A cozy home away from home: what could be better? We all need to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life once in a while, and a log cabin could be the perfect respite for you and your family. However, it’s also a big decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Here are some facts to consider before taking the plunge and buying your own tranquil retreat.
Permits and property taxes
The first consideration, before even selecting a model, is to examine local regulations regarding building a permanent structure. Depending on what kind of log cabin you purchase, you’ll need different permits, and you may be liable for property taxes just as you would be with a traditional residential home. A great option is to purchase a park model log cabin, which is legally classed as a park-model RV; this means that it doesn’t require a permit to place, and it’s exempt from property taxes. Another great factor about a park model log cabin is that because it’s on wheels, you could relocate it as you see fit just as you would with a mobile home. Because they’re made of timber, they have great staying power and could be in your family for generations; plus, should you ever choose to move, you can transport your little log cabin to a new spot without hassle. Park model log cabins such as those by Lancaster Log Cabins are about 400 square feet, which makes them perfect for a weekend getaway, but if you’re a family looking to make the log cabin lifestyle a year-round dream, you might want to look at other options as well.
Purchasing versus building it yourself
When we think of log cabins, we often think of pioneers building themselves a cozy one-room building, but technology has come a long way since the colonial era: now you don’t need to worry about building it all by hand if you don’t want to. There are four options available to you: existing log cabins; turnkey, pre-assembled log cabins; log cabin kits; and building a log cabin from scratch. Each of these have their benefits and drawbacks, which we’ll consider now. Existing log cabins or park model log cabins are great options for those with less construction experience, or those whose tastes are more in woodworking. The expenses are mostly upfront with these options, especially with a park model cabin, which is brand new but fully assembled. Both of these mean that the layout of the cabin is mostly predetermined, though it’s always possible to make certain alterations or additions after the fact.
Log cabin kits have many advantages over building entirely from scratch, including that you don’t need to guess about what you need, and manufacturers have access to better materials at lower costs than you could purchase yourself. However, you’ll still need to hire a construction company or try to build it on your own, which might not be to everyone’s liking. Having premade floor plans and the right materials is very helpful, but it still requires a bit of know-how and elbow grease to put together. Lastly, you can build a log cabin from scratch, but this is risky, as construction costs can quickly get out of hand and overwhelm you. You’ll need to figure out the floor plan with references, determine how much of each material you need, and put in a lot of manpower to complete the project safely and efficiently. Whole-cloth log cabin construction is best left to those who already have experience in carpentry and construction; if this is your first foray into home building, you’re likely better off purchasing a park model log cabin, buying an existing log cabin, or hiring a construction company to put together a log cabin kit.
Once you’ve determined what permits you need and what type of log cabin to buy, you can finally focus on the fun part: where to put it! The best thing about log cabins is that they are so durable that they can really be placed almost anywhere, from the desert to the tundra. They are more energy-efficient than a typical home, which means they need less to heat in the winter and cool in the summer, thanks to the natural insulation of thick timber. Well-constructed and properly positioned log cabins can be comfortable even in the hottest climates. Where you’d like to place your log cabin depends greatly on where you’d like to have your comfortable getaway, as well as what property options are available to you. Try to orient your cabin so most windows are to the south, as this will reduce your heating and cooling costs. Carefully consider the local climate, including rainfall or snowfall, as you’ll want to build in an area that isn’t flood-prone; if this means you’ll be building on the top of a hill, you need to consider how much more insulation you’ll need to protect your home from wind and direct sunlight.
If you’re purchasing a park model home, you can discuss the exact construction and layout that will fit the local climate with the experts, who will help you decide what would work best for your particular plot of land. This is the perfect time to ask any questions you might have about how to protect your log cabin for years to come, as well as any modifications you might need to suit the environment. However, what’s most important is that you select an area that suits your own lifestyle and needs, whether that’s an isolated cabin miles away from the real world, or a cozy one on a small plot of land near local amenities. Whatever you select, you can be guaranteed a comfortable space to relax and recharge that will last generations.