A Homestead Cabin Construction Project Using Landscape Timbers

These MOTHER readers demonstrated their determination to build a cabin construction project using landscape timbers with these construction designs, including building directions, six short walls and future homestead plans.

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    The Laughlins' "outside room with a view" is actually a well-camouflaged drum-type composting toilet.
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    Although the angular nature of the (almost) completed Georgia backwoods cabin gives it an appearance of complexity, its design represents simplicity itself.
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    The six walls of the Laughlin cabin measure 8 feet each, eliminating the need to splice the 8 foot-long landscape logs as a traditional rectangular shape with longer walls would require. Each log was caulked on its ends and bottom, then spiked to the log below with 60d nails.

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MOTHER's readers determination to do more with less to build a cabin construction project using landscape timbers share their success story. 

A couple of years ago, in an effort to simplify our lives and become more self-sufficient, my wife, Cathy, and I bought four and a half acres of wooded land in the mountains of northern Georgia and set to work to build a cabin construction project using landscape timbers. (We like to think of the project as our personal social security program.)

Even though I'd never built anything more complicated than an unfinished pine drawing board, I decided to both design and construct the cabin myself. It turned out to be easier than I'd dared imagine, and except for occasional help from a few friends, Cathy and I did all the work ourselves. What's more—since we'd decided not to allow the power company to "scribble on our sky"—we did all the work with hand tools.

Now, with the little house nearing completion, I thought my fellow MOTHER readers might like to see what "our" magazine helped inspire two determined city folk to accomplish.

The cabin's exterior walls and gables are built of pressure-treated "landscape timbers." We purchased 260 of these mini-logs (which weigh about 40 pounds each) on sale for a total of $463, and found the 3 inch by 6 inch by 8 foot size much easier to work with than standard logs.


Since a single eight-foot log spans the full length of each of the six short walls, no mid-wall splicing was necessary. Additionally, we had to notch each of the timbers on just one end . . . to receive the squared end of the log that followed it around the hexagon. This saved us a lot of time and labor, since all the simple notches were identical and therefore could be cut on an assembly-line basis—no guesswork, no math.

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