Good accessibility in a log cabin includes easily entering and exiting doors, climbing and descending steps, and using the kitchen and bathrooms. Good accessibility also allows anyone to navigate well inside the cabin and garage regardless of age or physical condition.
There are many things owners can do when building a cabin or remodeling a current one. Make a list based on your current needs and knowledge, research online, consult with builders, and ask realtors questions.
Having adequate accessibility and efficiency in a home is something most of us take for granted. We can make our living spaces more efficient by having things we use frequently close at hand to eliminate steps. We can also take steps to reduce our energy consumption bills and save construction costs by building with log siding instead of full logs.
Increasing Accessibility for a New Cabin
If you plan to live in your cabin either full-time or part-time, build it for the present and future. It is wise to consider your future needs in the building plans for the cabin, garage, porch, or patio. The longer you plan to live there, the more thought you need to put into your plans.
If anyone uses a wheelchair, power chair, walker, or cane, you should make these concessions:
- Build adequate ramps that lead from the outside or garage into the house
- Make exterior and interior doors wide enough
- Allow plenty of space in bathrooms for toilets and tubs
- Make all sinks easy to use including water turning on and off
- Build hallways wide enough for wheelchairs to turn around
- Pine floors are easier to roll over than carpets in a wheelchair
- Create countertops, doors, and drawers that are easy to reach
- Install a chairlift for going to the second floor or basement if needed
Even if no one is disabled now, some of these ideas come in handy for everyone.
H2: Increasing Accessibility in a Current Log Cabin
If you currently live in a log cabin or plan to purchase one, you will find it probably needs some upgrades to meet your accessibility needs. This is especially true if you are middle-aged, elderly, or disabled to some extent and plan to stay there a long time. You may need to do these:
- Leave steps but add ramps where needed
- Modify the toilet for easier use
- Remove the tub and install a walk-in tub
- Replace some of the doors with wider ones
- Install a chairlift for going to the second floor or basement
- Replace shelving and counters with ones the right height for your stature
Your carpenter or contractor will provide many more useful ideas to increase accessibility.
Efficiency Inside Your Planned Cabin
Drawing up plans for a new log cabin should include creating more efficiency in its use than conventional homes. These ideas have worked well for many other cabin owners:
- Create your kitchen so that everything is within easy reach like chefs design them
- Build with an open concept so it is easy to go from the kitchen to the dining area
- If the cabin will have a second floor or basement with two bedrooms, let them share the same bathroom
- Eliminate excessive entry and exit areas for the front and rear of the cabin
- Build the cabinets and counters that match your height
- Put shelves at convenient heights so they are easy to reach
Learn more about efficiency inside your home and garage from some experts.
Upgrade Efficiency in a Current Log Cabin
If you currently live in or plan to buy a pre-owned cabin, there are steps to take to add to its efficient use. The suggestions we have made so far can save a lot of money if you have the skills to so some of the work. You, a carpenter, or a contractor can make these changes:
- Change out old carpets with wood or laminate floors to reduce cleaning time
- Remove a non load-bearing wall to increase maneuverability in the cabin
- Add a kitchen island for food preparation and storage if you have room
- Add more natural lighting for better visibility and healthy living
- Replace old faucets with touch faucets
- Adjust heights for grab bars
- Replace old appliances with new ones that are easier to use
Let’s move on to our last it – reducing energy bills
Reduce Energy Bills for Additional Efficiency
Our ideas in this section apply to any new or existing home to reduce energy bills year-round. You will notice the difference right away and appreciate the savings:
- Install adequate insulation for your climate
- Buy high-energy HVAC equipment and appliances
- Seal ductwork thoroughly and wrap the water heater
- Test windows and doors for leaks
- Use ceiling fans year-round to distribute air
- Install a smart thermostat for heating and cooling
You can also conduct an energy audit, use LED lights, update the electrical system, get a heat pump, and install some solar panels according to Bob Villa. These ideas have worked for thousands of cabin and homeowners and they should work for you.