How to pick the right location for your cabin

Dreaming of a beautiful and cozy cabin in the woods is something most of us do. Although the idea of having one is fun, deciding where to place it is the most challenging part of the building process.

Each parcel of land has a unique character and identity, and depending on what that is, you chose the location for your cabin. Finding the perfect location can be love at first “site.” Just make sure that you don’t rush the process.



Before you start with the building process, make sure you spend as much time as you can on the property. Get your equipment and gear, and camp out few times on the land. After a while, you will get to know the area and know exactly where to place your cabin.


There was a young couple that camped on their property for five years before deciding where to put their cottage. After five years they found a spot that was warmer than the rest of the parcel. It was more elevated, open, and sheltered from the wind as well. Basically, the ideal conditions for a cabin.

Here are few tips to have in mind when finding the best spot for your dream cabin.

The lay of the ground


Although scenery and views are alluring, you should keep your focus on the ground. Before starting with the construction, make sure you go through these initial questions first:

  • Is the terrain elevated or flat? To build on a horizontal area is way cheaper than building on a slope. On the other hand, a little rise could give you excellent views and location.
  • Trenches or dips? Low-lying areas are usually cold and wet. Building here may result with rotten sills and woodwork, a wet or damp basement, and issues with the septic (waste) system.
  • Are there outcrops? Yes, you can build on a rock, but it will be much more expensive to build the foundation on a rocky terrain.
  • Is there water on the surface? It’s crucial to check if there’s a source of water nearby. If yes, make sure that you check how much it rises throughout the year. You don’t want to have problems with floods or have issues with the water table.
  • What’s the soil like? Your cabin and septic system will need good support and drainage. Make sure that the ground you build on is stable and strong.



Other Factors

Apart from the basic checks on the location and the land, there are few other factors you should consider before you start building your ideal sanctuary.



It’s crucial to know how far from the road you want to be, and how you’ll approach the plot. If you have a steep property, will you approach from above, or bellow? Consider where you and your guests will park vehicles.


Unique features


Make sure that you get familiar with the property, and see if there are any features you want to preserve. There might be beautiful views, meadow songbirds, sunset over the lake, or a mighty tree. Remember what made you fall in love with the site, and make sure you keep that feature. You will want to wake up with the same sounds and sights.



Placing your cabin on the top of a hill or bellow the brow will determinate the soul your home. Make sure that you work with the topography of the site, and try not to change it a lot. Let the topography define the structure of your cabin.



Whatever you do on the site, make sure that you keep the greenery that’s already there. Having your land as much greenery as it can be, will benefit you and your cabin as well. Trees are a good noise reducer, they provide cover for wildlife, act as a natural cover from neighbors, keep the air fresh, collect dust and dirt. Basically, they are your lands best friends and protectors.



Before starting with the construction process, make sure that you do some research. Go to your local planning department and ask about:

  •  Are there any land easements that prevent you from building in that area
  •  Zoning authorizations that regulate ground usage
  •  Minimum distance of the cabin from the parcel lines or shoreline
  •  Regulation on the size of the cabin
  •  Constructions in the future that may block your views



Hopefully, with the tips above you will be able to get your dream cabin in the perfect location. Just remember that a well-placed cabin graces the land, and it takes advantage of the surroundings to keep you cozy.
Make sure you follow this link to read our story on how to turn your dream cabin into a reality.


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tomi-stojanovik is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival