What You Need to Know To Get Started
Building a log cabin or timber frame home can overwhelm you. But, if you take a deep breath and follow these easy steps, it will be fun, if not relaxing!
The secret to building a log cabin without losing your mind (or your spouse), is to break the process down into manageable pieces—and stay organized!
So how do you get started? The very first step is to decide where you want to live and to buy a lot or acreage.
Most people who build a log or timber home choose a home site because they love the area. They enjoy being near a lake, ocean, woods, mountains or because friends and relatives live nearby.
When you have your lot, the next step is to decide where on the lot you want to build your house. You also need to decide how you would like your house to sit, to take full advantage of the best views and sunlight.
The Building Process
When you build a house, there are steps that you must follow. Fortunately your builder will guide you through most of this process.
However, if you become familiar with the construction steps, you will understand how things work, and you will be more patient and less stressed.
Planning and Design
You need to make a number of decisions before you your builder gets started on your house. Of course, you need to decide, first, what kind of home you’ll build and which house plan you like best.
In addition, plan your kitchen, bath, lighting and other details even before the builder breaks ground.
Do your homework now, before you get started with the building process. That way, you will make good decisions when your builder asks you what kind of xxx you want.
Start a collection of pictures that you like–railings, stairways, lighting, kitchen designs, etc. If you know what you want, you will get it. Use Pinterest to organize your pictures, and it will be easy to find pictures when you need them.
Your goal is to avoid making decisions in a hurry, when your builder needs a decision in 24 hours. If you make decisions under stress, you may be sorry later!
Plan now, to get the features that you really want in your new home!
House Plans for Building a Log Cabin
Here are some articles that will help you get started with basic planning for your new home.
- Log Cabin Kit Homes – Wondering what a log home kit is? You’ll learn here, and you’ll see what you can expect a log home kit to include…
- Not So Big House – You may consider using some ideas from Susan Susanka’s book. She advocates designing your home to be smaller but more efficient.
- Retirement House Plans – If this will be a retirement home for you, consider incorporating these aging in place ideas.
Larger items like a whirlpool bath or an over-sized shower unit, must be taken into your house, early in the construction process. If you wait too long to tell your builder that you want one of these, he might have to tear down part of the home and reconstruct it, after taking in the big items. This is costly, and unnecessary.
- Timber Frame Homes – Read about timber frames homes here to give you a general idea of what to expect with these beautiful homes.
- Post and Beam Homes – Post and beam homes are very beautiful, and there are a number of advantages to building one.
- SIP Homes – Structural insulated panel homes are very versatile. You can build one that looks like a log cabin or another that looks like the neighbor’s home next door.
In addition to picking a house plan, you’ll need to keep these things in mind for your plans:
- Log Home Interiors – With a stick frame house, you’re almost done when you decide on a look for your house and a floor plan. However, with a log home or timber frame home, you have more details to discuss and more decisions to make…
- Outside Living Spaces – Don’t forget to consider the areas outdoors. Plan ahead for patios, decks, porches, and a fire pit area.
- Home Entrance – Your home’s entry will be your guests’ first impression. Take a little time to make sure that it’s a good one…
- Decorative Ceiling Beams – If you don’t plan ahead for these, you won’t get them. As you know, decorative beams and posts are part of the early construction process. When planning your home, consider the kind of ceiling beams that you like. You can’t add ceiling beams later…
- Log Home Lighting – You have a number of different choices for lighting your new log or timber home. Many lighting sources will need to be installed during construction…
Your Home’s Interior Features
When you have decided on a basic home style and house plan, next consider the layout and interior of your new home:
- Log Home Bathrooms – Decide early in the process of building your log cabin, what your bathroom will look like, and which large items will need to be installed. This article will give you some ideas.
- Rustic Kitchen Design – The 7 Most Important Features of Log Home Kitchens – When designing your log or timber frame kitchen, there are some tricks to keeping your kitchen informal and rustic…
- Rustic Stone Fireplace – Almost every log home has a beautiful stone fireplace. Plan for your fireplace early, so your builder can have his mason give you what you want. These pictures will give you lots of ideas and help you decide what will work best in your new log or timber home.
- Rustic Kitchen Cabinets – Choosing your kitchen cabinets is one of the biggest decisions that you’ll make. Here are some of the most popular choices for log homes…
- Log Railing Designs – Chances are that you will use railings both inside and outside your home. You will be amazed at how many different kinds of railings and stairs there are. In a log or timber home, the stairways and railings are decorative, as well as functional. Choose the right ones for your home, and you’ll get the look you want. These pictures should give you some ideas…
- Rustic Floors – Log and timber frame homes don’t always have hardwood floors. Here are some other choices for rustic timber homes…
Special Features for a Log Cabin
When you have decided on a house plan, you will then need to decide which features you want to include in your new log or timber home. Here are some articles that will give you some food for thought.
- Log Home Windows – Log and timber homes often have lots of windows. Pay attention to the style of your windows, and make sure your windows are energy efficient.
- Deer Antler Chandeliers – Attractive rustic lighting fixtures really make a difference in a log home! But, you really need to plan ahead and choose these lighting fixtures before your home is built. Many are actually too large to fit through doors and windows. And, they need to be installed during the building process, to hide the cords, etc. This is a deer antler chandelier shop, with thoughts on how to use them.
- How to Buy Lighting Fixtures – Your lighting fixtures should be installed during the construction process, not after the house is built. It is difficult to do, but you’ll need to visualize your finished home—and where you want the ceiling lights to be placed.
- Rustic Cabinet Hardware – While the hardware will be installed after the kitchen and bathroom cabinets are installed, it’s not too soon to be choosing it now. This is one of the details that can make or break the look of your rooms. But unique rustic cabinet hardware can be hard to find, so choose your hardware, early in the process when building your log cabin…
Finding Builders for Building a Log Cabin
Of course your builder is a very important part of building a log cabin or home. Before deciding on a builder, you should interview him and check out references. Here are some questions that you should ask.
Building a log cabin is fun, and it’s an adventure. For many, it’s the achievement of a lifetime dream—the house that you’ve always wanted.
Take the time to do your homework and you will get exactly what you want, when building a log cabin or timber frame home.
Of course there is no perfect home. We all would change just one little thing the next time. However, if you plan ahead and make wise choices, you’ll have a wonderful new log home.
A home that you will want to live in–for the rest of your life!