We believe that everyone deserves to live in their dream home. At the forefront of the tiny home movement

Cottage vs Cabin – What’s the difference?

Cottage vs Cabin – What’s the difference?

Fall and autumn are probably the best seasons to rent a vacation home, most likely between Cottage vs Cabin, and watch the leaves change – away from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life.

Both of the abodes, Cottage vs Cabin, offer the peace and quiet that most hotels failed to do. These places are mostly hidden away from roads and highways, nestled in tranquil natural scenery.

Whether you are stuck on which vacation home to get – a cottage vs cabin – or simply wondering the difference between the two, we have you covered! First, let’s define a cabin and a cottage.

What is a Cabin?

These two houses, Cottage vs Cabin, are both attractive options. But what is a cabin? A cabin is a small shelter, usually made of wood, situated in a wild or remote area. It came from the French word cabane, which means “small house or habitation.”

The earliest recorded history of cabins dates back to the Bronze Age and the Roman Empire at about 3500 BC. These old cabins are made of logs and have their roots in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Later on, the log cabin designs also swept over Asia and the western hemisphere.

cabin in the woods

A city in Belarus called Gomel is where the earliest known square log cabins stood. Historians believed that it was built during the 1100s.

People found cabins extremely simple to construct as they only required no more than an ax and saw. As a result, some Americans started building their cabins with timber, which later became a well-known architectural choice during the 1700s. 

Aside from those made of logs, there are also cabin designs for modern vacationers. Some of these are stick-built cabins, modular cabins, and relocatable cabins.

What is a Cottage?

A cottage is a small house usually used for vacation. Dictionary.com defines a cottage as a modest house at a lake or mountain resort owned or rented during holidays. The word “cottage” is derived from Old French cote, which means “hut.”

Cottages usually carry the impression of being an old-fashioned building. However, the appearances and uses of a cottage have significantly changed over time.

cottage vs cabin

In the Medieval period, cottages were built using the cheapest locally available materials. For instance, wheat-growing farmers use thatch as a roof, while stone-rich areas use rubble stone.

By their definition, we can already distinguish between Cottage vs Cabin. A cabin is usually made from woods or logs, while a cottage could come from several materials. 

Fast forward today, the modern definition of a cottage represents a vacation residence located near countryside waterfronts. They have become holiday homes and are now common in resorts instead of residential places.

Cottage vs Cabin: The Difference

Now that we know the definition of Cottage vs Cabin, we must also understand that they carry different qualities and aesthetics you may want to consider to make the most of your stay. Hence, let’s learn the difference between a Cottage vs Cabin.


Cabins and cottages have similar appearances but only differ in their size and purpose.

Cabins are enclosed houses that are much smaller than cottages. Most cabins only have a single room and could fit two or three people. They have an unfinished and crude look. 

A cottage is much bigger and has a furnished look. They are more sophisticated houses and could fit an entire family.


Cabins are solely made of logs or wood. However, modern cabins are now made of shipping containers but are designed to retain the “rustic feel.”

Pine and cedar are among the most commonly used wood species for log cabins in America. Meanwhile, Redwood and Douglas Fir are the ones used in Europe and Australia.

Meanwhile, cottages are made up of various materials like sod, stones, mud, wood, and bricks.


If you decide which one to choose between, Cottage vs Cabin, know that these houses are constructed in spaces surrounded by nature.

Cabins are usually built in the middle of woods, up the mountains, or on grasslands. 

A cottage usually overlooks bodies of water like lakes, waterfalls, and beaches. This is because most resorts build cottages instead of modern hotels.


Cabins do not have modern facilities like water and electricity. People who use cabins spend most of their time outside and need a space to take shelter, especially at night.

Cottages may have bigger rooms and are adequately furnished. They have modern facilities like running water and electricity. They can also have dedicated rooms for the kitchen, toilet, and shower.


In comparing the cost between Cottage vs Cabin, cabins are generally cheaper than cottages as they are only made of wood. Depending on the type of wood and your region, full logs can cost from $1.00 to $5.00 per square foot.

Meanwhile, cottages can be constructed using a variety of materials. For example, you may opt for a brick and stone cottage, a wooden cottage, or a concrete one.

Concretes cost $3 to $12 per square foot, depending on the type and where you bought it. They are much more robust and have noise-canceling properties. Brick cottages have high resistance against fire, snow, and even molds. A single brick typically costs $0.50 – $0.60.


Though Cottage vs Cabin may have their unique features and differences, you may want to consider making the most out of them. Some of these include the appearance, material, location, facilities, and the cost of building one.

In choosing between Cottage vs Cabin, you should consider how you will be using them. The location of the building can also play a significant role in selecting between the two.

A cottage would best suit your needs if you plan to spend most of your time in it and is located near bodies of water for recreation and relaxation purposes. However, cabins are better choices if you are looking for a more rustic and natural environment. Cottage vs Cabin can be very confusing when it comes to their differences, but you only need to consider the location of each building depending on your needs.

2 thoughts on “Cottage vs Cabin – What’s the difference?
  1. Practical Benefits of a Shed Home - Stunning Tiny Homes and Modulars

    […] homes, like their cousins, tiny houses, and cabins, are now prevalent choices for people who advocate a cost-effective, minimalistic way of living. […]

    September 9, 2021 Reply
  2. Can Relocatable Homes Victoria Prevent House Building Delay

    […] great thing one should realize is tiny homes such as granny flats, cabins, and relocatable homes now have endless creation, design, and construction to choose from. […]

    December 25, 2021 Reply
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.