Log cabins for the garden are probably the hottest yard accessory these days. Unlike some paving stones or a hedge, it is a much more permanent fixture that adds a lot of value to your home. Technically it can count as a secondary dwelling when placed on your property, though it depends on what it is you place there.
If you have been considering hopping on his awesome trend train, you should know about the five different styles of log cabins you can place in your garden. Some of them follow a technicality, and aren’t 100% cabins. But that just means you are more likely to find exactly what it is you are looking for.
The Guest House –
A very intensive project, this is also the one with the biggest return. You are essentially creating your own estate, where there is a secondary property located on your owed land. A guest house style log cabin is big enough to live in, and so it will have to have all the amenities you would expect: gas, electricity, running water, and other plumbing. You are building a whole other house where someone else could stay for a period of time.
Of course, it could be used for just about anything. Some people are building one in their backyard and allowing their children to live in them during their college years, so they can save money. Others are renting it out to someone in order to pay off their mortgage faster.
The best part is that you can construct a guest house log cabin yourself, with a few courses on basic building. Because it is much smaller than an actual home it can be done with less materials, too. Just don’t expect to get out of hiring some professional contractors, such as for the electrical wiring. Some jobs have to be done right the first time.
The Gazebo –
Not quite a log cabin, it can be quite similar. You are looking for a more sturdy incarnation than the plywood monstrosities that can easily fall apart in the wind. You will be building it out of logs, solid and treated. They will circle to create an open feature, with a strong roof that can withstand all weather.
With a few modifications you can make one that is more like a cabin in that it has a closing “door” or gates along the edges, so it can be opened or closed as per your needs at the time. That makes it more adaptable than your more common variety gazebo, and a lot more comfortable to host or hang out in. Even in winter, when usually your feature would be off limits until Spring banished the cold.
Quick tip: If you go with the gazebo type, even with sealing gates, makes sure any furniture placed inside is waterproof.
The Greenhouse –
Want something a bit more garden oriented? The greenhouse may be just what you are looking for. This is a log cabin that uses wide open windows and a climate control system to create a greenhouse in their yard. The log materials and sealing process makes it an excellent choice, though you have to be careful to plan for both natural and unnatural lighting to help your plants grow.
Since it allows for growth year round, the biggest plant lovers among us go nuts for this style of garden log cabin. It can be a little more complicated to plan for, but totally worth it.
The Mini Getaway –
Just need a place to unwind and be by yourself? You can create studios, tea rooms and more in a tiny size that just take up enough room to let you enter and find your peace of mind. These mini cabins are becoming more popular, because they are much less expensive to make, but have many of the amenities of, say, a game room, or a library that would otherwise have been in your home.
They don’t even need to have all the trimmings of a house, if you don’t want to. A generator can give you electricity, and you can take over whatever you need from your home. Though expanding to have a more complete cabin is an awesome idea for those who have the time and money to do it.
The Ultimate Shed –
A blog post that was circulating around social media a couple years back showed an amazing idea from a carpenter who worked from home. He built himself a small cabin in the same size and shape as a large shed. In fact, he used his old shed as a template to build around, so he could get the dimensions just right. He ended up with the ultimate shed, made of repurposed, polished lumber.
In there he did all of his work, and even slept in there from time to time. It had a working fireplace and stove, a small bathroom, and a little bed that unfolded from the wall. The rest was his workspace.
It shows clearly how you can take an old idea and make it new.
What You Need To Know Before You Buy Or Build
There are some things you need to know before you begin building (or shopping) for your new log cabin to place in your garden:
High quality lumber is important. You never want to use cheap lumber, or lumber that hasn’t been inspected for imperfections before you begin building. Otherwise you might end up with split logs, or burrows that lead to infestations later on.
Use proper sealants and stains. What you put on the outside of your cabin is important, because it is what is going to be keeping our the elements, insects, and keeping the place standing. Plan to restrain and seal about every three to five years, but don’t skimp out on the first treatment.
If you don’t know how to build a log cabin, consider hiring contractors. There are some who even offer premade cabins that can be moves to your property, with everything installed (plumbing, electricity, etc).