Sunday, December 16, 2007

Designing your Log Cabin Floor Plan

Designing your log cabin floor plan is a reflection of your dreams and lifestyle. It is important to think about how you are going to use the log cabin and compare your "must haves" with what your "actual needs" are.
My husband and I always envisioned an open layout with a log staircase and a loft above. The open layout of the living room and kitchen would enable family togetherness - I liked the idea if I was in the kitchen cooking, I could still be a part of the conversation with family members and friends in the living room.
The log staircase was a luxury "must have" item but we felt it would give a great craftsman's feel to the cabin. Our log home consultant advised ordering a second set of log stairs for our basement so the design carried through. We had to bite the bullet on the cost (they were $1500 per log stair package) but we knew it would look better in the end.
The loft was another "must have" and we just couldn't picture a log cabin without it. We are going to use it for a dual purpose - a bunk house for the kids and an additional seating area to read books and listen to music.
The "needs" involved having at least 3 bedrooms to accommodate family and guests, a walk out basement for affordable additional space, and an egress window in the basement to create a future bedroom.
Here are a few things you may want to consider in designing your log home:

  1. The size of your lot and the city's code and egress requirements. For example, if you are on waterfront, you need to build a certain distance away from the shore.
  2. The grade of your lot - is it flat or sloping? (Ours is sloping so a walk out basement is perfect)
  3. Will this be a permanent residence or vacation home?
  4. If a vacation home - do you plan on retiring there in the future? (If so you may want to consider wider hallways to fit a wheelchair, single story floor plans and other items that will make senior living easier.
  5. How many people will you need to sleep and feed at the cabin?
  6. How often will you entertain?
  7. Will you work from the cabin? (You might need a separate office area, Internet service, etc.)
  8. Is your bedroom just a place to sleep or do you need it larger to accommodate a private seating area?
  9. What are your recreational interests? If you ski, snowmobile, fish, etc. - how are you going to store these sport equipment items? Mudroom, shed or garage?

These are just a few of the items to think about. Your log home company can you help with additional considerations and guide you through the process.