A popular trend is to take a log cabin that has been around for a few decades and spruce it up with a more modern look. From the floors to the doors, a cabin renovation could replace a lot of the original architecture; however, there are a few things to be mindful of before renovations start. For example, when planning to add a new room or level to an older cabin, matching the hue of older logs can be tricky. Read on for more information about cabin renovation ideas and how to implement them.
Accounting for shrinkage
Log homes experience shrinkage over time – meaning the logs need to settle into place and will slightly change their shape. In the past, carpenters used slip joints to ensure that walls would retain their original form while shrinking took place. Typically, it takes about a decade for logs to settle – dried and heat-treated timber doesn’t shrink as much as other types. Thankfully, if your log home has been around for over a decade, you probably won’t have to worry about this when building extensions or new rooms.
Renovating the interior
Cabin remodeling can be as simple as adding a new coating of paint or furniture. Alternatively, some log homes look better with new floors or rooms. Besides budgeting constraints, here are a few notes on what to look out for when renovating the interior of your log home.
Adding new drywall and insulation
Log cabins aren’t exactly the most insulated structure. Additionally, some homeowners might want a more modern interior – in this case, they might choose to install drywall and insulation. Before adding these components, it’s important to note that you can’t install drywall directly onto a log cabin wall. Add studs and mount the drywall on top of the newly added wall framing. Fortunately, this will also give you adequate space to fill in foam insulation between the outer walls and the drywall.
Adding new rooms
The most important thing to look out for when adding a new room to an existing structure is load-bearing walls. Often, load-bearing walls are on the exterior – although some home designs incorporate load-bearing walls in the interior as well. The quickest way to tell if you can or cannot knock down a section of a wall is by how thick the wall is (walls 6 inches deep or more are usually load-bearing) or if there is support underneath the wall in the basement or crawl space. If you have access to them, consult the blueprints of your log home design before renovations start.
Lighten things up
Modern cabins use multiple types of light fixtures to illuminate their thresholds. Adding chandeliers to vaulted ceilings and pendant lights to hallways are simple methods to make your log home look more modern. Try to place various lighting options around your cabin during renovations to find the right amount of brightness for any time of day.
Sometimes our cabin floors can become worn over years of dragging around camping equipment, moving hunting gear, or simply having guests over. Whatever the reason for replacing the floors, adding new laminated wood flooring can bring an older interior back to life. Also, you can easily find ornate rugs and floor decorations to add rejuvenating brilliance to your interior design.
Restoring the exterior
A renovation project wouldn’t be complete without improving the exterior of your home. Outdoor decorations, new plants, and freshly paved walkways are a great way to get started with exterior renovations. To go the extra mile, consider replacing the siding, windows, and doorways and adding exterior lights.
Adding new siding
A difficult part of restoring or adding new exterior paneling to a log cabin is matching the color of the existing log siding. The older logs will have a vastly different hue than the new ones due to aging and weathering. Therefore, take time to find a wood stain or paint to incorporate into the new siding. Otherwise, you could replace the siding completely – although this is somewhat costly and requires more planning.
Fresh gardens and hardscaping can quickly raise the resale value of a homestead. A recent trend is adding plants and garden sculptures in a recess on a wooden deck. Pair this with natural furniture for a calming front porch experience. Another trend is to use low-profile gutters made of bronze around door frames and on the edges of a roof. As with all exterior projects, ensure you can finish the project and avoid creating a hazard on a walkway or stairway.
Windows and doors
A great addition to any cabin renovation project is new windows and doors. Not only do they make any exterior more fashionable, but they also provide more efficient insulation. We recommend using prairie-style windows (sometimes referred to as French door windows), brought to fame by the architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Pair this style of windows with decorative curtains and watch your cabin come to life.
As for doors, the rising trend is to find entryway doors with natural wood and metal components. You can also hang metal decorations on an existing doorway for a rustic look. Moreover, installing exterior lights on either side of a door can beautify the space while providing a more comforting entryway.