While contemplating the construction of an outdoor wooden cabin, the most cost-efficient mode might be using materials from your property, plus personal time and labor. Doing most of the work by hand saves a lot on the overall cabin costs. For some, trading sweat for pounds and doing most of the work required without engaging a carpentry contractor is a cheaper way to go.
Before you begin, you must take the type of foundation, size, and amenities into consideration.
You will need to acquire, a septic system permit, a building permit, a city or well water connection permit, blueprints with an itemized construction plan, and electrical or plumbing services to the site.
The materials you will need include: Foundation materials, a compass, shovels, a chainsaw, a circular saw, logs, axes, a drill, tape measure, line level, a plumb bob, a steel bar, anchor bolts, nuts and washers.
Start by clearing the site and then place batter boards to create the outline of your foundation while using a compass to face your cabin towards the sun for better sunlight exposure. You will need to use piers to support your main beams, create your own piers through the use of containers similar to upside-down trash cans, and pour concrete into these, then place anchor bolts onto the tops for bolting down the first row of logs. These piers will have to be sunk into the ground and well below the frost line, to effectively prevent any future movement.
Drill holes at the anchor bolt locations and secure the sill logs to your foundation using nuts and washers, then place flattened top logs as floor joists into notches in the sill logs and cut openings for your wooden framed windows and doors as you progressively add walls. Use heavy frames for windows and doors as support for the log ends at these openings and make the cabin walls whatever height you desire. For the roof framing, use sawed lumber; Construction of gable roofs is cheap, while hip roofs need minimal maintenance. Depending on availability of time, you could make and install your personal wood shake shingles or use plywood and asphalt shingles to cover the roof framing. Finish your interior with wiring, cabinets, or plumbing, depending on your desire. The overall price will differ depending on various factors, and the best solution is seeking the assistance of a professional carpenter.
Tips & Warnings
You can use round or squared off logs, and for a speedy hewing of logs to flatten the sides, use a chainsaw and an axe. Wherever logs overlap, you could use different types of joints, with every type giving a different appearance to your finished cabin. Depending on the value of your time and you ability to perform handy activities, it might be cheaper to use precut logs instead of cutting by hand. Engaging the services of an experienced carpenter might also be cheaper and a lot safer, especially for those with a limited home improvement experience. Always take safety precautions and remember to wear proper safety equipment every time you use hand tools.