Paul’s Tiny Log Cabin

by Kent Griswold on April 12th, 2011. 41 Comments
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I’ve featured Paul McMullin’s work here a couple of times in the past. You can view the posts Little House on the Prairie, Paul’s Montana Cabin, and Paul’s Guesthouse. Paul has been busy again this winter and just shared his latest project with me. The quality of his work is something else. I’ll turn it over to Paul and let him tell you about his tiny log cabin.

Well, here in Montana, another winter is almost past. This one seemed to go on like the ever ready bunny. Around the middle of January I decided over a cup of coffer to build a small log home next to our office I share with my wife. Most of the things that I have built in my career have been stick built (dimensional lumber) so this was something new and stimulating for me.

Finished cabin

Finished cabin

A friend in the next valley over did the log work and what a craftsman he is with his trade. We stacked the logs on a deck, lagging the first log into the six by six pressure treated plates We pinned all corners with sixty penny spikes, three quarter inch pipe through the logs in the field and used long log screws for the rafters. We insulated the roof, handmade the front door, installed double pane windows, chinked and trimmed it out.

Notice the beautiful fit

I wanted to finish out the inside with a kitchen and bath, but everyone that stops by had a different idea for its usage, so I thought I should leave that with the permanent owner. The cabin measures 16 x 24 with the 4 foot deck.

You can contact Paul via emailĀ

Lagbolt to the deck

Spiking the corner

Fully stacked

Cutting out for the rough bucks and windows

Two layers of high R value (6 per inch) foam with two by four sleepers for sheeting

Hinge on handmade door

Chinking over backer foam

Log scribe work on a valley jack

Door and window detail

Rafter and interior detail

41 Responses to “Paul’s Tiny Log Cabin”

  1. Greg says:

    Where did you find that hinge for the door? It would be nice to see better pics of the handmade door as well. Really nice job by the way.

  2. David says:

    Beautiful, great attention paid to the scribing, notching and fitting of all the logs. What species are the logs?

    • Paul McMullin says:

      Lodge pole pine cut out of a burned area. The fire must have been fast because once pealed there was no sign of the burn.

  3. Russ says:

    I am not usually a fan of log cabins, this though is different, excellent workmanship throughout. Well done. Now you just need to see them :)

  4. Josh says:

    Now that looks like it’s got enough room to actually live in!

  5. The quality of the workmanship stands out.

  6. awesomelog says:

    Can you give the logistics of the project? how long did it take? what were the total costs? Did you have friends help you? is this something for you to live in? if you sell.. does it just get put onto a wide load trailer and get hauled?

    • Paul McMullin says:

      Well, If I stuck my nose to the grinder, I could complete this cabin in about one month but that isn’t how things work with these things. Since it is built along a highway in the small town I live (pop. 900) alot of folks that pass by in the middle of winter pull in to see what old Pauls doing. I do more visiting then working but that is part of the joy. I had help in stacking the logs and a little help in the roof but most of the time I was by myself. When sold we jack it up and back a trailer under it and away it goes.

  7. steve smoot says:

    You did a great job on your cabin. You should be very proud of your work.

  8. John says:

    What did you use for stain?

    • Paul McMullin says:

      Don’t tell anyone because it is a little secret. I put a healthy dose of vitamins and fertilizer on it. Two tablespoons of ferrous sulfate per gallon of water and it will age any new wood.

      • John says:

        I was thinking about doing an ebonizing mix (vinegar and steel wool).

        Really nice small home.

        • Paul Mcmullin says:

          John, You can purchase ferrous sulfate at a farm supply house for about 18 dollars for a 25lb. bag (16 and a half life times worth).

          • John says:

            The only thing I am wondering, is if it might be best to apply a clear or semi clear UV coat on top?

  9. John says:

    Thats my color.
    I have been hewing out the post and beam frame (trusses are stacked in my front yard), and cutting and flat hewing white cedar logs.
    I already have the red windows.
    I like the vintage color of the stain.

  10. I love how many panes the window has. The red of the windows also makes it pop.

  11. mike says:

    Damn, you make it look so easy…………

  12. olmon says:

    When I was a baby, I lived in a log cabin slightly smaller then that & with a dirt floor, near Van Buren, MO. My Dad had built it, & altho I haven’t been back there, my Mom tells me that it is still discernible where it stood.

    • John says:

      God bless you.
      What an experience.
      Reminds me of some of the homes I had seen in my job. Families slept spoon style in the same bed.
      Some people are so spleeny and spoiled today.
      My grandfather came from the old country, and made $1.00 a ton for coal.
      I can remember my mother going next door to borrow a can of tuna so seven of us could eat supper (tuna, potatoes, and some lettuce).

      Many blessings to you.

  13. Seth says:

    I hope Paul gets a website up to show off his work. Everything you’ve posted from him Kent is EXQUISITE!!!

  14. Kat says:

    This is absolutely beautiful. Well done!

  15. Annie says:

    If I had a chunk of money and a little land I’d be movin into that little beauty. Beautiful workmanship!

  16. Mo Skba says:

    Brilliantly done. Excellent example of how it should be done. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  17. This is beautifully done! What craftsmanship…

  18. Carey Huffman says:

    21st Century Artisan! As the virtual world so invades our real world, it is wonderful to see such craftsmanship.

    A question, if I might. Of late, it seems the majority of log cabins I have seen are being built with metal roofs, why did you select a composite shingle roof over all other options?

    • Paul McMullin says:

      I can’t really answer that question. I originally wanted an old rusty tin roof but when I went out to the grain shed that I own, I found the tin to be aged well beyond the salvageable point. The only other material I considered was cedar shake.

  19. Julie Graff says:


  20. Benjamin says:

    Obviously you are devoted to doing everything just right! A fine piece of work!

    Is that your blood in the photo of the foam insulation?

    • Paul McMullin says:

      That is funny, my daughter asked me the same question. If you notice the inside 1 x 8 is stained red, some of it ran to the other side while I did the boards on the ground.

  21. standalone says:

    what would you need to hook up plumbing/electric? would it go through the floor, or is this a stand alone model? have any pictures of the floor? Has it sold yet? You should try posting it up on

  22. How much are you asking for it? What still needs to be
    done? What is the square footage? And when may we move in?

  23. Kaitlyn says:


  24. Kaitlyn says:

    This is beautiful

  25. John Kiyonaga says:

    Beautiful work Mr. McMullin.

    Can you build a cabin for assembly and erection in Virginia?

    Merry Christmas.

    John Kiyonaga

  26. Lisa says:

    Hi Paul,

    My husband and I just drove by your cabins this weekend, stopped to take a look, and we love them! Do you build on site or strictly in Ennis and then deliver? Also, do you make adjustments to your cabins to suite a particular situation? How do I prepare my property for the finished home?

  27. Peck Hoon says:

    Hi Kent, I am an old friend of Paul who lives a few oceans away in Singapore. I lost touch with him last year. When I found him on your blog, I decided to ask if you can tell Paul I’m looking for him or alternatively to pass me Paul’s contact.

    Thank you!

    Best Regards

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