Do-it-Yourself Log Home / Cabin: Introduction

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0. Introduction (see below)

1. About Log Houses: History • Advantages • Disadvantages • Building from Scratch • Basic Considerations • Economics • Financing • Ecologics • Personal Requirements

2. The Beginnings: Designing and Planning • Codes and Permits • Plans and Specifications • Site Selection • Siting the House • Site Preparation

3. Working with Logs: Wood Characteristics • Log Selection • Felling Trees • Limbing Trees • Bucking Logs • Yarding Logs • Cribbing and Curing Logs • Peeling Logs • Preservative Treatments • Shaping Logs • Maneuvering Logs

4. Foundations: Types • Sizing • Concrete Foundations • Concrete Block Foundations • Damp-proofing and Waterproofing • Stone Foundations • Concrete Pier Foundations • Concrete Block Pier Foundations • Post Foundations • Slab-on-Grade Foundations • Grade-Beam Foundations • Permanent Wood Foundations • Layout

5. The First Floor: Log Floor Frame • Log and Dimension-Stock Floor Frame • Dimension-Stock Floor Frame • Floor Openings • Extra-Strength Constructions • Decked Flooring • Layered Flooring

6. The Walls: Log Lay-Up • Corner Construction • Endwork • Splicing Logs • Joining Logs • Securing Logs • The Plate Log • Stockade Construction • Piece-En-Piece Construction • Door and Window Arrangements

7. The Second Floor: Open Construction • Floor Framing • Ceiling Framing • Laying Flooring • Second-Story Walls • Stub and Full Walls • Knee Walls

8. The Roof: Roof Pitch • Dimension-Stock Roof Frame • Log Rafters • Purlin Roof • Dormers • Roofing • Built-Up Roofs • Skylights and Roof Windows • Venting • Finish Trim

9. Doors and Windows: Building Bucks • Making Doors • Door Hardware Installing Doors • Window Choices • Making Windows • Installing Windows • Storm Sashes and Doors

10. Insulation: Heat Loss and Gain • How Much Insulation? • Foundation Insulation • Cold-Floor Insulation • Wall Insulation • Cap Insulation Roof Insulation • Window and Door Treatments • Crackage • Vapor Barriers

11. Odds and Ends: Interior Partitions • Furred Walls • Trimming Out • Cabinetry and Built-Ins • Applied Finishes • Stairways • Stoves and Fireplaces • Decks and Porches • Utilities • Termite Control


Log cabins and homes have been around for centuries. Over the decades, while log cabins continued as temporary dwellings, hunting lodges, and vacation retreats, they slowly evolved into full- blown primary residences as well, many of them of no mean proportions and comfort. Today there is a growing popularity for many reasons, of log houses as permanent dwelling places—homes in the true sense of the word.

Some of these log houses are profession ally designed and built by a contractor, but many are bought in predesigned, pre engineered kit form. A surprising number of log houses—some of them very large—are also being owner-built from scratch, beginning even as early in the construction sequence as selecting the trees in a woodlot. This guide is for, and is dedicated to, those ambitious do-it-yourselfers who want to build their own log cabins or houses, or at least take an active part in the process.

In this revised and updated guide, there is an entire section about log houses and cabins in general, their pros and cons, and the economics involved. There is also a wealth of information on such crucial matters as house design and planning, site selection, and site work. The real meat of the guide, however, lies in the subsequent sections, which explore the many design options and construction techniques involved in putting a log structure together, regardless of its size, shape, or purpose.

There is information on felling, curing, shaping, and preserving logs. The various types of foundations and how to make them are covered. You will learn how to set sills, build floor frames, construct log walls, and fashion corners and endwork. Second-story construction details are also considered, along with several methods of making roof frames and finishing the roof itself. There is a whole section on doors and windows, another on insulation, and a third on some of the more important aspects of interior construction. All of the latter information emphasizes those points that are peculiar to log construction.

There are, of course, other designs, styles, techniques, decorative effects, constructions and construction techniques, materials, ideas, and general practices and procedures than those mentioned in this guide. After all, log construction is a hugely diverse field and subject to a lot of personal interpretation, ingenuity, inventiveness, and expression, especially when viewed on a worldwide basis. That is one of its great fascinations. However, the basics of what you need to know about log construction to be able to successfully design, build, supervise the building of, or just intelligently select a new log cabin or house for yourself is between these covers.

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