Initially, all huts were log cabins. Our ancestors built from what was at hand, and there were always a lot of forests in Russia. A small log house with one room, that is, four walls and a stove, or rather, a hearth in the center – that’s the whole hut. Moreover, such structures were often dug into the ground, becoming semi-dugouts, because our ancestors worried about the preservation of heat in winter. Let us remind you that at first the huts were smoked, heated without a chimney.
The floors in the huts were earthen. In general, the design of the traditional Russian log house was gradually improved. Window openings appeared, which initially did not exist, a semblance of a foundation, hearths were displaced by stoves with chimneys.
It should be noted that Russian huts were very different depending on the region. This is understandable, because in the southern regions the requirements for housing were slightly different, and the materials were found completely different from those in the northern latitudes..
It is customary to distinguish the simplest four-walled huts, huts with a fifth wall, which divided the interior space into an upper room and a canopy, cross-huts, which were distinguished by a hip roof, six-walled huts.
The porch became an invariable part of the hut later, but today even modern Russian houses rarely do without this small open extension, which became the prototype of much more spacious open terraces and glazed but unheated verandas.
It is very difficult to imagine a Russian hut without a yard. Usually this is a whole complex of outbuildings that had a very different purpose. At a distance from the hut there could be sheds for storing firewood and tools, a cattle shed, a barn, a stable. In the northern part of our country, there were covered yards, which united this complex of outbuildings under one roof, allowing you to get into the barn without fear of rain and snow.
Traditionally, huts were built from spruce, pine and larch, because the trunk of conifers met all the requirements, was tall, slender, and amenable to processing with an ax. At the same time, old and diseased trees were not cut down for building a house – only for firewood, high-quality logs were required for a residential building. For the roof, they used a hew or shingle; in the southern regions, straw or reeds often went to the roof.
The interior, if this word is appropriate in relation to the hut, which was mainly of a practical nature, of course, was simple, but the decor elements were still present. For example, an embroidered towel on the icon in the “red” corner, carved details. But the hut was very far from the abundance of decorative elements of the Russian estate..
The Russian stove could occupy a very solid part of the main room, where they cooked food, and ate with the whole family, and slept, and talked. If for modern houses the Russian stove is, rather, a whim, then in the hut it became the center of the whole life of a large family.
The modern log house can be called a descendant of the traditional Russian hut. This is always an attractive option for building a house, albeit more expensive than the “frame”, but solid and solid.