As people continue to seek the serene lifestyle of country living, log cabins and timber frame homes are gaining in popularity. United Country Real Estate offers a wide variety of log and timber home packages including a number of hybrid cabins which combine both log and timber elements.
Regardless of the type of cabin you select, there are a few key decisions to be made. These include:
Choosing Your Logs
The logs you use to build your log cabin will have a huge impact on the finished structure and how it stands up to the elements. Deciding which wood to use can come down to several factors; appearance, cost, R-value, stability/sturdiness and fungus resistance.
Choosing the best logs for your building will help ensure that it can stand up to the elements and last for many years. Using the right timber will also increase the overall quality of your building and the look of your home.
There are many different types of timber available, but the most common choice for log cabins is cedar. Cedar is one of the most durable and long-lasting materials available, and it can be stained to create a variety of different looks. Another popular option is spruce. It’s less expensive than cedar and has similar qualities, but it has a slightly lighter color. Fir is another option, but it’s not as long-lasting or durable as some other materials. Fir has a high shrinkage rate and lacks resistance to fungus or insects, so it requires more maintenance than other types of timber.
Logs can be purchased from a variety of places, but the best way to find quality timber is to visit a company that sells locally sourced logs. Purchasing logs from local sources will reduce the amount of transport costs and help ensure that your log cabin will be strong and sturdy.
It’s important to choose the right log length for your home. Generally speaking, longer logs are better because they can be used to construct taller walls. However, it’s not always easy to find logs of the desired length, and it can be difficult to handle them during the construction process.
Once you’ve selected the type of logs you want to use in your log cabin, it’s time to start searching for the perfect ones for your project. It’s important to choose high-quality logs that are straight and consistent in size. They should have few knots and a smooth surface, which will make them easier to work with.
Shrinkage and Checking
Log cabins are always in a state of settling as the logs expand and contract to match the humidity levels of their environment. This can cause a variety of problems including shrinkage, which can cause gaps between the logs. This problem can be alleviated by having a large roof overhang that keeps moisture in contact with the logs to a minimum and prevents it from getting into areas of the logs where it shouldn’t be. This will also reduce the amount of chinking and daubing that is required to fill the gaps.
Another way to minimize shrinkage is by using older, slow-growing logs. This will offer natural resistance to fungus and insects, as well as a much lower rate of shrinkage. Cedar wood is one of the most popular materials for log homes as it offers great decay resistance but it does have to be kiln-dried to prevent warping. Hemlock is also a common choice but it doesn’t provide the same level of protection against insects and fungus as cedar. Spruce is another option but it does have a high rate of shrinkage and needs to be kiln-dried as well. Oak is a highly durable material that has good resistance to fungus and insect but it must be treated as well to protect it from the elements.
All types of timber can be used for log cabins but you need to consider all of the advantages and disadvantages before making a decision. You want to ensure that the wood you choose has a high R-value or U-value as this will help make your home more energy efficient. You also need to take into consideration whether the wood you choose can withstand the weather conditions where you live as some logs are better suited to some climates than others. For example, hemlock is ideal for colder climates but it’s not suitable for humid conditions as it’s prone to splitting and can warp under pressure. Other woods that are more tolerant of the weather include pine (white and yellow), cypress, spruce, and redwood. However, you should keep in mind that all of these types of logs are susceptible to settling and shrinkage.
Log homes are a symbol of American history and bring the natural world inside. Their exposed timber and cozy spaces make them a favorite among homeowners seeking relaxation and serenity. However, not all log cabins are created equal. When choosing logs, consider how they’re crafted and what types of joinery are used. This will determine the quality of your home and its longevity.
Traditionally, log cabins were constructed without the use of nails. Rather, they relied on careful notching to keep the walls together and a chinking or daubing process to seal the gaps between the logs. This approach is still commonly used today, but advances in milling and chinking products have made it less critical to use hand tools to complete the process.
To make sure your log cabin lasts, look for kiln-dried wood. This process increases the durability of the logs, making them more resistant to insects and fungus. You’ll also want to choose a type of wood that is rot-resistant. Pine is a popular choice for log cabins, but there are many varieties. Yellow pine has the most decay resistance, while white pine is more susceptible to warping and shrinkage. Cedarwood is another common option, but it can be more expensive than pine or yellow pine.
Round logs can be joined using various types of joinery, including dovetail corners and saddle-notch joints. For dovetail joinery, the notches are cut at an angle and interlocked to create a tight fit. For this type of joinery, you’ll need logs that are at least 8 feet long. Saddle-notch joinery uses a V-shaped notch in the top of one log and a matching notch in the bottom of another. This type of joinery requires logs that are at least 12 feet long. While it’s possible to use smaller logs, they will be more difficult to work with and require more notching and chinking to seal the gaps. As a result, they may not be as strong or durable as round logs.
During the construction of a log home, it’s important to consider how it will be finished. The right finishes and sealants help protect the logs, minimize air infiltration and keep the energy efficiency of the structure high. In addition, the right type of finish also helps protect against pests such as carpenter ants.
Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, the choice of finishing will impact the cost of the cabin as well as the amount of maintenance required. For example, a stained or painted finish will be less costly and more durable than a natural wood finish.
Other factors that will influence the price of a log cabin include the size, shape and location of the structure as well as zoning regulations and planning laws in the area. A larger structure may require more extensive foundation work and a higher level of structural engineering than a smaller cabin.
One of the best types of logs to use for a cabin is cypress. This wood is hardy and strong, and it resists rot, insects and fungus. However, it’s important to note that cypress logs must be milled correctly in order to access the heartwood. This is because the sapwood of a cypress tree is very light in color, almost white, while the heartwood can range from a yellow brown to a dark reddish brown.
Another thing to consider when choosing the logs for your cabin is their age. Older logs are better able to resist insects, fungus and shrinkage. This is because they have more heartwood, which is naturally resistant to these issues. Additionally, older logs are typically more stable because they’ve had time to mature.
In addition to choosing the proper logs for your log home, it’s important to choose an experienced construction company. This will minimize the risk of shrinkage, cracking and warping while ensuring that your logs are properly cared for during and after the construction process. In addition, an experienced builder will know how to avoid the potential pitfalls that can lead to problems down the road. For example, they’ll ensure that your logs are dried and treated before installation to prevent fungus and mold from growing inside the logs and causing damage later on.