The Complete Guide – How To Roof A Log Cabin

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Roofing a log cabin is not only an important task for protecting your home from the elements, but it can also be a great way to add charm and beauty to your property. With so many different materials, colors, and textures available, you have the opportunity to create a unique look that will make your log cabin stand out.

But in order to do this properly, there are several steps involved in roofing a log cabin that needs to be followed. This guide provides everything you need to know about how to roof a log cabin – from choosing the right materials and tools needed for the job all the way through completing each step of installation!

What were log cabin roofs made of?

There are some materials that make log cabin roofs!

Wood Shingles

Log cabin roofing was traditionally made of wood, specifically long-lasting hardwoods. In the earliest days, logs that were still in their raw state were used to construct the roof, and these would often be split down the middle and placed on top of the walls in overlapping layers. 

Metal Sheeting

Log cabin roofs made of metal sheeting are becoming increasingly popular, due to their durability and cost-effectiveness. Log cabin metal roof provides strong and reliable protection against the elements, including UV rays, wind, rain, hail, sleet, and snow. Metal roofing features a wide range of stylish designs and colors that can match any look while also providing superior energy efficiency.

EPDM – Rubber Roof

Log Cabin roofs made of EPDM (Ethylene propylene diene monomer) Rubber Roofs are an increasingly popular choice for roofing. The rubber material is lightweight and highly reflective which can help reduce energy costs in the summer by reflecting more sunlight away from the cabin’s interior.

This type of roof is also fire-resistant due to its lack of combustible material, meaning families won’t have as much worry about their cabin caught fire. 

Thatched Roof

Not only do these roofs add a rustic charm to the log cabin, but they also provide an extra layer of protection from the elements. Because thatched roofs are so thick, they offer excellent insulation and help to keep a log cabin cool in summer and warm in winter.

Additionally, thatched roof cabins can provide some soundproofing as well; meaning less distracting noise coming from outside. Thatched roof cabins are extremely durable and last up to 50 years if properly maintained; an added benefit is that they require very minimal maintenance compared to other types of roofing materials

Roofing Felt

Roofs made from this material can be expected to last for many years, making them ideal for more permanent structures such as log cabins. In addition to being resistant to inclement weather, roofing felt also provides excellent insulation properties meaning that it helps keep the inside of the log cabin warm in winter months and cool in summer months.

Furthermore, roofing felt comes in a variety of colors and styles so there is something available to suit every log cabin design preference.

Felt Shingles

They excel in high winds as well, able to withstand gusts up to 110 mph without damage or displacement. Finally, felt shingle roofs require minimal maintenance over their lifespan – the occasional cleaning is about all that’s needed – meaning you won’t need to spend money on frequent repairs or replacements.

All things considered, felt shingles make an excellent choice when it comes to roofing materials for your log cabin – they offer strength, protection from weather elements, insulation capabilities, style options, durability, and convenience all wrapped up in one package!

A Green Roof (Sod or Turf Roof)

A green roof, often known as a sod or turf roof, is an eco-friendly roofing solution that involves covering the roof of a log cabin with natural vegetation. This type of roofing system not only provides additional insulation for the cabin but also helps capture and retain rainwater, reducing runoff and improving water quality in the surrounding environment.

Instead of asphalt shingles or other synthetic materials, green roofs are covered with soil and a variety of grasses, shrubs, flowers, and other plants that are both attractive and beneficial to the environment.

There are some of cabin roof styles you can choose and each type will have pros and cons. There are not the best, just the most suitable for your home!

Log cabin roof design

A pitched roof and a flat roof is the common log cabin roof design. Let’s into the detail to make perfect log roof framing!

Pitched Roof

A pitched cabin roof has both pros and cons.

(1) About the pros

  • One of the main advantages of this type of roof is that it can be constructed with a variety of materials, such as wood, slate, metal, or asphalt shingles.
  • This allows homeowners to customize the look and feel of their home while also ensuring durability against weather conditions like rain and snow.
  • Additionally, these types of roofs are usually more efficient at draining water than flat roofs due to the slant in the roof’s structure. They also offer increased ventilation and improved air circulation within the house. 

(2) About cons

  • However, one downside to a pitched cabin roof is that they tend to be slightly more expensive to install than flat roofs due to the complexity of their design and construction. They are also more difficult to maintain over time since any repairs must be done from atop the roof itself.
  • Additionally, there may be problems with snow accumulation during winter months due to the fact that these types of roofs don’t shed snow as easily as a flat roof does. Lastly, these roofs are typically not as energy-efficient as flat roofs because they don’t hold heat in as well during colder months.

Flat Roof

(1) About the pros

  • One of the pros of a flat cabin roof is that it can be relatively inexpensive to construct. This type of roofing uses fewer materials, as there are no slopes or ridges involved in the design.
  • Furthermore, a flat cabin roof also provides more space in the attic area since there is no need for steep angles to accommodate rainwater run-off. Additionally, this type of roofing can be installed quickly and easily due to its simple construction techniques.
  • Another pro is that it offers more stability than other types of roofs since there is no risk of shifts or leaks due to heavy storms or earthquakes.

(2) About cons

  • On the downside, however, one disadvantage of a flat cabin roof is that it does not offer as much protection from adverse weather conditions as other types of roofs. The lack of an adequate slope means that rainwater can easily collect at certain spots on the roof and cause long-term damage if left unchecked.
  • Moreover, without proper drainage systems in place, water may seep into the interior walls and cause further damage to the structure. Furthermore, moss and algae tend to accumulate more quickly on a flat cabin roof than on one with sufficient pitch, leading to possible damage over time due to their corrosive nature.
  • Lastly, snow accumulation can be especially problematic in areas with heavy snowfall and even result in structural collapse if not addressed correctly.

Now we hope you will have some log cabin roof ideas – not only the styles but also designs!

Some notes about log roof framing

Log roof framing is a form of timber frame construction that relies on large logs to support the roof structure. The logs used in log roof framing can vary in size, shape, and species, and are typically cut in either round logs or square timbers.

This type of framing is often used in traditional log cabins, but can also be used in contemporary homes. Log roof frames provide an aesthetically pleasing look while being extremely durable and long-lasting.

A key advantage of the log roof frame is its ability to withstand high winds, heavy snow loads, and seismic activity with relative ease. Additionally, log framing has natural insulating properties which help to reduce energy costs by keeping a consistent temperature throughout the home during cold winter months.

In order to ensure that the logs are properly fitted together for maximum stability, it is important to use a skilled carpenter with experience in log jointing techniques. With proper care and maintenance, a log roof frame can last for many years providing you with an attractive and functional home for your family.

So log roof framing is very significant in log cabin roof construction!

How to insulate log cabin roof?

Insulating a log cabin roof is an important step to ensuring the longevity and structural integrity of your cabin. 

  • Before beginning a project like this, it’s important to check for any potential issues with the roof, such as cracks or missing shingles. Once you’ve ensured that the roof is in top condition, you can then move on to insulating it properly. 
  • Depending on the size and complexity of your cabin’s roof, there are several different options available when it comes to insulation. For smaller cabins, one popular option is using rigid foam boards with built-in insulation. These boards are easy to install and provide excellent protection from both heat loss and moisture buildup. 
  • For larger cabins, spray foam insulation may be the best option as it can cover large areas quickly and efficiently. If you choose to spray foam insulation for your cabin’s roof, make sure to use high-quality 2-part polyurethane foam as its superior coverage will save you time and money in both installation and energy efficiency over time. 
  • Additionally, adding proper ventilation for air circulation throughout the cabin is essential for preventing mold growth caused by condensation buildup inside the walls or under the eaves of your log cabin’s roof. Installing venting products like ridge vents along with soffit vents at the base of each eave can help keep moisture levels low while also increasing airflow throughout your cabin. 
  • With these tips in mind, insulating your log cabin’s roof doesn’t have to be difficult; following these steps should ensure that your log cabin will remain dry and comfortable year-round while helping maintain its structural integrity over time!

How to build log cabin roof?

Building a log cabin roof is a complex task that requires knowledge of carpentry and building techniques.

  • The first step in constructing a log cabin roof is to measure the width, length, and height of the structure. Next, you need to select materials for the roof such as rafters, sheathing, shingles, or metal panels, and the type of fastener used to attach it.
  • After that, you need to lay out the rafters on top of the structure making sure they are level and firmly attached. Once done, cover the rafters with sheathing then secure it with fasteners.
  • Finally, add shingles or metal panels followed by ridge caps before finishing up with caulking around all edges for weather sealing. To ensure your log cabin roof is strong enough to withstand strong winds and harsh weather conditions you may need additional support in the form of trusses or braces at each end depending on your design requirements.

How far can roof joists span?

How far can roof joists span is a very important question when building or remodeling a roof, as the answer determines the overall strength and stability of the roof construction. The type of material used for the joists and the spacing between them will also affect how far they can span before needing additional support.

Generally, roof joists that are made up of engineered lumber such as laminated veneer lumber (LVL) or parallel strand lumber (PSL) can span up to 40 feet without any additional support. That said, more traditional materials like dimensional lumber may only be able to span 20 feet without extra reinforcement.

Additionally, if your beams are spaced too far apart, you will likely need to add a beam closer in order to add enough strength for heavier loads such as roofs with multiple levels or heavy snowfall areas.

Ultimately, it is always best to consult a professional engineer before deciding on a span length in order to ensure your construction won’t suffer from structural weakness due to inadequate support of your joists.

How to felt a log cabin roof?

Felt roofing for a log cabin is a durable and cost-effective way to protect your home from the elements. The process of felting a log cabin roof involves several steps, starting with the preparation of the wood surface and ending with the application of a protective layer over the entire roof. 

  • First, it is important to inspect the logs for any rot or damage and repair these issues before proceeding.
  • Next, you will need to sand down each log to create a smooth surface that will allow for an even application of the material.
  • Once sanding is complete, it’s important to fill in any cracks or gaps between logs with caulking or weatherproof sealant. This will ensure your felt layers are able to adequately adhere and create a watertight seal. 
  • Next comes the application of your felt layers – each layer should overlap its predecessor by at least 3 inches. For optimal protection, two-ply felt layers should be used.
  • The first layer is applied horizontally across the length of each log, while the second layer is laid perpendicular to its predecessor.
  • Lastly, all exposed edges must be sealed with an appropriate waterproof sealant in order to prevent water intrusion into your home’s interior.
  • This final step can mean the difference between having a dry home in rainy weather and dealing with expensive water damage repairs!

As long as you follow these steps correctly, felting your log cabin roof should provide years of effective protection against inclement weather conditions and keep your family safe inside their cozy home!

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Log Cabin

According to Angi – Building a log cabin can be an economical and beautiful addition to any property. The cost of building a log cabin typically ranges between $125 and $175 per square foot, depending on factors such as the size of the cabin, the landscape where it will be placed, and whether or not the land needs to be cleared beforehand.

While this may seem expensive, it is roughly in keeping with the average cost to build a house, which is somewhere between $100 and $200 per square foot. 


Where to locate roof vents?

Roof vents are one of the most important components of a roofing system and must be installed to allow air to circulate through the attic. Proper ventilation helps keep the temperature in the attic consistent, reduces humidity levels, and prevents condensation from forming. Roof vents can be found at most home improvement stores, as well as online.

When purchasing roof vents it is important to select ones that are appropriate for your roof’s pitch and style, as well as compatible with your existing installation materials. Some common types of roof vents include turbines, gable-end vents, ridge vent systems, soffit vents, box vents, bathroom fans, and more.

Additionally, proper insulation needs to be installed around all roof vents to prevent heat loss in colder climates. Installing a new roof vent or replacing an existing one can often be done by the homeowner or with help from a professional contractor if needed.

What is the best roof material for log cabin?

When it comes to selecting the best roof material for a log cabin, there are numerous options to choose from.

  • Metal roofs are a great option for log cabins due to their durability, longevity, and affordability. They can easily be installed on top of existing logs and come in different finishes such as copper, steel, or aluminum.
  • Asphalt shingles are another popular choice for log cabins since they are easy to install, come in many colors and styles, and are much less expensive than metal roofs.
  • Slate tile is also an ideal choice because it is extremely durable, long-lasting, aesthetically pleasing, and provides excellent protection against extreme weather conditions.
  • Clay tile is yet another viable option for those looking for an aesthetically pleasing roof with good insulation properties.
  • Finally, wood shake roofs provide excellent insulation while still looking elegant and natural.

Whichever type of roofing material you choose for your log cabin, make sure that it is appropriate for the climate where your cabin will be located in order to ensure its longevity and effectiveness.

Why are log cabin roofs green?

Log cabin roofs are typically green for two primary reasons: protection and aesthetic appeal.

  • Firstly, the green color of many log cabin roofs, typically a shade of forest green or hunter green, serves as a natural form of protection against the elements like sun exposure, rain, and snow. The color acts as a barrier to limit water absorption while still allowing the roof to breathe, thus preventing rot and mold growth.
  • Secondly, the green color adds to the overall visual appeal of the cabin’s exterior by blending in with its natural surroundings. This helps to maintain the rustic look and feel of the log cabin that so many people admire.
  • Furthermore, these types of roofs often include metal accents such as ridges or finials in similar shades of green which further accentuate their beauty. It is not uncommon for log cabins to also have decorative features in other colors like red or black but they will always be complemented by a lush layer of forest green on top.


In order to roof a log cabin, you will need to use different materials and techniques than what you would use on a standard home. Log cabins are charming and unique, but they require special care when it comes to the roof. With these tips in mind, you should be able to roof your log cabin successfully and know how to roof a log cabin. Thanks for reading!