Log cabins have a comforting aesthetic. In the olden days, they were the go-to styling option because everyone constructed by hand, and trees were readily available. It was an affordable but labor-intensive process, but it was what everyone did – well, ordinary people at least.
Wood was for regular folk while the wealthier ones could build with stone or brick. Today, homesteaders are veering back towards timber tiny houses. But contemporary citizens want the joy of wooden homes without the drama of living in a forest. Enter vinyl log siding!
Visually, it’s indistinguishable from lumber logs. But practically speaking, it’s way cheaper, easier to work with, and needs no maintenance. It won’t get attacked by termites or wood rot and it’s safe from weather and water damage. So let’s explore 31 vinyl log siding ideas to try.
1. Wonderfully Woodsy Cabin
From this angle, there’s no way you can tell that’s plastic! The exterior walls are lined with realistic vinyl wood siding in dark tones. The siding is right at home in this woodsy neighborhood and offsets that gorgeous grass and clear blue sky. The roof shingles pick their dark grey tone from the door and window trim, and if you like, the siding can be insulated.
2. Landherr Vinyl Log Siding
Vinyl siding has different prints, patterns, and styles. And from a distance, they can all pass for authentic lumber. But vinyl log siding has a very specific profile. It mimics stacked logs so the outer surface is rounded and projects off the wall. The curvature is sometimes stuffed with insulation foam so these vinyl logs up your style factor while lowering your heating bill.
3. Nude Vinyl Log Siding
Yes, wood can be painted. But traditional log cabins were simply air-dried, stained, or varnished. So when you substitute wood for plastic, many buyers prefer their vinyl wood siding to have that nude look. A waterproof substrate is stapled below the vinyl to serve as an anchor. If your log vinyl siding is hollow rather than insulated – you need that extra layer.
4. Beige Vinyl Cedar Siding
From a distance, vinyl log siding looks just like real wood. You may worry that a keener inspection will rat you out. But as you can see from this close-up of cedar vinyl, every grain and knot is visibly distinct. The eye is sufficiently impressed (though you can tell it’s not timber when you touch it). This makes log vinyl an authentic alternative for low budgets.
5. Menards Vinyl Log Siding
If you have good handyman skills, you can probably install your own vinyl log siding. It’s not too technical and you’ll get the hang of it if you watch a few tutorials. Menards has a selection of vinyl wood logs in four colors (maple, cypress, spice, and river rock) and they’ll ship it to wherever you are, so that’s a smart buy. You can still hire contractors to mount them for you.
6. Slimline Vinyl Log Siding
Log siding can be made from plastic, metal, concrete, or wood. The former three are printed, patterned, or painted to mimic timber. But if it’s organic lumber, it can be a whole round log or a quarter arched log with a flat side. Quarter logs are easier to install, but vinyl logs are even cheaper and easier. The vinyl log siding here has a more polished synthetic finish.
7. Timbermill Vinyl Siding
Vinyl log siding can range from dirt cheap to relatively pricy, but it’s still cheaper than wooden logs or steel faux logs. So when you’re shopping, check as many photos as you can from various angles and in different lighting. Low-end vinyl logs may look distinctly plasticky, and that’s fine if you’re not keeping up with the Jones’, but you may want a more realistic result.
8. Bob Vila Vinyl Siding
Log siding can be matte or glossy, with the shine coming from stains and varnishes. But vinyl siding has the typical shine that comes from PVC coating. It comes in various tones and is sometimes UV-treated to make it last longer. Vinyl logs will retain their color forever and will never need pest treatment. Plus they last for decades so that’s a lot less plastic waste.
9. Montebello Vinyl Log Siding
When you’re building a home with vinyl log siding, you can layer the effect with other vinyl prints. The basement of this home has a brick façade, but you could opt for brick-pattern siding. Those roofing shingles could be slate or tile, but their dark grey tones work beautifully with these bright brown synthetic wood panels. The vinyl logs are insulated with dense foam.
10. Kaycan Vinyl Log House
Do you think you could spot the difference between vinyl log siding and wooden log siding? Look at this house made of vinyl logs, then compare it to the cedarwood logs pictured beneath. The resemblance is sufficiently impressive. But using the plastic alternative could save you close to $2,000 in construction costs. Plus, vinyl barely needs maintenance!
11. Continental Vinyl Log Siding
Wooden cabins aren’t always made of logs. Sometimes, they use sawn 4 x 4s or reclaimed planks from a salvage yard. But vinyl log siding is recognized by its distinctive convex curves. Continental vinyl offers these faux logs in two tones – cedar and harvest brown. The cedar vinyl is a bright but light brown while the harvest brown hue has a glossier coat on top.
12. Hand-Cut Vinyl Log Siding
At a lumber mill, logs are machine-cut so they’ll have smooth sides and consistent diameters. But if you’re chopping ‘wild’ logs, you might use an ax and a hand-saw, so the sides might be chipped and uneven. The vinyl log siding on this home has that hand-cut appearance with uneven edges and awkward angles. It works well if you like that raw, unfinished look.
13. Faux Wood Vinyl Siding
Simulated siding has come a long way. You can now find faux logs made from composite, MDF, steel, aluminum, fiber cement board, concrete, and yes, plastic. And just like you can’t visually tell what’s wood and what’s not, it’s tough differentiating concrete logs from vinyl ones. You should always double-check with your supplier. These Faux Wood Beams are vinyl.
14. Faux Vinyl Log Panels
Yes, you can buy log siding that has wooden, plastic, or metallic bits. But you can also buy vinyl siding that’s printed to imitate wood, brick, or metal. In this case, the artificial siding is wooden at the sides of the house and above the garage. The stonework between the siding is artificial as well. You can’t tell without touching, so enjoy that high-life look at a lower cost!
15. Faux Log Sides and Shakes
Cedar shakes and cedar shingles are both siding alternatives that promise the joy of wood. But wood comes with work. It needs extra care to protect it from water and weather. So rather than shingling and shaking, opt for faux vinyl logs. The half-circle plastic logs are stacked tight with no gaps where dust can gather. And you can hose them down effortlessly.
16. Wood and Stone Siding
Vinyl log siding is significantly cheaper than wooden logs. It’s also more pocket-friendly than log siding cast from steel, composite, or concrete. Because plastic is lightweight, vinyl logs can be insulated with foam while other non-lumber logs might be solid. In this home, the vinyl is framed with faux stone columns at the corners on a foundation of concrete blocks.
17. Quarter Panel Perfection
While vinyl logs are less expensive than commercially tree trunks, the price has a broad range. Some vinyl log siding looks distinctly plastic look while higher-end vinyl logs might have authentic-looking knots and grains. You can cut the cost further by ordering quarter-cut vinyls like the ones pictured here. They hug the wall closer, have less bulk so they’re cheaper.
18. NextWall Log Cabin Vinyl Siding
Store-bought siding gets a bad wrap, pun intended. But this Home Depot vinyl log siding will do the trick in a pinch. It’s visibly low-end, but it comes in a roll so you can easily install it. And that raw, unfinished look suits certain design sensibilities. Note that this is indoor wallpaper, not exterior siding. It’s smooth but the printed texture gives visual depth.
19. Adirondack Vinyl Log Siding
ABTCO has a well-developed line of vinyl siding. Their Adirondack vinyl log siding is particularly persuasive. It comes in four colors with a cedar grain finish. The vinyl is 7 inches wide and 0.046 inches thick, with outfacing curves to mimic that log-like look. The log siding panels are molded from cedar casts so those details are impressively realistic.
20. Faux Vinyl Log Siding Panels
Your budget for vinyl log siding may be influenced by several factors including style, quality, and UV protection. Thickness is an issue as well. Do you prefer a deep full-log look or the typical half-log effect? The slimmest viable option is quarter cuts, so you’ll have to balance your tastes against your pockets. These exteriors are done in dark, quarter-cut vinyl logs.
21. Crane Siding Vinyl Logs
Mixing materials can help you build a sturdy house within a more reasonable budget. The trick is to use real construction materials for the base of the home then you can cut corners with the finishing. So the foundation needs to be true stone, brick, or concrete. And the structural frames should be wood or metal. But for the exterior siding, vinyl logs are fine.
22. Imitation Log Siding
If you’re a city-dweller, you may wonder why people whine so much about maintaining wooden homes. After all, people have built with wood for centuries! But remember, people didn’t live as long back then, and many communities were seasonal or migrant. So when the house started to rot, you could just move! Try this vinyl log siding instead. It’s way less work.
23. Off-Plan Vinyl Log Siding
There are lots of ways to build a house. Tiny-houses and mobile homes are especially popular among millennials, and zoomers are soon joining that train. So if you have a limited building budget, buy a house plan and use vinyl log siding for the exteriors. That move alone will save you thousands of dollars. Make sure it’s vinyl, not Modulog (fibreboard) or Trulog (steel).
24. Timbermill Vinyl Log Siding
Timbermill is one of the top manufacturers of vinyl log siding. It comes in two colors and four profiles that include shakes, shingles, panels, and logs. The colors will never fade and you can order glossy or matte siding. A clever design choice is to use these plastic logs as an accent and pair them with either uncut stone or vinyl stone siding. Mix the colors as well.
25. Low-End Log Siding (Vinyl)
What are your housing project priorities? Are you focused on cost, visuals, or nasty neighbors? The person that posted this photo had some choice things to say about fake wood panels. But this vinyl log siding looks decent enough. And it’s insulated, so it keeps you warm and cozy. But maybe don’t buy artificial logs if this is your HoA’s Headspace…
26. Modified Forest Home
Woodland properties can be expensive because of all that greenery. But you might also find affordable patches because the seller knows it’s tough to access and construct in such spaces. Not to mention the cost of cutting trees and prepping them for building. So if you want to reproduce this home on the cheap, use corrugated roofing, cedar shake siding, and vinyl logs.
27. Logs On Logs Off
Every piece about vinyl log siding will emphasize how realistic this faux wood looks. Of course, that depends on the brand and price point. Timbermills is the premium vinyl log brand so theirs are quite authentic. In this house, the main house is organic lumber while the dormer shed is cheap vinyl log so here’s the clearest before-and-after you can see. Worth it!
28. Large Scale Siding
When you’re paneling the outside of your home with wooden logs, you have two main worries – cost and maintenance. So you might opt to use fewer logs as an accent. And you may position these accents in hidden areas that are less exposed to the elements. But then no one will see them! So if you want a full-frontal, opt for vinyl wood logs that are priced lower.
29. Modified Cottage Couture
A lot of us love dressing up in retro clothing from the sixties. Or period styling inspired by Downton and Bridgerton. But while some shoppers prefer authentic vintage gowns, others are okay with DIY dresses and costume jewelry. That kind of consumer would love this faux wood cabin. Its vinyl log siding and corrugated roof are overtly synthetic but still gorgeous.
30. Broad Vinyl Profiles
Here’s another example of how you can style a home with Timbermill vinyl log siding. The deeply pitches roof is almost an A-frame and it offers more visual real-estate for your vinyl log siding. The siding runs to the ceiling and is only broken by massive tinted windows. Enjoy your woodland aesthetics without worrying about your bug-and-bird neighbors.
31. Gray and Gorgeous
For our final vinyl log siding sample, check out this home done with Adirondack vinyl logs. Their tone is a pale grey that they market as River Rock, with rich grain detail. The logs are insulated so they’ll work in chilly weather. The French doors let in maximum heat and light, so unlike dark wooden cabins, this synthetic one can access lots of natural light and warmth.
What’s your favorite style of vinyl log siding? Show us some photos in the comments!