How To Build A Log Cabin: Materials, Tools, and Techniques

Are you dreaming of building a cabin but do not know where to start? Well, you’ve found the right place. At Cabin Nation, we have broken down how to build a log cabin into smaller, more manageable steps. Just think, in the nearr future, you may be kicking up your feet and relaxing at your new cabin retreat.

how to build a log cabin
how to build a log cabin

Where Do I Begin?

Let’s start with where you are going to build your cabin? Do you already own the land? Have you identified possible cabin sites? There are many available resources online and local for researching and tracking down available land. One of our favorite online sites is

building a cabin
building a cabin

Architectural Styles: What is the right style for me?

A-Frame cabins are typically easier to construct and are quite durable but are they the right style for you? Sure the A-Frame might offer minimal maintenance, but maybe you prefer the look and comfort of a chalet or lodge style dwelling or even a grander scale rustic style.

Butt and Pass or another construction method?

Is your cabin going to be built on-site, or are you considering one of many log cabin kits? Have you thought about dovetail corners or a saddle notch? Butt and Pass are considered by many to be the strongest cabin construction method, and it doesn’t require log notching. Other methods are similar to tongue and groove, where logs are aligned by joining a raised area on a log and fitting it into a corresponding groove or notch in another log.

How do I choose the best wood species when building a cabin?

Would you be surprised to hear that that best or right wood species for your cabin is largely up to you? Considerations such as availability, wood hardness, and resistance to bugs and fungus help narrow down between wood options, but in the end, it is a decision that should also factor in personal preference, price, look and feel, and possibly even the aroma of the wood itself.

Cabin Roofing

wood shingle roof
wood shingle roof

Although it depends on the location where you are building a cabin, the most common roofing material leveraged is asphalt shingles. These shingles are popular due to their color and texture combinations as well as their long-term performance and warranty options. Metal roofs are also very popular. The roof obviously provides critical protection for your cabin, and we encourage that you invest in an appropriate roofing material that meets your aesthetics, maintenance, and cost requirements. Your cabin roof is a critical factor in creating a defensible cabin barrier.

Cabin Furnishings and Decorations

Create the exact look and feel that you want for your cabin with rustic furniture, log kitchen tables, and your trophy fishing or hunting mount hanging on the wall. Does it really get any better than reclining in your favorite chair next to a roaring log fire and recalling all of the memories from your time at the cabin?

Cabin Living

Is cabin living for you a year-round adventure, or do you find yourself longing for a way to temporarily escape the hustle and bustle of city life? For many of us at Cabin Nation, we count down the days until our next trip to the cabin, and when we are not there, the opportunity to plan for a cabin project such as building an Adirondack chair provides a much-needed distraction from the urban jungle.

Ongoing Cabin Maintenance

Proper ongoing cabin maintenance is your key to preserving your cabin structurally and keeping nature’s elements at bay. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, water damage, insects, and rodents can swiftly become responsible for major damage to your cabin, especially with prolonged, unattended exposure.

Log cabin chinking is the process of applying chink in between the logs of our cabin. Log cabin chinking fills the voids between the logs keeping wind and debris outside It is important to keep on top of your cabin chinking maintenance. The cost of log cabin chinking will vary depending on you cabin size, material used, and labor.

Cabin Resources

We understand all of the hard work, time, and passion that goes into building your high-quality cabin. Therefore, to help make your how to build a log cabin project a little easier, we have compiled tools and resources that we strongly recommend at Cabin Nation. Tools for cutting notches, precise log cuts, and more