7 Steps for Creating a Tiny Log Cabin

Dreaming of life in a tiny log cabin? Quit dreaming, and start living! You may not realize it, but tiny log cabins have been gaining popularity in recent years, and there are many folks who have transformed their cabin goals from domestic dreams into real-life conquests.

It’s no surprise that tiny log cabins have taken off since they provide a ton  of advantages. For one, tiny log cabins usually leave a smaller carbon footprint than larger lodges with similar aesthetics, making small cabins an eco-friendly alternative.

DIY enthusiasts who have dreamed about homesteading often find it much more manageable to dive into a tiny log cabin project because of its scope. After all, the time, labor, and cost involved in building a tiny log cabin makes it much more attractive as a first-time independent building project than a larger structure.

In addition, many folks are looking for a space that they can unplug — quite literally — from the constant news, job demands, chores, and technology overload that has become daily life for so many people. Some may turn to RVs and outdoor excursions, but many more have become interested in creating an oasis of their own where they can completely kick back and relax. No matter how small the property, a tiny log cabin in a remote area can be the perfect respite that many folks are looking for.

Ready to build your own tiny log cabin? Check out this guide and take a smart approach to creating your own 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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