Log cabin: design ideas, inspiration & pictures

A house built entirely of timber, and in some cases with timber and bamboo, is best known as log houses. Log homes have a very long and illustrious history. They still are one of the most frequently seen residential homes in the mountainous regions of the world. Many people believe log cabins have originated in Europe. However, they are frequently seen in other parts of the world as well.

Types of log cabin homes

Like all indigenous architectural forms, the style of log homes differs greatly from one place to another. Their purpose often influences the built of the house. Some of the common types include the following.

Hunting lodge – The hunting lodge is a small wooden home built far away from the city. Despite their name, all hunting lodges are not built for the purpose of hunting wild animals. They often act like a weekend home providing peaceful shelters for the city dwellers.

Sauna – Classic saunas are specialties of the Nordic countries. They are built with cedar, spruce, pine, hemlock or eucalyptus. The health benefits of saunas are well known. If intended, you can also invest in a prefabricated sauna for your home.   

Storage cabin – Originally they were built to protect crops and cheese from the elements of nature. Modern storage cabins may work as storehouses for some other articles too. You can install one to store your garden tools and other household items. 

Log homes for children – Young ones often crave for a fairy castle of their own. They will be delighted if you build or buy them a tiny log house as a surprise gift on their next birthday. 

Are log cabin homes common in Singapore?

Wooden houses are quite common in the rural areas. But log dwellings have never been a popular choice for the homeowners in Singapore. Sometimes they are built as secondary dwellings, studios or garden shed alongside the main house. But this too is quite rare. The high price of the raw material, in this case wood, deters many people from building a log structure. Prefabricated homes are the most affordable alternative.   

European log cabins – If you are thinking of building a log home, then you may take inspirations from the traditional log dwellings of Europe. European log cabins are sometimes built without a single use of nail. They can be easily dismantled, carried elsewhere and then restructured into a home. Swiss chalets offer a luxury alternative to simple log houses. 

American log cabins – Log cabins are very common in North America. From barns to log chateaus they showcase a great variety in their structures. Ranches are built with timbers as well. 

How to build a log cabin?

To build a log cabin in Singapore, you will have to find a spot suitable for the project. You can also build a cabin as an accessory dwelling. Choose a design that is appropriate to the location and your requirements. For inspirations, check out various log house styles right here on homify.

Buy seasoned wood that lasts long. Cedar, oak and Douglas fir are some of preferred types of wood for log dwellings. Red cedar costs more than the other two varieties. It also lasts longer. Every wood type has a characteristic texture and colour. So see some samples before making a purchasing decisions. A small and prefabricated roof structure would cost you around SGD 45,000. Bespoke and more elaborate designs may require a payment of SGD 1 million or more. 


For roofing, choose wood depending on the style of roof. The preferred roof types are pitched and shingled roofs. Except wood the other roofing materials commonly used for this purpose include felt shingles, metal sheets, clay tiles, special types of grass for thatching and sod roof. While pitched roofs are aesthetically more pleasing, flat roofs tend to be cheaper.

Legal issues that may arise when building a log cabin

In Singapore, buying or building a single family house is fairly straightforward. You need to have the design of your house pre-approved. For buying an existing structure you will need to pay minimum 1% of the total cost of the house while signing on the buyer’s and seller’s agreement.

What measures to take to protect your log house against fire?

Timber is coated with specially formulated materials which prevent it from catching fire easily. Log structures are also covered with gypsum sheets to make them fire proof. Take necessary precautions like installing smoke alarms and fully automatic sprinklers to warn you in advance in case of an outbreak. Keep your electronic and electrical fixtures in order. Maintain clean air vents and ducts. 

Pros & cons

Building a log dwelling could be unique experience for you in Singapore. It will immediately raise the value and attraction of house. Log dwellings are very comfortable to live in. They always maintain a very convenient interior atmosphere. Log structures are very durable.

On the negative side, it might be difficult for you to procure affordable raw materials in Singapore. You may not like the periodic maintenance of the entire structure including roofing.  

Maintenance & costs

Log dwellings need periodic painting and varnishing. Certain roofing materials like thatching and clay tiles also need changing at certain intervals. The other costs like service charges, electricity bills etc remain unaltered. Expect to shell out SGD 1000 or more in yearly maintenance activities of your house.

Which professionals are able to help you to build one

To help you in the design process, speak with a reputed architect. Seek help from competent interior stylists to decorate the interior. Make sure it remains in tune with the entire structure. Carpenters would help you design bespoke furniture for your new home. 

DIY log cabin

If you boast of reasonable woodworking skills, you may buy a DIY kit and build your own log structure. This will work especially well if you building a wooden house for your little ones or a small studio for your own use.