Log Style Homes (Design Guide)

Log home with balcony and view of snow-capped mountains

A perfect alternative to vacation homes, second homes, and downsized smaller dwellings – these log style homes have readily proved to be an economical, aesthetically pleasing, and affordable solution.

Highly recognizable around the woods and lakes, these abodes exhibit coziness while easily fitting into smaller spaces with extravagant views of the forests around them.

Ever since the evolution of design styles and constant expansion of the territories, log homes began to come into the limelight as the population pushed west into heavily wooded areas. In the present era, there is a wide plethora of log homes, cabins, cottages, retreats, and lake houses to live up to the style of ranches.

What Is a Log Home?

Home made of logs in the woodsA log home or building is a structure built with horizontal logs interlocked towards the corners by notching. These materials come in various forms ranging from round to squared and, sometimes, handcrafted or milled.

Experiencing a log home is unique – from the moment you enter the home – there is a subtle, cozy, and natural atmosphere created. The main idea of introducing the outdoors inside is through the use of natural wood logs that make the space feel equally warm and homely.

This architectural style dates back its roots to the Scandinavian regions of Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Russia, where the conifers are readily available.

Log and timber houses are all about getting back to the basics, living off-the-grid, somewhere miles off from the cities and metropolitan areas. They have a distinctive look; hence, they are extremely easy to identify from afar.

What Is the Difference Between Log Homes and Log Cabins?

A-style cabine with snow covered treesEven though the terms sound quite similar, there are still differences that define the characteristics of a log home and a log cabin. First and foremost, log cabins are comparatively smaller, isolated, and a ‘less-modern’ version of the log homes.

Lob cabins are known for their cozy and compact layouts, unlike log houses, which are known for their endless design styles and larger plans.

Another striking difference between the two solely lies in the variants of architectural focal points on the building façade. This feature is highly characterized by the use of tapered logs, unusual roof forms, and distinctive use of decorative motifs and moldings.

From an architectural point of view, it is also important to note that the two structures display variances based on the method of construction. These houses are comprised of horizontally stacked logs, whereas log cabins are post-and-beam houses that involve a much bigger version of the timber framework during production.

Types of Log Style Homes

It is always ideal to understand the type of construction and design style of these houses before planning to build one. Breaking down further, log homes can be categorized into these 5 types:

Full Scribe

One of the most authentic and attractive of all, Full Scribe homes are traditional log-style homes where the logs are stacked horizontally to form the walls.

Each log has a cut groove that is fitted and secured to the one in the bottom. These types of homes offer energy-efficiency qualities with a strong, resistant structure that can be assembled and reassembled quickly – thus proving to be efficient and aesthetically pleasing.

Post and Beam Log Designed Home

Compared to the Full Scribe type, these homes utilize fewer logs, which makes them a great, cost-effective solution.

They use logs as structural support, with a number of vertical log posts that carry horizontal logs on the top.

Being an energy-efficient solution, Post and Beam homes are also highly flexible in design and construction – hence, widely used across the country.


Similar to the Full Scribed homes, Chinks were among the first ones to get built. Even though the appearances are quite similar – the main differences lie in the fact that logs are not joined and fitted together even though they are stacked on each other.

Rather, the gaps in between are filled with chink – that is, a particular mortar used to fill in the voids.

Timber Frame

Sharing similarities with the Post and Beam style, the timber frame has a squared shape profile, unlike the other, which is characterized by a round profile.

In this particular type of frame, the logs can be observed from the inside of the house. Apart from flexibility, durability, and esthetics, the homes are eventually affordable as well.

The overall cost is less than Full Scribed and almost equivalent to Post and Beam.

Corner Post

Corner post cabin with stone claddingFlexible and durable, Corner Post Log homes display an authentic yet unique façade where the vertical posts at each corner are aligned with the horizontally staggered logs.

The logs are interlocked with mortise along the length of the logs. These homes are comparatively stronger and tougher than other types.


This typology is characterized by modern techniques that utilize almost half or quarter logs with an exactly similar look to a full-scribed home.

Hybrid homes offer flexibility through different use of materials while maintaining their original charm and authenticity. See more types of cabins on this gallery page.

Log House Designs

With their most charming and rustic looks, log homes have always exhibited a right-out-of-a-fairy-tale appearance. Depending on the type of construction, façade appearance, and type of logs, there are two major types of log home designs.

Frame Log Houses

Logs for home constructionAlso known as the traditional log homes, these are referred to as the ‘site-built’ homes, which are not built in the factory; instead, they are completely ground-up structures.

If you need an absolutely customized home that is unique in any and every way – Frame log homes are the ones you should prefer.

Modular Log Type Homes

If you are looking for a quicker solution that is durable and visually pleasing as well – it is time to get an introduction to modular homes.

These are prefabricated and built in sections in the factory and then are later assembled on the job site. However, these usually don’t cover your customized needs as most of them are mass-produced. But overall – they prove to be a great solution!

Log Style Cabin Home Kits

An ultimate way to DIY your own house is to buy the kit and then follow the instructions. There are a variety of options ranging from green-certified packages to energy-star rated and some of them even low maintenance and completely unique based on the type of materials used and overall types of home styles.

Depending on the needs, the houses could be one- or two-leveled with multiple bedrooms and patios, balconies, and porches. You also have a variety of options when it comes to the types of construction base material and overall finishes.

Log Cottage Home Plans

2 bedroom log style home with dormersA 2-bedroom log home plan with a covered porch. See this plan here.

A home plan provides you with the building details that you can take to a local contractor to build. They come in a wide range of floor plans and layouts.

When you purchase a plan, you receive the floor and framing details, including building elevations, crawl space, and foundation information.

Tiny Log Lodge Homes

Tiny log shanty with wooden bridgeDitching city life to live in a wooden cabin is a dream for many. And what if the houses offered an all-inclusive value and unbeatable price? Well, that’s what tiny log cabins have to offer.

Tiny homes constructed from logs are durable, airtight, easy to maintain, code-compliant, and weather-resistant while still leaving you dollars on the table. They have a timeless charm that imbibes a feeling of comfort and coziness while easily grabbing the attention of the buyer.

Since these are fine-tuned prefabricated abodes, they are easy to assemble, are highly flexible, and offer endless opportunities for customization. Their sizes usually range from 200 square feet to 400 square and include one bedroom, one bathroom, a front porch, and plenty of comfortable space.

Log Hut Exteriors

Log type home with gravel fire pitThese have one of the most distinguishable exteriors as compared to the other home styles. These can take various forms, one or two stories with large gables and a classic wrap-around porch.

They have long, low rooflines with mixed use of materials such as square-bottomed stone-clad pillars, standing seam metal roofs, and heavy timber trusses to support and accommodate the heavy walls.

Their quintessential rustic look tends to absorb the charming atmosphere created with also a timeless touch to the overall design style.

Log Chalet Interiors

Living room with log walls, pink furniture set and chandelierA tinge of rustic charm and utter sophistication is what defines its interiors. Whether you are looking for a getaway or a weekend home for the coming holidays, log-type dwellings have a touch of comfort and coziness that is well admired and craved by homeowners.

Some of the characteristic interior features are:

1. Natural Wood Ceilings
2. Cozy Fireplace
3. Log-treaded Staircase
4. Planked Floors
5. Larger Windows
6. Unfinished Walls – Wood Walls
7. Ample of Natural Light
8. Exposed beams and columns
9. Comfortable Furniture
10. Vintage Accessories

Log Cottage Prices

Kitchen with large beams and wood islandOwning this type of building has been a dream for many. Its cost may highly depend on specific needs and specifications; however, on average, a log home costs between $350,000 and $400,000 from the beginning of the move-in. You may want to consult your nearest providers as it also depends on the location and size.

For the above-mentioned price, you should expect the following:

1. Greater than 2,000 square feet
2. 3 bedrooms
3. 2.5 bathrooms
4. Loft
5. Luxurious Interior Specifications
6. Medium-sized deck

How Much Do Modular Log-Made Houses Cost?

The base price for modular homes is $50 per square foot. The kit required to build modular houses made of logs varies between $14,000 to $30,000. This cost doesn’t include the furnishings, sinks, and cabinets. Overall, you can expect to save 10% to 20% on prefabricated homes as compared to traditional dwellings.

Pros and Cons of Homes Made of Logs

Room with loft and antler style chandelierIt is known to offer a laid-back environment with an open and airy feel indoors. Apart from affordability and durability, there are a few other pros and cons that you might want to get familiar with – before you plan to buy the home design

1. A signal for sustainability: green material product
2. Highly energy-efficient
3. Available in kits: easy to build
4. Longer Living

1. Higher Maintenance Level
2. Hard to find Insurance
3. Not resistant to pests and insects

Are Log Homes Stronger than Regular Homes?

Cabin with a wooden shard, columns and shrubsLong story short – Yes, they are comparatively stronger than traditional homes. The walls are made of exceptional quality – dense, strong, and absolutely strong! Strong enough to withstand hurricanes, floods, and other natural calamities.

They are fire-resistant – hence, they are indestructible due to their strength, construction techniques, and high-quality materials used.

These have constantly proved to be a “go-to” solution for aesthetics, serenity, nature, and longevity. With a perfect rustic outlook, they are authentic, sophisticated, and a blend of nature itself.

For more related content, please visit our log cabin kitchens gallery.

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