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Log Cabins: The Original Green Building

Contributing AuthorsContributing Authors

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Log Cabins: The Original Green Building

Introduced by Swedish settlers in the early 1600s, the log cabin holds a timeless appeal for homeowners today. While the distinguished look of the log cabin has remained unchanged for centuries, log cabin homes still offer variety and versatility in design. In fact, the type of construction you choose for your log cabin will greatly affect the look and feel of your home. Here we’ll look at the main types of log cabin homes.


Manufactured Logs

The most cost-effective approach to building a log cabin is to use manufactured logs. Manufactured logs are shaped in a factory to fit specific dimensions. This ensures uniformity of the logs, which makes the logs easier to assemble.

Despite their uniformity, manufactured logs don’t have to be bland. Many companies offer unique styles that can be difficult or expensive to achieve through non-industrial methods.


Handcrafted Logs

For greater customization and a more authentic feel, many homeowners prefer to use handcrafted logs in the design of their log cabin. Handcrafted logs are shaped with handheld tools, which preserves the individuality of each log and allows for personality in style.

There are three main types of handcrafted logs:



Standard chinked-style log cabins feature fully rounded logs with notched corners. This style of construction gets its name from the synthetic chinking material that is used to seal the joints of the logs for protection from the weather. Chinked logs create the appearance of a continuous white stripe between each log.



The sides of hand-hewn logs are flattened with an ax or chisel to offer vividness in the texture of the log. These log cabins also rely on chinking to seal the joints to seal the joints of the logs. However, this technique offers the benefit of reducing the contrast in tone between the log and the chinking material. This can create a blended tone between each log with will reduce the overall appearance of chinking.


Fully scribed

Also known as the Scandinavian full scribe, this is the oldest technique for constructing a log cabin. A full scribe cabin features peeled logs that are stacked horizontally on top of one another using a scribe. The careful use of a scribe tool ensures that the contour at the bottom of the top log is perfectly aligned to the top of the bottom log. Through this process, the logs are fit tightly together so that the cabin can be weather-proofed without additional chinking.

The advantage of this technique is that it eliminates the off-color look from chinking and allows a seamless appearance between each log. It also allows for variations in style, such as elegant arches over the doorways. However, a full scribe cabin is the most costly option for log cabin design because of the intensive labor involved and the expertise it takes to master this technique.

The type of log cabin you choose will greatly depend on your aesthetic tastes and your budget. However, the cherished rustic look of a log cabin is sure to make you feel at home no matter which style you choose.

Greener Ideal strives to help you live your life in more sustainable ways with green living tips, healthy recipes and commentary on the latest environment news.The views expressed by guest authors are their own and may not reflect those of Greener Ideal.