At first glance, log homes and timber homes appear to share more similarities than differences. While they do have many of the same characteristics in common, a closer look shows a variety of differences that can help you decide which of these two American classics is the best fit for you.

The easiest way to tell a log home — commonly referred to as a log cabin — from a timber frame home is by looking at the exterior walls. If you see plain horizontal logs stacked on top of each other, you’re looking at a log cabin. Timber homes, on the other hand, are often comprised of a myriad of different architectural designs and building materials, from wooden siding and dormers to timber gables, various stone elements and decorative timber porches.

Log and timber homes differ from a structural standpoint as well. The horizontal logs of a log home that make up the exterior walls necessitate interior load-bearing walls, affecting the layout and interior design. Timber homes utilize an interconnected framework of large timbers which allows for wide-open interior space and a much greater variety of design options.

This timber skeleton around and upon which the timber frame home is built also lends itself to a wealth of choice regarding the materials used, both inside and outside. This allows you to customize the aesthetic of your timber frame home however you like, melding traditional timber elements with more modern materials and design. The result is a timber home that mixes old-world craftsmanship and contemporary aesthetics to your exact preferences.

In a word, the difference between log and timber homes is freedom — timber frame homes offer you the freedom to choose the designs, layouts, and materials that will help you create the home of your dreams.

Find some inspiration for your new design with these featured timber frame home plans from Atlantic Timberframes.

About Atlantic Timberframes

Atlantic Timberframes, located in Western PA, builds timber frame homes in all styles and sizes. Since 1991, we have been working alongside family, friends, and fellow timber framers to build amazing and unforgettable timber frame homes all across the country.