Log Species - Corner Styles - Log Styles - Hand Crafted Logs - Milled Logs
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The links in this table will take you to a compilation of log home plans contributed by all sponsors.  The square feet of living space indicated below does not include decks, basements (unless otherwise indicated), porches or garage

Log Cabin Plans for Camp Sites
From 138 to 575 square feet of living space.

Less than 1,000 square feet

Less than 1,500 square feet

1,250 - 1,750 square feet

1,500 - 2,000 square feet

1,750 - 2,250 square feet

2,000 - 2,500 square feet

2,250 - 2,750 square feet

2,500 - 3,000 square feet

2,750 - 3,250 square feet

3,000 - 3,500 square feet 

3,250 - 3,750 square feet

3,500 - 4,000 square feet


Log home kits 4,000 square feet and more

Contemporary designs Traditional designs
 Ranch (one level) designs
Designs with only an open loft on the 2nd level are considered one level designs.

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The Beauty of Cedar Log Homes

By Mike and Sue Lemmon, Cowboy Log Homes, Belgrade Montana


From warm firesides and snowy days, to cold lemonade on a wide covered porch, log homes fit just about any setting. Log homes are much more than just the logs from which they are made. For many they are the arrival upon a finished dream. Cedar log homes are one of the most popular and lovely of all.

For log homes, things such as corner styles, log stack, and construction methods are universal. But when considering log species, there are many things to evaluate. The most common species for log homes include pine, cedar, spruce, and Douglas fir. Characteristics innate to pine are the high sap content and rapid growth. Common varieties of pine used for log homes include White Pine, Yellow Pine, and Lodge Pole Pine. Pine is a soft wood, typically easy to work with. The higher moisture content makes it more prone to checking. Over all, pine is one of the less expensive of the log species.

Cedar comes in two main forms: White Cedar and Red Cedar. Both varieties are slow growing trees with long lives. Some cedars are in excess of 1,000 years old.  Both the Red Cedar and the White Cedar possess the cedar essential oils within the tree, which helps to repel insects and decay.

Some differences between the Western Red Cedar and the Northern White Cedar are their locations, tree height, and color. As the name implies, Western Red Cedar is native to northwestern North America. British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon have the highest concentration of Red Cedar. Red Cedar can grow as tall as 150 feet. When the outer bark is removed, the wood is a reddish in color. Red Cedar has low moisture content and also is easy to work with. Western Red Cedar is one of the most expensive of log species for log homes.

Northern White Cedar is native to the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. White Cedar are shorter trees which rarely exceed about 30 feet in height. It has low moisture content so is less prone to checking, and is also a choice among log home craftsman. The White Cedar also has a lighter color to it. One other interesting fact about both Red and White Cedar is that once the home is finished and the exterior sealant is applied, it is difficult to tell the difference between the two species. White Cedar has many of the qualities of its western cousin, but is not as expensive.

Spruce is a very white colored log. It is one of the lesser expensive log types which offers moderate strength, small knots, and is also easy to work with. Engelmann Spruce is the most common of the Spruce family to be used for log home construction.

Douglas Fir is a darker colored log. It has a honey shaded hue. Fir is one of the strongest of log species being used for such things as train trestles and bridges. It is medium weight and also good to work with.

Now let’s explore the actual crafting of the home. Manufactured or milled log homes are the most popular style of log or timber homes. About 80% or more of all homes sold nation wide are milled log. Milled logs offer a uniform size and diameter down the entire length of the log.

Log profiles describes the shape of the logs. Logs can be milled into a square, D-log, or round on round profile. The D-log is the most common. Milled with one flat side, the D log offers the benefits of the solid log property while still offering a flat wall surface on the inside of the home. The round on round profile is where both the inside of the log and the outside is left round.

Log corner styles include dove tail, butt and pass, saddle notch, diamond cut notching pattern, and log corner posts. Dove tail corners are most commonly seen with square log homes. The corners are crafted to look like the tails of doves and then interlocked together, as they are stacked. The butt and pass style shows the end of every other log exposed on the corner. The butts and passes work together to provide one of the most common styles of log corners.

Saddle notch is the style whereby each log is cut so that the end of each log is visible on each side of the corner. Diamond cut notching pattern is more commonly found on handcrafted log homes. The diamond is very similar to saddle notch, meaning that the end of each log is visible on the corner, but on the saddle notch corners only the bottoms are cut. For a full diamond cut pattern both the tops and bottoms of the logs are cut to form the corner. And finally the log corner posts. One down fall of exposed log ends, though very rustic, is that the log ends are left exposed to the weather. An alternative to this is the log corner post.

The stack of the logs is the final thing to be informed about. The log stack refers to how the logs are fashioned to aid in the stacking process. Some logs are simply milled flat on the top and bottom and then stacked. Chinking or foam sealant and caulking is then installed between the rows of logs to seal out the air. Another style is the single tongue and groove stack. The logs are milled with one tongue and one groove on the top and bottom of the log, then it is stacked. The tongue and groove overlap provides some extra sealant against the outside elements. The double tongue and groove stack is very similar to the single tongue and groove, but with two T&G’s instead of only one. The last style of log stack is the Swedish Cope. For a Swedish Cope, the top of the logs is left round and the bottom is cut into a concave half moon shape. The logs then overlap across the entire concave area.

Log homes, no matter where you desire to build them, are a great choice. With options in log species, profiles, corners, and log stack the homeowner has more flexibility than he or she may realize. So before you purchase your log home, take the time to research and discover what type of log home is right for you. A cedar log home might be just the thing.

By Mike and Sue Lemmon
Cowboy Log Home

, Montana

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This page was revised on 05/23/2011