What are Modular Log Homes?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

Modular log homes are a kind of prefabricated homes, which are also sometimes referred to as "prefab homes." In fact, the terms "modular homes" and "prefabricated homes" or "prefab homes" are often used interchangeably. Instead of being built in the traditional manner of felling and linking logs on site to create a log home, modular log homes are largely built off-site in factories that create entire sections of the homes.

The floor plans of modular log homes can be customized by the owner.
The floor plans of modular log homes can be customized by the owner.

While very basic prefabricated homes, often referred to as trailers are often quite simple and are sometimes produced using inexpensive materials that are not as durable and sturdy as some may like, there has been a recent renaissance of prefabricated homes. In fact, there have even been museum exhibitions and design shows of the most interesting kinds of modular homes that are highly designed and cutting-edge in terms of their efficient use of space and design techniques. Modular log homes have been part of this renaissance.

People often purchase modular log homes as second homes because they are usually less expensive than purchasing an existing structure. Other people who love log homes purchase modular log homes to live in year-round. As such, modular log homes have been a part of the sort of re-branding of the idea of prefabricated homes.

One of the interesting things about modular log homes is how much they range in size and detail. There are some modular log homes that look very much like the traditional trailer except that they have a different kind of exterior and may have a slightly larger porch. There are others that are two stories high with cathedral ceilings, multiple bedrooms, luxurious bathrooms, and gourmet kitchens with top-of-the-line appliances.

The simplest modular log homes are often prefabricated all in one piece and simply have to be installed on a foundation and hooked up to utilities. The more elaborate homes often come in sections that are assembled on site. These larger homes, however, still have very large sections, such as an entire floor of the home, prefabricated at an off-site location. The exact floor plan of these larger houses can often be customized by the owner before the home is fabricated and brought to the site for installation.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Discussion Comments


@SarahSon - That is a good idea to speak with people who are currently living in a log home. I have a cousin who builds custom log homes, and it is a lot of work. Talking with a builder would also give you some good insight into the cost of materials if you were going to build it yourself.

You would also have some good feedback about the pros and cons of making a purchase like this. Going with a modular log home will usually cut down on the time and cost that is involved. You can get a similar look and feel of a log home without so much expense. But it all comes down to personal preference!


I have always dreamed of living in a log home with high cathedral ceilings and a real fireplace. I used to collect magazines with log home designs to someday build my dream home. I know there are a lot of things to consider to undertake something like this.

If I was really serious about building or living in a log home, I would talk to people who are living in them and see how much work and expense is required to keep them maintained. At least you would not be going ahead without some practical knowledge of what was expected.


@myharley - I live in a real log home and they are very beautiful. We were aware of the maintenance and upkeep when we purchased the home, and it does take a lot of time and expense.

Whether you live in a luxury log home or in a small cabin you will need to have regular upkeep on the outside - staining, patching and caulking. But there is something so cozy and inviting about a real log home that keeps us here year after year!


It seems like you see more manufactured log homes than you do those made out of real logs. I imagine this is because they are not as expensive to build and maintain.

I know with real log homes, there is a lot of outside maintenance on the logs. If you do not keep up with this, you can have damage to the exterior of your home. This is why many people who love log homes, will choose to go with a modular one. You can still get a similar look, without as much expense or upkeep.

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