Log Cabin Living Continues To Trend
By Nikki Alvin-Smith
What is it about log cabin living that attracts so many people to opt for a minimal lifestyle in a rural environment? Certainly the affordability of a prefab log cabin that provides an immediate shelter and is quick and easy to have delivered and set up in almost any location, is a huge attraction for those seeking a quieter life.
Whether you choose to live on or off the grid, the modern day log cabin is not the same as the one your ancestors may have built.
While the memories of mouse filled cold cabins, blackened smoky fireplaces with damp wood handy nowhere, and a sleeping bag that somehow doesn’t seem to fit you quite as well as it used to, you may be forgiven for seeking more creature comforts within your cabin. In today’s modern world, the appeal of remote off the grid living hits a stark reality as we have all become used to more ‘creature comforts.’ When you think about it, while a rudimentary cabin in the woods can be fun, if you upgrade to a structure more ‘user friendly’ you’ll enjoy much more time utilizing your investment. Once hunting season is over, you can use it for family ski trips, family gatherings, summer hiking and fishing trips or just a place to retreat from your teenage kids.
We spoke with Matt Albrecht, Senior Project Manager at leading prefab log cabin and modular log home company, Zook Cabins, to learn more about what makes prefab log cabins different today than in the past.
“Some customers don’t totally understand what we do. When they think “log cabin” they think cut down a tree and stack logs on top of logs till you have a home. At Zook Cabins we are completely different. We are a certified modular home company, who instead of putting up your traditional vinyl and drywall, are using wood products to give you that rustic retreat feel without getting into the hassle and pricing of kits or solid log construction. With the ever-increasing battle to meet the current energy requirements with our style construction, we will continue to stay far ahead of the solid log construction.”
For many people the idyllic lifestyle of peace and privacy in the woods, living by a rippling river, overlooking a tranquil lake, or set atop a hill with a commanding valley view, appeals on a heartfelt level for our needs as humans to reconnect with Mother Nature and take a break from the incredibly fast pace lifestyles we all lead.
The idea of life in a prefab log cabin or a luxury log home can provide a sense of wellbeing, as we drift back to visions of a simpler and less frenetic time. Perhaps bringing an opportunity to share our childhood experiences with our children and to teach them to appreciate the beauty of the great outdoors and leave their tablets and devices on the rustic log table and get outside and enjoy healthy activities.
Many areas of the country still offer inexpensive land prices that can be easily developed for a primary or second family home. Where I live in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York, low prices and the inherent natural beauty of the unspoiled landscape continues to attract buyers. Affordable taxes and proximity to large populations are driving a sincere uptick in the economy. A short trek bouncing in your SUV to almost isolation in the quiet woodlands is entirely possible within just a few hours of surburban or city homes.
Lonely Planet recently named The Catskills, the number two region in the world that folks should add to their itinerary of places to visit in 2019. The area is enjoying a return to days of yore, when the Catskill Mountains was the playground for the rich and famous. International acclaim from such iconic media sources as the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), has seen the region blossom as a destination for folks from all walks of life. While my neighbors may be actors such as Brad Pitt or Kelsey Grammer, high-ranking politicians and Fortune 500 company billionaires, there are also plenty of middle class Americans setting up home in the region.
With vineyards, breweries and distilleries feed the thirst of visitors to kick back, fish smoking, creameries and a huge farm to table restaurant movement in the region provide daily sustenance for visitors. Sports such as ziplining, skiing, fishing, hunting, hiking and trail riding on horseback keep the family busy. Sounds from chamber music to Celtic and country music festivals vibrate across the misty hills and attract major names across the industry.
While the 14 regal hotels that graced our tiny village of Stamford, Queen of the Catskills, may be long gone, artists, writers, musicians and actors are all flocking to the region and building their own cabin compounds for residency visits for a keen influx of friends and family. Regional businesses are aided in their financing by New York State grants designed to develop Upstate New York.
Farms with barns are quickly converting them to living space for social events and retreats, and charging upwards of $1000 per night for a converted horse stall just 12 x 12 feet in size. Even our small horse farm of 76 acres has been utilized as a backdrop by moviemakers, as producers dispatch their Casting Directors to resource film locations with stunning views as they discover the area.
Other areas of the North-East USA are seeing a similar upsurge, as millenials seek a simpler lifestyle far from the madding crowd. But not too far!
For some folks a more sophisticated version of cabin lifestyle is wanted. Log homes can be customized to fit every need and desire.
Want to explore all your cabin options? Visit Zook Cabins. Take a 360 degree tour of one of their cabin designs.