The Log Blog by Appalachian Log Structures

Halloween, Trick or Treat and Appalachian Log Structures

Posted on Thu, Oct 31, 2013 @ 02:00 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 2014 you can receive a nice freight allowance 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!

Be sure to "like" us on Facebook and enter a chance to win a $50 gift card in December!

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

A Back Porch Perspective from my Log Home

Posted on Fri, Aug 30, 2013 @ 01:26 PM

log home back porchSo 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 relaxed 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.  Afterwords, 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.  To keep the air stirring, two outdoor ceiling fans keep the back porch comfortable with a slight man-made breeze when a natural breeze is not to be found.

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 to stop by and set on our porch to listen to the dreams you have.  We're ready to help you make it a reality when you are!

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

Spring Cleaning your Log Cabin Home

Posted on Fri, Apr 12, 2013 @ 08:44 AM

custom log home

Although spring came a bit late this year (and in some parts of the country - they're still waiting for it) NOW is the time to start planning the spring cleaning projects on your log cabin home.

If you plan on rinsing off your log home, there are some great cleaning products that are "green" and easy to use. Most of these products use an oxygenated bleach (no chlorine) which removes not only mold/mildew but also pollen, pollution, dust, dirt, etc from the surface of the wood. These products do not require pressure washing so most any homeowner can wash down the exterior of their beautiful log home with just a water hose.

Should your plans include applying another coat of an exterior finish, now would be the time to consider some great additives to help repel carpenter bees and/or additives to help eliminate the growth of mold/mildew. These additives are easily mixed in the exterior finish and will help reduce the amount of future maintenance.

Another sign of spring is the buzzing of bees. Carpenter bees make their appearance in early spring and start their annual short lived but sometimes damaging effects on your log cabin home. There are some wonderful products that will help control or eliminate these pests, and come in kits to either spray or hang on around the home. Although the bee traps look kind of silly - from personal experience - they REALLY work!

Don't forget to check your downspouts and gutters to make sure they are draining properly and that the water is draining away from your foundation. Remove all the fall and winter debris from the valleys in your roof so water properly drains from these areas into the gutter system. Trim back any landscaping that may be too close to your log wall to allow air to flow around plants and the wall to inhibit the growth of mold/mildew. A good overall visual check of the exterior of your home is a good idea at least once a year and spring is as good a time as any to get this done.

If you are looking for some helpful products to use during your log home spring cleaning be sure to visit the Maintenance Products section of our web store. We offer many quality products and can get them shipped to you quickly!

For more information or insight on maintenance for your log cabin home be sure to contact your local Log Home Sales Consultant - most of them live in log homes and are happy to share their experiences and suggestions to keep your home happy, healthy and looking GREAT!

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Tags: log home, log cabin home, log cabin homes, custom log home, log home sales consultants

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

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

Log Home Consultants - We're Here to Help!

Posted on Thu, Aug 16, 2012 @ 09:42 AM

Log Home ConsultantWhen starting to plan a log home building project you may find it seems to be a bit overwhelming.  Some people are skeptical about asking for help and others think that they will be "sold" something they don't want or need if they ask a sales person.  We consider our Sales Team "Log Home Consultants" as they are knowledgeable about the entire process of building a custom log cabin home and are willing to share that experience with you.

Most all of our Consultants live in a log home (or work from a log home model) and will invite you to stop by for a visit and to discuss your building plans.  They have assisted hundreds of clients through the financing process, choosing a builder as well as planning your floor plan to fit the budget you've decided.  All very important steps in a successful building project!

Besides the assistance they offer before you build, our Consultants are with you during the construction phase and even after you have moved in!  We're keen on keeping our clients happy and satisfied.  One of the top 10 reasons that our homeowners chose to use Appalachian Log Structures as their log home manufacturer was because of the good relationship they had developed with their Consultant.

For your convenience we offer 29 Consultants that cover the following states: Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Mossouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.  In addition, 4 of these Consultants assist folks from the other states not mentioned above, and one even handles Exports to other countries.  Combined, we have over 400 years of log home experience helping over 10,000 folks, from all over the world, successfully achieve their dream log home.

When you decide that you are ready to start on your log home building project, let one of Appalachian Log Structures Consultants assist you.  Their experience, knowledge, insight and willingness to help is priceless!

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

Buying a Log Home Package with a Huge Discount - BEWARE!

Posted on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 @ 11:37 AM

custom log homeHow many times have you heard or seen log home packages advertised at discounted prices of 35%, 45% or more off retail pricing?  How about Cedar for the price of Pine?  Ever looked in to the "Buy Direct from the Mill" or "No Middleman" pricing?  If you've done your homework you know that these are wonderful marketing tools to get you distracted from asking the important questions about the quality and specifics of the log home components .

Once distracted, people sometimes fall in to the trap of purchasing a discount, and forgetting about what EXACTLY they are purchasing.  Unfortunately, their disappointment is not evident until AFTER delivery day when they discover their mistake.

If you've ever purchased jewlery at those blowout sales of 70% off - you should know that the mark up in the jewlery businees is extreme!  Same goes for the 35% off log home packages.  Look at the retail prices of the materials you are purchasing and by the time you discount it back 35%, you are probably paying RETAIL for it!  Can't tell you how many times we've shown prospective buyers this common trap and how Appalachian's retail pricing is at or below these (supposedly) greatly discounted prices.

Same for the "Cedar for the price of Pine" (or similar promotion) - either you are getting a very low quality Cedar product or the Pine price was increased to meet the Cedar price.  Go to any lumber store and see the difference between Cedar and Pine lumber products and you'll wonder how these manufactures can make this offer and stay in business.

No Middleman to deal with or Buy from the Mill direct - come on - does anyone work for free?  We all work for a paycheck, so no matter who you purchase from - someone will get paid.  Is it the local rep, the factory rep or the guy cutting the logs - do your homework on the quality of the product, service the company offers, the value of the materials you are considering and finally the price. When you get down to it - in order to get a good, quality log home building components package, you need to make sure you understand what you're getting for the price.  Buy a log home package that you've researched fully - don't be distracted by a flashy discount!

Tags: log home, logs, custom log home, log home building materials, log home package