Plans for Small Log Cabins

Sue | June 27th, 2014 - 7:14 am

Small log cabin plans are usually those under 1,000 square feet. On one ends of the spectrum we have the little Lariat at 480 square feet. At the other end are plans like the Pony with 996 square feet.

Within small cabin floor plans under 1,000 sq ft there is only so much space. One feature I would like to focus on is how the loft is reached within these small plans. It should be noted that some cabin foot prints (the overall dimension of the cabin on the first floor) are too narrow for a standard staircase.

Let’s look at the Bobcat plan. This design offers a first floor and a loft. Notice the absence of a staircase drawn into the floor plan. Instead the top of a ladder is depicted next to the loft edge. The Bobcat only has enough room for a ladder to reach the loft.


Bobcat new loft

Bobcat Loft Plan

Now let’s look at the Mule Deer. This is the smallest stock cabin plan we have that show a staircase to the loft. This design is 20×20. Log staircases also have to be positioned so that there is enough headroom as you climb the stairs. This staircase could be flipped to the other side of the cabin, but it cannot be moved anywhere else and still allow enough headroom.

mule deer loft plan

Mule Deer Loft Plan

To gain more square footage within small cabin plans the loft can be increased from a half loft to a three-quarter loft. This Juniper A frame cabin plan is our smallest which shows this layout. The larger loft area allows for both an open loft area and a bedroom.

juniper sample loft plan

Juniper Plan 3/4 Loft

Another means to maximize a log cabin plan is to add one or two dormers. This Panther small log cabin has a shed dormer. This dormer gets its name from the shed type roof that extends from the main roof line. On this cabin I think this shed dormer is very attractive on this cabin. If a shed dormer is to0 long, such as extending down the length of the entire home, it gives a bulky and ‘top heavy’ look to a cabin.

shed dormer log cabin

This next log home is the Montana Plan, shown here with a gable dormer.  This dormer is the same shape as the triangular gable end of a home. This particular dormer is 12 feet wide.

gable dormer on log homes

A shed dormer gives more space on the inside of the home. Either style dormer can be added to a cabin, but if a dormer used on each side of the home ideally  the dormers should match, i.e. gable dormer– gable dormers, shed dormer– shed dormer. With a log roof system matching the dormer styles is important. When looking from the top of the cabin, it is much easier if the dormer ridge beams are symmetrical.

As you browse small log cabin plans keep these features in mind. Be sure to notice if a staircase is drawn into the plan. Evaluate the loft to see how large it is.  If the overall floor plan looks attractive, consider adding a dormer or two to open up the loft space. I have often wished we would have added some dormers to our half loft. Often I have hit my head on one of the square timber rafters coming down from the ridge beam. Dormers can be added to any of our plans. Small log cabin homes can be very livable even as full time residences  if the right floor plan and design is utilized.

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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