Depending on the lot, it may be possible to rotate the lake home in a way that is more ideal for your preferences. Some people want the sunlight to stream through their bedroom window, while others want the deck positioned in a way that’s perfect for enjoying the sunset. Still, others may find that full shade is ideal. Think about your needs and wants when it comes to sunlight exposure, and modify the home’s positioning or layout accordingly.
Get Closer to Nature With a Lakefront Log Cabin
Whether it’s a weekend getaway spot or a permanent residence, building a log home on a lake can be a great source of joy and excitement. By keeping these elements in mind, like swapping real wood for TruLog cabin-style steel and positioning the home so that the sunlight hits it just right, you can build the log cabin lake home of your dreams!