6 Unique Characteristics Of A Log Home

Are you thinking about building or buying a log home? Most of us that admire log homes like their unique characteristics. There’s just something different about them that other styles of homes lack. They are a traditional icon of Americana that takes our minds back to simpler times.

Although log cabins can be permanent homes, they are generally thought of as smaller structures with less modern amenities than log homes. Log home characteristics include:


  • Thick wood walls
  • Relaxed and charming atmosphere
  • Unique corners
  • Chinking between logs
  • Can be made with optional log siding


Log Home Characteristics: House Versus Cabin

A log home is any dwelling constructed with logs or log siding, while a log cabin is generally a smaller, more secluded, and less modern home. There are other differences, including:


  • Log homes are built for full-time living for individuals or families
  • Log cabins are occasionally inhabited, but may be used permanently
  • Log homes are larger with more usable square footage
  • Log cabins feel more intimate and cozier
  • Log cabins typically need less maintenance
  • Log homes can be more customized and flexible
  • The favorite wood for log homes and log cabins is pine


Log homes are typically more lavishly furnished and have more modern amenities than cabins. Cabins tend to be located in more out-of-the-way places such as on lakes, in the woods, or in mountains. Homeowner’s insurance may cost more per square foot than log homes due to their remoteness. Cabins may be much farther from fire departments than log homes.


Thick Wood Walls Are Characteristic

Log homes, whether built with log siding or full logs, have thick wood walls made of pine, cedar, or some other wood variety. Their thicknesses vary with the purpose of the dwellings and the climate where they are located. The look and attraction of logs are the defining characteristics of these amazing homes.


  • Homes made with full logs have walls that vary from 8” to 16” thick. Thicker logs are ideal for colder areas and full-time living use. The thick walls provide more insulation but cost more. Homes located in warmer climates or are not used for permanent living can get by with thinner walls.
  • Homes built with wood log siding use quarter, half, or premier siding that are 2” to 3” thick at center. Keep in mind that siding is used on the outside and inside of walls with 2x4” or 2x6” wall framing, OSB board, and insulation between them. This option creates walls that range from 8” to 12” thick at center.


“Most of us that admire log homes like their unique characteristics.”

Relaxed And Charming Atmosphere 

There’s nothing like coming home from a tiring or stressful day and relaxing in a log home. Owners report the reasons they prefer log homes include:


  • A warm, cozy, and comfortable atmosphere
  • An environment that promotes healthful well-being
  • Better-than-average air quality
  • A charming place for family and friends
  • A fireplace is soothing and relaxing
  • They provide a connection with nature
  • Pine log homes are eco-friendly and sustainable


Log Home Characteristics: Unique Corners

Another characteristic that sets log homes apart from other styles is their unique corners. Most homes have straight-line square corners whereas log homes typically have these:



The type of corner construction depends on whether the logs or log siding are round or flat. The favorite styles for log siding and round logs are butt-n-pass, saddle notch, and vertical corner post.


Chinking Between The Logs

The choice of chinking is a personal choice that is determined by the type of log construction. Homes built with wood log siding look rustic with or without chinking between the logs. Full log construction, especially with logs of varying diameters, needs chinking to fill in the gaps and prevent air leaks.

Modern chinking products are flexible and expand and contract with the weather. They can be left their natural color or stained to the shade you desire.


Log Siding Can Be Tongue And Groove

Building with tongue and groove/end-matching wood log siding provides the rustic full log look without the full log price and maintenance issues. This type of wood design locks together on both the ends and sides of each piece of siding. It also has these benefits:


  • Can be end-butted anywhere between wall framing
  • It is virtually a ‘no-waste’ product
  • Can be ordered unfinished or pre-finished
  • Available in smooth and hand-hewn finishes


Living in a log home is a marvelous opportunity to enjoy bringing nature inside and relaxing in a charming and cozy atmosphere. Log homes can be further enhanced by adding knotty pine flooring and ceilings.


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