How Many Logs are Needed to Build a Log Cabin?

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How Many Logs are Needed to Build a Log Cabin?

Determining how many logs it takes to build a log cabin can be seen as a basic math problem. The components will be the size and style of the cabin to be built, the size of the logs to be used, the height of the walls and type of roof. How the cabin is constructed will also determine the number of logs that will be required. If full logs are to be used where windows or doors are to be cut out of walls then more are needed. When shorter log segments are used for the doors and windows, then fewer logs are needed.


Log Size

The logs chosen should be around the same thickness, height and age. The diameter should be between 8 and 14 inches. Once a diameter is chosen then all of the logs used should be about the same in size. The logs should be straight. Since each log cabin is unique a method for determining the number of logs is good to use as a reference. Determine what style of log cabin to build. Essentially the wall construction will be the basic one log stacked on top of another. Will this be a one room cabin or more?


As a way of determining the number of logs needed, start with a one room log cabin. The length is 24 feet on each of the four sides. The windows and door(s) will be cut out after the logs are in place.


Cabin Height

The height of the walls will be 8 feet. Change the height of the walls from feet to inches. This is done by multiplying feet by 12 inches since there are twelve inches in a foot - 8 x 12 = 96 inches.
Determine the diameter of a log which is the length of a straight line running from one side of the log through the center to the other side. The height of the log is 10 inches at one end and 6 inches at the other. The average height is 10 inches plus 6 inches for 16 inches divided by 2. Each log will be on average 8 inches in height.
If each log is on average 8 inches then the total number needed is 8 x ? = 96. The number of logs needed on one wall will be 12. Multiple 12 by 4 to get the total for all four walls - 12 x 4 = 48.


For the Roof

The roof is built by stacking horizontal logs to form gables. Each successive log is shorter than the one before until a triangle is formed. There are two gables, one on the front of the cabin and one on the back. Ten logs are used to form each gable. Long logs are placed from one gable to another. A central log, the ridge pole, reaches from the tip of each gable triangle, then three logs are evenly placed, on either side of the ridge pole.


To find the total number of logs needed add up the parts. The walls use 48, the gables require 20, and the roof needs 7 for a total of 75 logs.



Joan Reinbold

Joan Reinbold is a writer, author of six books, blogs and makes videos. She has been a tutor for students, library assistant, certified dental assistant and business owner. She has lived (and gardened) on three continents, learning home renovation in the process. She received her Bachelor of Arts in 2006.