designing and building a log cabin – our personal experience
While exploring all the options and different building material available wanting to build a sustainable, natural guest home, we ended up deciding on wood. Exploring the national and European market (from Portugal to Germany, Sweden and Poland), we found the best price quality way up North in Russia. Russian nordic pine for wood, which means slow growing and thus stronger. A family run company with decades and generations of experience, a sane replantation schedule and strong ties with their former clients in the European market. After finding the right quality, price and company, all we needed was the right design. We studied several available designs (they have loads of them, with many variations. Unfortunately, nothing online). And ended up sending our own sketch. Alterations were suggested (e.g. to ensure solid structure, economical cut and transport) and we got complete PDF´s from our design, ready to be used by our local architect to submit for building license. It took a while to dot all the i´s . But is was worth the wait!
So far we´ve personally build 3 solid round log cabins on our small scale nature retreat in North Portugal and plan on building several smaller units, pods. Our ´mountain lodges´ have an amazing look and feel to it, and are even in corona times, very successful. Being the first and only ones in Portugal with log cabins, might have something to do with it. But most of it comes down to the quality of ´living in wood.
We learned how to build from the best, 4 weeks of on site training by one of the Russian foremen. Concluded the first log cabin, went on to the second for a ´check, check, double check´ and ended doing the 2nd and 3rd one on our own. So very pleased with the end result, we have accepted to be a ´commission based distributor´ for these log cabin kits. We are not a building company, although we have a background in building and renovating. But we can tell you first hand experience how to prepare and build with log cabins.
self build log cabin kits – can I build a log cabin myself?
Depends. The log homes offered on this site are ´assembly´ kits, meaning the precut logs will arrive at your doorstep and then it´s up to you. If you´re a bit of a handyman, you can easily construct the smaller wooden glamping or camping pods or huts yourself with one helper. The bigger your cabin is, the longer the logs probably are, and the heavier. From 40 m2 up, we suggest a minimum of 3 p. building. If you´re going for a complete house, 2 stories, or group accommodation, we strongly advise you to find an experienced contractor or create your own team of experienced builders. When legally building your new home, you´re going to need a contractor signing off and taking responsability for the structure anyway.
Remember, the life spam of a wooden log home results not only from the quality of wood and fitting cut. Building and maintaining it correctly, as any house, is a must if you want your cabin or home to last hundreds of years.