Construction Steps

Note: If you came here because you have always wanted to build (or have built) a log cabin, we have compiled the phases we went through to make our dream a reality. It took us from the summer of 2001 until the summer of 2007 to complete the project. Yep, six long years. We discovered that when you only have weekends and vacations to build a log home, it comes out great but takes a loooong time. Here's how we did it.

Phase I  - Introduction   Phase IV  - Turning logs into a log cabin.
Phase II  - Can ya dig it?? Excavation   Phase V  - Inside Stuff that takes ferever!
Phase III  - Ya need logs for a log cabin, right?       Phase VI  - The Finishing Touches

 

Phase I... Introduction


This is the lake property before we started building (June 2001).
I figured this picture should be in a frame!
If you want to see a bigger version, click on the picture.


Now here is a picture of the entire lake front before the construction.
The house on the right belongs to our nice neighbors, the Roys.


Hidden behind a tree was our own lakeview outhouse!

We had to tear the outhouse down and
get fancy-pants indoor plumbing for the cabin though!


Here is a picture of the woods on the other side of the road.
Hey, I didn't promise skyscrapers and bright lights!
  

Phase I  - Introduction   Phase IV  - Turning logs into a log cabin.
Phase II  - Can ya dig it?? Excavation   Phase V  - Inside Stuff that takes ferever!
Phase III  - Ya need logs for a log cabin, right?       Phase VI  - The Finishing Touches

 

 

Phase II... Can ya dig it??


The excavator, Mike Ray, begins the process
of digging a big hole in the ground (July 6, 2001)
and tossing out lots of huge boulders
so we can bury a foundation in the hole.

Below is a picture of Mike Ray in the hole he dug
measuring the level-ish-ness of everything.

Below is a picture of the foundation (July 18, 2001) with Cindy in the background.
The neighbor's house you see in the back
belongs to the foundation builder, Mr. Roy.
He didn't hafta do too much driving to get to our job!

Phase I  - Introduction   Phase IV  - Turning logs into a log cabin.
Phase II  - Can ya dig it?? Excavation   Phase V  - Inside Stuff that takes ferever!
Phase III  - Ya need logs for a log cabin, right?       Phase VI  - The Finishing Touches

 

 

Phase III... Ya need logs for a log cabin, right?

After the logging truck arrived from Lincoln Logs
at the crack of dawn on Aug 15, 2001,
and the rental forklift arrived about 3 hours behind schedule,
(and a much smaller forklift than we ordered!),
the logs and other goodies started getting unloaded.

Above is our van and trailer to help shuttle the hardware and small stuff.

Below is the small "toy" forklift straining under a load of logs.
There were one or two people riding the back of the forklift
to keep the precarious load balanced
(I offered to ride on the back but they politely mumbled
something about soft mud and too much weight??.... <shrug>)

  

Phase I  - Introduction   Phase IV  - Turning logs into a log cabin.
Phase II  - Can ya dig it?? Excavation   Phase V  - Inside Stuff that takes ferever!
Phase III  - Ya need logs for a log cabin, right?       Phase VI  - The Finishing Touches

 

 

Phase IV... Turning logs into a log cabin.

Below are a couple of photos looking at the garage and basement door opening
a few days after the delivery with the first rows of logs as it starts to grow.
It looks like we're really on our way!!

In the photo below (Sept 8, 2001), even without the peak
it is already starting to look like a log cabin!

Below are some shots on Sept 15, 2001 of the cabin ready for shingles.
The first two shots are looking from the road.

The last two photos are from the lake side.
Finally, it looks like a log cabin!!

Phase I  - Introduction   Phase IV  - Turning logs into a log cabin.
Phase II  - Can ya dig it?? Excavation   Phase V  - Inside Stuff that takes ferever!
Phase III  - Ya need logs for a log cabin, right?       Phase VI  - The Finishing Touches

 

 

Phase V... Inside Stuff that takes ferever!


After getting several bids on putting up a fireplace
(a log cabin must have a roaring fire, right?), we hired a local guy
who is semi-retired and probably prefers doing his Karaoke gigs
at area VFW Halls but with some persuasion did a good job of putting up our fireplace.
I don't mind doing some stuff but I was glad to have him climb up that scaffolding
on a coooold windy day to put the chimney on the top!

As we started the long tedious task of prepping the logs and staining them
during one of the most rainy summers on record, I realized that,
even though we were far from being ready to move in,
there was a condo of robin's nests going up between the logs.
As you can see below right, we were being upstaged by a bunch of birds!

Running the plumbing through the cabin was a long-time project,
but once we had the toilet in, it was quite a relief (in more ways than one)!

If I thought the plumbing took a lot of time, I never realized what a pain it would be to design and build an entire electrical system and make it to code.! Drilling a gadzillion holes through basement ceiling joist boards and then pulling all those wires from the panel through those boards to their destinations.

Fortunately, the end result was a success;
the electrical inspection went smoothly.

Many more tasks went on during this time such as building the two flights of stairs
from basement up to the loft. As well, we hand tilled the root-riddled yard
(wearing out two tillers in the process) to turn the jungle into a somewhat usable lawn.

 

Of course any lake-front log cabin must have a couple of friendly dogs so we rescued two labs thru American Lab Rescue. Dusty (left) had been abandoned on a highway in Georgia and Dixie (Black Lab) was a puppy lost during Hurricane Isabelle in the Florida panhandle. As you see, they've adapted well to their new abode.

 

Below are the kitchen cabinets in the works. The photo shows the sink area with the frige to be on the left.
The gas range will be on the right side of the photo.

Phase I  - Introduction   Phase IV  - Turning logs into a log cabin.
Phase II  - Can ya dig it?? Excavation   Phase V  - Inside Stuff that takes ferever!
Phase III  - Ya need logs for a log cabin, right?       Phase VI  - The Finishing Touches

 

 

Phase VI... On To The Finishing Touches

As we get closer to completion, it is time to install wood floors,
frame and build the interior doors and closet doors, and install the loft and stair rails.

We got three bids to put in the wood floor, with astronomical prices and no follow-up (yep, even the guy who came by and measured the floor and gave us a price never returned our calls to finalize plans).
Finally, we decided to do it ourselves.

The final result was worth the back-aches that Cindy and I had from putting the entire thing in! Plus we saved a chunk of money (even after the Advil).

Right photo is the loft looking down the stairs,
the bottom left is the great room, and
bottom right is looking at the kitchen from the loft.

 

Now you know how it was built.

You can view the photo gallery for more photos of the finished product.

 

Phase I  - Introduction   Phase IV  - Turning logs into a log cabin.
Phase II  - Can ya dig it?? Excavation   Phase V  - Inside Stuff that takes ferever!
Phase III  - Ya need logs for a log cabin, right?       Phase VI  - The Finishing Touches