Cabin enthusiasts everywhere dream about what it’s like to be a cabin owner. They have the vision translated on notepads and have consulted all the blogs for ideas. How do we know this? It’s usually written all over their Pinterest boards. Yet while the dream normally consists of what it’s like to enjoy the cabin when it’s ready for all the memories, there are some things that may get left out of arguably the most significant chapter of your cabin’s story. And that starts long before it’s groundbreaking day at the build site. One of our very own Conestoga cabin owners sat down with us to offer tips and a perspective that allows you to get the most out of your cabin at every stage of the process. Here’s what Ronald, who has been a CLC cabin owner since 2018, had to say:
Q. Walk me through your experience on coming up with the design of your log cabin kit.
- First thing we did was decide on the number of bathrooms and bedrooms we wanted and their locations. Then we looked at the outdoor living space and what factors about that should be highlighted to complement the indoor living space. Based on those answers, we then decided on the layout. The layout portion of the design starts with basically a box on paper with stairs and walls that you then add to depending on preferences. The great room was at the heart of this design for us. We placed a large emphasis on the size of this room and with everything just on paper, we didn’t initially see the impact that this would have on the surrounding bedroom sizes. We came to the design table with an idea of what we wanted for our log cabin kit. It’s helpful to use existing plans to better visualize what you want; however, I would say that it is just as good to start from scratch then to continually modify and existing plan
Q. What are some things you wish you would have asked earlier in the process?
- I wish I would have asked about other possible upgrades to the design that are available, such as higher ceilings, larger porches, and wider overhangs.
Q. Is location really as important as everyone makes it out to be? Why so?
- For the building itself, it’s important to take your time and really consider every aspect of the layout – especially from a directional perspective. Our Bear Den log cabin kit is northern facing which has a great view of the trees and surrounding nature, but it doesn’t get as much sunlight as it would if it were southern facing. Be aware of how much excavation is needed because this could be a costly part of your project. Location is also important in how you want to engage the surrounding community. Do you want to be close to hiking trails? Not far from downtown activities? Or just really away from it all for a true cabin escape? These are questions to consistently be evaluating.
Q. Why did you want to build a cabin?
- We have rented cabins for vacations in the past and have truly noticed the difference between a cabin and a traditional home. Cabins provide a more relaxing and unique experience than any other building structure. I know many people, including myself, who have spent more time with their family after buying a cabin. The cabin is a destination location and an attraction in and of itself that creates more memories with every visit.
Q. Why did you choose CLC for your log cabin kit?
- They use engineered logs which creates an airtight cabin that is low maintenance. I know of other cabin owners who did not use CLC and are having issues with their air filtration, something I don’t have to worry about. The team there helps to assure all building and energy codes are met. They send the entire log cabin kit in one truck and almost everything is included in that kit – so I didn’t have to go shopping for other parts to complete the cabin build. They were also able to meet my budget and were very responsive. They had great attention to detail and their experience showed through everything they did.
Q. What drew you to the Bear Den among other models?
- The large great room and the multiple living spaces it offered were big selling points for us. It is not unusual for me to use all four living spaces in a single day – Early in the morning, I’ll have breakfast on the deck and find myself some time in the day in our screened in porch. However, from a value perspective, I recommend having an additional room over a screened-in porch. Yet, it’s still enjoyable.
Q. What was your most memorable moment of the build?
- Seeing how quickly the log cabin kit was underroof. Within four days the walls were up to the roof. When it comes to building, it’s a lot easier to have a general contractor do this for you. Depending on the home itself, you may not need one. However, the bigger the cabin is and the more complex the plan is, it’s better to have one help you like we did sooner rather than later.
Q. Was there anything that surprised you throughout the process?
- It is definitely surprising to see what the rooms look like in real life compared to just seeing them on paper. I would suggest taking measurements of your rooms before hand and finding an existing room that is comparable to those dimensions so that you can see what it would look like and adjust your log cabin kit earlier if necessary.
Q. What order did you go about completing the project: Did you have land first and then looked for a cabin or did you choose the cabin before you secured land? Would you have done it differently looking back? Would you recommend others to do what you did?
- I had the land before purchasing the log cabin kit and I would suggest others do the same. There are things about the land that you have to consider spending some time on such as the desired view, building codes, slopes and how the driveway is going to be situated.
Q. What has stood out to you the most about owning a cabin?
- How at peace I and my family are when we are at the cabin.
Q. Since hindsight is 2020 and for the longest time you only saw your log cabin kit on paper, is there anything else you would have put in your cabin now that you have had time to live in it?
- I would have made the second-floor ceiling higher, and I would have thought through the electrical plan of the log cabin kit a little more. We did a lot of this after the fact, and it would have been more beneficial if we worked through this prior to finalizing the build from the start, such as the ethernet, cable and outlets on the inside and outside of the cabin.
Q. If you could tell others thinking about buying a cabin anything, what would it be?
- Don’t wait any longer. If you’re looking for a sign, consider this it. You don’t want to miss out on the amazing opportunity to make memories. You can’t go back so do it today. I truly wish I had the cabin earlier in life when my children were younger so that this cabin would have been a part of their growing up and made an even greater impact on all of our lives.
About the Author
Julia holds a BA degree in Communication Studies and is passionate about using words well to tell the stories that matter most in our world. When she’s not working on new ideas for Conestoga Log Cabins, you can find her decorating, reading, catching up with friends or looking at vintage typewriters while antique shopping – all done with a cup of coffee not too far away.