I struggled a bit before choosing the title for this article. A log cabin is made from logs. What does siding have to do with a log cabin? Well, having bought land on a mountain ridge, I knew that a basement would be needed to accommodate the land slope. The back end of the log cabin basement would have a pair of sliding glass doors but still lots of exposed concrete. The log cabin pictured above provides an approximation of what the rear of my cabin will look like. The outer basement walls in the picture are covered with stone which is certainly one option. I, however, would prefer the consistency of wood. I will use log siding.
I’ve also discovered another application that I intend to pursue. Like the pictured cabin, mine will have two dormered windows in back but also two more in front. I see no need to construct those dormers with full logs. They will be wood framed and log sided.
I uncovered a number of options while researching siding for my log cabin. Although I’m interested only in real wood, I mention these other options for informational purposes and possible further research. The first three are vinyl, metal and concrete. I have only seen pictures of them but they are supposed to resemble real logs. Ease of maintenance and durability are their primary benefit.
I’ve also discovered what is called e-log siding. These ‘logs’ are composed of expanded polystyrene with a base of oriented strand board and an outside surface of laminated fiberboard and a thick wood veneer. The e-logs come in 8 foot lengths and diameters of 12, 14 or 16 inches. The e-log does require ongoing cleaning and restaining.
Real wood log siding is made pretty much the same as the full logs. The options are hand crafted or milled. After being trimmed, the log is cut lengthwise to 1 ½” thickness for quarter log and 2 ½” half log sizes. The half log has a more rounded and full log appearance. A tongue and groove end match design makes for a relatively easy installation. You can also buy ‘false corners’ such as but and pass to match the full log corners of your log cabin. Real wood siding does require maintenance similar to a full log.
Both the real log and e-log siding can be installed on interior walls as well. Siding is definitely cheaper and easier to install than full logs. It’s your log cabin. The choice is yours.