Top Five Tips for Your Log Cabin Build
By Nikki Alvin-Smith

Top Five Tips for Your Log Cabin Build By Nikki Alvin-Smith

As the summer sun shines do you think about enjoying your new log cabin? Wouldn’t it be great to use that second property for family gatherings and deerhunting with friends this Fall? Perhaps it is time to leave the fray and retire to live in the mountains altogether?

A new log cabin home is a quick and easy option to add value to your life and to your investment portfolio. Before you begin here are the top five tips to consider when choosing a company to work with on the building project.

Design Matters

Your log home or cabin will hopefully last you a lifetime and you will spend many happy hours gazing through the big glass windows as the snow gently falls outside or sitting on the deck after a busy day out in the garden playing with the kids, enjoying a cold beverage with friends and family in the summertime.

Top Five Tips for Your Log Cabin Build By Nikki Alvin-SmithConsider the elements of design. Do you like an open plan concept that is inclusive of cook and company? Will you be living in the space full-time now or in the future? This may require a larger kitchen and upstairs living space. How will the building fit into the property? Ideally it will complement the landscape in its height and maximize the views and benefits of living the rural lifestyle.

When you search for a company to work with on this project, choose a company that is experienced in the construction and will work to a keen timetable. Also ensure that the company has many options to offer in terms of design and will adapt the interior to customize it for your individual needs.

We spoke with Dave Zook, partner at a leading log home manufacturer Zook Cabins, of Atglen, PA, to find out what features you should consider when building a new structure.

“At Zook Cabins we offer handcrafted cabins made in Lancaster County, PA and they are fully customizable. Vaulted ceilings, open plan large log homes to smaller hunter’s cabins with a great choice of home designs from the traditional to the modern. We use top quality materials and build with first class craftsmanship. It is important that as a log home or cabin purchaser you explore all your options and make the smart choice. At Zook Cabins you can come visit our lot and see homes first hand, or explore via our 360 degree walkabout on the website. There is nothing better than seeing the details and having a great resource from our experienced team to address your questions and help you through the process.”

Top Five Tips for Your Log Cabin Build By Nikki Alvin-Smith

Site Preparation and Permits

When you determine placement of your new home consider the impact on the environment both visually for the structure within the immediate landscape and for access during winter months and bad weather. Remember you may need deliveries of oil, propane and other provisions and your beautiful log home will also need heat and electric. Talk to the company you choose about solar options. These can easily be incorporated during the building process and offer a big bonus for saving money on running expenses for your home down the road.

Top Five Tips for Your Log Cabin Build By Nikki Alvin-Smith

It is important to consider water/wells and septic needs and electric and power supply, as well as access to the site for the delivery of the log home. An experienced construction company will help you navigate the permit process and provide you with engineer certified drawings and plans to present to your local building and zoning inspectors.

“At Zook Cabins we liaise with the owner’s contractors on all site matters and provide detailed plans and help throughout the process. We have found that when we can talk directly to the excavators about site prep, things go very smoothly as we are all on the same page,” stated Dave Zook.

A log home manufacturer that will go the extra mile to make sure things go well is always desirable.


Once you have the major part of the design completed it is time to consider how you will afford the wonderful log home or cabin that you have created and make your dream a reality. Many larger log home construction firms will offer financing for all or part of the project via third parties. This is a great option as the rates are usually competitive. Additionally the lender may favor the loan in part due to their confidence in the construction company, as they will have already had extensive experience working together.

When orchestrating your building project, be certain that you know all the facets that are included and not included in the price. A trustworthy company will be upfront about not just what is included in the price, but what costs may be additional e.g. custom features in the kitchen such as special counter tops. Look in detail at the warranties the company provides. It is always smart to work with a company that stands squarely behind their products.


Top Five Tips for Your Log Cabin Build By Nikki Alvin-SmithOnce you have decided to go ahead and build and submitted the deposit and had approval from the local council on the plans and permits, the wait time can be intolerable as you are justifiably excited at the prospect of having your new log home or cabin in place. Check references on the company that you choose and make sure they have a strong reputation for providing not just what was promised in terms of materials and craftsmanship, but also on the delivery timeline.

The beauty of working with a prefab log home builder is that the home comes in preassembled components that fit neatly together. This is a great time saver as interference from poor weather is minimized as the majority of the work is completed in a controlled factory environment. This improves not just the timeline to delivery, but also facilitates quality control throughout the building process and ensures any product finishes, such as stains and painting, are made in the dry and out of the weather.

Costs for delivery should be included in the quotation and an experienced company will be a true asset in helping you and your excavation crew, manage the access to the site for delivery. Their drivers will be experienced navigators of different terrain and their crew will be quick to set up the components of the building on site. True care and attention to details when crafting the final building on site is imperative. Again, check references and be sure you are comparing apples to apples when you select the log home in terms of materials and craftsmanship.

Finishing Touches

Talk to your log home builder about the finishing touches and design of the interior of your Top Five Tips for Your Log Cabin Build By Nikki Alvin-Smithbuilding as well as the exterior options such as adding decks. When you work with a company that can be a ‘one stop shop’ and brings a prefab modular home to your site in preassembled pieces and can do everything from offering kitchen and bathroom design staff on tap and bringing the kitchen sink to even providing luxurious features and beautiful log home rustic furniture you save a lot of time.

Above all remember the process of buying and building your new log home or cabin should be fun. Check out Zook Cabins and get a free quote for your Amish built cabins or modular log cabin. These structures are ideal for second homes, primary residences, rental cabins, mountain lodges, vacation cabins, retail stores, or your dream office.

Top Five Tips for Your Log Cabin Build By Nikki Alvin-Smith