Have you ever wanted to run away from home for a little while to live in a humble log cabin, surrounded by nature and wildlife? It's a common dream, and it isn't that difficult to do. Log cabins have a rustic appeal that makes them a favorite of nature-lovers and fans of simple living, so they have been getting more and more popular for years. Some people use them as their only home, but more people use them as rustic getaways where they can spend some time with nature relaxing in a hammock. They're more comfortable than camping in a tent or a trailer and they still offer some distance from the stress of modern life.
It's also easy to get started with them. There are a few important questions to consider, but once you make up your mind you will only need to take a few short steps to find your cabin of choice.
Build or Buy?
It isn't hard to find a log cabin for sale from a specialist real estate agent, but it isn't the only option. America's early settlers built their own cabins by hand, and most of them did it without being professional builders. Modern people with a flair for DIY projects can do the same thing. People who want some of the convenience of a purchased cabin but still want to work with their hands can even split the difference and buy a kit.
Purchased cabins come with a few advantages. You know exactly what you are getting when you buy it, and you don't need to worry about making mistakes that could damage your new home. They are also convenient for people who don't want to spend hours building a cabin with their own hands. On the other hand, buying a cabin usually costs more than building one, and you don't get as much control over the location.
Building a custom cabin is hard work, but it's the only way to get complete control over the design and location. It also saves money, since you won't have to pay for as many builders if you put things together on your own. The downside is that it can be tricky if you have never built anything before, and inexperienced builders might not make a perfect cabin. Working from a kit is easier than working from scratch, so it can solve that problem, but it will cost a little more and involve giving up some creative control.
The Right Spot
The cabin's location is just as important as the design. Local building codes can restrict your options, but there are plenty of legal choices. There are a lot of different factors to consider at this stage, and a lot of the choices depend on what you plan on doing with the cabin.
You also want to consider the many states where log cabins are popular such as Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Utah. Every state in the US has them, however and many can be breathtaking.
Accessibility is important for people who want to travel to their cabin regularly. Hiking a few miles to a camping spot is one thing, but hauling a enough supplies to last a week every time you visit is another. In general, the more often you use a cabin and the longer you stay with each visit, the more important accessibility will be. The easiest way to ensure accessibility is to put the cabin in your backyard, but that reduces its value as a vacation spot.
There are some logistics to consider as well, such as availability of electricity and even gas in rural areas and what the soil is like when digging and placing a septic system (not many people are brave enough to just build an outhouse these days and running a generator a lot of the time is expensive and loud). You will also want to make sure that the area you are building on is level and will not sink or erode quickly or change dramatically during certain seasons.
The view is the most important feature for people who want to use their cabin as a retreat into nature. It's easy to assess it by looking around the site, but that won't get all of the details. It's best to look at the site over multiple seasons to see how it changes over time. It can also be worth setting up a few cameras to check on the local wildlife. This thorough examination takes more effort, but it's the only way to know exactly what to expect.
Take the Plunge
Once you've made the plan, all you need to do is carry it out. Talk to a real estate agent, or order a kit and start building. It will take a little bit of time to make sure that everything is ready, but it's easier than it looks, and anyone can do it if they're willing to try.