Tiny Log-Cabin Homes: Everything You Should Know

The tiny house craze has exploded recently.

Perhaps you’ve been hearing about these pint-size homes for some time now, and maybe you fell in love with the concept after seeing one in real life. Whatever your reason for being drawn to these homes, the fact is that tiny houses offer real benefits, which their inhabitants love to expound, such as:

  • Mortgage free
  • Self-sustaining
  • Low to non-existent energy consumption
  • Compact, eco-friendly size

These are very practical benefits for a homeowner. Living without a mortgage payment offers most homeowners significant savings potential. But even with these long-term savings, the upfront cost of a tiny home can be a burden for people trying to buy into the trend.

According to the folks at tinyhousetalk.com, the cost of buying a tiny home varies widely. For all-new materials, a new trailer, and most of the bells and whistles, tinyhousetalk.com says the home is likely to cost between $25,000 and $30,000. You could reduce the cost by using recycled materials, a used trailer, and 100 percent of your own labor and construction.

Tiny Home Meets Tiny Log Cabin

It goes without saying that another allure of tiny homes is how creative you can get with their design. You’ll find that many tiny home owners go to great lengths to customize their dwellings. Due to the cost advantages of such a compact home, you have the opportunity to get the dream home you’ve always wanted, even if what you’ve always longed for is a log cabin of your own.

Many people attracted to the tiny home aesthetic like the look of the cabin-style designs. These cozy tiny cabins can be found in some of the most scenic, rural and mountainous areas in the country, yet still look charming in suburban and urban settings when combined with tasteful landscaping. Log cabins have a very inviting feel to them and often come off with a bit of a “handmade” charm that tiny home aficionados appreciate.

Although a tiny log cabin home is clearly much easier to care for and maintain than a full-sized log home, you still might want to consider the choice of TruLog log steel siding in place of traditional wood.

Why Log Siding Alternative is Ideal

Real timber siding will also be a favored option for those that want the complete log cabin experience, but if you aren’t keen on the high-maintenance and natural vuleneraties of wood, Trulog steel log siding is the perfect alternative.

TruLog siding and tiny homes both have their own advantages, but when combined, are truly a win-win situation. TruLog-clad tiny homes provides practical benefits to homeowners by:

  • Freeing you from the routine maintenance requirements of traditional log siding material
  • Improving your home’s energy efficiency, lowering utility bills and consuming less energy overall
  • Providing a durable, heavy gauge steel that lasts for decades, allowing you to avoid the carbon footprint that comes with building new homes

If you were to side your home with traditional logs or half-logs, you’d be committing to re-sealing, repainting and other upkeep about every 2 to 3 years. Don’t forget that real wood siding is also vulnerable to insects, wildlife, pests, and its number one enemy is moisture. All in all, timber siding is one of, if not the most high-maintenance siding out there.

After completing your new tiny log cabin, the last thing you want to worry about is caring for it. Instead, you can spend this time doing the things you love in a TruLog-sided home that needs no more care than an occasional rinse with a hose or sponge.

If you plan on traveling with your tiny home log cabin, you’ll also have the piece of mind knowing that your home’s exterior is going to remain steadfast and strong, protecting the interior structure during movement.

You also won’t have to worry about moving into a region where wood may not do well. For instance, if you were living in a fairly mild region with few issues of native wood-loving insects, your timber tiny home may have done well. But what if you decide to move to a wet climate or into a new area where you may have to worry about native pests? TruLog eliminates these concerns, giving you valuable piece of mind that you’ll have your tiny log cabin home for many years to come.

7 Steps for Creating a Tiny Log Cabin

1. Design the Floor Plan

A solid floor plan is foundational — both literally and figuratively — to building a tiny log cabin that you can enjoy without worry. When it comes to creating a floor plan, you cannot get detailed enough. In other words, the more precise the layout, the better, so be sure to visualize every aspect of the cabin, both inside and out.

One smart way to approach the foundation is to take inventory of the property. After all, the land will make a big difference in the building structure, and you’ll want to ensure that the cabin is both structurally safe, and comfortable. If the property is heavily sloped, you’ll need to design a foundation to accommodate the slope, such as posts with concrete footing pads. If the ground is relatively level, then you may be good to go with a simple gravel bed and beams.

2. Secure the Materials

Once you’ve created a detailed floor plan that you’re confident in, you can begin buying and storing the necessary materials. If you’re going with natural wood – either logs or beams – decide if you’ll be sourcing these materials from a lumberyard or if you’ll be foraging directly from the property. Cedar, pine, and spruce are the most reliable trees to look for when building a tiny log cabin. Remember, if you forage the logs from the property, they’ll require additional prepwork, like debarking, treating with wax, and drying, not to mention the manual labor of harvesting them and transporting them to the buildsite.

You might be surprised to learn that many tiny log cabin builders actually swap real wood for more durable building materials, like steel siding. Don’t panic! Steel siding easily mimics the beautiful look of real wood. There are steel siding options that look just like natural cedar and pine, and some even feature intricate wood grain patterns that make wood so charming and attractive. You can find both log-style designs and wood-look panels of metal siding.

3. Build the Foundation

Remember to take slope into account when building the foundation. Depending on the building materials you’ve selected, the foundation may require a different approach. For example, with real logs, you’ll need to create a pier foundation and sill the first four logs. Regardless of the type of foundation you decide on, ensure the foundation is fully settled and level before moving on to the next steps.

4. Construct Walls, Windows, and Doors

Logs will require notching near the ends to help fit securely and prevent gapping between beams. If working with full logs, construct the four walls to the desired height, and then use a chainsaw to cut out windows and doors according to your building plan. While it may seem silly, waiting to carve out the windows and doors all at once can save a lot of time and hassle of measuring prior to construction. If you’re using an alternative material, like log-style steel, it’s easier to have the windows and doors measured out on plywood frames before installing the wood-style siding.

5. Raise the Roof

A pitched roof works best for tiny log cabins, and since most are square or rectangular, the roof design should be fairly straightforward to match. Depending on your preference and the size of your tiny log cabin, you may even prefer to build the roof completely before raising it.

6. Check All Seams

With most of the tiny log cabin constructed, it’s critical to check the integrity of all seams, as you don’t want any moisture — or critters — getting inside. Use caulk or another heavy-duty sealant to fill in any gaps between logs, roofing, soffit, edges, etc. If you’ve selected a log-style steel for the exterior of your tiny log cabin, then checking the seams will be much faster of a process.

7. Accessorize

Finally, accessorize your tiny log cabin to make it your own! Add decorative trim, fascia, and shutters for a one-of-a-kind look, and explore additional opportunities to coordinate exterior colors, like with the door, trim, and gutters. 

Leave a Smaller Footprint with Trulog Siding

In addition to creating your own oasis, the smaller carbon footprint of a tiny log cabin is something positive that you are doing for the environment. Use the 7 steps we’ve outlined to create your own tiny log cabin and contact Trulog today for more information on the best tiny house siding material.

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