Log House Plan Introduction


We first learn of the log cabin from Vitruvius (Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, architect to Augustus Caesar) in his book, De architectura, “Of architecture” (1st Century A.D.).  Vitruvius describes the houses of Pontus (Turkey) as dwellings of overlaid logs whose horizontal gaps are filled with chips and mud, an apt description of the log cabin to this day.  Archaeologists speculate, perhaps accurately, that log houses were in use during the Bronze Age, some 5,500 years ago.  These log houses were found in Northern Europe where trees were plentiful, where innovation was necessary for survival.  From here, log houses rapidly developed from the round log lean-to into hewn log cabins with gabled roofs, with centered openings (to release pit-fire smoke), with interlocking corner joints that kept each cabin tight and firm.  In Europe, the animal hide tent soon passed from fashion and use.

From the Bronze Age forests of peoples unnamed to European Swedes and Finns and Danes came the ancient log building tradition to British America’s Atlantic seaboard (17th Century).  Along the banks of the Delaware River, circa 1640, from Delaware to New York, a New Sweden sprung-up in communities of homey little cabins carved from woods.  Each log cabin required but an ax, a froe, and about ten days to build a house sufficient for a single man, a house seven horizontal logs high.  A team of men, in about ten days, could build a two-story, fancy home for a family, and this, our continuing log cabin tradition Delaware to California, to Alaska.  Should mention: log homes can be found in Hawaii.


Log House Plan

Log House Plan, Color Elevation, M. Curtis, des.


Log House Characteristics


The log house remembers the wood, the axe, the back that lifted the log to place, the hand that filled the gap with mud, straw, cement, or whatever was to hand.  Sometimes, the cabin’s walls and floor rest on cornerstones, sometimes on a floor of ground-laid logs.  Sometimes, the exterior wall is flat-hewn to allow siding; sometimes the interior wall is flat-hewn to allow stucco or paper.  Always, a fireplace, sometimes stone-ended, sometimes freestanding.  Traditionally, there will be a sleeping loft or a second floor for bedding.  Roofs are low-pitched, purlin (beams supporting crossing rafters) or rafters alone supported by the ridge and wall.  Corner bracing might be V-hitch or dovetail, seldom nailed, often pegged.


Log House Forms


A rectangular room (often 16’ x 20’) with a singular, generous hearth. A door in front and opposite door in back.  A window, or several windows.

Two rooms connected by a door, each room with its own hearth and chimney, each room with a window or two.  Above, a loft for storage or sleep, the loft accessible by ladder or stair.

Two rooms separated by an open walkway.  Each room with its own fireplace.  Both rooms sharing a continuous floor and roof.

McMansion Cabins
Alike the wealthy suburban house, these log houses boast all the conveniences of living in economic liberty, expansive rooms, walls of glass, commercial-like kitchens, spa-like baths, and bedrooms often larger than the one-room cabins that sheltered the entire pioneering family.  Yes, we owe a debt to our pioneering foreparents, gratitude to the log cabin tradition that has delivered us into wealth and comfort.

Typically, the Scotch-Irish and Saddlebag had a long porch (the Dogtrot’s porch was between the rooms) that extended the house in labor, shelter, and rest. The exterior walls would hold by peg or nail instruments of use for farm or house.  Typically, these styles could be constructed by a competent man in a week-or-more, by several men in but several days, if simple and straight.  To this day, competent pioneers in Alaska and other states continue to build cabins in a week, cabins that survive the generations.


Log Lodge Plan Elevation M. Curtis des.

Log Lodge, Plan & Elevation, M. Curtis, des.

Log Lodge Plan

32’-0”                       Height
69’-0”                       Width
32’-0”                       Depth
2,251                        GSF
1,660                        First Floor GSF
591                           Second Floor GSF
9’-0” & vaulted       First Floor Ceiling
2                               Levels
3                               Bedrooms
2 1/2                        Bathrooms

Room Size

First Floor
Family Room              30’-0” x 19’-0”
Dining Room              18’-0” x 12′-8″
Kitchen                       18’-0” x 12’-0”
Watercloset                8′-4″ x 3′-2″
Master Bedroom       18′-0″ x 18’-0”
Mater Bathroom        14′-0″ x 10′-0″

Second Floor
Common Room          21′-0″ x 6′-4″
Bedroom 2                  11′-6″ x 18′-0″
Bedroom 3                  12′-4″ x 11′-2″
Bathroom                    6′-0″ x 8′-6″

Front Porch                  30′-8″ x 12′-8″
Patio 1                          36’-0” x 12′-0″
Patio 2                          12′-0″ x 12′-0″


Log House Plan Elevation M. Curtis des.

Log House Plan & Elevation, M. Curtis, des.

Log House Plan

31’-0”                       Height
54’-0”                       Width
42’-0”                       Depth
1,620                        GSF
1,214                       First Floor GSF
516                           Second Floor GSF
9’-0” & vaulted       First Floor Ceiling
2                               Levels
2                               Bedrooms
2                               Bathrooms

Room Size

First Floor
Family Room              28’-0” x 16’-0”
Dining Room              16’-0” x 12′-0″
Kitchen                       16’-0” x 12’-0”
Master Bedroom       13′-8″ x 16’-0”
Mater Bathroom        9′-2” x 6′-4″

Second Floor
Bedroom 2                  13’-10” x 16’-0”
Bathroom                    6’-0” x 6’-8”

Front Porch                  25′-0″ x 13′-0″
Patio 1                          24’-0” x 12′-0″
Patio 2                          12′-0″ x 12′-0″


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Touch this link for the Log House Edition of The Beautiful Home.

Featured image: Log House Plan, Lodge Color Elevation, M. Curtis, des.

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