People often imagine that a cabin home is a large, well-equipped wooden house in a lush, green forest somewhere near lakes or mountains. That characterization might be quite accurate today, but in the past cabin homes were usually small dwellings built to fulfill only the most basic needs. They made use of the most readily available material (wood), could be completed in a matter of days, and were located where there was sunlight and access to drainage. Traditionally, they were built without using nails by interlocking the ends of the logs, creating an inexpensive and surprisingly weatherproof home.
As an architectural style in the Americas, the log cabin was often the first-generation home of settlers, particularly those from Scandinavia. Due to its practical features and ease of construction, the style has remained understandably popular. But it has also experienced an interesting evolution over time, and because of its changing characteristics, cabin-style architecture is not necessarily easy to define. There are, however, a few key characteristics which define cabin house-style architecture in Canada. Check them out below:
Built from Logs
One of the most notable features of a cabin home is the use of the round logs that are often seen throughout the exterior of the building. These are generally oak, cedar or maple timber, or perhaps another type of tree that is available in the local area. This 2-bedroom house in Vernon is a gorgeous example of a home built from round logs and it nicely illustrates the use of interlocked joints—a prominent feature of cabin-style homes.
Abundance of Windows
In the 17th century cabin homes featured just a small window in the form of a narrow opening, usually covered with animal skin or boards, which could be closed. However, as glass windows gained in popularity, large numbers of them began to be used to take maximum advantage of natural light. As you can see in this stunning Saskatchewan home, there are almost entire walls of windows, separated by judicious use of wooden beams to maintain the dwelling’s structure.
Expansive Covered Porches
Another outstanding feature of cabin homes is the presence of extensive wooden decks and patios, which are very often covered with attractive roofs or awnings. These encourage sitting outdoors, even in poor weather conditions, and often offer unobstructed views of beautiful natural surroundings. This unique cabin in Southeast Saskatchewan, for instance, overlooks the property’s private beach on the shores of the scenic Last Mountain Lake.
In the past, the roofs of cabin houses were made of wood, but nowadays shingles, metal and stone sidings are also quite a common sight. Gently sloping roofs can be found in a few modern renditions of cabin-style architecture, but generally speaking, the roofs of cabin homes are characteristically steep, as in this unusual one-of-a-kind waterfront home located on the banks of Echo Lake in Saskatchewan.
Besides the primary element of wood, stone is another material which is widely used in the construction of cabin-style houses. Attractive use of natural stone may be seen, for example, in the lower level of a home’s walls, or in its supporting pillars or its chimney. In fact, on some occasions stone accents can be seen throughout the entire dwelling, as in this modern 4-bedroom home in British Columbia.
As you can see, Canadian cabin houses have an dependable charm due to their rustic facades, cozy interiors and scenic locations. They are often unique, personalized structures while at the same time still being in complete harmony with their natural surroundings. These gorgeous dwellings not only provide excellent holiday accommodation, but can serve as permanent bases as well. What are your thoughts on cabin homes – would you ever live in one? Let us know in the comments section below!