How Often Will I Need to Re-Stain, Re-Chink, Re-Caulk or Re-Finish My Log Home?

Before or after buying your log home there are certain things every log homeowner should know. Some things might be open for debate but one thing is for sure, your log home will require attention. This doesn’t mean that you will spend all of your waking hours staining, caulking, sealing, chinking, re-caulking, re-chinking and re-sealing. It does mean that you will need to pay attention to your log home like you might pay attention to your car. Below you will find some helpful tips and information to guide you through owning a log home.

  1. Have realistic expectations for the maintenance on your log home. There will be some.
  2. Set up a routine log home maintenance schedule.
  3. Follow a routine log home maintenance schedule.
  4. Apply log stain when your log home needs it. Remember you get what you pay for most of the time. Good log home stains are not cheap but you will save you money in the long run.
  5. Good log home stains will offer about 3 years of protection on the southern exposure of your log home and 4 years of protection on the other sides of your home. These figures are just estimates and will vary depending on a number of factors.
  6. Expect to caulk or chink your log home at some point.
  7. Some log homes require more chinking, caulking and stain than others
  8. Almost all log homes require some chinking or caulking whether it be in the horizontal log joints, the corners of the logs or around your window bucks.
  9. As we mentioned earlier, the better the log stain material the less stain maintenance your logs will require.
  10. Design your log home with maintenance in mind. Remember the less exposure your logs take the less maintenance they will require.
  11. Square logs weather better than round logs.
  12. Log home chinking can be used for aesthetic purposes or as a weather-tite barrier.
  13. Log home caulking should typically blend in with your logs. Conceal caulking by Sashco sets itself apart from all competitors.
  14. Some water based log stain materials are very good while others are very bad.
  15. Some oil based log stain materials are very bad while others are very good.
  16. Your log home stains should be compatible with your log chinking and your log home caulking materials.
  17. The preferred time to maintain your log structure is typically during the summer.
  18. Remember you log home is a dream home. Don’t forget to treat it like one.

Log Home Books for Building a Log Cabin Home Original

Are you looking for a log home book? Having one or more of the best log home books handy can be an important part of creating and building a dream log cabin home original. It takes knowledge to design and build a log cabin home original. A quality log home design book can help make your home become a reality.

Your log home design book should provide you with information required to make your dream happen. Another criteria should be that the book should be a best-seller that is written by an industry professional. Here are two of the best books covering log home design and building:

Log Construction Manual: The Ultimate Guide to Building Handcrafted Log Homes by Robert Wood Chambers.

This log home book is an important guide for those who are going to build this type of structure. It covers the design and construction process to help you get organized. The author provides information on shopping for kits, finding your land, estimating how much construction will cost, obtaining financing, choosing a builder and overseeing construction. Numerous checklists and forms are provided for your personal use.

This book may be the best log home book ever. The illustrations are great and the text is objective and factual. The approach by the author is presented as the best way he found to do a particular job. If he finds someone doing it a better way in the future, he will begin doing it that way in the future.

The author explains how to build a log cabin home original. From planning for settling to the proper chainsaw stance when cutting a lateral groove in a log, he tells you how to do it correctly. If your goal is to learn the most practical information in one log home book, this is the book to select. It is the best written instruction guide for creating a log cabin home original that you will find.

The author is a writer who can explain complex tasks in everyday English. Even if you have little experience in log cabin home original building, you really do have a chance to be able to try the techniques on wood correctly after reading this book. No matter if you are hiring someone to build your log cabin home original, this is an informative construction book to have.

The other informative log home book is titled Log Homes Made Easy: Contracting and Building Your Own Log Home by Jim Cooper.

Cooper explains that these buildings are products of modern engineering and building methods and their rustic nature requires a combination of knowledge plus experience to build correctly. He knows what he is writing about as he has been both a log home builder and dealer. And yes, he lives in one that he built himself.

The author gives practical information on the steps for starting, organizing and comparing price quotes, using the internet, selecting an architect, planning the site, the well and septic systems, choosing and overseeing subcontractors, scheduling and controlling project costs. This guide to building a log cabin home original covers kits, financing and construction. The author also explains the myths and realities of living in these homes.

It does not matter whether you will be doing none of the work, some of it or all of it. The how-to approach provided by these building guides are the best you will find. You absolutely want a log home book that is useful and practical.

Learn as much as you can before taking the plunge. Having a comfortable, attractive and functional log cabin home original that reflects your own style means you will have a very special place to enjoy for many years to come.

Copyright 2007 InfoSearch Publishing

Build a Handcrafted Log Cabin For Under $50,000 – A Log Home Guide For the Do-it-Yourselfer

Do you dream of owning your own log home or cabin?

Living in a mountain retreat, lakeside resort, or country ranch lifestyle, is continuing to grow in popularity. Studies show that people who trade their urban lifestyle for a simpler, less stressful natural setting, where they can relax more often, are also living healthier lives, and actually live longer as a result!

In recent years many of us are embracing this lifestyle as never before. But… Many of today’s custom log cabin owners have become frustrated with the cost and length of time it takes to build their home. One would think that modern methods should reflect shorter construction times, but custom log homes today, on average, do take longer to build. This is due in part to some proven methods that cannot be improved upon, going back in history to European craftsmanship, skills, and techniques still used today in the effort required to properly build a quality custom home built to last. This approach requires patience from the homeowner, but can lend itself to a beautiful dream home, with high quality of craftsmanship.

This is the standard of quality that folks today expect, but it comes with a price. You can avoid the higher cost of building a custom log cabin by doing most of the work yourself. It is possible to build a 1200 to 1500 sq. ft. Log Cabin for under $50,000 (land not included)

The right approach requires thought, creativity, and an efficient, yet patient application of skills, but can be very rewarding due to the custom nature of a handcrafted home. Comparing a log construction time frame, with that of a Custom, stick-frame home, is misleading.

Log Homes of equal square footage will always take a bit longer to build on average. A log builder with a good crew should be able to properly dry-in an average size milled D-style home in less than three months, after the log package has been delivered to the building site. A “Hybrid” (Log Accents & Stick Frame Construction), should take a little less time to dry-in. A do-it-yourselfer building a handcrafted home will take 6 to 8 months on a part-time building schedule, but you will be continuously saving a ton of money.

After dry-in is completed, it could take from 3-5 months longer to finish or “turnkey” a milled style home or a “Hybrid”. These time frames could be even longer if you are building a handcrafted log home. The handcrafted cabin is the most time consuming style of construction, but is widely accepted as the “Ultimate” in a unique one of a kind log cabin. Weather, commute to the site, suppliers, building inspectors, or other factors can change this guideline. So… prepare yourself for this journey, and you will ultimately enjoy the rewarding experience of your own log home Lifestyle, with your own design and tastes, in the home you really want and can afford to enjoy.

How much does it cost to build a log home?

With this in mind… building a log cabin does not have to cost a fortune to become reality. If you choose to do most of the work yourself, you can probably build your home for as little as $45 per sq. ft. On the other hand, if you have all the work done by a builder, and purchase upscale fixtures and features, it could cost $250 per sq. ft. or more.

Although to suggest a certain price per square foot is only a guideline/starting point, I do think that an affordable custom log home without an owners participation can be built for around $110.00 – 150.00 per sq. ft… That is, if you don’t go hog wild!

Bear in mind that depending on where you are at, you will always realize a larger home equity when you are building it yourself from scratch!

Tips for Building the Best Log Cabins

Building a log cabin may be your best idea yet. There are so many great things you can achieve with this. There are tricks and secrets that can help you come up with the very best construction for all your needs. Some of the things to consider include:

Keep logs dry

It is important to ensure that you use materials that are dry to a certain level. When the moisture content is lower, then settling is not an issue and you will not need the settling jacks. The design should also include roof overhangs that are long, good landscaping and decks need to be covered soon after construction. The overhangs need to be around 3 feet. Also, avoid sprinkler systems being too close to the completed cottage.

Design

This is another important thing to consider. The design allows you to get the most out of the home. It also aids in any future maintenance needs as well as energy efficiency. As much as this is important, you need one that you can afford. Consider this as you make a choice. You need a design that is prudent. The overhangs should be large. In addition, the very first course needs to be some feet from the ground. The grade should slope from the house.

Plan

Everything has to be planned well, so as to ensure all factors are considered. When you make all considerations early, maintaining the home will not be that hard. If the house is exposed to the sun too much, then it may need re-finish/re-stain more often. When exposed to a lot of moisture, then you will have to deal with wood decay sooner than later. It is, therefore, necessary to plan, so as to protect the home from the elements. Moisture and sun should be kept off, by all means if you want a house that will serve you for a long time.

Choose the right manufacturer

One of the things to consider is who will make the house for you. As you are choosing, do not think of the price alone. Each company has its own quality standards as well as completeness level. It helps to know exactly what you are bargaining for by getting a very detailed quote/estimate. You should then make a decision based on this.

The company should have the highest level of integrity and they should deliver on all the promises that they make. They should use materials that are of the highest quality and they should also be able to offer you advice based on their personal experiences as well as knowledge. The information provided should also be articulate enough for you to make the most sensible decision and achieve your dream home. Reputation is very important.

The site

It is important to select the best site for the construction. As stated earlier, protecting the cabin from the elements is important. Therefore, you need to select the ideal site for the construction. Determine the direction of the sun and wind.

Always go for a home that fits your lifestyle. Make it unique as possible. This is one of the best ways in which you can define yourself.

10 Tips For Building Your First Log Home

For some, the idea of building a log home elicits romantic dreams of a return to nature and a simpler way of life but for others it conjures up nightmares of budget overages, poor quality work and absent customer service. While there is no way guarantee an absolutely trouble free build of your log home there are certain steps you can take to minimize the risk and in the process save you some money. Below are 10 tips to help you avoid the pitfall of log home construction;

1. “You get what you pay for” there is no secret here the lower the price the less that is included in your “package” This is true for materials and service.

2. Only buy quality materials- keep in mind that the log package which usually includes the walls, support beams, and roof beams is the only portion of the house that cannot be retro-fitted at a later date. Always buy the highest quality materials you can afford. The best materials for log home construction( in descending order) are Cedar, Fir, Spruce, Pine

3. Deal with reputable a reputable company- make sure the company you are dealing with is legitimate- stay away from offers that are too good to be true. Visit the log home company’s construction site and look around- Is the machinery in good shape? Are the crew members respectable looking? Is the owner present? Are they insured? A reputable company will answer yes to all these.

4. The contract. A good reputable log home company will have a good contract that clearly details exactly what is and what is not included in its package. Be wary of a company that has a vague contract which does not include details.

5. Be prepared to pay- You won’t get something for nothing. If you grind the company too much on the price they will grind you on the quality or service. Keep in mind that “they have to eat too” and that building a log home requires large amounts of expensive materials and labour. Before you interview builders determine you budget for the log shell and the overall home. This may require price shopping on your behalf but remember if the price you get seems to good to be true then it probably is.

6. Be flexible- building a log home requires a skilled labour force that is in short supply. If you can be flexible with your delivery date you can usually negotiate a better price.

7. Financing- financing log homes is a little different than regular construction because you will be required to pay for the log shell prior to delivery. This can be 30% of the overall cost of your home and some “un-educated” mortgage companies will not release funds until certain milestones are reached. This can put you in a tight situation where the builder won’t ship the home until he is paid but the lender won’t release the money until the log shell is re-assembled. Your best course of action here to ensure smooth and timely delivery is to ether arrange bridge financing or deal with a mortgage company that specializes in log homes- they are out there and they understand the process. Failure to do so could result in penalties or even storage fees until you can arrange financing.

8. Be ready for delivery- nothing could be worse than not having your foundation and or jobsite ready for the delivery of the log shell. This means that the foundation is finished, backfilled, and the site is accessible. Do not overlook the seriousness of this as most builders have it written into their contract that if the site is not accessible or ready then they are under no obligation to deliver the log shell and instead will off-load it at an accessible location and then leave. Be sure that if you are supplying the crane that it is suitable for the job and that the operator is competent and has the skill as a slow and incompetent crane operator can cost you a lot of money.

9. A good contractor- finding a good contractor who will finish the home is where your budget is “make or break”. Do not automatically assume that your contractor shares your same vision and budget constraints. It is imperative that you stay close to the project and make you contractor stick to your budget. If you contractor seems to be spinning his wheels or is absent or keeps coming up with more hidden costs don’t be afraid to fire him- its your money and he works for you not the other way around.

10. HAVE FUN. Enjoy the whole process. Along the way you will meet many great people if you let them in. Log homes, from the builder on up attract a certain type of warm and hospitable person and you will become life long friends with these people because after all you are all working on something more than just a home you are all working on a dream- your dream so enjoy it as much as you can.

Tips For Building a Log Home

Log homes have a long and valued tradition in the United States and other countries, and despite our modern age, they’ve never really gone out of style. In fact, they’re more popular today than ever. In our busy stressful lives, more and more people want a first home, vacation home, or retirement home that’s off on a piece of land of their own, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. If this sounds appealing to you, and you’re seriously thinking of taking the plunge and building a log home, let’s talk about some tips that can save you time and money.

First off, buy the land on which you’re going to build. Do this before you make a commitment to a log home manufacturer or decide on a particular design. Often the lay of the land will dictate the best way to go about building a home on it. (And going against the lay of the land will only cost you money and trouble.)

Second, have a realistic idea of how much the total project will cost before you sign up for a log home package. What they quote you for the kit and what the actual costs will be are going to be a lot different. To get a feel for how much more you’ll end up paying once labor and non-kit necessities are included, talk to builders, contractors, and other homeowners who have built a log home. Don’t be afraid to ask the manufacturers how much actual costs tend to run in your area.

Whether you’re browsing kits or planning to have an architect design your dream home, keep a scrapbook of pictures and clippings in the months leading up to your purchase. Trying to say everything you want in words can be difficult, but if you can point to a picture and say “do the kitchen like that and the bathroom like that…” you’ll be more likely to get the home of your dreams. Don’t be afraid to spend months in the planning process, considering everything, before actually committing to a design.

Before you buy, check references. Look for a log home manufacturer that is a member in an organization such as the Log Homes Council. This means they have a comprehensive construction manual and have agreed to hold up to certain log-grading standards.

Make sure you’ve taken care of financing before starting construction (and make sure that financing will cover the cost of the whole project–there are too many tales of partially finished log homes out there that have been abandoned because the erstwhile builders ran out of money). Some home buyers with disposable income will start the process paying out of pocket and then try to get a construction loan when they run out of cash. This is a bad idea, since lenders usually refuse to loan money on construction that is in progress.

Make sure you understand the manufacturer’s terms of purchase and that your financing covers those terms. Especially pay attention to the time period of the agreement (and what happens if you exceed the time limit). Examine the refund and warranty policies.

Keep these tips in mind as you think about your future log home. Plan copiously and don’t rush. This way you’ll be more likely to survive the building process and get the home of your dreams.

Choosing a Log Home Floor Plan That is Right For You

You made your decision; you are finally going to build that log home. Not just any log home, but that special creation you've held in your mind's eye for so many years. You have walked on those hardwood floors, gazed out from behind those oversized picture windows, cooked dinner, curled up by the fire, and even slept in that special home – using that vivid imagination of yours. Oh yeah, you've been dreaming about your log home for a long time, and you have finally decided to make your dream become your reality.

Got land? Before you spend too much time browsing floor plan possibilities, you need to know where that home will be built. Not all floor plan designs are suited for all building sites. For instance, a walk-out basement typically requires a home being built on a slope or recessed into a hillside. Additionally, some plans are designed to take advantage of the home's location relative to sunlight so even if you already own your land, you will want to know where and how your home will be positioned on your property. Once you have an idea of ​​where those logs will be stacked it's time to figure out what that stack needs to look like.

Now the fun begins, and the first order of business is to choose the right floor plan that is consistent with the home you have pictured in your mind's eye – and the property on which it will be built. Odds are you'll probably not open a magazine by chance and stumble upon a floor plan that has occupied your dreams all these years. Choosing a plan and refining the design to meet your needs will require some research, self-introspection and creative inspiration.

By and large, almost any residential floor plan can be adapted to a log home, but there are substantial differences and considerations that need to be addressed. One such example is that of room dimensions as they relate to the diameter of the logs you will be utilizing. A custom handcrafted home made from 20 "diameter logs will have a different footprint than one requiring 6" milled logs. If this is the first time you will be dealing with a log home manufacturer or architect, make sure you are comparing 'apples to apples' when discussing interior dimensions. If you want a room to be 14 'wide, make certain that your designer knows that you want the interior of the room to have 14' of open clearance and not measured from the center of the corresponding logs. Using the example above, your 14 'room could shrink to 12' if such presumptions are not understood.

A floor plan is about space deployment, or more specifically, the space you want (or need) for family members, guests, pets, entertaining and basic household operations (ie cooking, dining, laundry, storage, etc.). Furthermore, it is easy to overlook space requirements for many things we take for granted such as hobbies, displaying collections and other family activities. Try to anticipate as many of your family's needs as possible and expand your floor plan to accommodate your desires.

Once you have identified this all-encompassing 'wish list' you will almost certainly find yourself over budget. If money is no object – no problem, but if that Lotto jackpot has so far eluded you there are things you can do to bring that budget back in line. The most obvious and often least expensive way of doubling your floor space is to make use of the basement. A properly designed and finished basement is the perfect place to have a spare guest bedroom, home theater, hobby or play rooms, additional bathroom (s), laundry facilities or a home office.

One of the best tips about using a basement for additional living space is to raise the ceiling. Adding an extra foot (or more) in the height of your basement ceiling is much less expensive than adding an additional floor or expanding the overall floor plan, and the added height will eliminate that closed-in feeling you get with so many basements.

Adding or enlarging dormers is another way of capturing space from a second story or loft that is framed by a sloping roof line. You will be surprised how a well-positioned dormer can make a small loft appear much larger and provide vertical walls to accept seating, bookcases or tables that usually will not work with a conventional knee wall.

It is also a good idea to keep a list of things that you don't like; things you may have seen in a magazine or noted when visiting other log homes. Some of the most frequent complaints one hears about log homes, especially older models, is the lack of storage space and small closets or bathrooms. This is most often the result of poor planning or not taking into consideration the diameter of log walls and the lack of attics in most log homes. Refer to your list when discussing details with your designer and remember that in most cases you cannot build a closet or a bathroom that is too large.

These are just a few ideas that can help you choose and refine a floor plan to fit your lifestyle and accommodate your family's needs. Your log home company or architect will have many ideas that you may not have considered so encourage them to offer suggestions. Explain what you are trying to achieve and let their experience and knowledge guide you, but in the end, this is your floor plan.

Helping people design the log home of their dreams was the inspiration behind the Log Home Directory's "Floor Plan Showcase" . Visitors now have an opportunity to browse as many as ten floor plans form each featured log home manufacturer without visiting dozens of different websites. These leading manufacturers display their most popular floor plans with descriptions, photos or renderings and links to additional information on their individual websites.