Plan and Build Your Own Log Home - By the Book

Plans and Resources to Help You Build Your Own Log Home

Roll up your sleeves. If you'd like to build your own log home from scratch, these construction guides and building plans will tell you how. Packed with floor plans, diagrams, and step-by-step instructions, these titles give the technical information you'll need to design and construct a log cabin that expresses your style and personality - without using a ready-to-assemble mail order kit.

"Move over, Abe Lincoln," begins this 2004 book. "America is moving in!" Authors Cindy Teipner Thiede and Heather Mehra-Pederson have gathered thirty favorite log home plans from builders across the United States. Each floor plan is illustrated by color photographs of interior and exterior views. This is place to begin if you want variety: Plans range from tiny cabins to grand estates. Gibbs Smith, Publisher, 128 pages.

Fifteen plans by contractor/author Robbin Obomsawin give basic guidelines for building a "storybook" cabin. At less than 2,500 square feet, these log homes are cozy and romantic, yet have a sense of spaciousness. Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2013, 96 pages.

Line drawings and 300 photographs show step-by-step how to build the shell of a rudimentary cabin. Mind you, this book will not discuss how to add wiring, plumbing or other finish work. However, in a relaxed, conversational style, author John McPherson explains the basics and also talks about mistakes to avoid. Remember that this book was published in 1999.  Prairie Wolf Publishers, 140 pages.

First published in 1939 and updated in 1974, this little classic uses simple diagrams to illustrate the original, pioneer methods for building log homes. Also gives step-by-step instructions for making log furniture. By W. Ben Hunt. Collier Books, 166 pages.

Author B. Allan Mackie gives just enough technical information to build a simple cabin from start to finish. Black and white photographs. Firefly Books, 8th edition, 1997, 128 pages.

Whether you are using a kit or building from scratch, this old 1985 manual by Roger Hard will give you the technical details you need to select a site, choose materials, and launch construction. The book includes building plans for a 24' x 40' hillside cabin. Use it as a guide, or as inspiration for your own designs. Storey Publishing, 208 pages.

Robert Wood Chambers has written in 272 pages what he calls "The Ultimate Guide to Building Handcrafted Log Homes." This 2002 book published by Deep Stream Press is one in a series of Chambers publications and DVD training videos.

If you're serious about building your own log home, get some help from the International Log Builders Association at They have conferences, forums, and useful publications like this 2010 book on effective practices and methods.

Like his book Building with Logs, B. Allan Mackie continues documenting his school of log building. Over the years, Mackie has honed his talents and teaching methods. This 2011 book by Firefly is the expanded second edition at 248 pages.