cabin vs cottage vs camp vs lakehouse-- what's the difference?

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cabin vs cottage vs camp vs lakehouse-- what's the difference?

  • I am a new owner!  The family, and apparently the county, calls our new place a CAMP.  It is not winter-ready in a land of 6-foot snowfalls. 

    My husband is worried about ever doing a teardown/rebuild because he thinks it will affect our taxes, especially if we winterize.

    So, whaddayathink:  what defines a cabin (is it wooden?) or a camp (is it summer-only?) or a cottage (is it fancy and southern-located?)

    It would be fun to hear what you think-- 

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  • Definitions and interpretations are opinions, allow me to give you mine. Lets start with what I consider a camp. A camp to me entails no plumbing, an outhouse and limited if any electricity by conventional or unconventional means. It is the most rustic of get-a-ways which has a large appeal to many.

    A cabin is 3 season with plumbing, electricity  and modern conveniences like fully operating kitchens.

    Cabins can be converted to year round homes but would take time and money to do so. Insulation, furnace, AC usually are not in most 3 season cabins.

    Cottages are fully functional year round homes with every modern convenience at your disposal, the only difference between a Lake Home and a Cottage is one is on a Lake.

    So there is my humble opinion, remember there will be a million other interpretations and opinions that will differ from mine.

    What is important to remember is your Get - A- Way no matter what you call it is you piece of paradise on earth. Enjoy it to the max. Big Smile


    If you are lucky enough to live on the water, you are lucky enough.

    Lake Living Is Living At Its Best!!!!!!!!

  • We have a log cabin in northern New Hampshire. It is approximately 1,000 square feet and it has heat, hot water and indoor plumbing.  We use it year round.  We call it the cabin or "camp" because that's what the locals call them.  A camp is any place that you go to that isn't your primary home, especially if it is in the Great North Woods of New Hampshire.  Some of the "camps" up here are nicer and bigger than our home in Connecticut.  I think camps started out as little tiny rustic sporting camps but have evolved into any home away from home used for recreation purposes.

  • P.S.  I still refer to anything on a lake as a cottage.  Even a cute little house in town that looks "cottagey" to me would be called a cottage.  A cottage can be on the ocean, too.   I've never used the term lakehouse.  Maybe it's not a New England thing.

  • What's interesting is that the local real estate agencies in northern New Hampshire have listings for "camps".  Sometimes the "camp" listings are also repeated in the "residential" section.  So these are probably 4-season camps which can also be used as a primary home.  It's fun to go on-line and check them out.  It's interesting to see what's out there, even though we're not looking to sell or buy because we love our place.  It's not on a lake but it's in a rural area with great views, it's next to the snowmobile trails and also close to town.

  • as a kid, my grandparents 2.5 season place was a "camp".  I have a lakehouse.  The camp was in NH, the lakehouse is in Ga, not sure if that is the difference though.

  • We have a 3 season "camp" on a lake here in NH. It has plumbing and a kitchen but no insulation and looks like what I would consider a small cottage but we call it camp. I think that is the most commonly used term here in NH so it may be what is common regionally as to what your place is called.

  • I think the definitions depend on where you are. In Alaska I believe a camp is a tent or structure that is taken apart after the summer season.  A cabin is a building or structure that is left up year around with or without plumbing or electricity even if you don't use it year around. A cottage would be similar to a second or small home complete with the works.  That is my food for thought.

  • We agree with CabinlifeAK - what it's called often depends on where you are from! Check out this article:

  • And I refer to mine as a Chalet because of the style of the A-frame house!

  • I too have The Perfect Ski Chalet on The Perfect Lake



    If you are lucky enough to live on the water, you are lucky enough.

    Lake Living Is Living At Its Best!!!!!!!!