The Log Blog by Appalachian Log Structures

Energy Performance of Log Homes

Posted on Thu, Nov 13, 2014 @ 12:40 PM

custom log homeA lot has been written about the energy efficiency of log homes.  When discussing this topic with those "non-believer's", I usually ask them the square footage of their home, how high the ceilings are in their home and what types of energy they use to power their home.

After determining all of this and then comparing the costs to my own log cabin home, they are quite surprised at the differences between the energy costs of the two homes. You see, you can read, calculate, research and argue this topic for a good long while however the proof is in the monthly power bill. My home continually out performs my next door neighbors who live in conventional built homes with 8' or 9' tall ceilings.

Thanks to the physical characteristics of logs, when you build your new log home you can watch your energy bills go down, which really adds up. Log homes are able to achieve excellent energy efficiency, thanks to “thermal mass,” a natural property in the logs that helps keep inside temperatures comfortable in all seasons. This enables log homes to stay
cool in summer and warm in winter. Indeed, in studies by the Department of Energy and performed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, log homes were found to outperform other forms of construction. Read all about it in the Log Home Council's white paper, The Energy Performance of Log Homes.

Although a very technical paper it does provide some insight in to the "thermal mass" phenomenon that is really at the heart of the topic. It's this mass that gives the log home the energy efficiency that they are known for. Our forefathers understood the energy efficiency of log structures. That's one of the reasons why so many were built.

When you are ready to begin your new energy efficient, dream log home, be sure to contact your nearest Log Home Building Consultant to assist you. We're here to help when you're ready to start.

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Tags: log cabin home, dream log home, log and timber home, dream log cabin, dream log cabin home

We're MORE Than a Producer of Log Homes!

Posted on Thu, Nov 6, 2014 @ 12:42 PM

home with log sidingMost 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? In 2012 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!

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Tags: dream log home, log and timber home, dream log cabin, borate pressue treatment, dream log cabin home, build a log cabin

Halloween, Trick or Treat and Appalachian Log Structures

Posted on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 @ 12:16 PM

custom log cabin homeRemember 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 earn the most savings. By taking delivery early in 2015 you can receive 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!

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Tags: dream log home, log cabin kits, dream log cabin, custom log home, dream log cabin home

A Fireside Chat about Fireplaces in Log Homes

Posted on Thu, Oct 2, 2014 @ 12:30 PM

custom log home fireplaceWhen speaking with folks about their dream log cabin home the 3 features of the home that they are most excited to talk
about are:

  • 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 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 baked cornbread coming out of the oven to have with it makes my mouth water 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 option 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!

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Tags: log home, log cabin home, dream log home, dream log cabin home

One Size Does NOT Fit All - Choosing the Log Home Right For You!

Posted on Fri, Sep 26, 2014 @ 05:10 PM

Custom Log HomeNot everyone has the same wants and needs when deciding on what size log home to build.  It is a personal decision that is determined by the individuals budget, site restrictions, purpose of use (full time home, vacation home, rental, etc.) and a combination of other such reasons that each person must decide for themselves.

Years ago we used a tag-line in our marketing strategy call "More Choices".  Although we've developed other tag-lines since, we still offer quite a few choices when it comes to assisting you with your choice in log cabin homes.

Let's start with square footage size.  Although we offer 9 Pre-designed cabins (under 1000 square feet) we've custom designed hundereds more.  We also offer 2 garage plans and a Garage Cottage plan that several homeowners have built before building their larger home.  They build/use the Cottage before starting construction of their other home and sometimes use it as their vacation home first, then as a rental or guest house after their log home is built.  custom-exterior-1

Our Pre-designed models offer 24 plans in the 1000-1999 square feet range, 25 plans in the 2000-2999 square feet range and 7 in the 3000+ range.  In our newest series of plans, Frontier TRS, we offer 12 single story models that have truss roof systems in place of our heavy timber/exposed beam/cathedral ceiling roof materials.

Although we offer an extensive range of floor plans, over 85% of all homes we produce are either modified or customized to meet the needs of the homeowner.  It's these types of choices that folks search us out for as our clients don't like to be pigeon holed in to a specific design.  Us Baby Boomers grew up with the Burger King mentality where we could "have it your way", and we expect our log cabin homes to be the same way.

How about size of the logs themselves?  One item that sets us apart from the rest is that we offer a FULL THICKNESS log.  Although log home manufacturers will tout a 6" or 8" (or larger) log, they will actually measure 1/2 inch lesss in thickness so you wind up with a 5-1/2 inch or 7-1/2 inch thick log wall.  So for the same money - when you invest in a log cabin home with Appalachian Log Structures - you get a thicker wall which translates in to more INSULATION and a better overall VALUE.  Our standard offerings include a 6x8, 8x8, 6x12 and 8x12 log and each size of log comes in a variety of corner styles.  We've also custom milled different size logs for those wanting something even more out of the ordinary.

28boybeq

Now a bit about the size of the structural timbers.  Once again, depending on the design and the wants/needs of the individual we offer a wide range of structural timbers to use in your design.  Although our standard designs typically use a 4x8 floor joists and roof rafters, 6x12 girder beam and 4x10 ridge beams, we also offer round joists and rafters.  Want something larger than what we design with - just ask.  Several homeowners want larger timbers for the LOOK they are going for in their home and not what is required structurally - and that is ok.  Just let us know what your size requirements are and we'll be happy to work with you.

The most important size to consider when building ANY home is budget.  Be sure to set a reasonable budget for yourself before designing a home.  Be honest with yourself and if you plan to finance, talk with a mortgage lender before getting your dream home designed.  They will help you determine how much money they will lend on the project and you can discover how much monthly payments, including interest, will be as well as expected property tax (if any in your state) and insurance.  The last thing we want you to experience is to have to eat hot dogs and popcorn for the first 10 years of living in your dream home because of over extending yourselves financially.

When you're ready to start planning the size of your log home be sure to contact your local Log Home Building Consultant for assistance.  We're here to help you make your log home construction process be successful!

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

Investing in a Log Home - Quality, Service, Value or Price?

Posted on Fri, Sep 12, 2014 @ 12:06 PM


custom log home

Over the past 20 years I've been blessed to assist hundreds of people in realizing their dream of living in a log cabin home. Every day our team of 40+ Log Home Building Consultants are sought out for their expertise and insight in to the process of building a log home or purchasing wood products from our mill. With all of these Consultants and all of their time spent in the Log Home Industry we have well over 300+ years experience people can tap in to when they want to invest in a log home they will be happy with.

In today's society, with the Wal-Mart's, Targets, Dollar Stores and the like, folks are always looking for what they perceive to be a "deal". With offers of 35% or 50% off pricing a lot of people think they are getting a deal, when actually they are paying retail. If you've ever shopped for jewelry or furniture, you know the mark up from retail is HUGE as no one could make money off of product that is consistently marked down 50% to 70% - I don't care how much "volume" they push. However these large box stores have made a habit of grabbing peoples attention with advertising low prices and today's society expects it. If I had a nickel for every time I get asked "what is the CHEAPEST price you have...?" I would be retired by now. I don't know about you, but when I built my log home I was not looking for cheap....I've never heard of anyone bragging about living in a cheap home.

If you ever noticed, most companies that really push low/cheap prices typically don't use words like quality, service or value and there's a good reason why - to keep the prices so low something has to be sacrificed.

Everyone knows that quality does not come cheap. In order to keep standards high only the best quality raw materials can be used. How those materials are handled throughout the manufacturing process is also important. In addition, if your product is proudly made in the USA with quality, local materials (not the cheap stuff from other countries) and highly trained, local labor you will get a product that begins and ends with quality. It won't be cheap, but it will be made to last.

A BIG part of the quality aspect is the service that goes along with it. Without good customer service from beginning to end quality will be affected. Today's customers expect GREAT customer service, but when a cheap product is purchased and they don't get great service, why are they surprised or disappointed? As my Grandfather used to say - "you get what you pay for" and it still rings true today.

Now a word that a lot of people use wisely is value. A product that is good (not the best), offers decent (not top notch) service at a low (not cheap) price has good value. Of course all 4 of these words will not only have different meaning to each individual, but everyone will have a different set of criteria using these words when choosing products. We're not all the same, don't all think the same nor all want the same thing. If you ever wonder why there are so many choices when making any type of purchase, whether its cars, mowers, or pickles, it's because of this very reason - everyone wants something different. A certain style of car, a

log home building consultant

specific width of mower deck or a pickle that is sliced cross-wise or length-wise, the choices are numerous.

When deciding on what you want in a log home and before you ask about pricing, consider listing these words, in order of importance to YOU...Price, Value, Service, Quality. Once you've established the order it will be a lot easier moving forward and making decisions. You'll also understand a bit more about yourself and your buying habits so when the time comes to make decisions you won't waver on your choice.

Recently I was eating at a local restaurant and I happened to notice what was written on the back of the servers t-shirts. It's obvious that I'm not the first person to discuss this very topic and it does give one pause to think....and think HARD....about it's meaning.  Look closely at the photo below...I think you'll understand that both of the photos are expressing the same thing.

cheaper photo

 

At Appalachian Log Structures we work hard every day to offer QUALITY log home building products that come with excellent customer SERVICE all at a VALUE that is fairly PRICED.

When you're ready to discuss your wants/needs in your dream log home, give one of our Log Home Building Consultants a call. We're ready to listen and to help you move forward with your project.

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

How Log Homes Meet GREEN Building Guidelines

Posted on Fri, Aug 29, 2014 @ 01:36 PM

custom log homeHere is an article from the Log Homes Council website that reviews the GREEN advantages of log home living. Although I've been in my log home for 20+ years and have been telling folks about these advantages, it's GREAT to see the Log Homes Council put these in a concise list that pretty much covers it all!

"Whether the goal is to save money, fuel, the planet or all of the above, American homeowners are increasingly going green. And while the average household spends $1,900 a year on energy, log home owners typically report that they spend far less than their neighbors on heating, air conditioning, hot water and lighting.

Energy efficiency is among several ways modern log homes qualify as “Green”-- an approach to building that started in 1993 with the belief that we can all pitch in to make the places where we live, work and play more environmentally friendly. The hallmark of “green” is to use less energy, renewable resources, limit C02 or “greenhouse gas” emissions and create indoor environments free of mold, formaldehyde, carcinogens, and other allergens.

The most obvious factor that makes engineered log homes “green” is their building material -- solid timbers grown from trees -- a renewable resource. During the milling process, manufacturers utilize all portions of the log, from bark and other sources for mulch, scrap from cut-offs for raw material used in carvings and other home products, sawdust used by farmers as bedding material, etc. The homes are sold as kits or “packages” with the bulk of the building materials delivered at one time. These packages consolidate delivery and generally travel shorter distances conserving fuel, says the Log Homes Council, which represents nearly 60 of North America’s leading manufacturers and promulgates industry and product standards. And, logs require less energy and man-made materials than stick-built construction. With the completion of a log home, you have walls that serve both the structural and insulative needs of a home, as opposed to using many products from siding, house wrap, plywood, dimensional lumber, insulation, drywall, and paints in traditional homes.

Heating and Air Conditioning
The massiveness of the logs plays a vital role in conserving energy. According to studies by the University of Maine at Orono, the logs absorb heat energy during the day and radiate it at night to even out the temperature, which makes the occupants feel more comfortable while using less energy.

In addition to the benefits of solid timber construction, Log Homes Council member companies engineer their log wall joinery and roof systems to eliminate air infiltration and moisture, conserve energy and increase comfort. This engineered approach continues with every product included in a log home package such as brand-name, double-paned windows and patio doors with low-e glass, proper venting and subflooring structures.

Engineered for Energy Conservation and Safety
Companies that belong to the Log Homes Council are up on latest developments in building technology and safety and maintain relationships with suppliers of roofing materials, heating systems, windows and other components. Council members constantly test and evaluate newer components to make sure they contribute to energy efficient, safe and trouble-free homes. Even the interior and exterior stains and finishes are evaluated for their suitability as solid timber coatings and to make sure they meet low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) clean air standards, in their quest for the ultimate green home.

The Builder
While a green philosophy begins with the log home manufacturer at the design stage, it has to continue with the builder who erects the home. The Log Homes Council’s parent organization, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), has been getting local builders on board by providing them with the knowledge they need to build green. As part of its effort, NAHB has partnered with the International Code Council to develop a consensus committee based Green Building Standard that provides a practical, nationally recognized baseline for resource-efficient, cost-effective home building.

The NAHB Green Building Standard and Certification Program addresses seven key green construction areas including site, resource efficiency, energy efficiency, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, homeowner education, and global impact. Direct ways log home owners can reduce their footprint include less impact on natural features and vegetation during building site preparation, choosing environmentally friendly components for subflooring, trusses and other conventional materials that go into a log home, choosing energy-efficient appliances, conserving water with low-flow plumbing fixtures and taking steps to increase occupant comfort and indoor environmental quality.

Homeowners
Log homeowners play a big part in going green too. These individuals embrace nature and consider their homes permanent dream homes where they are willing to invest in energy efficiency upfront to reap savings over the years. Their design preferences lean toward open flooorplans that allow for the flow of warmth throughout the home – in many cases, a wood-burning stove is the principal heat source.
From the manufacturer, to the builder to the homeowner, log homes are doing their part for a greener planet. Thankfully, log home construction is and always has been green. With new technologies and products available, log home owners can go the extra step to make their homes even greener."

When you are ready to start your dream log home and realize all of the benefits of eco-friendly living, give one of our Local Log Home Building Consultants a call to set an appointment.

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Tags: log home, log homes, log cabin home, dream log home, log home building consultants

Saving Money on Your Log Home with the ClearTreat Process!

Posted on Fri, Aug 22, 2014 @ 03:05 PM

How much does a borate pressure treated loPressure treating cylinderg home really save you? To answer that question you have to think of the LONG TERM investment you are making. Initially, these ClearTreat-Borate pressure treated log home materials are "priced" about the same as kiln dried, green, laminated, modular or panelized log home products, however the "cost" is far lower in the long term. How so?

Consider the growth in the log home restoration/repair industry. At each of the log home shows and in the log home magazines you will find more and more businesses offering this type of service, and for a good reason - homes built with non pressure treated wood products are needing replaced or repaired!

There are log home manufacturers that will tell you that dip-treating with borates or applying borates with a sprayer or brush is "just as good" as pressure treating. Others supply you with a type of "penetrating" borate solution that "supposedly" will be "just as good" as pressure treating however what they don't offer is a GUARANTEE that you won't have problems with wood digesting insects or rot/decay. The reason - none of these applications will penetrate the wood adequately nor will it deliver the amount of or retain the amount of borates in the wood that pressure treating offers. Now compare that to the 25 Year Warranty on the pressure treated borate log wall product that Appalachian Log Structures offer! With over 25 years of history, ALSI has never had a log wall warranty claim! What a testament to the quality of our log wall components.

Don't be mis-led by those who talk about "chemically" treated logs. Sodium Borates are an organic product that are mined from the earth. They are commonally used in everyday products like denture cream, make-up, laundry detergent (20-Mule Team Borax) and the like. CLICK HERE for an informative article on borates and the advantages of using them. Not only are the borates safe and EPA approved but also a very GREEN (environmentally friendly) product!

Now - how does all of this SAVE you money? With a borate pressure treated log home you don't have to worry about having logs or log siding (or other pressure treated wood products) replaced due to rot/decay or wood digesting insect attack. If you want a dollar amount placed on the 25 Year Warranty we offer - just ask the businesses that do the restoration/repair work what the average amount a homeowner spends when this type of work is required (replacing decayed logs, ridding a structure of powder post beetles, etc). You'll quickly find that by investing in an Appalachian Log Structures home, you'll not only have a nice home with quality log home building products, but you'll never have to find out, or pay for, these expensive repair services.

The next time you see or speak with a company offering log home restoration, ask what their services cost, ask about the manufacturers of the log homes they have made repairs on due to rot/decay or wood digesting insects, and ask their opinion of a Borate pressure treated log home. Besides the comment that they'll never have to repair one - you'll also be pleasantly surprised at the other positive responses they offer.

Call or visit your Local Log Home Sales Consultant to learn more about our money saving ideas on your log home investment.

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Tags: log home, log homes, log cabin home, dream log home, log home building consultants

A Company's Legacy of Log Homes

Posted on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 @ 12:27 PM

custom log homeLooking back 22 years ago, my wife and I were putting the finishing touches on our log home and preparing to move in. Over the previous 18 months, we planned, sketched, met with banks, met with builders, scheduled the work to be done and prepared for our journey in to the building process. We started construction in March of 1992 and by mid-September were moved in. Building a log cabin home in South Carolina during the summer months is NOT the best of planning but we successfully pulled it off.

Along the way we learned quite a few things about building a log home and the construction business in general. Over the past 22 years I’ve been willing to share these experiences and assist several hundred homeowners to successfully move in to their dream log homes.

There are several employees, including myself, at Appalachian Log Structures Inc. that live in log homes and have done so for quite a few years – over 200 years combined in total. My father, the founder of Appalachian Log Structures, who passed away in 2010, lived in two log homes (my mother still does), the President of Appalachian personally built both of his log homes (lots of sweat equity there!), our VP of Marketing has built and lived in two log homes, our VP Sales lives in #13, the 13th log home to roll off our line over 34 years ago (see photo above). The Manager of both our production facilities in Princeton, WV built his home in 1992 as did my oldest sister and her husband who since has moved in to my Grandmothers log home and remodeled it. Over the years we’ve had other employees and family members build log homes and they are still living in them today.

In addition to employees, most all of our Independent Representatives either live in or work from a log model home (or sometimes both!). Several of these Independent Representatives are also experienced builders who have become expert log home builders.

So you see, when you contact someone at Appalachian Log Structures you have the opportunity to speak with someone that has first hand experience of building and maintaining a log home – experience that is valuable to someone just starting the process. In addition, all of us are willing to share our knowledge and experiences so that you too can have the opportunity to live the log home life like so many us have been blessed to do.

When you are ready to start your log cabin home, we’re here and waiting to assist you. We’re only a phone call or a short drive away so come on by for a visit and let’s get you started on your dream log cabin home. Contact your Local Log Home Building Consultant today!

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

Log Home Living - Safe in ANY Storm!

Posted on Fri, Aug 8, 2014 @ 12:47 PM

log home bedroomPeople 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 an article and photos (before and after shots) of one of our homes 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 one of our Log Home Building Consultants to help you get started.

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