62 Best Cabin Plans with Detailed Instructions
When it comes to building your dream log cabin, the design of your cabin plan is an essential ingredient.
Not all plans are designed equal…
Cabins come in many different sizes, shapes, styles and configurations. The design of your log home can help to maximize living space and reduce unnecessary effort during the notching and building phases.
From log cabins with a loft, to a frame cabins with 3-bedrooms, you will certainly find a perfect design from these 62 free, beautiful log cabins.
If you haven’t already, read what you need to know before buying a log home…
Table of Contents
If you haven’t built a log cabin before, or are looking for construction experience to draw on while making your important decisions, read chapter 2 first…and then browse through our list of 62 free, hand selected log home plans!
I Want Log Cabin Plans That Have:
What You Should Know About Log Homes?
When it comes to building a log cabin, there are many factors you will be unsure about; notching techniques, lumber selection, golden ratios, foundations and general best practice.
Below, we have compiled the best pieces of advice and snippets of expert guidance, that will be very helpful to you when it comes to selecting a log home.
Once you can understand the different notching and construction techniques available to you, you will be far better informed to select the best log cabin for you!
The four chapters below are:
- Log Cabin Costs, Budgets and Golden Ratios
- Expert Advice
- Notching Techniques
- Foundation Advice
Once you have read these four chapters, use the tool below to select your perfect log home.
Log Cabin Costs, Budgets and Golden Ratios
You should familiarise yourself with basic costs for log cabins. In order to select a log home plan you should be able to answer:
- What’s the typical cost per square foot of a log home?
- Is there a ratio used for kit cost to completion cost?
In this example a 800 square feet log cabin was built for $20,000. Having undertaken industry research on log cabin kits, we discovered a typical log cabin (1,100 square feet) costs $58,000 to build from start to finish.
If you’re looking for fast and easy numbers to use for a budget:
- Self-build log cabin price per square foot is $125 per foot.
- The Golden Ratio of 1:2 for log cabin kits (e.g. if a kit costs $50,000 the finished price will be $150,000).
To correctly plan and budget for your log cabin, read “How Much Does it Cost to Build a Log Cabin.”
Tips and tricks come in many forms, but the experts have lots of advice for you when it comes to log cabins. We’ve interviewed 21 leading experts in log home construction and have summarised their guidance into bullet points below:
- Design prudence. Make sure your log plan has large overhangs, covered decking areas and good landscaping to slope the grade away from your cabin.
- Select a plan based on your lifestyle! Log cabins can be very unique and they should be as unique as the person living in that log home.
- Find the best physical location to build your cabin. The best tip is to ensure your log home is protected from natural elements such as rain, water and wind.
- Position your cabin correctly. Ideally, you will want to position your log cabin south facing so the sun goes from east to west.
- Natural air-dried logs are superior to anything else when properly dried (typically 6-8 months to acclimatize). This will reduce vertical wall shrinkage and settling.
- Source the highest quality materials you can afford. It will make a large difference with the longevity of your home and the amount of maintenance you will undertake.
- Getting the design right for your log cabin is important for the following reason: It will enable you to get your cabin to work better on your land for energy efficiency and future maintenance.
So, what do you the experts want you to learn?
The design is the single most important decision for the longevity, maintenance and efficiency of your log cabin.
Log Cabin Notching Techniques
A detail often forgotten about during a planning and design stage is the notch type you will use for your log cabin.
If you haven’t built a log home before, a notch is a construction technique that enables two logs to intersect each other forming an air-tight seal which weatherproofs the cabin.
There are four major classifications of notches for a log home:
- Traditional Notch
- Dovetail Notch
- Corner Post Notch
- Butt and Pass Notch
What’s important is that you understand which notch type the cabin is using. That’s because different notches require different wood working ability levels and cost.
- Traditional Notch – minimal maintenance and finishes looking like a Scandinavian Saddle Notch.
- Dovetail Notch – requires a high ability level and finishes looking like an Appalachian style log home.
- Butt and Pass Notch – requires a minimal skill level and finishes looking like a traditional hunting cabin.
- Corner Post Notch – requires the highest skill level and finishes looking like a rounded corner log cabin.
If you’re interested and want to learn more about log cabin notches then try reading Log Cabin Notches for Beginners.
Log Cabin Foundations
So, why do you need to understand log cabin foundation techniques before selecting a plan?
Some log cabins require more significant foundations than others.
A small one bedroom cabin requires a completely different foundation than a four bedroom two storey cabin.
A foundation is used to transfer the weight of your cabin safely into the ground it sits upon.
Typically, you can choose from three different foundations for a log cabin:
- Raft Foundation
- Strip Foundation
- Pad Foundation
It’s important you read about log cabin foundations.
Understand them. Understand load bearing factors.
Make sure you understand:
- Which foundations require rebar?
- Which foundation techniques require deep excavation?
- Which foundations are more expensive?
- Which foundations are better for clay?
In simple terms, a raft foundation is cheaper and quicker than a strip foundation as it requires less raw materials and excavation. However, it’s not suitable for all cabin types and sizes.
Having read and understood the guidance above, you will now know about log cabin costs, notches, foundations and plans.
Now, with all of that in mind…
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