Designing Cabin Plans with Lofts

Sue | April 15th, 2014 - 4:01 pm

Lofts are an integral part of many log home designs that owners have no intention of parting with. These unique spaces help to set cabins apart from conventional homes. They offer character, a chance to be engulfed by the log and wood ceilings, and extreme charm to the dwelling. When designing cabin plans with lofts there are some stages to consider.

Overall Square Footage of Log Cabin Plans with Lofts

Anytime you build a log home there is always a prioritizing of a floor plan. As we work through a design we encourage our owners to make a list of the ‘musts’ and a second list containing ‘wishes’. Often the open loft is included on the ‘must’ side of the paper. Items which are popular are a first floor master suite, a walk in pantry for the kitchen, and a first floor laundry. Rooms which are sometimes eliminated are 2nd or 3rd bedrooms, and formal dining areas.

10 inch log cabin finished

When calculating the full square footage of a log cabin plan with a loft remember to include any loft space. Usually the break down is the square footage of the first floor, the square footage of the upper level– whether it is just an open loft or if there are more rooms upstairs, the square footage of the decks or porches, and any square footage in the basement. Sometimes owners only figure in the square footage of the first floor into their budgets. But, alas, the other square footage must be paid for as well. So for a total square footage of living space add the first floor living space plus the upper level. For small log cabin plan below (the Pony Plan) the first floor is  672 sq ft. The upper floor, consisting of the open loft, is 324 sq ft. This yields a total of 996 sq ft total for the log home plan.

Pony First Floor Plan

Pony First Floor Plan

The Pony Plan also has extensive decks and covered porches, wrapping around three sizes of the home. Porches not only help to protect the logs from the weather, but they also provide unlimited enjoyment for the owners absorbing the outdoors. Large desks, such as these, are calculated separately for both the design cost and for the construction of the home.

Pony Loft Plan

Pony Loft Plan

Small Cabins with Lofts

A cabin such as the Pony (which was built in Pony, Montana) is considered a small log cabin plan with a half loft. When the loft covers half of the living space of the first floor, then is a half loft. When a loft covers three quarters of the first floor it is referred to as a three-quarter loft. If a loft is only a thin catwalk that only provides a narrow space to walk, then it is considered a catwalk instead of a loft. A loft is usually big enough to house an office, sitting area, library, or space for grand kids to sleep when they come to visit.

Ranch House and Cabin Plans with a Loft

Included in our floor plans are several ranch house plans with a single level. An open loft can also be added to the home. Sometimes the loft is added over the kitchen or above a bedroom, but it almost always incorporates part of the cathedral ceiling in great room, in some capacity.

Designing cabin plans with lofts is not hard. It is a common request, as can be seen reflected through our floor plan selection, and is often a ‘must’ for many owners. If that is the case for you, then you should keep your loft. Don’t feel it should be the first room to go as you work through your budget. Instead, keep your priorities and approach modifications to the floor plan from that stand point.

Cowboy Log Homes


Any projected costs, cost estimates, material costs, and estimated construction/ building costs, are only the opinion of Cowboy Log Homes and are drawn from our experience. Every home is custom tailored to meet our individual client's wants and desires. The construction of a log or timber home is based on two primary costs: material provided by the log home company and construction costs contracted with Cowboy Log Homes as the builder or another builder of the customer's choice. Final costs are obtained and contracted with each respectively. Cowboy Log Homes is simply the "glue" that helps bring these two together to provide a final culmination of a customer's project. * Please note photos and elevations may differ some from accompanying floor plans.
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