Welcome to the butt and pass log home community website. When you start looking at ways to build a log home, one method that you probably won’t come across on your search online or in any log home magazine is the butt and pass method. The butt and pass method of building a log home is the simplest and often the cheapest way to build a log home.

welcome to butt and pass

What is this site selling?

Nothing – Just 100% FREE content and NEVER any money to pay for anything!

WARNINGWe might from time to time offer you FREE things πŸ™‚

free of charge

Welcome to the Butt and Pass Log Home community website. We offer a place to connect with others who like you want to build their very own butt and pass log home. Our website is FREE to join and use. Here you can look, share and contribute and together we can help each other realize our dreams of building a butt and pass log home.

So what are you going to get from joining this website?

What we offer is a “METHOD” to build your own butt and pass log home

We offer:

  • Help and advice through articles, groups and blogs
  • Our articles explain every single step of building a butt and pass log home
  • Members that will gladly help and offer their advice

All 100% FREE and always will be

So why aren’t magazines and the Internet full of articles and sales sites pushing the butt and pass construction method? The truth is you will find references to the butt and pass style but this will most likely be kits where the logs are stacked one on top of each other and in the corners the logs will butt and pass.

The butt and pass method is as the name implies a “method” for building a log home and as such means that YOU build the log home and are not required to spend $10,000’s on building a new home or kit log home.

Why build a log home?

When it comes to considering a new home most people would never even consider building their own home, they would simply contact a Realtor and buy an existing home. For those that might want to build, a simple stick frame or kit home might be something they would consider due to the perceived simplicity and availability of such homes. But what everyone is unaware of, is that anyone can build their own home if the circumstances are right to do so. If you are considering a new home where your local building codes allow, you must consider the butt and pass method of building a log home.

If you are able to do so, then building your own butt and pass log home will enable you to do the following:

  • Design the home to your requirements
  • Install the numerous energy saving technologies that could save you $1,000’s a year (get off the grid)
  • Build yourself and save $10,000’s on contractor fees
  • Own your home without a mortgage

Better still, if you own land with suitable trees, will could build your own butt and pass log home for less than $10,000 !!!

get out of debt butt and pass log home

Can you really build a butt and pass log home yourself?

butt and pass log home yes you can build a log home

When you ask the question, how to build a butt and pass log home? You really must understand a simply rule: Keep it simple!

The land

Before buying land make sure that you can build a butt and pass log home. If all is OK, all you need to do is make sure the land is prepared and utilities are available.


Pier blocks are the simplest to put down and can be done yourself. A butt and pass log home can “sit” on any type of foundation, so whatever you decide should be fine.


Butt and pass log walls are for me the most fun you can have with logs, rebar and a hammer πŸ™‚ The walls go up with rebar pins holding everything together. Once built you will have super strong walls that won’t settle like other methods of building a log home.


Your floors are attached to the walls and are supported by your pier blocks or floor support logs. These are not difficult to install and can be done with just the help of family of friends.

Internal walls

As the butt and pass log walls bear all the load, you can almost do anything you like with the internal design of your log home. Framing is a skill that might be over most peoples heads, but it’s not too difficult to find someone willing to do the work with your help for cash and save you lots of money πŸ™‚


If you are looking at keeping costs low and want to build your own roof, then a metal roof is the way to go. It will look amazing and last a very long time.

Finishing off your home

Plumbing and electrical work

Here I always go to a professional as it is quicker, safer and the work is always guaranteed to pass inspections. If you feel you can handle it, go for it, but always have your work checked out by a professional before your inspections.

Depending on your budget you can install your hearts desire when it comes to doors, windows and fixtures or you can shop around and pay a fraction to create your dream home.

There you go… You have built your own butt and pass log home πŸ™‚

So, if you are already convinced this is the way to go and just want to find out information, this is the place for you. Register and join our community and I hope that you to can realize your dream of building your own butt and pass log home.

butt and pass self build

What is a log home?

A log home or log building is a structure built with horizontal logs interlocked at the corners by notching. Logs may be round, squared or hewn (cut into shape) to other profiles, either handcrafted or most commonly, milled. The term “log cabin” generally refers to a smaller, more rustic log house, such as a hunting cabin in the woods, that may or may not have electricity or plumbing.

Log home construction was the most common building technique in large regions of Sweden, Finland, Norway, the Baltic states and Russia, where straight and tall coniferous trees, such as pine and spruce, are readily available. It was also widely used for vernacular buildings in Eastern Central Europe, the Alps, the Balkans and parts of Asia, where similar climatic conditions prevail.

Sawn logs, logs sawn to a standard width, but with their original heights

Milled (also called machine-profiled), made with a log house moulder: Constructed of logs that have run through a manufacturing process which convert them into timbers which are consistent in size and appearance

Handcrafted log houses have been built for centuries in Scandinavia, Russia and Eastern Europe, and were typically built using only an ax and knife. The Scandinavian settlers of New Sweden brought the craft to North America in the early 17th century, where it was quickly adopted by other colonists and Native Americans. Possibly the oldest surviving log house in the United States is the C. A. Nothnagle Log House (circa 1640) in New Jersey.

For more information on log houses: click here

Log Home Living

Log home living is an experience like no other πŸ™‚

Log homes offer a unique and rustic style of living with all of the amenities of a traditional stick built home. You can even plan your log home design and layout to suit your lifestyle. From custom beam work to the overall look and feel of your log home, log home living creates an atmosphere for relaxation.

The timeless beauty and craftsmanship of log homes is one of the biggest attractions to consumers. But, being able to design your own log home with a custom floor plan truly makes building a log home a remarkable experience. One great tip for homeowners looking to construct a log home is to study pictures of log homes to get a better idea of what types of styles exist.

The prospect of building a log home from scratch is not as monumental as it once was. The butt and pass method of building, which pays tribute to a time when builders ventured into the woods and built log cabins with little more than their hands, an ax, a saw, and blood, sweat and tears, though now not so much of the last ones.

Today, there are less-expensive energy efficient materials and methods available that simplify the practice of log home building so a log home can be constructed with considerably less time and money.

What is the Butt and Pass Method of building a log home?

The Butt and Pass Method is by far (and I mean by a really, really long way) the best method for building a REAL log home.

Why? Because the Butt and Pass method is the STRONGEST, simplest to build and needs the LEAST maintenance of ALL other building methods.

Few people in today’s world have the necessary craftsmanship, background nor the required amount of free time it takes to master traditional notching and scribing. Fortunately you do not have to become a master craftsman to be able to build a very high-quality log structure in relatively little time.

Today there are inexpensive materials available that greatly simplify the process of log building so you can put up a house with very little in the way of skill, time, or money. Your logs are peeled, dried, cut to length, hauled into place, then drilled and pinned. With the butt and pass method, you use a big electric drill, lots of cheap reinforcing bar (otherwise known as β€œrebar”), and a great big sledge hammer to hammer and pin the logs together with essentially no scribing, no notching, and no close fitting. The final log walls are stronger and more stable than a scribed and notched log home.

The Method for building the butt and pass log walls

A log on one wall butts up against a log on the other wall, overlapping like brickwork up the corners. The logs are held together with rebar pins (cut to length pieces of rebar), drilled and nailed through from one log to the next, at the corners and every two feet along each log. The butt and pass method has no vulnerable notches for rot to set in, and all the pieces are so “shish kebabed” together with rebar that there is no settling. The window and door frames can be nailed directly to the logs without worry that the walls might settle. The space between the logs is insulated with strips of fiberglass insulation, then covered and filled with a homemade sand and cement chinking mortar.

Besides being fast, durable, and economical, the butt and pass method of log home building requires relatively few tools. In fact, most of the necessary tools would fit in the trunk of a car! And although big house logs are heavy, you can easily lift them into place without a crane. With a block and tackle pulley system mounted on lifting poles at each corner of the house, it is easy to wrap a strap around a log and hoist it into the air, either by hand, or by attaching the haul rope to a truck. Drive backwards slowly and the log floats into place.

Fact: When built correctly, a butt and pass log home can outlive any other type of log house, and it doesn’t require endless coats of stain or other sealants to protect the logs from decay.

7 thoughts on “Butt and Pass Log Home”

  1. I wasn’t 100% sure if the butt and pass method was for me but after reading some of the articles here and taking to you via email I am now ready to move forward with my build. Thanks for this site and I hope it goes from strength to strength πŸ™‚

  2. I’ve read quite a bit about the butt and pass system of log building. I’ve purchased property, installed well, septic, and drive way. My intention was to build using the butt and pass system, primarily because it eliminates the need to allow for cumulative shrinkage in the log stack, as the logs shrink individually around the pins. However, my property in an area of considerable seismic activity. And, the county will not allow the building of any log structure without an engineer’s stamp. Every engineer I’ve talked to, so far, wants to use tensioned thru bolts. This will return the log shrinkage to cumulative, thus requiring allowance for settling around windows, doors, and vertical columns. I’ve also considered using the “pies en pies” system. Which is basically a post and beam structure with a pinned log infill between posts. Again, the county wants engineering. And, engineers want thru bolts.
    Can anyone suggest a way around this problem? Or, recommend an Oregon based engineer who understands “pinned butt and pass” or, pinned “pies en pies” log construction?

  3. I’m finding your site difficult to navigate, especially if one wants to post a comment.
    I’d like to comment on the idea that butt and pass can be built for next to nothing. NOT TRUE! It can probably be built for considerably less than other methods. But, most municipalities require building permits. Permits require engineered plans. Most engineers are a part of that “for profit community” which your site claims butt and pass will allow you to avoid. Not only are they part of that, “for profit community,” they are well indoctrinated to the idea that, “it isn’t a real log home if it doesn’t include scribed logs, dovetailed corners, etc.” Getting them to even talk about butt and pass is a chore in it’self. And, because most other log home building methods are so expensive, they make the assumption that if you are talking log home, you must have money to burn.
    A couple of comments which might save you some money on engineering.
    First, many charge by the square foot. And, that includes every possible conceivable square foot. So, leave decks and any other features, which can be added after the main construction is completed, off the plan. No sense paying an engineer for what the local building supply can provide for free.
    Second, basements, even unfinished basements, will be charged at full price. While it is true, basement space needs engineering. It’s also true, that the sub structure of a single story house needs engineering also. One ought to , at least partially, off set the other. Try to negotiate.
    Third, upstairs, even upstairs contained with in the roof line, will be charged at full price, even though a single story house needs a roof. The only additional engineering is for the floor support. Try to negotiate.
    Fourth, trusses and ICU’s (insulated concrete forms) can be used. And, they come pre-engineered, eliminating considerable work for the engineer. Yet none of the engineers I’ve spoken with have offered to reduce their fees when using these pre-engineered fixtures. Try to negotiate.
    One might infer that I don’t have much use for engineers. Absolutely not true. Good engineers are invaluable. However there must be a shortage of them, as they seem eager to charge two or three times for the same work. And, be careful, once you pay an exorbitant amount for the plans, there are all kinds of contractual limits on their help. Most limit the use of the plans to the construction of one build. Many limit the number of consults. So, ask questions before the engineering is paid for. Insure that the plans are guaranteed to result in an approved building permit.
    Does anyone know of a good engineer with an Oregon license?

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