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How to Build Your Own Summer Log Cabin

Posted: House & Home » Do-It-Yourself » Green Home » Travel » Seasonal » Green Living » Green Home | February 1st, 2005



By Jack Hudson

There may be many reasons for wanting to know how to build your own cabin. I’ll give you two that you would agree are fairly universal:

1. You probably feel sure that you can save money by doing the work yourself.
2. You will get a great deal of satisfaction in doing the work.

Save money
Saving money is important to all of us. If you plan your work carefully, have a clear conception of what you are doing and don’t give up halfway through, I’m sure that you can save at least a third of the contractor price for any of the popular cottages and cabins. It is possible to save much more. Perhaps that’s all the incentive you need.

Possibly you are thinking about the cottage as a low-cost solution to your permanent housing problem or as a retirement home. Most of the popular cottages available today could be used year-round if properly insulated and heated. But a word of caution: Most of the plans shown on the popular web sites are minimal. The kitchens are small, the baths are not large and some plans require enclosing porches for sleeping areas. Really decide for yourself how you intend to use the various areas. Summer living is different from winter.

Real satisfaction
Let’s look at the second reason. As with so many other things in life, the real satisfaction is in the doing. If you have never lifted a piece of timber into place or nailed on a stretch of siding, you’ve missed something. There’s real satisfaction in seeing the puzzle go together, in smelling fresh-cut wood and in feeling the materials that go into your cabin. You’ll find yourself inspecting the color and graining of the pieces you are working with. Wood and stone will have new tones and high lights that you never saw before.

As you begin to feel and work with these raw materials, you’ll also become more interested in the craftsmanship of putting the materials together. Instead of covering the underside of the roof joists with just any old material to hide them, you’ll consider ways of leaving some of the work exposed so that other people will be able to experience some of the enjoyment you have had in working with the various materials.

Of course, when the job is all done, you’ll find much hidden and real enjoyment in telling your friends how you did it. If you have an office job where you sit at your chair for eight hours, you’ll probably tell them that you ate like a horse all the time you were doing the work and that you never felt better. The truth is, you will probably have forgotten about the office for the first time in ages and found yourself creating something that you didn’t know you could.

Have I persuaded you to do your own cottage? If I haven’t, have a local contractor do the job for you and let him be the healthy one. Mark the plan you like, and he can do the work. Although you won’t get the same level of satisfaction, you will still be able to enjoy the many benefits of a cabin home once it is built.

© Jack Hudson

Jack Hudson is a writer for www.log-cabin-plans-n-kits.com and www.best-house-n-home-plans.com. These two sites help in the planning of log cabin as well as general house plans.

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