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What Makes a Cabin a Cabin?

Published:
October 24, 2019
What Makes a Cabin a Cabin?
Take a close look at this cozy design style.

By Courtney Pittman

What makes a cabin a cabin? Is it their woodsy vibe and rustic simplicity? Or maybe it’s the generous porches that render easy indoor-outdoor living. Whatever it is, we are here for it. With cozy features like a fireplace to warm up next to on chilly nights, cabin house plans encourage everyone to hang out together. These rugged designs come in many styles and configurations. Whether you’re looking for a classic log home or a modern cottage, we’ve got you covered. But first, let’s distinguish the difference between these popular home plan designs.

Click here to explore our collection of cabin house plans and home plans.

What classifies a cabin?

Cabin house plans often sport straightforward footprints and simple house forms – making them relatively inexpensive to build and easy to maintain. Rustic features (like logs), minimal decorations are other popular characteristics of cabin home plan designs. Porches and decks are common, along with simple gable or cross-gable roofs. Cabin house plans typically boast a wood-stove or fireplace, a cozy kitchen, and one or two bedrooms.

What’s the difference between a cabin and a lodge?

As stated before, cabin house plans feature modest footprints, simple designs (with minimal decorative features) and rustic flair. Lodge home plan designs (sometimes referred to as Northwest house plans) convey a connection to the earth through the use of rugged materials. Lodge house plans include various architectural styles like bungalow, Craftsman, and mountain designs. These plans feature exposed beams, high ceilings, and tons of windows.

What is a chalet vs a cabin?

A chalet house plan sports a steeply pitched gable roof, while cabin home plan designs typically feature a single or cross-gable roof. With charming features like elaborate decorative woodwork, many chalet house plans look as though they just fell out of a storybook. Cabin home plans tend to have minimal or no decorative woodwork. Generally built of rough-hewn timber, chalet house plan’s Alpine origins shine through its raised stone foundation, broad exterior galleries, and expansive windows that frame breathtaking views.

How much does a cabin cost to build?

Size and simplicity define cabin home plan designs. With their uncomplicated forms and minimal decorations, cabin house plans are typically inexpensive to build and easy to maintain. This appealing home design style can also be used as an affordable vacation home. House construction costs are dependent on where the house is built, the level of finish, and the site. We can provide a “cost-to build” estimate using the same software many insurance companies use.

For more information on cost-to-build reports, click here.

Explore some of our favorite cabin house plans below!

Country Exterior - Front Elevation Plan #137-375 Plan137-375

With two suites on the main level and two more bedrooms upstairs, this home would work well for a multi-generational family. Grandma and grandpa (or a young couple, or frequent guests, etc.) can relax in their suite, complete with two sinks and easy access to the great room. The kitchen opens to the great room and dining area for an easy flow. The impressive porch features a fireplace for a cozy centerpiece. See plan 137-375 online.

Country Exterior - Front Elevation Plan #929-112 Plan929-112

With porches in front and back, this rugged home would fit perfectly in a scenic location. The open layout of the living areas invites everyone to hang out together near the cozy fireplace, or linger at the kitchen's cooktop island. One of the bedrooms on this floor opens to the back porch, making it simple to step outside and enjoy the sunset.

The master suite occupies the entire second floor. Here, you can relax in your private bathroom (complete with two sinks and a separate tub and shower) or bask in the view from the bedroom's windows. Extra storage gives you a place to stash heavy winter clothing. See plan 929-112 online.

Prairie Exterior - Other Elevation Plan #1042-17 Plan1042-17

Designed to maximize sweeping views, this house plan spreads out over two stories and features a finished walkout basement to give homeowners plenty of elbow room. The main floor holds the master suite, which treats you to a private deck, luxurious bathroom, and walk-in closet. The study nearby would make a handy home office, snore room, or quiet reading space. See plan 1042-17 online.

Craftsman Exterior - Front Elevation Plan #923-23 Plan923-23

This striking cabin house plan features appealing rustic touches and many contemporary amenities. The open layout makes it easy to hang out and move between the great room (where you can curl up by the fireplace or step out to the grilling porch), the dining area, and the island kitchen.

Have a seat at the snack bar for a bite, then head back to the master suite to relax in the large shower. Once you've picked out a comfy outfit from the walk-in closet, head down to the lower level for games, drinks (check out the wet bar), and stargazing from the porch. A full bath makes this area suitable for overflow guests. See plan 923-23 online.

Country Exterior - Front Elevation Plan #923-99 Plan923-99

Hello autumn! This cabin home plan design is a fall-ready plan that invites owners to enjoy the beautiful weather with a charming screened porch.

Inside, an open floor plan between the main living spaces allows the home to feel larger than it actually is. Three bedrooms and a bathroom are located to the left of the floor plan, while a rear grilling porch adds even more living space to this cabin house plan. See plan 923-99 online.

Contemporary Exterior - Front Elevation Plan #124-1095 Plan124-1095

Inside and out, this cabin house plan is beautifully crafted and embraces a mix of traditional and modern elements. A generous front porch greets guests and fosters community, while a vast rear deck makes entertaining effortless.

Once inside, the entry immediately opens into the large great room (that provides bench seats along the windows). Just off the guest room is the owners’ suite, which has its own access to the expansive deck, a generously sized walk-in closet, and a soaking tub (sigh).

Upstairs, two bedrooms (each having an interior window showcasing views of the back of the home) and a bathroom reside. See plan 124-1095 online.

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