Where to Build a Log Cabin
you build a log cabin is not only important for the health and
longevity of the structure, but your own! Here are the most crucial
things to consider when choosing where to build a log cabin:
– First things first. Can you easily get to your site? Can delivery
vehicles and any other mechanical contractors you may hire be able to
get trucks in, if necessary? Is the length of your driveway going to be
affordable for you?
- Grade –Many wonderful cabins are built on
hills, but be ready for the extra work and issues a hill brings. A
level site is cut and dry, when it comes to building. Hills may bring
the need for retaining walls to deal with erosion problems. If two
sites are equal in other areas and one is on a slope, you might want to
go for the level site.
- Soil - It’s best to build a log cabin on
a site that is a bit higher and dry. If the soil is regularly damp,
expect mildew and log rot. If you will have indoor plumbing, you will
need to have a “perk” test to make sure that you can legally install a
- Water – Before you dig the first shovel
full of earth, be sure you know where your water will come from,
whether a spring, rainwater, a drilled or driven well.
- Sun and
Shade - Think about which direction the sun comes up and sets. Do you
want to wake up to a sunrise? Or maybe you like sitting on the porch
playing the banjo like me and want the porch to get afternoon and
evening sun. Sun along the longest side of the cabin will provide the
most heat. I love big old trees around a cabin but too many may provide
too much shade (and potential for limbs to break off on the cabin). The
ideal foliage gives shade on the south and west sides of a cabin during
the summer and then allows the sun to warm the cabin after the leaves
- Wind – A cabin that is sheltered by land and trees
be warmer. A hilltop site usually has steady wind. In an area that is
usually hot, the breeze may be welcome, but in colder parts the wind is
- View – Though I saved it for last, the view from your
cabin is certainly not least important. Try to imagine driving up to
the cabin, looking out each window and door, sitting on the porch. What
will you see? What is the backdrop? Choose a site that will make you
My best advice is to spend many hours on site before
you ever build a log cabin. Be there at dawn, at noon, at sunset.
Experience all you can of the land and what it has to offer. If your
land is vacant, try to camp out there during different seasons, if
possible. Put your tent right in the spot you want to build a log
Sometimes you are fortunate enough to have several
spots to choose from, like I did when I was build a cabin in Michigan.
Evaluate, calculate and do your
homework…but in the end choose the spot that you feel in your gut is
right for you.