Modern, spacious, and stylish, log cabins have taken the world by storm in the past few years. Inspired by old Midwestern folk homes in the U.S.A, you can now find them everywhere.
Whether it’s for a short break in the countryside or a long vacation in a distant land, not much will make you feel more at one with nature than a stay in a log cabin. There’s one question on everyone’s lips, though. Can you live in a log cabin permanently?
What might’ve started for you as a passing thought may now have become a full-blown plan. Who can blame you – the idea of sacking off modern life for a new nature-embracing adventure has piqued your interest. And with an array of log cabin models available right here at BillyOh, who’s to say you can’t set up camp in a log cabin?
So whether it’s your back garden or far, far away, we decided to put it to the test – to see if it’s really possible to live in a log cabin permanently.
Can I Live in a Log Cabin Permanently?
There are two questions to answer here – can you physically live in a log cabin permanently? And may you – according to law?
We sell an array of outdoor buildings, from sheds to summerhouses, but our log cabins are specially designed for enduring long stints of usage. Their thick walls contribute to insulation and help keep the rain out. They also come with the option of double-glazing (i.e. for more warmth) and lockable doors.
Our log cabins come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but perhaps one of the best options for a live-in cabin is the BillyOh Cove. With a roomy 19.25m² of indoor floor space, the Cove is one of our bigger cabins.
It’s split into two rooms, which makes it feel like an actual house – or a small flat at least. This means you can separate your living and dining or cooking areas and not feel confined to one space for everything.
The Cove also comes with an integrated canopy – a great spot for some al fresco dining when the sun’s out – and windows across the front and sides of the building. And unlike some cheaper buildings, it’s adaptable to the seasons. But having the right log cabin is just the beginning to starting a life in one.
What You’d Need to Live in a Log Cabin Permanently
If we strip human life down to the core basics, we don’t actually need that much. It just depends on how animalistic you’re planning to go! In this situation we’re going to assume you’d at least want:
It’s 2021, so we’re going to assume you’ll want a reliable WiFi connection in your building. If it’s a log cabin in your back garden, the strength of the WiFi signal from the house might be enough.
The most cost-effective way of accessing the internet would be to jump on the WiFi connection from your home’s signal. But, depending on the distance your cabin is from the main router, there’s a chance this will only provide a very weak signal. Otherwise, you’ll require at least a plug socket.
There are a few different ways to get a good internet connection to your log cabin, but thick walls may cause a bit of a hindrance. However, wired connections will always be the safest and most reliable, so it’s worth considering this route(r!).
No matter how homely your cabin is – if you don’t have a reliable internet connection it’s going to cause problems. This is especially true if you work from home. One of the most important things to take care of when you start working or living remotely is good internet access.
A sloppy connection can lead to a fall in performance and productivity. You’ll find yourself frustrated and perhaps procrastinating. Whether you’re working for yourself or for a company, it can affect your business negatively.
So be sure to invest in a high-speed internet connection from a reliable provider to be able to run your business, or live remotely, as smoothly as possible.
You’d think that electricity would be the most difficult asset to add to your log cabin home. As a matter of fact, there’s a relatively large selection of options when it comes to sourcing electricity, making it a lot easier than you’d think.
For example, solar panels can be placed on the top of a log cabin to convert energy from the sun into energy for your home. The amount of energy they generate might not be enough to power a home for a family – but if you’re just using it to power a laptop and a light switch for a few hours a day, you should be good.
Either way, if you want electricity in your cabin, you’ll need to get plug sockets installed. This isn’t a job for someone who isn’t clued up on electrics – so it’s best to get a professional to do it for you.
For heating, you could consider investing in an electric fireplace or heater for a low-cost alternative during colder times. Not only will it help you and your family keep warm – especially during winter – but it can also act as a stylish and fashionable centrepiece for your cabin.
Top tip: When installing electricity, it’s recommended to ask for a professional electrician’s help to carry out any electrical work for you. This is especially important if you have no experience.
Let them know how many sockets and light switches you need and all the equipment you’ll be running off the electricity.
Hot water is imperative if you want to keep clean during your time in your log cabin. This won’t pose as much of a problem if you have a main home to return to, though.
Getting any water to your cabin will require pipes being placed underground – which means digging. A plumber should be able to install the pipes and get them connected to the boiler, which will provide warm water for things like showers and dishwashing. But, again, it’s not something you’d do on your own – unless you’re qualified.
Cold water will be a simpler job, and you can always boil it with electricity access if you have a hob (or even a portable stove if you want to keep it as primitive as possible!). But if you’re planning to live there for a long time, your best bet is a reliable source of clean water, through pipes in the ground.
There are a variety of lighting options to choose from when it comes to your cabin. Which is best for you depends on how much light you need, how much you want to spend, and what you want your cabin to look like.
Halogen lights are good for providing overhead light. They can also be used for adjustable spotlights or track lighting. Whereas, desk and floor lamps are a cheap lighting option – but if you’re working from home, this can be a great investment.
LED lighting, on the other hand, is versatile and cheap to run. LED can be used as spotlights if, in certain areas of your home, you want it to be extra bright.
And if you want to add a magic touch to your cabin, fairy lights could be the answer. They can quickly and effortlessly transform a boring room into an enchanted escape, ensuring your log cabin doubles up as a fancy hang-out and a homely space.
Candles and lanterns can also add a romantic atmosphere to the cabin. They make fantastic focal points and can blend well with any decor style. Candles are also a cheaper lighting alternative that can add style and provide light without skyrocketing your electricity bill.
By now, we’ve probably calculated that living in a log cabin permanently is possible. But during winter, especially in the U.K, the freezing temperatures can cause a real problem. By insulating your cabin you can make sure that it’s warm and cosy for winter.
Although wood itself is a good insulator, insulating your log cabin properly can make sure you trap heat from the inside when the external temperature starts to dip. Plus, an insulated log cabin will mean you require less heating equipment (e.g. heaters). That way, energy consumption is reduced, and you’re not forking out extra on your electricity bill.
Installing an insulation layer in your walls is an efficient, permanent, and cost-effective way to keep warm.
To insulate your cabin use fibreglass wool and/or insulation foil. We’ve written an in-depth article about how to insulate a shed (or a log cabin) which you can find here.
Insulating also means that the impact on the environment is much lower. It’ll result in a lower volume of pollutants being emitted into the air and a reduced carbon footprint.
You’d be surprised at how much food you can actually keep without the need for a fridge or a freezer. Over the years, humankind has developed a plethora of methods for preserving food, many of which are now employed by supermarkets to keep our food fresh.
Again, if you have a plug socket installed, getting a fridge into your cabin should be no biggie. And plugging in a microwave, or having an oven installed, is entirely possible.
However, if you’re looking to live rustic, dry goods such as rice, pasta, beans, and oats can be the foundation of your stockpile. They’re all cookable on a small trangia or portable stove if you’ve got access to some gas (you can get canisters specifically designed for stoves).
Canned goods and stews that contain liquid like tomatoes, beans, and tuna are also recommended. Comfort food and items to snack on such as chocolate and coffee should not be neglected due to their positive effect on mood and mental health!
Here’s a list of cabin staples that you can add to your basket on your next trip to the shops. None of this stuff needs to be frozen or refrigerated, and most of it lasts for ages.
- Tomato sauce
- Tomato paste
- Canned vegetables
- Canned meats, e.g. tuna
- Dried herbs and spices
- Peanut butter, almond butter, tahini
- Olive oil
- Shelf-stable milk alternatives, e.g. almond milk, coconut milk, etc.
Top tip: If you live in an area with limited access to a water supply, you may also consider stocking up on bottled water.
You’ll also want to make sure you have enough personal and household hygienic products, such as shampoo, conditioners, feminine wash, soap, hand sanitiser, toilet paper, tissues, diapers, etc.
When making your to-buy list, consider who you live with. Ask them what they need so they have enough supplies for their own. If you’re living with your family or a pet, don’t forget to include their personal hygiene essentials and other needs, especially if you have a baby or children.
So there we have – think you can go nomad and live out in your log cabin? We sure think you can. And these days you really don’t have to skimp on amenities. Sure, you can stockpile your log cabin with tinned foods in case of the apocalypse. But with a quick-assembly BillyOh log cabin, you can also turn it into a home office or a summerhouse for the whole family!
Shop Garden Sheds