Best Species Of Wood For Log Cabins

Log cabins have been built with various types of wood over the years. They were typically constructed with trees that grew in the cabin owner’s immediate area. Today, we have the advantage of ordering assorted woods grown in many states and shipped to our building site.

Common wood species for log cabins include pine, cedar, cypress, spruce, fir, and oak. Each has its pros and cons, and in general- you can eliminate all of them but pine and cedar. Red pine is the most economical and cedar is the most moisture and insect-resistant.

Desirable Qualities In Logs And Log Siding

We expect the exterior and interior of our log cabin to retain its rugged beauty and natural qualities as long as possible. There are some significant features you should seek in the wood species for a log cabin build. Price is only one of them, and here are some serious ones:


  • Appearance – Select the wood color, grain, and visual effects you want
  • Availability – Can you get the wood you want when you want it
  • Cost – Consider how much your budget can afford
  • Durability – Wood should be long-lasting and properly kiln-dried
  • Energy Efficiency – Consider the wood’s natural energy efficiency
  • Installation – Which species is easiest and fastest to work with
  • Structural Soundness – Select wood that is stable and less prone to shrinkage, warping, checking, and decay


You may not be able to find the log siding or log material from a local dealer. In this case, order it online from a trusted supplier.

Red Or Norway Pine For Log Cabin Construction

The most popular wood species for log cabins, homes, or businesses is red pine also called Norway pine. It is a perennial favorite for these reasons:


  • Of all the woods for log cabins, it is the most economical
  • Quarter log siding is the most affordable profile/shape
  • Its straight grain makes it structurally sound and stable
  • Pine is lighter and easier to saw and install
  • Pine is readily available compared to some other woods
  • It is a sustainable product because trees are grown on tree farms


Pine log siding also dries evenly in a kiln that produces the correct moisture content for stability and staining. When properly maintained, it retains its natural beauty for generations. You simply can’t go wrong with this amazing wood for your log cabin.

Cedar For Log Cabin Construction

Cedar log siding is our second choice for log cabin construction. It is an amazing product that will outperform other wood species for home building. Here’s why we say this:


  • Cedar is most resistant to moisture and insect issues
  • It is a beautiful wood to use in any climate
  • It does not shrink, swell, or decay like other woods
  • Cedar has more natural insulation properties
  • It is a lightweight wood to work with
  • Cedar contains oils that eliminate the need for chemical treatment
  • It is more sound resistant with the ability to absorb some noise


Cedar log siding is recommended for rainy and humid climates that foster a lot of bugs and insects. It costs more than pine but its qualities are worth it. Cedar is not as readily available as red pine, and keep this in mind when making your plans.

“Red pine is the most economical and cedar is the most moisture and insect resistant.”

Tongue And Groove With End-Matching Log Siding

A desirable feature you should consider in pine and cedar log siding is the tongue and groove/end-matching design. It carries enough advantages over ordinary tongue and groove siding that make its choice worthwhile, including:

  • Tight-fitting joints that reduce 80% of caulking needs
  • Boards can be end-butted anywhere between wall framing
  • Available for both pine and cedar log siding
  • Less measuring and sawing for faster installation
  • Virtually a “no-waste” product
  • The sawed-off piece starts the next row
  • Screws easily into OSB, plywood, or wall framing
  • Applied after corners and trims are installed


This superior feature is available in quarter log, half log, premier log, and hand-hewn log siding in unfinished or pre-finished conditions.

Few More Thoughts About Log Cabins And Wood

The choice of wood for your log cabin may also depend on your climate. Extreme weather takes the greatest toll on any type of wood. It’s critical to stain and seal your log siding or logs with the best quality materials you can afford right from the start.

Any wood species you choose will require some maintenance over the years. To obtain the best results, follow the contractor’s and stain manufacturer’s guidelines explicitly. After all, you are putting your money and heart into your log cabin construction. Maintain it properly so you will be proud of it as long as you live in it and beyond.

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