You can build a log cabin for your backyard for less than the cost of a weekend of work – and the siding is half the price! How? By using simple and basic log home siding plans. Read on and learn how to make a log cabin that will look like an expensive custom home.
The beauty of log cabin siding comes from the way it is naturally resistant to decay and weathering. It stands up to years of wear and tear, and doesn’t need a coat of paint or varnish to protect its natural color. You begin at the base, secure to the existing wall, then add the next layer, protecting the lower part with even more nails and siding pieces. As long as you follow the plan, you’ll have a gorgeous rustic cabin with all the modern conveniences you’d want in a house-in-the-woods. When you’re done, you’ve got the charming appeal of a log cabin, just above anything else you started out with!
There are two ways to create log siding. One uses regular log slabs that have been split into strips. The other uses natural pecan or cedar chips as the logs are split. Either way, the result is log siding that has good structural integrity and will keep out the weather. Because the split pieces have already been treated, they’re already waterproof and most insects won’t even come close to them. And the wood itself is sturdy and has a rich natural color that will blend with any style of home.
To make full log siding, cut the slabs into pieces no longer than three inches thick and arrange them on top of each other like a stack of pancakes. Press down on each piece and nail or screw them together with nails or screws from outside. It’s best to use nails or screws that match the wood you’re using on your cabin siding. This will allow the nails or screws to be buried deep into the wood, thereby eliminating any chance of rust.
Now it’s time to install log siding over the exterior cedar paneling. Most people choose to install paneling right on the exterior. This results in a clean, smooth look and allows you to choose a matching color. However, if you’d prefer a sturdier appearance, you may also want to install log siding over the paneling.
Installing log siding over the exterior cedar paneling can give you a more rustic look, but only if you use a sealant similar to what you would put on your exterior siding. If you’ve already got log home siding on your cabin, it’s not too late to go through this process. Look at all the neighbors’ cedar paneling and take a picture. Use that as a guide to figure out what type of paneling will look best. Don’t worry; this is easy to do. If you can’t find any pictures online, just ask some of your friends who have built their own log homes or look for “cabin siding picture” websites.
Once you’ve decided on the kind of paneling you want, you need to decide what kind of log or wood you’re going to use. The most popular choices are pine, cedar and hemlock. For an authentic rustic look, try using hemlock or pine logs. However, if you’re looking for a lighter, natural appearance, try using white, pinkish or clear wood.
When choosing siding materials, keep in mind the climate in your area. Choose your siding based on the moisture content. You’ll probably want to choose a siding material with an interlocking grain. This will ensure that the siding won’t shake or move when it gets wet or dry. Before you go to building supply stores to buy your siding, check with your town or city’s local business codes. Often, these building supply stores won’t sell wood or other siding materials to residential customers, so you may have to go to one of the specialty stores instead.