Log Homes, Log Home Kits and Prices

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This is your one stop informational shop for anything and everything related to the log cabin and log home industry! You’ll want to bookmark this page and check back often, as we promise to always present valuable and entertaining articles written especially for you!

Log Cabin Lighting

Log cabin lovers appreciate the warmth of log walls. Unfortunately charming log walls can also lead to very dark rooms. Lighting your log cabin doesn’t have to be challenging. Unless you want to whitewash your logs to brighten up rooms, the keys are to plan ahead and to use layers of light.

Plan Log Cabin Lighting in Advance

The best time to think about log cabin lighting is before the home is built. Some options can be added easily at any time, such as floor lamps. Other fixtures require more forethought. Because running electrical wires through log walls and ceilings can be complicated, the most economical way to do it is when you are building. Waiting until after the cabin is built can be very expensive.

Are you imagining fans with lights in the cathedral ceiling? Do you want pendant lights over your kitchen island? Add that to your design ahead of time to make sure there is adequate space for your chosen light fixtures and that the electrical wires to them, and their switches, can be put in place (and out of sight) while your home is under construction.

This is also the time to think about the original home light source, windows. A wall of windows not only lets you enjoy the view but brightens up what could be an otherwise dark room. Natural light should not be underestimated.

Layers of Light

There are three layers of light: ambient, task and accent. The size of your room and room type will determine which types you need, but in general you want at least two to properly light a room. Sometimes simply adding a layer of light can dramatically increase your cabin’s quality of light.

Ambient lighting, also known as general lighting, provides an area with overall illumination. It is Log Cabin Lighting Chartoften provided by an overhead light fixture. Ambient light sources to consider for your lighting plan: ceiling fans, chandeliers, flush-mount/semi-flush-mount ceiling fixtures, pendants, recessed lighting, torchiere lamps, track lighting, vanity lighting and wall sconces.

Task lighting is exactly what it sounds like – lighting that allows you to perform a task. It supplies the intense, direct light needed for detailed work such as reading, cooking or applying make-up – in places like the kitchen, office and bath. Task light sources to consider for your lighting plan: desk lamps, island or mini pendants, track lighting, under-cabinet lighting, vanity lighting and work lamps.

Accent lighting allows you to spotlight interesting features in your home decor, such as a picture or trophy. It also serves as a secondary light source to augment ambient lighting in a room. Ambient lighting mainly provides overhead lighting, and accent lighting helps fill in the rest of the room where ambient light can’t reach.*

Last Minute Quick Fixes

• An easy solution is to use higher wattage light bulbs in your fixtures. Just don’t exceed the maximum recommended wattage.
• A well-placed mirror can instantly brighten a room by reflecting light from a window or other light source.
• Add dimmer switches so you can adjust light levels as needed.

  • https://www.lowes.com/projects/decorate-and-entertain/lighting-your-home-at-a-glance/project

Keeping Your Log Cabin Green

Energy efficiency and sustainability work together to save the environment as well as money.  Here a just a few solutions for keeping your log cabin green:

Sustainable Log Cabins Starts With the Logs

If you’re considering purchasing a log cabin kit and care about the environment, you’ll want to start with a kit company known for sustainable practices.  Logs by their very nature are a sustainable resource.  However, certain harvesting processes take less of a toll on the environment than others.  Conestoga Log Cabins only uses logs from planted forests.  This means that natural forests can be preserved and deforestation is decreased.  In addition all of Conestoga’s logs come from certified Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) suppliers.

A responsible log cabin manufacturer will not just use logs from planted forests but will also use manufacturing techniques that significantly reduce waste.  Conestoga’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility employs the latest technology when cutting logs.  No part of the logs is wasted.  Even the leftover wood shavings are used by a local famer who converts them into animal bedding.

The Sun:  Free Energy

Solar Panel Metal RoofMost log homes are temperature controlled using natural gas, oil or coal, all of which are costly, contribute to pollution and are in diminishing supply.   The sun can provide a free natural energy source.  You can start by considering the position of your log cabin before you build.  Design and orient the house to minimize summer afternoon solar heat gain and optimize winter solar heat gain. In the northern hemisphere, this means orienting the long sides of the house to face south and north and creating roof overhangs and landscaping that shade the east, south, and west sides of the house.  Situate the house to take advantage of prevailing breezes during the spring, summer, and fall. Not only are these breezes valuable for cross-ventilation in the cabin, but they can make screened-in rooms and porches more comfortable places to live (National Building Museum).  You can take it one step further and install solar panels.  They turn the sun’s heat into energy.

Windows

Conestoga uses Low E Argon windows which limit the amount of heat that passes through windows without reducing light in the summer and keep heat inside during the winter.

Landscaping

When you picture a log cabin, it is probably surrounded by trees.  This scene is not only beautiful, but beneficial.  Shade trees can keep your cabin cooler in the summer but sunlight can still get through the bare branches in the winter to warm your cabin. Shading your cabin’s roof can increase the air conditioner’s energy efficiency by more than 10%.

Metal roofs

Metal roofs not only compliment log cabins but are a sound environmentally friendly choice.  The

Metal Roof

Metal Roof

longevity of metal roofs is significantly longer than traditional asphalt shingles.  Even though metal roofs are more expensive at the onset, the overall life cycle cost is lower because they can last up to 50 years or more.  They are also 100% recyclable!  On top of that, they offer energy savings of up to 40% depending on the roof color and cabin location.

Saving Electricity and Money

Whether your log cabin is a new build or it’s just time to start replacing appliances, consider how much energy they consume.  Look for appliances that are ENERGY STAR certified.

Don’t underestimate the impact of your lightbulb choice.  The average household uses 5% of its energy budget on lighting.  By converting to LED lights, you save electricity and money.

 

 

Easy DIY Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Did you wait until the last minute and need to throw a Valentine’s Day gift together quickly? Are you tired of heart shaped cookies, chocolates and flowers? Here are ten quick ideas that can be made from objects you have around the house.

  1. Everything is better with bacon! Bacon flowers are perfect for anyone that loves the world’s most perfect pork product. Just roll bacon, put on skewers and pop them in the oven. The family dog will appreciate this one too!

  2. Personalize a Favorite Drink – Whether it’s a water bottle, soda or beer, design a label that expresses how you really feel.

  3. You Rock My World! Even if you can’t find a heart shaped rock in your yard, a loving message will warm any heart and can be a keepsake for years to come.

  1. Personalized Candle – find stencils online or freehand it. Scrap out the areas you want to paint and fill them in.

  2. Magically Delicious – Every kid’s favorite part of Lucky Charms is the marshmallows. Give them a jar full of sugary delight!

  3. Oh So Sweet – Make your honey a body scrub that’s good enough to eat. All you need is sugar, strawberries, coconut oil and vanilla. Learn how.

  1. Handprint Valentine – Stamp handprints in the shape of a heart and then just add a message. Grandparents love this stuff!

  2. Fruit Messages – Leave a message in an unexpected place. “Let’s never split” on a banana or “Orange you glad I picked you?” on an orange makes for a loving healthy snack.

  3. DIY Sharpie Mugs – This gift takes minimal effort but is a gift that can be used every day and cherished for years.

  4. Wooden Coasters – Visit the woodpile and grab some paint. Saw off the end of a log, add a painted on heart or message and you’ve got a Valentine’s Day coaster made with love.

Deck Out Your Log Cabin

Log Cabin Decks

Log cabin decks are made for relaxing, socializing end enjoying the great outdoors.  By adding a Dog at Deck Gatedeck, you extend your living space, while increasing the value of your log cabin.  But before you rush off to the local hardware store to buy supplies, consider a few important factors.  First, check with local zoning authorities to obtain the appropriate permits.  Next you will want to consider:

Deck Location

Cabin Deck RailingSeriously consider where to place your deck.  Do you want to take advantage of the view of a nearby mountain range or lake?  Is it important to see the sunrise or the sunset?  Will the blistering setting sun cook your guests at summer barbecues?  Can it be conveniently located off the kitchen to ease outdoor dining?  Since the deck will probably be in place for decades, make sure it’s where you want it.

Deck Function

How do you plan to use your log cabin deck?  Grilling?  Dining?  Hanging out?  Does it need to be enclosed and gated to corral kids and pets?  Do you need seating built into the railing to capitalize on space?  Does your deck need to have electrical access and be reinforced to support a hot tub?  These considerations can impact size and shape.

Deck Material

Gone are the days when natural wood was the only option for log cabin decks.  With more options come more decisions.  When selecting a material, go with what suits the style of your log home, your personal taste and your budget.

Natural Wood

Pressure treated lumber has always been the number one choice for deck material.  It’s chemically treated to be resistant to insects and fungus. Unfortunately, it will take a beating from the elements and is very susceptible to splitting and warping.  Regular power washing and sealing is required to keep mold, mildew and dirt at bay.  Other natural wood choices include cedar and redwood.  Both are beautiful, naturally resistant to rot and sturdier than pressure treated lumber, but cost three times more.

Composite

Made of wood fibers and recycled plastic, composite deck material is more expensive than wood up

Composite Deck

Composite Deck

front but requires less maintenance.  In the long run, it will cost less.  Although there is a wide range of colors and stains, composite does not have the look and feel of hard wood.  It is weather and stain resistant

Plastic

This material is all plastic, sometimes using recycled components.  It will not crack or splinter and is resistant to decay.  Plastic tends to be slightly more expensive than composite.

Aluminum

If you’re looking for a powerhouse and don’t care if it looks like wood, aluminum may suit your log cabin deck.  Its tough, slip-resistant surface will not rust, rot, warp, splinter, crack or check.  Aluminum is lighter than wood but stronger.  You can find products with interlocking sections to prevent rain from leaking beneath.  As the most expensive option, the biggest drawback is the price.

Deck Decorating

Lastly, personalize your log cabin deck.  Of course you need table and chairs for outdoor dining.  Throw down an indoor/outdoor rug to create an outdoor living room or conversation area.  Create shade with a pergola with climbing plants.  For more ideas on creating outdoor spaces, check out our blog on Outdoor Living Space.

Fall Fright: 10 Haunted Cabins

What’s scarier than a haunted house? Of course it’s a haunted log cabin in the woods!  If you’re into ghosts, apparitions and the paranormal, you’ll want to check out these log cabins.

White Otter Castle

TWhite Otter Log Castlehe three story log cabin was single-handedly built over many years by eccentric Jimmy McOuat.  It is located on the shores of White Otter Lake in Ontario and can only be accessed by snow mobile, plane or boat.  He intended the home to be a dowry for his future bride that he was yet to meet in person.  McOuat tragically died in the fall of 1918 while fishing.  His body, tangled in fishing nets, was not discovered until the following spring.  His grave is next to the log castle and his ghost is said to still wander the property.

 

 

Shamrock HouseShamrock Log House

Part of a three cabin compound, Shamrock House was built around 1925.  Legend tells that a pretty young woman named Nancy and two friends were hired to provide “upstairs entertainment.”  Nancy changed her mind and locked herself in an upstairs bedroom.  Nancy’s father, a fire and brimstone preacher, heard of the situation and set out for Shamrock House.  When Nancy heard of her father’s pending approach, she overdosed on opium.  Her ghost is said to softly cry at night.

Snelson-Brinker

Snelson Brinker Log CabinBuilt in 1834 by Judge Levi Snelson, the Snelson-Brinker Cabin was Crawford County, Missouri’s first courthouse.  The cabin was later sold to John Brinker, father of two daughters.  Brinker had a teenage slave girl named Mary, who looked after the girls.  Mary was accused of drowning two year old Vienna Brinker.  After a brief trial, Mary was convicted and hung.  Her unmarked grave is not far from the cabin.  Supposedly Mary’s spirit is still in the cabin.

 

 

Austin Log HouseAustintown Log House

Ohio’s scariest cabin might be the Austin Log House.  Built by the town’s founder John Austin sometime in the 1700’s, the cabin is reportedly haunted by a headless soldier.  Austintown residents have spotted him in the upstairs windows as they walk by.

 

Laura’s Cottage

Lauras Log Cottage

Located in Savannah, Georgia, Laura’s Cottage is a historic 1799 guest house with original pine floors, walls, and ceilings.  Laura lived in the cottage for 50 years and is said to occasionally come out to open windows and flicker the lights.  If you’re lucky she may sit with you and join you for dinner.  The cottage was used in Robert Redford’s “The Conspirator.”

 

 

 

Fort Meigs Bunkhouse No. 3

Fort Meigs Log BunkhousePart of Fort Meigs in Perrysburg, Ohio, Bunkhouse No. 3 was built on top of an ancient Indian burial ground.  The Bunkhouse housed American soldiers during the War of 1812.  During a failed surprise attack on the Native Americans, hundreds of American soldiers fell victim to an ambush.  There are reports of unexplained flashing lights and discharging muskets.  Is it the Native American ghosts whose burial site was desecrated or soldiers from the grave?

 

Corbin Cabin

Corbin Log CabinThis cabin is tucked away in the woods of the Shenandoah National Park.  It is one of the last cabins standing since the creation of the National Park.  George Corbin built it in the early twentieth century.  Corbin’s wife Nee died during childbirth in 1924. Hikers who visit claim to see the ghost of Nee Corbin in the woods surrounding the cabin and even hear her footsteps across the cabin floorboards.

 

 

 

Cabin 28Picture of Cabin 28

Site of a gruesome 1981 quadruple homicide, Cabin 28 was located at the once popular Keddie Resort in northern California.  Visitors report doors opening and closing on their own, moans and light anomalies.  Unfortunately, you missed your chance to visit, since the cabin was torn down in 2004.  The murders are still unsolved.

 

Mathias Cabin

Mathias Log Cabin

 

This spooky log cabin is located in Clear Creek Metro Park in Ohio.  Passersby report mysterious voices, strange lights and faces peeking out of the windows.

 

 

 

 

Log Cabin Village – Foster CabinFoster Log Cabin

Log Cabin Village in Forth Worth, Texas is a living history museum made up of six historic buildings including the Foster Cabin.  The cabin was home to Harry Foster and his family in the 1800’s.  After the death of his wife, Foster married the nanny, Jane Holt.  Holt was rumored to have worn lilac perfume.  Visitors today claim to be able to smell lilacs on occasion.  Reports of phantom footsteps continue.