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Texas Log Cabin Kits

Nothing conjures up feelings of old-fashioned relaxation and yarns spun by the fireside like an image of a log cabin nestled in a quiet wood. You can make that illusion a reality by building your own humble abode with a Texas log cabin kit.

Log Cabin History

Texas Log Cabin Kits

Many people associate log cabins with Abraham Lincoln based on an oft-told tale of him reading by the firelight in a log cabin when he was a child in the early 1800s. However, Scandinavian immigrants built the first log cabins in America shortly after their arrival in the 1700s, about a century before Lincoln's time. Other settlers from Russia and Eastern Europe incorporated log cabin designs from their countries as well. All of these builders had roots in heavily wooded countries, so their experience in cutting and shaping different types of timber into logs was extensive. Log cabin builders' jobs got easier in the 1920s when milled logs started being mass-produced.

Types of Texas Log Cabin Kits

Your prime consideration when choosing a Texas log cabin kit is the type of logs it uses. Some kits use individually handcrafted logs that closely resemble those of the 1700s, while others only use milled logs. The handcrafted logs add authenticity to the log cabin but are generally difficult to work with, as they are irregular in size and shape. Milled logs are uniform, easy to fit together and typically less expensive than handmade types.

Milled Log Types

If you decide to go the milled log route, the next step is deciding which type of timber you prefer. The options generally include:

Green Timber

As the name implies, these logs are cut from live trees and immediately taken to the mill for processing. As their high moisture content dissipates over time, they tend to shrink slightly and lose uniformity, which creates gaps in the log cabin structure that have to be remedied with fillers or fixed by replacing the logs.

Air Dried Timber

Using air-dried timber significantly reduces the problems frequently caused by green timber. The log dealer, however, has to have enough room to let the timber dry naturally. This issue, coupled with the time factor, can increase the cost of the project.

Kiln Dried Timber

Some log dealers dry their logs in huge ovens or kilns to hasten the process. This artificial process produces dried logs faster but also increases the chances of the wood cracking or splitting during the drying procedure.

Glue Laminated Timber

These types of logs are created by cutting the logs into strips of wood and gluing them together to create the illusion of a log. However, companies proficient at this produce logs that look as authentic as ones cut directly from trees.

Texas Log Kit Components

To build a log cabin from a kit takes more than just logs. Before investing in a Texas log cabin kit, be sure it includes all the parts and elements needed to secure the logs together and give the cabin a finished look. A complete kit should include:

  • Coded and tagged logs that are easily identifiable
  • Wood splines for corner joints and butt ends
  • Various sizes of shank screws
  • Polyfoam insulation strips
  • Caulking materials to fill in the gaps between logs and finish off joints and ends
  • Pre-cut floor joists
  • Pre-cut purlins
  • Pre-cut tongue-and-groove joins
  • Porch and deck posts and railings
  • Pressure treated decking materials
  • Exterior fascia trim
  • Windows and window trims
  • Pre-hung door(s)
  • Roofing materials

Choosing a Kit

There are hundreds of Texas log cabin kits available from a variety of manufacturers. Some sell only kits and others provide construction services as well. Many companies have websites describing their services along with customer testimonials and pictures of finished cabins and in-progress log cabin projects. To ensure you are happy with your cabin for many years, invest the time to peruse options in materials, style, and pricing.