Best Wood for a Log Cabin

Doing the research is a crucial step in building your dream log home — whether you’re digging into popular designs or looking up the specifics of cabin construction. Learning about the leading wood species is particularly important research to do — and we’re happy to help explain what we use. We say the best wood for a log cabin is either Northern White Pine or Cedar, depending on your specific preferences!

At Gingrich Builders, we’re a log home builder that crafts custom log homes in PA. The custom options that we give our customers includes everything from one-of-a-kind floor plans, to luxury kitchens and bathrooms, as well as your choice of species of logs we use. Keep reading to see more about what makes the best wood for a log cabin and reach out to schedule a design consultation!

pine log cabins

Benefits of Pine Log Cabins

Northern White Pine is the most popular wood species we use — and that is due to all of its practical advantages. A Pine log cabin is what most clients request — and when considering its attractive aesthetic and practical advantages, it isn’t hard to see why! At Gingrich Builders, we source our timber from mills that carefully harvest in areas of the northeast — here’s what sets it apart:

  1. Extremely Affordable in PA — A Pine log cabin offers long term durability at a great price point. Since our White Pine comes from the northeast, there is good availability and reasonable shipping costs, meaning we are able to offer great prices. For many homeowners, choosing this species can be the difference between being able to have the cabin of their dreams right now — and waiting a few more years.

    See average log home prices (materials + labor).
  2. Less CrackingThe slow grown White Pine lumber we utilize for our Pine log cabins features rings that are closer together. This makes the lumber itself stronger and more resistant to cracking over the lifespan of the home. We also offer a line of sealants to deal with any cracking you come across during regular maintenance!
  3. Variety of Color Stain Options — Pine isn’t the best wood for a log cabin because of the practical benefits alone. It is a beautiful species of wood that can take on almost any color through staining. White Pine is very receptive to stain, making it a fantastic choice for a wide range of color possibilities. In fact, you can even enjoy a gorgeous Cedar color with Pine wood. Keep reading to learn more about the distinct advantages of a Cedar log home!
  4. No Shrinkage or Settling — Another benefit of White Pine is how effective kiln drying is when prepping it for construction. Since kiln drying is an efficient way of drying as it reduces shrinkage or settling of the logs after construction is completed, it guarantees a beautiful log home for many many years.
  5. Easy to Treat and Maintain — While owning a log home will require some maintenance, generally a White Pine log cabin is fairly easy to care for and maintain. Firstly, this comes from the overall durability and strength of the solid logs. Secondly, since the wood is so receptive to stains and sealants, long term maintenance and restoration will give your log home the desired like-new look.
cedar log homes

All About Cedar Log Homes

Our other choice for the best wood for a log cabin is Cedar, which is famous for its colors and fresh Cedar smell. There’s no question that Cedar log homes are more expensive, but they do provide a few distinct benefits that make them worthwhile for some of our clients.

  1. Naturally Insect Resistant — An amazing property of Cedar lumber is that it naturally repels most wood-boring insects like termites and other crawling bugs. As those pests pose a threat to wooden homes, this is a benefit that may justify the added cost of choosing cedar. While having a Cedar log home is not a guarantee you’ll never deal with wood-boring insects, they should be significantly less of a threat to your beautiful Cedar cabin.
  2. Gorgeous Cedar Look — The rich and rustic look of Red Cedar truly is a thing of beauty. This striking color can turn an already gorgeous home into a true masterpiece. For some people, the beauty of this lumber is enough to make it a must-have for their dream log home.
  3. Distinct Cedar Smell — One of the other signature traits of Cedar is the distinct and evocative scent of the lumber. If you’ve ever owned a piece of Cedar furniture, you’ve likely enjoyed the wonderful aroma emanating from it. A full Cedar home allows the unique smell to pervade everywhere, inside and out!
  4. A Note About Price — Since Red Cedar comes from forests in the north west, it costs more to both harvest and transport it here. For Red Cedar, we are quoting these prices only at time of final pricing so we can be as accurate as possible.

Discuss the Best Wood for a Log Cabin & Design with Us

All of our log homes begin with a conversation between our team and our prospective homeowners. One of the main ways we set ourselves apart is by providing personal attention and service through every step of the decision-making process. So, whether you want to discuss the best wood for a log cabin — or you want to find out your floorplan options — our team is ready to talk!

Reach out today to schedule your design consultation!

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