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Log Cabin Kits #15853357 03/02/21
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jmh3 Offline OP
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Does anyone have experience with any of the log cabin kit manufacturers? I'm looking for a small cabin to use as a place for my parents and inlaws to stay when they visit. As they get older one or the other is at my place almost all summer. I have a small wooded lot at far side of the farm that has easy access to a road and utilities and I'd like to put up a small cabin that they can stay in. It needs to be code compliant and I plan to put it on a crawlspace foundation. Im looking for something small with a bedroom and small kitchen on the first floor. I also looked at a few of the modular cabins but the cost is ridiculous if you want a code compliant version.


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John
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Re: Log Cabin Kits [Re: jmh3] #15853381 03/02/21
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Talk to someone who has owned one. Very labor intensive keeping them water tight. I would look at a SIP- structural insulated panel. Easily assembled by home owner.

Re: Log Cabin Kits [Re: jmh3] #15853385 03/02/21
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No, but I have seen some what look to be nice prebuilt cabins.


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Re: Log Cabin Kits [Re: jmh3] #15853395 03/02/21
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The kit is the cheap part of the finished product

Re: Log Cabin Kits [Re: jmh3] #15853411 03/02/21
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Following.
I purchased an acre and half in mountains and have been researching cabin ideas.
I am leaning more to the container cabin.
Maybe the building codes don’t work.
https://www.customcontainerliving.com/backyard-bedroom.html

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Re: Log Cabin Kits [Re: jmh3] #15853519 03/02/21
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I'm a licensed engineer, including PA and have engineered hundreds of log structures from giant sign towers, to $18million + lodges, to tiny cabins. Log anything is not anymore labor intensive than any other wood structure. I live in a log house so that's coming from personal and professional experience. If you are willing to do a crawl space foundation, you're more than half way there to code compliance. The rest is electrical, plumbing, egress windows and doors, and roof insulation. Conestoga Log Cabins (PA based) has a lot of options and the "logs" are precut on a CNC machine. Super exact. Their logs are actually glu-lam beams shaped like logs so much stronger and no settling issues. If you want more traditional logs, I have contacts for those as well. Feel free to PM or message me.

Re: Log Cabin Kits [Re: jmh3] #15853535 03/02/21
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When I was in high school, new homes we still being built in our small Iowa town.

The outer shell would spring up fast. After that cars, and pickups would be parked there for many weeks.
All the inside work. Wiring, ductwork, plumbing, insulation, drywall, cabinets, ect.
That is where most of cost is.


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Re: Log Cabin Kits [Re: Mountain10mm] #15853816 03/02/21
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jmh3 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Mountain10mm
I'm a licensed engineer, including PA and have engineered hundreds of log structures from giant sign towers, to $18million + lodges, to tiny cabins. Log anything is not anymore labor intensive than any other wood structure. I live in a log house so that's coming from personal and professional experience. If you are willing to do a crawl space foundation, you're more than half way there to code compliance. The rest is electrical, plumbing, egress windows and doors, and roof insulation. Conestoga Log Cabins (PA based) has a lot of options and the "logs" are precut on a CNC machine. Super exact. Their logs are actually glu-lam beams shaped like logs so much stronger and no settling issues. If you want more traditional logs, I have contacts for those as well. Feel free to PM or message me.


I'll take a look at Conestoga.

I did most of the work on my own home aside from the envelope (foundation, stick frame and brick), so I'm comfortable with code compliance and for plumbing, electric, HVAC, etc. I just need to make sure the kit complies for egress, insulation, etc. Thanks for the offer on the PM. I'm sure I will be taking you up on it after I look at Conestoga.


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John
Re: Log Cabin Kits [Re: jmh3] #15854766 03/02/21
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When I was a newlywed, the wife and I considered building a log house. I had a day off from work and drove to a log building company to look at their HQ which was their demo. It was early morning when I got there and it was easy to see sunlight between the butt joints on the eastern wall. Decided then and there that a log kit was a no go.

My observation is that most log homes are built by stick builders who have no concept of how log building is different. I had a lady at work who had a log house built. The house had a cathedral ceiling and soon the walls were being forced outward because the builder had not tied the opposing walls together. The builder's fix was to run a threaded rod through the top run of logs and torque the walls back into plumb. The builder also did not build any settlement space into the walls. Soon the sliding glass door was jammed shut and several windows were bound up by the pressure.

Re: Log Cabin Kits [Re: jmh3] #15854850 03/02/21
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I had a builder who focuses on log cabins build one for me about 3-4 years ago and so far it's been nearly flawless. I had a bit of an issue with chinking pulling apart after the first year, but there had also been a massive wildfire that went about 100 yards from the cabin and that apparently was the cause of the chinking failure (just in a few spots facing the fire). Otherwise, I've had to stain the logs and do some pest control for termites and beetles and that's it. The cabin is really solid, keeps the wind and elements out and is exactly what I had hoped for. It's also totally off grid, so perhaps the absence of plumbing and electrical has made it a lot less susceptible to problems.

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Re: Log Cabin Kits [Re: jmh3] #15854862 03/02/21
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log homes...

i have an opinion from living in one currently

personally i'd take an efficient, well insulated timber frame home over logs.

Re: Log Cabin Kits [Re: jmh3] #15854894 03/02/21
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[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

They are good houses if they are built well, like my house. And if not built right they are bad news. An 8 foot high section of log wall will shrink about 2 inches. This must be compensated for, or your doors and windows will be busted up. Also if you have a bathroom on the second floor, you have to allow for settling for the plumbing pipes.
Run your pipe vertically into the bathroom, and then a horizontal section for several feet if copper or PVC. If you use Pex, no problem in the first place.

Most electricians won't wire a log cabin. So I wired mine by myself and I must say, I enjoy doing wiring in a log cabin. It is a lot of work, though.

Also, you can see massive roof overhangs on my house. Four feet on the gable ends. You need to keep the sunshine and rain off of the logs. Don't grow any bushes near the logs, they will trap moisture and can rot a log out.

I have vast experience in framing and building a custom log cabin like mine is easily twice the work of building frame. Maybe three times the work.

Re: Log Cabin Kits [Re: jmh3] #15854910 03/02/21
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Wife and I looked into the kits once.

They told us kit price was about 1/3 total cost of home.
Not including land or site prep.


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Re: Log Cabin Kits [Re: jmh3] #15855008 03/02/21
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For me, maintaine free as possible outside. wood inside.


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Re: Log Cabin Kits [Re: Ndbowhunter] #15855175 03/02/21
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Originally Posted by Ndbowhunter
log homes...

i have an opinion from living in one currently

personally i'd take an efficient, well insulated timber frame home over logs.




My sentiments exactly, after taking a class in log home building, building a log home and an office, as well as taking a class in timber framing. Two pieces of advice if you build a log building. 1.) Build the overhangs twice as long as you think you need (like 4') and 2.) get it at least 18 in. off the ground.

I'd rather have a cabin built from perfect block ICFs and interior timber framing. Don't forget the masonry heater. ;-{>8


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Re: Log Cabin Kits [Re: jmh3] #15855208 03/02/21
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A frame house can be finished out with wood inside. Myself, and Paul, new299s in our cabin.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


These premises insured by a Sheltie in Training ,--- and Cooey.o
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Re: Log Cabin Kits [Re: jmh3] #15855224 03/02/21
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I have to reply as a form of a “tag” but I’ll be interested in opinions of those with firsthand experience.

To the guys that have posted pictures and the input of engineers, thanks. 👍


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Re: Log Cabin Kits [Re: jmh3] #15855246 03/02/21
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The bank my son works at won't even finance a log structure.


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Re: Log Cabin Kits [Re: oldtrapper] #15855251 03/02/21
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Originally Posted by oldtrapper
Originally Posted by Ndbowhunter
log homes...

i have an opinion from living in one currently

personally i'd take an efficient, well insulated timber frame home over logs.




My sentiments exactly, after taking a class in log home building, building a log home and an office, as well as taking a class in timber framing. Two pieces of advice if you build a log building. 1.) Build the overhangs twice as long as you think you need (like 4') and 2.) get it at least 18 in. off the ground.

I'd rather have a cabin built from perfect block ICFs and interior timber framing. Don't forget the masonry heater. ;-{>8


+1

The list of negatives and expenses is huge.
You have to build two roofs if you care to insulate the ceiling.
You can't insulate the exterior walls, logs aren't too great when it comes to R values, heat one in the Northwest for a winter and you'll see.
Settling? Completely dependant on the moisture content of the logs used at the time, I've seen 6 inches of settling resulting in the backs of cabinets torn out, broken windows and electrical and plumbing shredded.

Log homes are a thing most men get beyond in life, especially after owning one.

All that said, for the OPs needs, he just has to look at it.
They can be rather picturesque in the right setting.
A small one that isn't a permanent residence could be perfect for his needs.

Re: Log Cabin Kits [Re: 1911a1] #15855312 03/02/21
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ribka Offline
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Originally Posted by 1911a1
The bank my son works at won't even finance a log structure.


Lived in a nice custom built log home for almost 16 years. It was very well built ( according to a few inspectors that looked at it and knew a lot more than me) and the builder put log jacks in the inside to accommodate settling. Oversized large logs were used in the construction

I would never own another log home. Insurance got to very expensive and difficult to fin. Especially after the California fires a few years ago. If you live more than 10 miles from a FD, which I did it was even more difficult and expensive to find insurance. Getting a mortgage now on one is difficult. And a lot of extra maintenance. All my neighbors had log homes and had the same sentiment. Looking at possible lower resale values too.

Id definitely do heated floors if you decide to build one.The extra large overhangs on the roof are a good idea especially if you live in a high snow fall area.

Built on a concrete foundation with a four feet crawl space.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

You can see the large screw jacks on bottoms of supporting logs for settling


[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

They look nice but personally would not recommend. The novelty was fun the first few years and it was cool to have elk, mule deer feeding under your second story upper bedroom deck, but too much work.


[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by ribka; 03/02/21.

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