The Log Blog by Appalachian Log Structures

Does Size Really Matter? How thick are your Log Home walls?

Posted on Thu, Feb 2, 2012 @ 11:52 AM

log cabin kit logIs 6 inches really 6 inches?  Is 8 inches really 8 inches?  When discussing how thick you want the log wall to be in your dream log cabin home, you'll hear lots of different opinions on what should be used or what is required for you to use when building.  Keep in mind the following two terms, Nominal and Actual.  Nominal dimensions are common in the wood/lumber industry.  When purchasing a 2x4 at a home store you are purchasing a "Nominal" piece of lumber that "Actually" measures 1.5 inch x 3.5 inch.  The same goes for logs in your log home.  Where most manufactures advertise a 6 inch or 8 inch thick log, what actually arrives at your job site is something a bit smaller.  Disappointed?  Well we can certainally understand why - it happens to a lot of folks.

At Appalachina Log Structures we offer ACTUAL thickness' in our borate pressure treated log walls.  You get every inch you expected - and PAID for!  And with the extra wood that is included (about 12% more wood in the entire wall) that means you are also getting added insulation as well - WHAT A VALUE!  Thicker logs and more insulation - what more could you ask for?  Different shapes of logs and different corner styles - we have that as well.

When searching for the manufacturer of your dream log home keep us in mind.  We offer a lot more than the competition - for the same (or sometimes lower) price.

Quality, Value and Service all at great Price!

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

Dressing up your Dream Log Home

Posted on Wed, Jan 25, 2012 @ 02:28 PM

log home railingNow that you have your log home designed its time to take a look at dressing it up a bit.  One way to not only make your log home look better, but also protect the ones you love, is to conisder installing our log railing.  On exterior porches and decks this beautiful railing guards against unexpected falls or those who may unknowingly walk toward (or over) the edge of these platforms.  With 4" round top and bottom rails and 3" round spindles - this railing is sturdy enough to take on these types of potential disasters.  In addition, the railings are pressure treated with sodium borates protecting the wood itself from rot/decay and wood ingesting insects - an added value!  Inside your log cabin home, these railings are used at the edge of lofts or 2nd story floors as well as stairs.  All of our railings are offered in smooth round or rustic round and the posts can either be round or square.  If you really like the "big" stuff - we offer 8" round posts to use between the 8', 10' or 12' sections of railing.  When its time to finish up your design, or if you are re-modeling an existing log home (or any home for that matter) consider our beautiful, strong, well protected log railing.  You'll be happy with the outcome for sure!

Visit our web site or contact your local Log Home Building Consultant to learn more about our log railing.

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

Protecting Your Log Home Investment for Generations.

Posted on Fri, Jan 13, 2012 @ 12:09 PM

log cabin treatment processMany of our customers say their log home will be the LAST home they live in.  Our homeowners tell us that they have built or purchased at least two other homes before they build their dream log home. One of the important factors they mentioned in our homewowner survey when choosing a log home manufacturer, was how the company would protect the wood from which their log home would be built. 

Appalachian Log Structures pioneered the use of pressure treating wood products with Sodium Borates.  Along with the University of Mississippi and other knowledgeable experts in the pressure treating field we developed the process of injecting the borates in to our log home building materials to protect these items from future attack by fungi (rot/decay) as well as wood digesting insects (termites, wood borers, wood beetles, etc).  By not only surface treating the wood like dip treating, or brushing/spraying on a borate solution, the pressure treatment process forces the borates deep and throughout the wood thus giving long lasting protection.  Our unique 5/25-year warranty is something you won't find anywhere else and is key when discussing the longevity of log cabin homes.

Consider attending one of our Plant Tour seminars to not only learn more about this process and the advantages it offers, but you will also have the opportunity to view the treating cylinder and discover how this scientific process works and provides you with the security that your log home will last for generations!  Contact your local Log Home Consultant to sign up today!

Read more about the advantages of Sodium Borates.

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

A Happy Log Home New Year

Posted on Thu, Dec 29, 2011 @ 04:29 PM

log home christmasThis greeting comes with heartfelt thanks to all of you who took time from your life to call us, visit us, or write us an email about the dream of living in a log home of your own. Having experienced owning, building and living in a log home for over 20 years, I understand the overwhelming desire to live in a quiet, warm, and comforting environment that leads one back to a simpler time of living. Log homes provide this ambiance. Appalachian Log Structures looks forward to it's continued mission of providing not only the highest quality log home building material components, but also timely, educational and important information concerning the numerous choices to be made during the log home buying and building process. We hope our blog has helped you explore some of these important choices, and we have given practical and logical information to be used in making the best choice for you. We will continue to bring you the best information and suggestions concerning log homes, and look forward to hearing from you for input on topics for discussion.

As we say goodbye to 2011 and welcome the New Year of 2012 our wish for you and yours is a healthy and prosperous New Year, and that we may help you realize your dream of owning a log home in the near future.

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

Part 3 - Log Homes are Better than Conventional Built Homes

Posted on Fri, Dec 9, 2011 @ 02:44 PM

custom log  home

12 Advantages Log Homes Have Over Stick & Brick Construction

Beyond a steady stream of visitors seeking to soak up some rustic ambiance and connect with Mother Nature, there are other advantages for owning a log home over more conventional construction. Longtime homeowners say log and timber homes offer rich rewards over the stick and brick homes of their neighbors.  Here are three more reasons to consider a log cabin home.

7) Super Energy Efficient

Provided the home is sealed properly (between the foundation and the first course of logs, between log-to-log connections and where the roof system meets the log wall), you can have a super energy efficient home. Indeed, some builders routinely build log homes to meet the DOE’s “Energy Star” standards. This means it will be 30% more efficient than what building codes call for, saving you serious coin over the life of the home. “Today we can build a log home to be 15 to 20 percent more energy efficient than a conventional home,” says builder Mike Gingras, owner of Seven North Log Homes in New Haven, Vermont, who has designed and built Energy Star-rated log homes for the past 18 years.

8) A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Hanging a picture in a home with drywall is a big ordeal, involving a stud finder, a hammer or drill and bruised fingers—maybe even a bruised ego, since your spouse may tell you to move the picture, requiring patch work. Homeowners report the simplicity of hanging a picture is one the simple joys of living in a log home.

9) Rustic Doesn’t Mean It Isn’t High Tech

While rugged is appealing, roughing it is definitely out. That’s why today’s log homeowners increasingly want a hideaway that’s connected, automated and secure. Many log homeowners are adding backup generators (in case of power outages), security system and a CAT 5 wiring system that can accommodate high speed video, voice and data, as well as a host of new communication technologies on the horizon.

 

Watch for Part 4 of this 4 part series coming soon!

 

This article is re-printed from a Log Home Council white paper.

Tags: log home, log homes, log cabin home, log and timber homes, log wall, log homeowners

Part 2 - Log Homes are Better than Conventional Built homes.

Posted on Wed, Nov 30, 2011 @ 01:19 PM

log cabin home

                12 Advantages Log Homes Have Over Stick & Brick Construction

Beyond a steady stream of visitors seeking to soak up some rustic ambiance and connect with Mother Nature, there are other advantages for owning a log home over more conventional construction. Longtime homeowners say log and timber homes offer rich rewards over the stick and brick homes of their neighbors.  Here are three more reasons to consider a log cabin home.

4) Fit the Land
Since this organic building material comes from nature, the resulting structures blend into the topography like a 10-point buck on opening day. Log homes naturally integrate right into the landscape, rather than being awkwardly imposed on it.

5) Fast Framing
If you choose to use a precut and pre-drilled log system or a handcrafted home, the shell of your home can be framed on site faster than conventional stick framing, which will reduce the likelihood of weather-related damages or mold and mildew issues. With the right crew and building system, it can be weather tight in as little as two weeks—for an average sized home. In conventional construction, your home is exposed to the elements for far longer, which could lead to mold issues within framing of the home, where it can thrive undetected for years.

6) Warmth of Wood
Warm to the touch (as opposed to the always chilly sheetrock), wood has something called “thermal mass,” a natural property in the logs that helps keep inside temperatures of homes comfortable in all seasons. This allows log walls to collect and store energy, then radiate it back into the home.

Watch for part 3 of this 4 part series soon!

 

This article is re-printed from a Log Home Council white paper.

Tags: log home, log homes, log cabin home, log and timber homes, log walls, log system

Comparing Log Home packages

Posted on Thu, Nov 3, 2011 @ 04:27 PM

price is right log home

 

If you’ve done any research at all comparing log home companies one of the first things you realized is that they all offer different types of packages.  When trying to compare “apples to apples” you soon learn that it is a virtually impossible task since the material packages are different as well as the quality and type of materials. 

                      Some examples:

  • Log wall material is pre-cut or linear foot?
  • Roof system -  2x convention frame, pre-manufactured truss or heavy timber?
  • Thickness of log, nominal or actual?
  • 2nd floor system - 2x, conventional frame, pre-manufactures truss or heavy timber.
  • Quality of windows/doors – wood, vinyl or clad?
  • Quality of sealants/fasteners?
  • Written warranty against wood digesting insects and decay?
  • Engineered for settling?

Assuming that each manufacturer offers the same products is incorrect.  It is not uncommon to discover that you have requested pricing from a producer that supplies only log and beam materials that are random length and pricing from another that includes materials that are extensively pre-cut and supply a dried-in structural shell.  With the pricing between the two log home producers being several thousands of dollars apart, we often find that folks think the lower priced estimate is better – until they discover the difference.  Sometime folks don’t “discover” the difference until it is too late!

When asking log home producers to provide an estimate for a certain floor plan it will be in your best interest to also provide the list of materials you would like included as well as the type and quality of materials you are expecting.  This will get you as close as possible to that “apples to apples” comparison you are looking for.

 To help you along, here is our Request for Estimate Checklist.  In addition our Packages and Pricing flyer is linked so you may see both the material list and pricing for our pre-cut and random-length materials.  For more detailed information please call on your local Independent Log Home Sales Consultant.  They are a GREAT resource for you to use throughout your log home building project.

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

Making the grade - log home buying basics

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

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

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

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

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

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

July is National Log Cabin Month - Let's Celebrate!

Posted on Wed, Jul 13, 2011 @ 09:00 AM

log cabin home monthFor a home with its heritage in the past, today’s log homes are light years away from the rustic one room log cabin of Abe Lincoln’s era. The antiquated vision of the 1800s log cabin reflected the hardships of life on the North American frontier. Today this vision has been replaced with modern log homes that are architecturally aesthetic, energy efficient, and provide all the conveniences that are available in other types of housing. Log homes represent a lifestyle that reflects warmth,comfort, security, relaxation, family, and the love of nature. Log home enthusiasts come from all walks of life, but share a common attraction to these enduring attributes. With a variety of log profiles, corners styles, and log home floor plans, and packaging, building a log home to meet your needs is easier today than ever before.

To celebrate our nation’s love affair with log homes, July 2011 is being heralded as National Log Cabin Month by Log Home Living and County’s Best Cabins magazines. Appalachian Log Structures is joining the celebration to honor the vital role that log cabins have played in American history by offering a promotion to all log home enthusiasts. We invite you to visit our website at www.applog.com to learn more. Feel free to contact one of our log home consultants to help guide you thru the process of owning your own part of this great American tradition.

Tags: log cabin home, log cabin kits, log home cabins, log home floor plans