Building a log home can be challenging yet rewarding. It can be a haven where you and your family can bond together and enjoy the outdoors. However, before you embark upon building your log home, you need to be aware of the different types of wood out there that suit this purpose.
Log cabins can be constructed from many different types of woods. However, there are a few that are staples for this purpose. These options include both hardwoods and softwoods.
Before you choose a type of wood, you need to determine certain factors. These include the color of wood you want, how much it will warp and shrink with age, and how well it will hold up in the long term. It is important to notice that not all woods perform the same way.
Each variety of wood has its unique characteristics that will impact a structure as the wood ages. The most commonly used woods for log cabins include Cedar, Cypress, Oak, Cedar, Pine, and Fir.
Let’s have a look at options for the best wood for log cabin below.
Let’s first take a look at the soft woods that are ideal for log cabin building.
Pinewood is popular for log cabins. The log cabin industry uses softwoods like pine frequently, Eastern white pine and yellow pine being standard wood to construct the homes. Yellow pine also has great decay resistance. However, pine has a high shrinkage rate, but it is quite stable after drying. Pine is also easily available and is quite inexpensive to purchase.
Cypress and Cedar
Both cypress and cedar are regarded as more premium quality woods compared to pine. They have the edge over pine as they possess qualities pine does not. Both these softwoods offer natural resistance to moisture, decay, and insect infestations. However, both these varieties are also slightly steeper in price than pine. Cedarwood is also light and can be easily stacked. It has minimal moisture content and thus shrinks quite minimally. Also, cedarwood does not require a base coat to get uniformity when staining. Cypress wood is heavier than cedar and might be more challenging to stack; it will require more aggressive labor. However, cypress wood makes very durable log homes if the homes are built properly.
Fir and Spruce Wood
Both fir and spruce wood is also the best wood for log cabins. They are both sturdy and rigid and can be availed in large sizes. If the right steps are taken for preservation, both these kinds of wood can stain well and deter mold prevention easily. As both fir and spruce are available in large sizes, designing large structures is possible with minimal breaks.
Hardwoods like Redwood, Oak, and Popular are also popular options for log homes. They are all easy to assemble and are aesthetically attractive. However, the downside of using hardwood is that it can get quite expensive to purchase. Price also fluctuates depending on where you want to build your log home and whether transportation of wood is necessary.
On the pricier side, Oak is usually used for larger log homes. It’s imperative to use kiln-dried Oak, and Oak tends to shrink during the drying period. Kiln drying will ensure that the wood does not warp. Oak has two primary varieties: White Oak and Red Oak. Red Oak needs to be treated as it’s more prone to decay. White Oak has a higher resistance to moisture, decay, and the elements.
Redwood is a popular wood variety, especially on the west coast. It experiences minimal shrinking and also reacts well to the elements. Redwood can naturally resist decay, fungus, and insect infestations as well. However, Redwood is quite pricey and hard to obtain in certain areas.
What to Look for When Buying Wood for Log Cabins
- OAK || 24 x 7.25 x 0.75 (actual size) section of oakwood that is finished on four sides - Nominal size is 24 x 8 x 1
- BLOCK || A versatile wood section designed for use in various crafting activities, cabinet construction, flooring, home improvement, interior trim finishing and furniture building
- FEATURES || A common species - Produces good results with hand and machine tools - Responds well to steam-bending - Glues, stains and finishes well - Moderately high shrinkage values - Rated as non-durable to perishable - Poor insect resistance
- APPEARANCE || Light to medium brown with a reddish cast - Prominent ray fleck patterns - Straight grain with a coarse, uneven texture - Pores are large and open - Can react with iron (when wet) and cause staining and discolorat
This solid hardwood oak lumber board has an actual size of 24×7.25×0.75 inches. It is finished on all four sides and is great for renovation projects and home projects. This board can also be used for cabinet construction and furniture building.
This piece of oak stains and finishes well and has a beautiful color tone. It is a light to a medium shade of brown with a slight reddish hue.
- WHITE PINE || 6 x 11.25 x 0.75 (actual size) section of white pinewood that is finished on four sides - Nominal size is 6 x 12 x 1
- BLOCK || A versatile wood section designed for use in various crafting activities, home improvement, furniture and boat building, and construction projects
- FEATURES || A common species - Works well with both machine and hand tools - Accepts wood glue well, making for tight bonding - Excellent nail and screw holding capacity - Finishes well
- APPEARANCE || Pale yellow to nearly white - Color tends to darken with age or exposure to the sun - Straight grain with an even, medium texture - Fairly low color contrast - Tracheid diameter is medium to la
This white pine lumber board is solid softwood that measures 11.25×0.75 inches. It is finished on all four sides are a great option for home projects. You can also use this board of wood for furniture and construction projects.
This board responds well to both machine tools and hand tools. It has a wonderful nail and screw holding capability. This white pine board is a pale yellow to white-ish color. Its color also tends to darken with age. It has a medium, even texture, and straight grain.
The product’s item weight is 12.3 ounces, and product dimensions are 6x12x1 inches. This white pine board also comes with an exchange or refund policy within 30 days if the customer is unsatisfied with their purchase.
Our Final Thoughts
Choosing the best wood for log cabin can surely be a challenge! It is also an extremely important decision to make if you want to invest in a sound structure that has a good lifespan. The wood you choose for your log cabin needs to be durable and sturdy. It needs to react well to the elements and resist moisture and decay.
Different woods also have different color tones; some might be lighter, while some may possess a darker hue. Your ultimate decision will also depend on the look and color you want for your log house. The choice of wood should also not be too hard or too soft.
It should be sturdy and durable but should not require too much aggressive labor. The final decision regarding the best wood for log cabin should be made after taking all these factors into consideration.