The Log Blog by Appalachian Log Structures

Making the grade - log home buying basics

Posted on Mon, Oct 3, 2011 @ 01:55 PM

log home gradeAll building codes require grade stamped materials for structural members that are used in residential and commercial construction. A new construction standard has been developed that is specific to log home wall construction. The International Code Council (ICC) 400-2007 Standard on the Design and Construction of Log Structures, states that “all logs used in the construction of log homes shall be stress graded and identified by the grade mark issued by an accredited log agency.”  The slope of grain, knots per foot and soft knots can weaken a log's structural strength. You may be able to get less expensive logs from a sawmill or log home manufacturer that doesn't grade, but you don't have the assurance that these logs will perform under the stress load of your completed home. Grading also looks for issues such as decay, checks and insect issues. And it's important to keep in mind that these criteria should not only apply to logs used in the walls, but for ridge beams, purlins, rafters—all structural wood components.

This grade stamp assures buyers that the logs that they are purchasing have met the code requirements and are allowed to be used in the construction of that residential or commercial log home project. Using graded logs not only assures you that you are building "legally" anywhere in the US, it gives you the knowledge of the likelihood of the performance of your logs over time. And, it gives you the ability to determine the value you are getting-the price versus quality comparison.

Appalachian Log Structures, Inc. (ALSI) has been providing quality grade stamped logs to our customers for 30 years.  Our graders have been certified and trained by Timber Product Inspection (TPI), the industry leader in inspection services.

Insist on a visual grade stamp to insure that your logs will meet this Standard when building a new log home!

Tags: log home, log homes, log cabin home, log home kits