Log cabin kit homes – what are they? Log cabin building kits are logs that have been cut, milled, dried and shaped into ‘packages’ called log cabin kit homes. These cabin kits can be as simple as the logs and fasteners only, or the kits can include nearly all of the exterior components of the cabin. The other main kind of log cabin home would be a ‘handcrafted home’, one where the logs are shaped by hand using special tools.
The major advantages of log cabin building kits are generally lower costs, simplified estimating and construction methods and faster construction of the cabin home. Created in the controlled environment of the manufacturer, the logs will be more uniform in shape than handcrafted logs.
The logs can be trucked in and assembled on your building site relatively quickly by knowledgable builders. Log cabin kit homes can be purchased in nearly complete exterior systems that include the logs, fasteners, roof system, windows and doors, porches and more.
The logs are available in a variety of shapes – round, square, rectangular, beveled and ‘D-shaped’ logs are common examples. Milled logs will have the outer sapwood planed off before the logs are shaped. Most log cabin kit homes manufacturers cut the logs in such a way as to create a tongue or groove so each log will interlock with the log above and below it in the wall. This interlocking system will likely be enhanced by the use of other materials that will help keep air and water from penetrating the log wall.
How do you find log cabin building kits that may be right for you?
The fastest way is to go online and visit various log cabin kit homes manufacturers websites. You’ll want to be looking for the log cabin building kits that have an appearance you enjoy. See what you prefer – large diameter versus smaller diameter logs, color of the log wood, shapes of logs available and how the corner treatment looks to you.
As you find cabin kits you like, see how long the company has been in business. You’ll want to know they have been around a number of years which is one important factor to consider. Review the kit choices – what is included, what is not included. See if you can narrow your choices down to 3-4 companies that you may be most interested in.
At this point, you would be ready to visit the companies and talk with their staff. How do you find them – are they pleasant, courteous, really interested in answering your questions and even offer suggestions for your situation? Or are they high-pressure and inflexible? If they cannot provide something you want, are they truthful and up-front that they cannot do it that way?
You’ll want to pay attention to your intuition and gut feel. Maybe you’ll further narrow the list to, say, two manufacturers. Then you can contact 2-3 log cabin home builders with experience in building with these manufacturer’s logs and fastener systems. Obtain estimates for building your log cabin kit home on your property.
You can also learn a lot about log cabin kit homes by viewing cabin plans that have been successfully built somewhere. Every plan that you see can give you design ideas that you had not thought of. You can make a scrapbook of the things you may want in your log home design. Organize a project notebook where you’ll keep the builder estimates, schedules and so on.
Creating the log cabin building kit home design that will provide you much enjoyment can be a lot of effort. However, it’s your personal involvement, enthusiasm and persistence that will help ensure that your project becomes the log cabin building kit home that you’ll enjoy for many years to come.
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