Log Cabin

So, the 100+ year colonial was a no-go. But, today an offer will be made on a 1960s log cabin.

It’s beautiful. It’s in a nice residential area and has almost an acre of land. The perimeter of the lot is tree-lined for lots of privacy and the yard is flat. It has a two car garage which is actually attached to the house but is not accessible from the house. The driveway is huge.

As for the house, it’s a real log cabin, (People keep asking me if it is or not. Is there an abundance of fake cabins out there?) and the outside needs some maintenance.

When we were there yesterday, I got to chatting with the next door neighbor, a very nice guy named Larry. Larry has lived next door for 40+ years. He takes care of the yard because of a promise he made to his former owner before he died. He said the neighborhood is great, lots of long-time residents. Anyway, he said the house needs to be power-washed and (stained? sealed? I forgot).

In addition, it needs new windows. We knew that already. But, he’s right.

So, I’m assuming power-washing is the easy part. How hard is it to seal/stain/whatever the outside of a log cabin? How often does it need to be done? These are not smooth logs. They are very textured. Is that going to make it harder? Would we just be better off having someone do it for us? How long can you go between treatments before you need to start worrying about the integrity of the logs?

As for the windows, how hard/expensive is it to find appropriate windows? We wouldn’t want to get bright white windows on this cabin - it’d look stupid.

Also, the fireplace. Oh my, the fireplace. It’s GORGEOUS!!! It’s massive. The fireplace is stone and is about 5’, with a stone mantle and (hearth? step? ledge?) in front of it. But, inside, it’s just an empty space. Neither of us has ever had a fireplace before. We know it needs to be inspected and most likely serviced before we can use it. But, there’s nothing inside it. Is there supposed to be some kind of rack for the wood to go on? Does it not matter?

In the kitchen, there’s a brick wall on the back of the fireplace. This wall has the wall stove, and a grill. I’ve never even seen a grill in a house before. It’s cool looking but I don’t have the slightest clue how to use one. The grill space has a flue, like a fireplace would. Can we take the grill out and use it as a mini fireplace?

I think those are my only questions for now. Is there anything else we need to know about log cabins?


Now that I’ve asked all this, I just hope the offer is accepted!

First things first, staining the wood. Staining wood is like painting, and (I believe) can be sprayed (the way paint sprayers work). You spend extra on materials, because it’s relatively wasteful, but you save money on labor, and in the case of irregular textures it’s the most efficient form of application.
Second, windows. You can buy wooden windows, they just cost more than vinyl.
Third, the fireplace. You can buy a cast iron log/ember rack to sit inside the fireplace, not too expensively either.
Fourth, the grill. Very cool, and you can use it just like a fireplace with the flue and indoor grilling for the wintertime (or just remove it, if physically convenient), although it may be worth noting that if you’re looking to sign a rental agreement on this place when you’re not using it, you’ll want to remove as many “complicated” or “dangerous” items as possible, as people are absolute morons and they WILL find a way to break, burn, or otherwise damage anything that’s not idiot-proof.
Best of luck with your real estate contract on the place, I hope it goes through, as that place sounds absolutely awesome, and best of luck with the repairs!