The Log Blog by Appalachian Log Structures

We're More Than a Producer of Log Homes!

Posted on Thu, Nov 1, 2012 @ 01:40 PM

Log AccentsMost people think of Appalachian Log Structures as a producer of log cabin homes, but we're SO much more than that.

In the past few years there has been a resurgence of remodel, repair and restoration of existing homes and log homes.  In addition, there has been an increasing interest in hybrid homes which are those structures built using different building techniques like log walls with timber frame roof components or a conventional frame home with timber frame accents. 

As a mill that produces wood items, we've been busy making these types of products (not necessarily log walls) for just such projects for years. 

Recently we had a client interested in using some of our timber frame materials for his conventional framed house.  They liked the look of the heavy timbers for the 2nd floor framing as well as the exposed heavy timber rafters and tongue and groove in the roof and dormers of the home even though they were not building a log home.  In addition, they also like the heavy timber look for the exterior porches.  Our porch railings were used on the wrap around porches to finish off the project and tie all of the wood features, both inside and out, together.  It's a wonderful combination of both conventional framing and timber framing.  Visit our facebook page to view a photo album of this "hybrid home".

Along with some considerations of placing timber framing on a conventional frame structure, the builder also had to be in on the design to make sure that a good understanding on how certain construction techniques would be accomplished when marrying these two construction types together.  Good communication and understanding is key when building not only a hybrid home, but any type of construction project.

We've also milled custom log siding profiles for some clients who had a certain look they were going for.  In addition there are folks who have had log siding on their home for years and are now putting an addition on to their existing home.  They don't know where the original siding came from so they brought a piece to us and we custom cut their siding for them. 

How about a custom log profile?  This past year some high winds in Virginia did some damage to a cedar log cabin home.  Not only was it a profile/shape that was unusual, but they needed it in Western Red Cedar species to match the rest of the house.  With the dimensions and a sketch of the existing log profile, we purchased the Western Red Cedar raw materials and custom milled the logs for their repair job.

So although not everyone may be looking for a log home, if you are looking for wood components in your new (or existing) home consider Appalachian Log Structures as a resource for your project.  We offer structural as well as decorative beams/rafters/timbers, exterior and interior log siding as well as log siding corners.  If you are looking for a smaller log to use for a storage shed, camping cabin, man room, hobby room or a back yard get-a-way we also produce a 3"x7" Sportsman log. Need some hardware to put your timber framing together? Give us a call - we may have what you need in stock.

If you need a finish for your exterior wood items we offer a line of water or oil based products in addition to additives that help repel carpenter bees and other insects as well as a mildewcide additive. 

Trim lumber, board & batten and various other wood products are also offered and all it takes is a quick phone call to your Local Log Home Building Consultant or a visit to our website www.applog.com to find out more.  To help you get started, click here to view our Component Price list that will show you just a few of the items we do everyday!

 

Tags: log homes, log home manufacturer, log cabin homes, log structures

Halloween, Trick or Treat and Appalachian Log Structures

Posted on Fri, Oct 26, 2012 @ 01:40 PM

Log HomesRemember the good old days - when you would put on your home made or store bought costume and walk the neighborhood with your friends trick-or-treating from door to door?  We used to use paper bags from the grocery store or pillow cases to hold all the goodies that were being handed out.

Some houses would have candy, some fruit (candied apples), some had home made treats like popcorn balls or cupcakes.  At some houses people put the treats in your bag but the ones we liked the MOST were the houses where you could pick and choose what you could take with you.

At Appalachian Log Structures we've taken a similar "pick what you want" approach with our pricing of log home building materials as well as our promotions that save you thousands of dollars.

Not only do we offer a choice of pre-cut or random length building materials but you can also choose what items you want to purchase.  Although we have 3 levels of packages (Log Wall, Log and Beam and PLUS) you can customize your own package and choose what materials you want.  If you want a pre-cut log wall with random length beams and rafters - it is not a problem.  If you want a PLUS package but want to remove the loft decking - it can be done!  You have the opportunity to take the materials you want for your project and your budget.  We make it as easy as possible for you.

In our current promotion you have the same opportunity to make some choices to save on your materials depending on when you are ready to start your dream log home.  By placing an order early on you will get the most savings on free options.  By taking delivery early in 2013 you can earn a nice rebate as well.

At Appalachian Log Structures it's all about choices and what we have to offer that will fit your price point.  Whether it is a full log and timber frame log home, a log wall with truss or conventional built roof, log siding and log siding corners for your conventional built home or modular/mobile home, decorative timbers for a hybrid home or log railing to finish out a re-model project - we offer it all.  Don't see a manufactured wood item on our list that you may be interested in?  Contact you Local Log Home Building Consultant and ask if we can custom mill something for you (custom log profiles, custom log siding profiles, hand peeled posts, etc.).  We've done PLENTY of that, so don't be shy about asking.

Oh - and by the way - HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  Hope you get everything you want in your trick-or-treat bag this year!

Tags: log homes, log home building consultant, log structures

October Log Home Maintenance Checklist

Posted on Fri, Oct 19, 2012 @ 09:39 AM

Log Home MaintenanceOctober is the first full month of fall; by the end of this month, most of your winterization should be completed. Falling leaves and dwindling daylight signal a final opportunity to do some outdoor organizing before winter settles in.

Reinforce windows
Replace your screens with storm windows. If your screens are dirty or damaged, repair and clean before storing them to prevent further deterioration. Light scrubbing followed by a blast from a hose will eliminate bird droppings and other grime. Small tears can be sewn up with thin wire. If you have older single-pane windows and no storm coverings, apply heat-shrink plastic to the inner or outer window frame to create an insulating air space and save heating expense.

Fire fluency
Make sure your damper is in good working order by opening and shutting it prior to lighting the first fire of the season. If you didn't clean your chimney at the end of the heating season, do it now — especially if you burn soft woods, which release more creosote. Often the first indication that a chimney needs cleaning is a chimney fire, so preventive maintenance is important.  The fireplace/wood stove in your log cabin home is now ready to enjoy on those soon to be cold nights!

Detect deadly gas
If you heat your home with wood heat or a gas heater, a carbon-monoxide detector is a must. These devices look and sound like smoke detectors, but they detect carbon-monoxide gas instead. Units that plug into an outlet are also available.  Protect your loved ones as well as your dream log home investment!

Check batteries in smoke detectors
Daylight saving time ends Nov. 7. Get into the habit of checking smoke-detector batteries when you "fall back" and "spring ahead." Also make sure household fire extinguishers are fully pressurized and in good working order.

Close seasonal air conditioners
If you live in a place where air conditioners are used seasonally instead of year-round, this is a good month to close them down. Switch off power, make sure the condensate drain is clear, and clean condenser coils and filters (a vacuum will do). Either remove window units or cover them, to protect your home from drafts and the units from inclement weather.

Bleed air from radiators
Radiators can get air pockets in them when not in use. If air pockets stay, they will keep the unit from heating up to its full capacity. If your unit doesn't have automatic air valves, you need to bleed it prior to every heating season. To bleed air out, turn on the furnace and circulator and open the supply valve to the radiator. Find the bleeder valve (it's usually opposite the supply valve) and open it while holding a pan to it. Air should be released, followed by hot water (thus the pan). Close the valve as the water comes out. Lightly feel the radiator to make sure it is heated along its entire surface; if there are gaps, repeat the procedure.

Cut brush back from the house
Before stowing all of your gardening equipment for the winter, walk around your house with a weed whacker and a pair of pruners and cut back any brush, weeds or branches that contact your house. This task will eliminate a common access point for insects, rodents and rot. It will also keep branches and shrubs from scraping away at your siding during windstorms.

Watch those leaves
If you don't want the tannin in fall leaves to leave hard-to-clean imprints on your deck and concrete walkways, keep those surfaces leaf-free. If you do get some leaf prints, try a solution of half water and half bleach (test it first in an unobtrusive spot — it may lighten the wood on your deck) or trisodium phosphate (commonly known as TSP) and warm water. Or, just leave the prints and consider them an artistic addition to your exterior look.

Store outdoor furniture
Scrub and store outdoor furniture; even furniture designed to stay out year-round will last longer if protected from extreme cold and wet. Store or cover your barbecue unless you cook with it all year. Empty and store large planters — clay or terra-cotta units will crack if left out to freeze and thaw. Clean and store your gardening tools, but don't put them completely out of reach — shovels are useful year-round.

Winterize external plumbing systems
This is the most important job of fall if you live in an area that freezes in the winter. The simple fact that water expands upon freezing has caused countless homeowners innumerable woes. Ignore this job and flooding, water damage and thousands of dollars worth of plumbing bills will be your constant winter companions.

Here's your to-do list:

  • Drain underground sprinkler systems

  • Have outdoor pools drained and professionally serviced.  

  • Drain exterior water pipes and any pipes that run through unheated areas (such as a garage, crawl space or unheated porch). If draining these pipes isn't possible, wrap them with foam insulation or heat tape. 

  • Cover exposed spigots with foam covers. Or, if cosmetics and ease of removal don't matter, wrap spigots in layers of newspaper, cover the newspaper with a plastic bag, and seal the whole affair with duct tape. 

  • Drain and store garden hoses. Leave one hose and nozzle somewhere that's easily accessible; you'll need it for gutter cleaning and car washing.

Preparing now will save you time and money next spring when the thaw comes.  Take care of your log home and it will take good care of you!

Parts of the article above was reproduced from a posting by By Anne Erickson of MSN Real Estate

Tags: log home, dream log home

On My Honor - Appalachian Log Structures & The Boy Scouts

Posted on Sat, Oct 13, 2012 @ 11:27 AM

Boy Scout Camp

On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

I'm sure there are plenty of you who remember growing up in the "scouts".  Whether it was Brownies, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts, there are a lot of grown ups today who have fond memories of the great times spent with other youngsters doing a lot of fun things. 

I remember the uniforms, the meetings, gathering in the Fellowship Hall at our Church to race the Pine Wood Derby car that Dad and I worked so hard on.  There were also some camp outings, cooking over an open camp fire and other such activities that bring back LOTS of good memories.

Today's Scouting is MUCH different with all sorts of new activities that young people can get in to.  In 2013, the Boy Scouts National Jamboree will be held at the Summit in West Virginia (our Home State!) and you should see what they have in store....(see video below)!

In 2011 Appalachian Log Structures was asked by one of the sub-contractors on the Summit project to pre-assemble some of the 300+ bathhouses that are being built on the site.  Since we are known for our manufacturing of log homes and other wood building components it was a good match.  We worked with the sub contractor to come up with a mass production type of assembly for all of the panels and other pre-built components for these structures.  When the pre-assembled components were off-loaded at the site, they were quickly installed and completed by the contractor (see photo above). 

We are honored to be chosen to assist the Boy Scouts in their new venture and are excited to see how it all turns out next year when the Summit is visited by the thousands of Boy Scouts from all over the world.  Not only will it bring awareness to the Boy Scouts, but also to West Virginia and Appalachian Log Structures.

As you will see from the video, West Virginia has lots of outdoor activities to offer which makes it a wonderful destination even if you are not a Boy Scout.  Lots of folks who plan a visit to one of our Plant Tour/Seminars held in Princeton, WV will also schedule a long weekend to take advantage of the outdoor adventures that are located close by.

Whether it's a log home, log siding, log railing or other log home building materials that you need, or other wood components that need some milling, pre-cutting or pre-assembly, Appalachian Log Structures is just the company to provide you with quality products and workmanship.

If you are considering some type of commercial structure instead of a residential structure we can also assist you.  We've done several hundred of these commercial type structures over the past 35+ years and will be happy to assist you as well.  Contact one of your Local Log Home Building Consultants to help you get started.

BE PREPARED!

 

Tags: log home, log siding

The World Through the Windows of my Log Home.

Posted on Sun, Oct 7, 2012 @ 09:47 AM

Custom Log HomeThe weather is now cooler and I can work in my home office with the windows open and take advantage of the nice breezes and lower humidity.  I over look a small part of the back lawn and on in to the back 10 acres or so of woods.  Recently a clutch of turkey have been make their morning and evening tour of the back yard foraging for food as have the doe and her four fawns.  Just this morning as I was making some phone calls someone commented that they could hear the crows calling in the background.  I'm very blessed to have this to listen to and watch rather than the noise of the city or suburbs.  My wife is known to comment on our drive way as the "entrance to a beautiful State Park".

Soon enough the windows will need to be closed in order to retain the heat inside the office as the winter months approach.  Although it's nice to have windows to look through, I really like the fresh air.  A lot of folks building log cabin homes will design with lots of windows in order to "bring the out of doors, inside".  I know exactly what they mean!

Windows not only allow us to see what is going on outside, they also protect us and our belonging from weather and the sun outside.  When considering what type of windows you will use in your custom log home be sure to think not only how you will use them, but where you want to place them.

Most every window manufacturer has a broad range of offerings not only in the quality of the window but also in the operation of the window sashes.  For instance, one of the most popular windows is a double-hung window where BOTH the sashes are operable up/down.  Also popular are the casement windows that crank open and close and the sliding windows where the sashes slide back/forth.  The awning windows also crank open/close but are hinged at the top of the window where the sash will swing open from the bottom of the sash.

In addition to the types of windows offered, the quality that is available also needs to be considered.  Most log home manufacturers will offer just the basic window, usually a wood window unless you ask for a better window or are offered an "up-grade"  If you don't mind painting/staining wood windows frequently this type windows is suitable for you.  However, if you want to lower the amount of time and money you'll spend maintaining a wood window you probably should consider investing in a clad window.  At Appalachian Log Structures our Premier and Pioneer packages come with a Premium window that is all wood constructed but the exterior is clad with aluminum.  

The type of glass that is included with windows is also important.  If you've ever had your carpet or an area rug fade along with your curtains it probably because you have just plain glass in your windows.  The use of Low-E glass is more popular today than in years past.  This Low-E glass virtually eliminates the harsh UV sun rays and protects from fading.  The better window manufacturers also offer optional glazing to further reduce UV for those homes built in the south and are interested in reducing the heat transferred into the home through windows.  For more northern climates, triple pane glass may be an option to consider as well - keeping the heat inside the home during those long cold winters.

If you are planning to live in a high wind area (coastal areas where hurricanes need to be considered or mountain tops) you should consider a high DP-Rated window.  In most cases if you are building in an area like this the local building codes will require a higher DP-rated window anyway.  These windows are built to withstand the higher wind loads against the glass and sash that will occur in the area you are building.

One last item to put on your window check list - how easy are they to clean?  If you want to look through the windows, they'll need to be cleaned occasionally.  Do the double-hung windows offer the "tilt-sash" action where the windows are easily tilted in to allow easy cleaning of the exterior glass?  Nobody really wants to scale a ladder to clean windows anymore.  In some cases you can ask for a special glazing to the exterior glass where rain water or water from your garden hose will wash these special windows clean.  Its new technology but one that I would be happy to try out - especially on my fixed glass in the hard to reach gable ends!

As you can see there are lots of things to consider when choosing a window for your dream log home.  Be sure to take the time to do some research and decide for yourself what is going to be best for you.

When you are ready to start designing your log home be sure to visit or give your Local Log Home Building Consultant a call.  We're happy to share our insights and those of our more than 5000+ satisfied homeowners.

Click here for more photos of windows.

 

Tags: log home, log cabin home, log home building consultant, log home manufacturer, custom log home

Cook up a Classic Kitchen in your Log Home

Posted on Thu, Sep 27, 2012 @ 12:09 PM

Log Home KitchenWith all of the cooking shows on TV and the inspiration and creativity they inspire it's a wonder anyone eats out anymore!  However if you've been to a restaurant lately, you may wonder who is cooking at home!  I think the shows are just making us food snobs so we can intelligently criticize the meals that are served to us and either praise the chef or have him "Chopped"!

Either way, at some point in the design of your own custom log cabin home you will need to decide a few things about the design and layout of your own kitchen.

There are several on-line services that can help and seemingly unlimited web pages with suggestions and tips on how to design a well functioning kitchen.  Local building supply stores have LOTS of kitchen displays and most cities and towns have kitchen specialty stores with in-house design.  There's lots of information out there to assist you.

The first question to ask may be "How much time am I really going to spend in the kitchen preparing food?"  If you are one of the creative folks who love cooking for family and friends you may want to consider a larger kitchen area than someone who keeps all the take-out menues by the kitchen telephone for quick and easy meals.  Your personal lifestyle should dictate the size and layout of the workspace needed for your individual cooking purposes. 

To get started, look in your cabinets and pantry today and take an inventory of the pots, pans, mixers, blenders, food processors, etc. that you have on hand AND that you plan to take with you.  If you are considering a larger kitchen than you have today, think of the appliances that you may want to add to your kitchen and where they will fit. 

Don't forget things like electrical outlets and lighting.  Plan on having one of those corner cabinet "garages" for storage of appliances?  It would be a good idea to have an outlet or two inside this garage to plug these appliances in to.  If you are considering an island in your log home kitchen, think and plan how you will use it.  We put electrical outlets on the island as well so when we're using any of the appliances, the cords are not draped in the walkways surrounding the island.

Both overhead and undercounter lighting is important in any kitchen.  Getting good overhead lighting on your workspace is imperative when trying to read lables, measuring cups/spoons or your Grandmothers handwritten reciepe cards.  We installed undercounter lighting since we knew that the countertops underneath the wall cabinets can get pretty dark at times.

Take a close look at how you prefer to do dishes and which side of the sink you like to work on.  Many professional kitchen designers will put the dishwasher on the right hand side of the sink - is this where YOU want it?  Although right-handed, I prefer to do dishes in the left hand side of the sink with the dishwasher beside it so that is how we designed our kitchen.

If you do a lot of entertaining you can make the living/great room as large as you want, but we all know where people wind up - in the kitchen.  We built our kitchen large enough for folks to stand around and help, to talk or just be part of the creative process that is taking place when preparing a meal.  If you have kids, a place for them to do homework while meals are being assembled and have easy access to you when they have questions.  The kitchen is also a great place for kids to learn reading (receipies), math (liquid and solid measurements), science (how baking powder and salt make dough rise) and all kinds of other neat stuff.

Desingning our kitchen was probably the most fun we had in the process of designing our log home floor plan.  It was exciting to see it come to life as we had it installed and finally to cook our first meal together.

Be sure to contact your Local Log Home Building Consultant when you are ready to get started on your home.  We're here to help and hope you will invite us to one of the first meals prepared after you get moved in to your dream log home!

Click here for more log home kitchen photos.

Tags: log home, log cabin home, log home building consultant

A Fireside Chat about Fireplaces in Log Homes

Posted on Thu, Sep 13, 2012 @ 12:45 PM

Log Home Fireplace

When speaking with folks about their dream log cabin home we often hear about 3 features of the home that they are most excited to talk about:

  • Master Bedroom/Bath
  • Porches
  • Fireplace

We had fireplaces in the homes I grew up in. Dad always put in the iron swing bar so we could cook over the hot coals from the fires he would build. I have wonderful memories of coming home on a Sunday afternoon after Sunday School and Church to a big iron pot of White beans with ham hocks that had been cooking all morning and afternoon in the fireplace. The smell of the fresh backed cornbread coming out of the oven to have with it makes me drool even today!

When Dad and Mom built their last log home they installed a vented, gas stove.  As we age it becomes harder and harder to swing an ax and haul wood.  Dad always said that wood will heat 3 times – once when you cut it, once when you haul it and once when you burn it!  Over the years I’ve come to understand what he meant and if you have a wood burning fireplace I’m sure you do too.

The other issue with a true, open hearth fireplace is that the heat you’ve paid so dearly for to heat your home with is being used to fuel the flames of the fire and then it’s going right up the chimney.  Although open hearth fire places are the most beautiful, they are also the most heat in-efficient.

Now days there are several energy efficient fireplace options to choose from – vented and non-vented fireplaces and gas stoves, wood pellet stoves, zero clearance fireplaces, inserts and wood burning stoves.  Each option has its own appeal for different reasons and you should chose and carefully research each when deciding what to put in your dream log home.

As we started to design our custom log home in 1992 we considered all of the fireplace options and decided upon a wood stove.  We live out in the country with only electricity to power our home.  In case of power outages we needed a source of heat in the winter as well as something to cook on.  Fortunately, the longest we’ve been without power (so far) is 4 days in a bad ice/snow storm.  When we know an ice or snow storm is coming, we usually cook some food in advance and use the wood stove to re-heat or to cook chili, fry eggs/bacon, etc. to keep ourselves going.  So it’s a multi-purpose unit that is nice to look at and such a comfort on a cold winter night to set by and watch the flames and listen to the crackle of the wood as it burns.

We positioned the wood stove in the center of the house so even with the power out the house never gets below 68 degrees.  During construction, I also consulted with the HVAC contractor and we put a cold air return up in the gable end where the stove pipe exits the roof.  This allows all of the heat up in the cathedral ceiling as well as the heat being generated from the stove pipe to be circulated when then heat pump is on.  By leaving the upstairs bedroom door open just a bit the upstairs HVAC  unit rarely comes on as the heat from the stove naturally rises.

The type of wood stove we chose also offered a catalytic converter that will burn the smoke coming off of the wood so that what goes up to stove pipe is 98% clean.  In essence we have a heat source that burns a natural renewing resource, it burns very clean and hot, can be used to cook on, was made in the USA and provides a source of exercise (have you ever chopped wood?) that is much needed in the Winter time!  Does it get any greener/better than that?

When you are ready to start planning you log home and deciding where to put your fireplace, wood stove or other heating feature be sure to contact your local Log Home Building Consultant.  We’re here to help  “light the fire under you” to get you started on your Dream Log Home!

Click Here to view more photos of log home fireplaces!

Tags: log home, log cabin home, log home building consultant

A Back Porch Perspective from my Log Home

Posted on Fri, Sep 7, 2012 @ 08:26 AM

custom log homeSo far it's been a long hot summer but fall is fast approaching and I'm sure we're all looking for a cool down in the not too distant future.

However, living in an energy efficient log home, the effects of high energy costs are not too much of a worry, but we would all like to see lower energy use whenever possible.

Over the summer we've had lots more rain and thunderstorms than normal.  We need the rain but the hail and heavy downpours with the continuous lightening can be a bit disturbing.  It is quite nice when sitting either inside or outside your log cabin home to just listen to the rain drops falling on the roof and the comforting sound it makes.  At night - it's great to fall asleep to the sound of rain on the roof and even in the middle of the night, if you happen to wake up, it's the sound that puts you right back to sleep.  For me it's the comfort that I know my log home will protect my family and myself and withstand most of what Mother Nature sends our way.

A few times this summer I've sat on the back porch and just listened as the storms approach, watch the clouds darken, smell the rain coming and finally seeing the lightening and watching the rain start to fall.  The air cools rather quickly and often the humidity falls to a very comfortable level.  Afterwards, listening to the rain drops fall from the leaves on the trees and seeing the water droplets form in to multifaceted diamonds that glow with color on the needles of the cedar trees that surround the house is quite peaceful.  It's usually pretty quiet just after the storm, but eventually the birds start singing and the humming birds start feeding again from their feeder hung right off the end of our porch rafter.

The screen keeps the bugs at bay and the back porch is protected from these pests as we enjoy an afternoon lunch or evening dinner.  It's a GREAT place for resting and relaxing as I go back and forth to the grill while dinner is cooking.  A cold drink is often close by to sooth the heat and humidity that is summer in South Carolina.

We love our porches and they were important to us when first planning our log home in 1991.  Knowing that if we wanted to entertain or just enjoy a screened in porch that would include an outdoor dining table and chairs we would need to consider at a minimum a 10' deep porch.  We have a hot tub, table and chairs for 4 and 2 lounge chairs on our back porch where we can watch the sun setting over the trees and the back yard where it's not unusual to see deer, turkey, quail or other woodland creatures come out to feed and play. 

Our front porch which we knew would not be used quite as often or for entertaining, we made only 8' deep which is plenty for our purposes.  A swing and a couple of Adirondack chairs make for a great place to have coffee and watch the sunrise in the Spring and Fall. 

Living in a custom log home in the woods is a dream that many folks have.  At Appalachian Log Structures we've helped thousands of folks realize that dream and provided the log home building materials for their log cabin home.

If you have the dream and are ready to get started be sure to contact one of our Log Home Building Consultants soon.  We'll invite you by to set on our porch and listen to the dreams you have.  We're ready to help you make it a reality when you are!

Tags: log home, log cabin home, log home building consultant, log home building materials

Learn More about your Log Home Manufacturer

Posted on Sat, Sep 1, 2012 @ 01:50 PM

Log Home Plant TourWhat better way to learn more about the log home manufacturer you are considering doing business with than to make a personal visit to their manufacturing facility.

By doing this you accomplish two important things; (1) Making sure that they actually own and operate the mill (not just brokering your log home materials from another manufacturer) and (2) Meeting face to face with your Log Home Consultant and/or other Senior Staff.

At Appalachian Log Structures we encourage clients to attend one of our Plant/Tour Seminars that are held in Princeton, WV four times a year.  These Saturday events have been well received and attended over the past 15+ years.  The feed back we get from the folks that visited with us has been very positive and that they learned a lot more about the project they were about to undertake. 

The workbook and information that is shared during the day is valueable and the hands-on experience for those considering building their own log home is very insightful.  Even those folks who are hiring someone else to install their log home building materials get a better understanding of the process that will be taking place.

In addition to learning more about Appalachian Log Structures, the materials we have to choose from and the advantages of building a borate pressure treated log home, you also get to share your hopes, dreams and ideas with other folks just like yourself!

This fall we are offering these events on Saturday September 29 and Saturday November 3.  A lot of attendees plan to combine a trip to our Headquarters in Ripley, WV on Friday afternoon then travel to Princeton and spend the night in preparation for the Saturday seminar/tour.

Since there are a limited number of seats please be sure to call us (800-280-2574) to register as far in advance as possible.  You may also contact your Local Sales Consultant to find out more about these events.

We hope to see you at one of these events in the near future and look forward to working with you to accomplish your dream log home!

Tags: log home, log home manufacturer, log home sales consultant

Log Home Living - Safe in Any Storm!

Posted on Sat, Aug 25, 2012 @ 04:00 PM

Log Home LivingPeople often ask me what the advantages are of living in a log cabin home.  Because I lived in Florida and now live in South Carolina, I tell them that for safety sake, as well as other personal reasons, my custom log home will weather most any storm and survive where frame homes and brick homes will not.

In September 1989, Hurricane Hugo made landfall on South Carolina beaches in the early morning.  What followed was a devastating event that destroyed not only homes but roads, power lines and other necessities in every day living.  In 1992 South Florida experienced Hurricane Andrew which blew ashore with the same type of destructive force causing even more heartache for those in and around Homestead, Florida.

We moved from Florida to South Carolina in 1991, but had friends and relatives in the South Florida area when Andrew came through.  We also had relatives in Florence, SC when Hugo blew threw so we knew what type of life altering events these natural disasters can have on houses and everyday life.

It never occurred to me the strength of a log home until reading a few articles over the span of about 3 years as well as a comment made by the person who constructed my home.

In 1990, a log home magazine featured an aerial photo of a log home in South Florida shortly after Andrew.  You could see that the structure lost some shingles, but the home was intact as well as all the windows and doors.  What really caught my eye were the concrete pads on either side of the log home where frame homes used to be!  Those homes were wiped completely off of their concrete slab foundations and blown away.

In the mid 1980's, Appalachian Log Structures featured two photos (a before and after shot) of one of our home in South Charleston, WV.  A freak tornado touched down and brought a 52" diameter oak tree across this home.  The solid log wall construction along with the strength of the heavy timber roof framing and 2" thick tongue and groove, split the tree in two.  Of course some of the shingles were damaged along with some of the OSB and solid insulation.  In addition the heavy timber ridge beam was cracked and needed replacing, but otherwise the house withstood the impact.  Their insurance agent, after inspecting and photographing the damages stated that if it had been a frame home, it would have been destroyed - a complete loss!

In 1992 while our custom log cabin home was under construction, the builder took me aside one day and said that over the past three years he had been repairing a lot of homes from the damages that Hugo left behind.  Damaged roofs, porches and the like were all effects of the up-lift from the high winds.  As he was putting our heavy timber roof together he could not help but share with me that "if this house were here when Hugo came through, it would not have touched it"!  He was very impressed with the strength and stability of the roof structure and was convinced it would take a lot more that a Category 4 Hurricane to take apart my log home.

Over the years I've read even more stories about log home surviving floods, when frame and brick homes were washed away.  And because of the solid wood walls, the flooded homes were quicker to move back in to since the pink fluff/batten insulation did not have to be replaced (batten insulation looses about 1/2 of the R-value when exposed to moisture) and there were no worries about mold/mildew because of the lack of batten insulation and dry wall.

Another story out of California where a wildfire jumped a team of firefighters who found themselves caught between two burning fronts.  Fortunately, there was a log home with a metal roof close by which they escaped to.  The photo shows this log home to be the only survivor in the subdivision and saved all of the firefighters.  Once again, the solid wood walls withstood the flames with some charring.  As a thank you for saving their lives, the firefighters removed the char from the log walls and the house was like new again.

Not only are log homes beautiful, but they will keep you and your family safe from the storms and other events that Mother Nature may throw your way.  When you are ready to build your beautiful, strong and protective log home for your family, contact on of our Log Home Building Consultants to help you get started.

Tags: log cabin home, dream log home, log home building consultant, custom log home