Small Log Cabins: 6 Big Benefits of Living Small
There are plenty of beautiful and cozy tiny log homes that have popped up all over the world, some even on wheels.
There are also many small homes, which don’t quite fit into the tiny home category, but carry many of the same benefits.
According to the U.S Census, in 1950 the average home size was 983 square feet, compared to 2,600 square feet that the average family needs today.
You may think that perhaps it’s because families are growing, but in fact it is the opposite, dropping from 3.8 people per family in 1950 to 2.6 today.
So why are families buying and building bigger homes? Perhaps it’s because of the pressures that we all need to have bigger and better. We need to keep up with the Joneses.
Queue the tiny home movement – people are realizing big doesn’t necessarily mean better.
Maybe you don’t quite fancy living in a 300 square foot tiny home, but living in a small 700 or 800 square foot log home shares many of the same benefits.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of living in a small log home, before we look at examples of tiny log homes built for less than $1000.
Advantages of Living in a Small Log Cabin
It goes without saying that if you build a smaller log cabin; it is going to cost less than building a similar larger cabin.
You’ll have less material costs and less labor costs.
Not only are your initial buildings costs reduced when you build smaller, once your cabin is built you’ll also save a huge amount on energy and maintenance bills.
Merrill (CEO of FortuneBuilders) says that on average, the electric bill for a 1,000 square foot home is $200 less than a 3,000 square foot home per month.
Insurance costs are difficult to predict, because they depend on so many factors, but size will play a part in your insurance cost, so it is likely that your premium will be reduced.
Less Debt and Risk
There are lots of mortgage companies out there with the sole purpose of making you take out the biggest loan you can afford.
In fact, most mortgage companies use the standard rule that your monthly housing payment can be up to 28% of your household income.
Why give that amount of your hard earned money away when you can either take out a much smaller mortgage for a smaller log home, or even build your own mortgage free cabin.
Building a small log cabin won’t cost you a fortune, and it is entirely possible to do it on a shoestring budget (We’ll show you some examples later on in this article).
Easier to Maintain and Clean
This one is probably my favorite reasons to live small.
I have lived in homes ranging from 3,500 to 600 square foot and I bet you can guess which one I prefer cleaning.
Living in a large house takes a lot of energy and effort to keep everywhere clean and tidy.
Choosing to live in a small log cabin, gives you more time to do the things you really want to do. Who wants to spend one day a week cleaning, anyway?
Live More Simply
Living in a smaller space forces you to think about what you really need.
It might mean that you have to be clever with your storage space, but with your space limited you will consider everything before you buy something new.
This lifestyle leads to less clutter which can also keep your mind clear.
Researchers from Princeton University’s Neuroscience Institute discovered that when your surroundings are cluttered, your ability to focus is restricted.
Cutting down on the amount of physical things you own can be really rewarding. A smaller log home, quite simply, equates to more freedom and less stress.
Less Environmental Impact
Natural resources are being depleted by careless human consumption; this is leading to environmental problems and disturbing the natural ecological balance.
Timber is one of the most sustainable materials there is, if you buy from a sustainable source, more trees must be planted for each one that is harvested.
Logs are completely renewable, once it is no longer viable to restore a log home; the wood has many more uses such as wood chips or being used as fuel.
The construction process of building a log home typically uses much less energy than that of a conventional home; they can also be constructed in a shorter time-span than the conventional home too and will reduce your carbon footprint.
As a result of everything above (less cleaning, less maintenance, a smaller mortgage) you gain more free time by living in a smaller home.
More free time means you can pursue the things that make you happy, isn’t that ultimately all we want out of life?
Andrew Morrison hits the nail on the head in this TED talk where he talks about the benefits of living tiny.
Examples of Small Log Cabins
So now that we’ve looked at the benefits of living in a small log cabin, let’s take a look at some real life examples.
Heritage Log Cabin: 580 Square Feet
Named the ‘Heritage Log Cabin’ this log home has one bedroom and one bathroom as well as a living area with space for a table and sofa, and a separate kitchen.
Additionally, the cabin also has another small room suitable for a playroom or reading room. There is a relaxing covered porch area, and loft space which is great for storage.
Northeastern Georgia: 624 Square Feet
Situated in Northeastern Georgia, this lovely log cabin is on an old apple orchard.
The cabin was built from hand-hewn white pine logs with dovetail corners. The owners used wide bands of chinking to separate the logs to create the feel that it had been there for years.
Hickory Hill Log Cabin: 667 Square Feet
The Hickory Hill Log Cabin is available as a kit build from Conestoga Log Cabins, and has a one bedroom, an open plan living and kitchen space as well as extra loft sleeping space.
The unique thing about this cabin is that is has a laundry room – most small log cabins have only basic amenities so it goes to show, it is possible to still have the things you need with some careful planning.
What is the Cost of a Small Log Cabin?
This all depends on whether you will build the log cabin yourself, or opt for a kit build. The prices vary a lot depending on which you choose.
If you want to buy a kit log cabin, the average cost is around $35 per square foot.
You will then need to add the cost of your land, and site preparation, foundations and utility lines, permits and labor costs.
It is entirely possible to build a log home for yourself with a little bit of DIY experience, this can also reduce your cost a lot.
This guy built a small log cabin in just one month; the cabin cost around €500. Most of their costs came from insulation and screws.
They did everything from scratch including felling their own trees, debarking them and raising the walls. They don’t use the traditional methods of notching, so it may not last as long as a regular log cabin, but still – not bad for one month’s work!
This guy also built a log cabin for less than $500, and the cabin didn’t require a permit. This cabin was built using traditional notching methods so it is possible to build a traditional log cabin on a small budget.
Both of these log cabins were built on a very small budget.
Realistically if you want to build your own small log cabin you will be able to build one for around $20,000. Have a look at how much it costs to build a log cabin for a more detailed review of what you will spend.
Make small living the new big, reduce your impact on the environment.
Living in a small log cabin can save you money, time and energy, giving you more time to spend pursuing things that you enjoy.
Building a small log cabin is a lot cheaper than buying a like for like conventional home, and your living costs will also be less.
I hope you’ve been inspired by some of our reasons and examples. Do you think you could live in a small log home?