Can a Log Cabin Be Used as a Tiny Home?

The tiny house movement has been around for a while, and, now, it has finally reached the mainstream. In an increasingly complex world, tiny homes offer a return to simplicity. But is living in a tiny log cabin a sensible idea?

Tiny Home vs Login Cabin

By most standards, any house under 400 sq ft is considered to be tiny. However, for many tiny-house movement advocates, any residence over 200 sq ft is too big.

Most log cabins fit the definition of “tiny,” but not the definition of “home,” However, they have the potential to be used as such.

So yes, you can use a log cabin as a tiny home, but things aren’t so simple. There are many factors you need to consider.

For a tiny house to be functional, it has to have most of the aspects of a much larger house. For example, it should have a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen, and a living area.

There are simple yet ingenious solutions that allow us to fit all of these locations in a tiny home, and people have been using them for a while.

The most common solution is to have several of these areas occupy the same space. For instance, you can have a 2-in-1 living room and bedroom by getting a pull-out sofa bed.

But a log cabin doesn’t have to include any of these areas. If you build a tiny, custom-designed cabin, you can choose which features you want to include. 

Whether it will make for a comfortable living home or not, well, that depends on your definition of comfort, but for most people, it does. You can employ the same tiny home design ideas in your log cabin.

In the UK, Ireland and most of the US, most people don’t live in their log cabins as they usually either build them in the countryside or in the backyard of their existing place of residence.

However, having a log cabin right next to your home opens up many other possibilities. For instance, is one of your children old enough to move out but you don’t think they are ready for it? You can offer to build them their own place of residence in your yard.

Or, let’s say you have an elderly parent who lives alone. They would like to move closer to you, but real estate in your area is just too expensive.

A log cabin on your property can be the solution. If you give them access to some amenities in your home, their cabin life can be very comfortable.

Living in your backyard cabin part-time may also be worth considering as it’s a great way of cutting your utility bills in half.

Facilities in a Tiny Home

Traditional log cabins lack a lot of things we need for comfortable living, such as lights, electricity, heating, and running water. Altering it to include these modern conveniences is usually not worth it, nor is it safe.

However, modern, custom-made log cabins often include all of these features. So, building a log cabin from scratch with the intention of using it as a tiny home may be a feasible idea.

Aside from having most of the features of a brick and mortar house, a well-built, modern log cabin has a few advantages over a traditional house.

For instance, they offer better energy efficiency and noise reduction. Moreover, log cabin maintenance is pretty straightforward. Building a log cabin is also much cheaper than building a brick house. Most log cabins can be built in just a couple of days.

However, building a safe, livable log cabin is no DIY endeavor. As mentioned, they are vastly different from traditional cabins. In order to ensure they can be connected to mains services properly and safely, most modern residential log cabins are designed by engineers and built by experts.

Can I Live in my Log Cabin?

In most places, you can build a log cabin on your property legally, but, the question is, are you allowed to live in it?

And, in most countries, the answer isn’t straightforward. In the US, you can live in a log cabin if it is built up-to-code and with the proper permissions, and the code may not be to your liking.

For instance, in Michigan, you cannot build a home that is less than 500 square feet. By definition, that’s not really a tiny home. However, the law in most other parts of the country is much laxer.

If you want to live in your log cabin in the UK, you have to get really creative. If you build or change something on your property in the UK, you need planning permission, and getting a permit to build a residential log cabin isn’t so easy.

It depends on your local authorities and is decided on a case by case basis. However, thanks to a little thing called “the Caravan Act,” many people have been able to build residential log cabins that technically qualify as mobile homes.


Log cabins have many benefits over traditional brick and mortar homes. And a modern log cabin can make for a perfectly liveable home. But, the smaller it is, the more sacrifices you will need to make.

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