Log cabins in the wilderness appeals to the American spirit more so than any other type of construction. Building a log cabin may seem like a challenging undertaking, but it actually requires no specialized skills. With the right set of simple plans, nearly anyone should be able to build a log cabin from scratch or from a log cabin kit. All you have to do is add the labor!
Design your log cabin. When drawing up your log cabin plans, first determine the outer dimensions. Do not design the walls to be longer than available logs. Use the plans included with your log cabin kit if you choose to use one. Find a site for your cabin and prepare the ground. Ideally, choose land that is level and drains well. Remove trees, rocks and underbrush, and save suitable trees for the cabin construction.
Prepare your logs by removing the bark, branches and knots. Also cut and shape the ends of the logs. Your plans should tell you accurately how many logs you will need. Dig the postholes. These should be fairly deep, but be aware of the frost line.
Install the log posts in your holes. Set them in place with reinforced concrete. Set up the main floor beams and joists. Use plywood or nice wooden panels for the floor.
Do final preparation on the logs as you stack them to create walls. Cut notches that will hold the logs together, and shape the sides of the logs so that they fit as snugly as possible against each other. Leave spaces in your log cabin for the door and windows. Set the loft supports by fitting them into the walls or by running logs into additional holes cut in the wall logs. These logs cross the interior at ceiling height and can support a second story.
Build up the gables (extensions of the walls that are the vertical portions of the roof) one side at a time until you reach purlin height. Purlins are structural supports that cross the loft space.
Continue building up the gables until you get to the height of the ridge pole-the main center roof support. This is the highest portion of the cabin, and you can set the ridge pole onto the gables at this time. Be certain this log is supported by ropes, shims and poles while you secure it.
Frame out the roof using prepared lumber. Be certain everything is level and fits snugly.
Use plywood as the underside of the roof and install tin sheeting over it. Purchase used tin sheeting at a discount from military surplus suppliers and lumber yards.
Install other components, depending on your log cabin plans. Log cabin kits will include these other sections, such as windows, a chimney, stairs and other essential components of log cabins.
Personalize your log cabin with such touches as a wood burning stove, wall carpets or hunting trophies. Since you are building your own log cabin, you can decorate it any way you like!