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Log Cabins for the Garden Are Here to Stay

Aug 12, 2008
Log cabins set in the middle of a green open space under an open, blue sky - looks like the very picture of beauty, doesn't it? Picture postcard perfect beauty. Log cabins have a certain rustic charm about them, which is an undeniable fact, and they've been around for a long time. They have the simplest of structures and can be found all over the world, both in rural and urban areas wherever wood has been readily available. It is believed that log cabins began to be constructed initially in the northern part of Europe, around 3500 BC. Later on, the construction of such cabins began in the USA, Germany, Russia and Scandinavia. A number of the log cabins constructed years ago still stand in some parts of the world.

The styles in which log cabins have been constructed vary from one part of the world to another. Two common styles of log cabins, classified on the basis of the style of their roofs, are the purlin style and the gable style. In the middle of the 18th century, elaborate log cabins began to be constructed, known as the Adirondack style of cabins. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, a number of log cabins began to be constructed as a part of the United States Park Service, most of which were built as per the Adirondack style.

The construction of a log cabin is rather simple, as it is usually built with logs horizontally piled one on top of one another. Logs used for building a cabin can not be picked on a random basis. They need to be selected carefully as logs with only a few knots are preferred, as such logs can be smoothed easily with a bit of whittling. This ensures that the gaps between the logs are as small as possible. In days gone by the gaps were filled in with grass and sticks, known as 'chinking', or with mud, known as 'daubing'.

Major decisions to be taken when constructing a log cabin are - the cabin size, number of storeys, the type of roof, and the type of doors and windows. Years ago the availability of logs as well as that of labour were two of the most important factors affecting the size of the cabin. For instance, if logs were not readily available in the vicinity of the site, the size of the cabin would have to be restricted. Similarly, if labour - human or animal - was not available near the site, again the cabin size would have to be restricted.

In today's times however, the construction of log cabins has been made extremely simple by the availability of ready-to-erect log cabin kits. Such cabins have the same look and feel as traditional log cabins, but are cheaper and easier to construct. You do not have to look for the various materials for construction and collect them from different places, as they are readily available in a single kit. Moreover, when log cabin kits are being used, there is no need for cranes and other heavy equipment. Due to their advantages, log cabin kits are widely preferred by people all over the world.

Initially, log cabins were built by travelers to stay en route. They were not meant to be permanent dwellings. With the passage of time, they began to be used as residences, as well as outbuildings for various purposes such as storage of garden equipment and raising animals. Some people use log cabins as an extension of their home: as a gym; an office; as a playroom; or as a place for rest and relaxation.

In conclusion, log cabins have been around for a long time because they have always been versatile and remain an asset for any homeowner.
About the Author
James Armes wrote the article 'Log Cabins Are Here to Stay' and recommends you visit http://www.gardeningthoughts.co.uk/acatalog/log-cabins.html for more information on log cabins for the garden.
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