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A solid, flat, and stable foundation constitutes the most important feature of any long-lasting log cabin. The quintessential log home is rather heavy; therefore, it is essential that the foundation for your cabin can take the full weight of the cabin and allow all doors and windows to open and close properly.

Many people looking to construct a log home rush to select a design and location they admire, forgetting that getting the base right is just as important. A good log cabin foundation protects your log home from rots, decay, and a litany of other problems: a roof that might curve in, gaps between the logs, and logs that sit badly.

Types of Log Cabin Foundations

A few factors may influence the type of cabin foundation you opt to construct for your log home, including the soil and rock type, the slope and condition of the construction site, the drainage system, the size and weight of the log cabin you look to build, ease of access to the site, and your budget.

Below is an overview of four of the most popular cabin foundation options.

Concrete Slab Foundation

Concrete log cabin foundations are ideal in areas where the site ground is soft since they can effectively spread the log home’s weight. Usually, the engineer will build a frame from steel or timber before filling it with hardcore and concrete. It is imperative to allow the concrete some time to set well before installing the log cabin.

In most cases, a concrete base is put in place via a simple process that involves building a formwork space before filling the space with concrete. The engineer may also use reinforced bars and steelwork to help provide more strength and solidity to the formwork. The most important consideration while constructing a concrete slab foundation is ensuring the correct water-cement mixture. For this reason, novice builders should consult professionals on the proper mix.

Since the resultant structure will form a footing for your log home, ascertaining its level is of utmost importance. Additionally, as the concrete base is permanent in nature, it is crucial to get its construction right to avoid unnecessary reworking and removal. In this light, consider acquiring the services of an experienced builder to construct the concrete base.

Crawl Space Foundation

Even though crawl space foundations are popular for constructing traditional brick-and-mortar houses, they provide a practical option for log homes. Crawl spaces are quite similar to pier foundations, except they have a three to four-foot perimeter wall.

Crawl spaces are ideal when the construction site has a solid soil base and no signs of water-logging or standing water. This requisite is especially important because the bottom of the crawl foundation should sit on a strong soil base.

Crawl spaces are most appropriate for:

  • A crawl space log cabin foundation is appropriate if the construction site has clay soil.
  • A shallow crawl space foundation should only support a single-story log home. Dig deeper if you want to construct a bigger log home.

As mentioned earlier, crawl space foundations only work in dry sites – areas that have no evidence of water-logging.

Tip: You may combine a strip and a crawl space foundation for extra room for wiring, pipes, storage, and even an HVAC system.

Basement Foundation

A basement may also serve as the foundation of the log cabin or house that supports it. A basement log cabin foundation is typically made of blocks or poured cement. Think of this base type as a combination of crawl space and slab foundation. Often, basements are dug to about eight feet below ground level and then placed atop a concrete slab.

This type of cabin foundation has advantages and drawbacks that every aspiring log cabin owner should consider before commencing construction.

A few of the most overlooked disadvantages include:

  • Basement foundations are the most costly to construct among all log cabin foundation options, primarily due to labor and excavation costs.
  • Basement foundations are not ideal in unsettled soil or high water tables.
  • This type of cabin foundation is not an option for earthquake-prone areas.

Some of the advantages include:

  • Basements provide additional living and storage space.
  • Basements offer a cool dwelling area during warm weather.
  • The extra space that basements offer increases the market value of the property.
  • The basement may act as a shelter in bad weather conditions.

Stone Pad Foundation

A stone pad foundation is a square concrete base reinforced with steel members. A stone pad, which is the cheapest type of cabin foundation, is very effective in transferring weight from your log home into the ground. You may also opt to increase the size of your concrete pad to distribute the cabin’s weight over a wider space.

Pad foundations, also known as concrete piers or pad-stone foundations, are most suitable when the construction site has a solid soil base.

Maintenance and Care for Log Cabin Foundations

Log cabins present a fine way to enjoy outdoor scenery while experiencing a home’s comforts. Even so, log cabin foundations require maintenance to keep them in top shape and avoid expensive repairs over time.

  1. Ensure that the ground around your log home slopes downwards to guarantee rainwater drains away from the foundation. You may have to add a layer of topsoil if the soil around your log home is compacted and slopes toward your log cabin’s foundation. Additionally, ensure that extra soil does not collect around the piers, which may prevent airflow and cause unnecessary moisture.
  2. Regularly check your log home for destructive organisms, such as mice and termites, because these creatures can cause serious havoc to wood constructions if left to thrive. Seeking the services of an experienced exterminator can be a worthy investment to avoid costly damages to your log cabin foundation in the future.
  3. Your concrete foundation should be larger than the log home by about 100mm. Moreover, ascertain that the foundation is well insulated.
  4. Ensure that the joints between the floor and the joints are secure so that moisture cannot seep through.

Leave Log Cabin Building to the Experts

When you build a log home with Frontier Log Homes, you have many options to choose from. We offer many plans, looks, and designs, so no two log homes are similar. Log sizes and additions are so numerous that you can be sure your log home will stand out and be exactly what you were looking for.

When you choose a log cabin kit, we deliver it to your building site and help you begin the process. All you need to do is determine which foundation of the above options will work best for your site and get it started. Then, leave the rest to Frontier Log Homes, Colorado’s Log Home Building Experts.

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