The Log Blog by Appalachian Log Structures

Log Home Building Budget - Step #2 in Planning for Success

Posted on Fri, Apr 4, 2014 @ 02:27 PM

Custom log cabin homePlanning is the KEY to a successful log home building project. Last time we reviewed the first of ten important steps when planning your dream log home - RESEARCH.

Step #2 – Prequalify and Establish your Budget. Even if you are in a cash equity situation and do not have to have a lending institution involved in your building project it is recommended that you set a budget for the project. Be realistic when setting your budget and like any goal you set for yourself – write it down.

If you decide to use a lending institution, start the pre-qualification process early. Keep in mind that “prequalified” means that the dollar amount determined by the lending institution is their best guess loan amout based on un-verified information that you have provided to them (income, debt, liabilities, etc). Once you choose a lender and submit a loan application fee along with all of the other documentation required (Taxes, pay stubs, bank accounts, portfolios, floor plan, cost estimates, etc) they can determine an exact loan amount.

Once you have been prequalified and have set a realistic budget it will be easier to start investigating the size of log home or log home kit you can build for the amount determined. We suggest not getting your heart set on a floor plan before being prequalified and setting a budget. Knowing how much you can borrow will help you budget accordingly and to properly size your log home floor plan.

Your local Log Home Building Consultants have assisted thousands of homeowners through this process so when you have questions, contact one of them.

Next time – Step #3 – Selecting Your building site.

Be sure to follow and "like" us on Facebook and Pinterest!

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

Building A Log Home - Research is #1 Key to Planning Success

Posted on Fri, Mar 28, 2014 @ 02:32 PM

custom log home

Part 1 of a 10 part series....

It’s true. Planning is the most time-consuming and important part of building a log home. Over the next few weeks we will be reviewing ten steps that will bring you closer to making your best move yet!

Step #1 – RESEARCH. Magazines, books, web pages, seminars, factory tours/visits, etc are all excellent ways to start your research. Look at the different shapes, sizes and corner styles that are offered and determine which one(s) you like best. How do you want your log home building materials manufactured, in random length, where you/your builder cut and fits the product at the job site, or pre-cut where product arrives ready to be assembled (or maybe a little of both)? What building materials do you want in your log home kit? How is the wood protected from wood digesting insects and decay? Does the log home manufacturer offer a warranty against decay? Are the building components grade-stamped to meet local building codes?

These are just a sample of the many questions our homeowners asked us before investing in an Appalachian Log Structures Inc. material package. They also tell us that this is the step they spent the most time doing, taking up to 12 months to gather, study and finally decide on a manufacturer. By choosing your log home manufacturer as early in the process as possible, you’ll save time and effort as you continue to take the rest of the steps.

When you have questions call your local Log Home Building Consultants. We’re here to assist you along the way.

Be sure to "like" and follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!

Next time: Step #2 – Prequalify and Establishing a Budget.

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

Different Paths to your Dream Log Home

Posted on Fri, Mar 21, 2014 @ 12:40 PM

Dream Log Home

It’s rare these days to hear the phrase, “money is no object.” In this new economic climate, we’re all interested in making smart investments. Building a log home is no exception.

On the path to realizing your dream log cabin home, you will have to make a number of decisions. You will have to determine:

How much home you can afford

Where it will be located

Who will finance it

What kind of design

Who will manufacture the log package

These are decisions all log home buyers have to make.

Where the path to this goal diverges slightly is on the topic of who will construct it. Log homes often attract those with a pioneer spirit. As a result, you may be considering building all or part of the home yourself. Some want to craft their dream home with their own hands. Others think they will save money that would otherwise go to a builder.

But we encourage you to start pondering this decision at the outset of this journey, because it’s one of the most important decisions you will make. Your decision will impact the whole scope of the project, from financing and insurance to budget and completion time. You have to determine what path is right for you. You have three paths to choose from and the degree of challenge increases with your involvement.

Hire a Builder or Contractor

This is the easiest path. If you follow this course, you will be intimately involved in designing your home and picking a log home producer. Once the design plans are finalized, the log home package is cut and you turn the project over to the builder. The builder gives you a set of keys and a garage door opener when the home is finished. Then you move in. What could be simpler than that?

Choosing the right builder or contractor with experience in log home construction is not without challenges. But it is this path we recommend if you want to get your home completed on time and on budget. A professional will help you overcome countless obstacles and avoid mistakes that can add more costs, as well as delays in completion time.

Be Your Own General Contractor

A more difficult path is to act as your own general contractor or “GC.” You will need a great deal of talent for organization and delegation if you go this route. It’s also a full-time job, so make sure you have room for this role in your life. Tasks include:

• Locate and evaluate all subcontractors

• Prepare all construction specifications for each trade

• Obtain all subcontractor bids

• Prepare a complete cost estimate of the project

• Establish legal contracts between you and your subcontractors

• Obtain insurance

• Educate yourself on all local building codes, regulations and restrictions

• Obtain building permits

• Create construction schedule for all trades

• Order all building materials

• Manage the job site

• Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?

Be An Owner-Builder

This the most difficult path. In this role, you will be responsible for everything the general contractor is responsible for, plus you will perform most—if not all—of the labor yourself. The cost of labor can be as much as 30% to 40% of the total cost of a home.

If visions of dollar signs are suddenly dancing in your head, be aware that construction is physically dangerous and difficult work. A moment of inattention on the jobsite at the end of a tiring day can lead to disasterous results. If you get hurt in an accident, you could spend months healing while watching your construction schedule and budget spiral out of control. That’s why you will have to budget as if you were paying a professional to build the home. That way if you get hurt or injured, you can still have your dream of log home ownership fulfilled.

Another difficulty is obtaining financing as an owner-builder. Many lenders are reluctant to loan to owner-builders. Discuss this with your lender early in the planning stages, to determine if it’s even an option.  As Owner/Builder Be Prepared To:

• Report on the progress of the project to local building officials and your lender

• Rise at half-dark thirty and confront a phyiscally demanding job, rain or shine

• Fire subcontractors when they don’t perform to your expectations

• Resolve conflicts between different teams of tradesmen

• Be adept at project management and scheduling

• Be able to bounce back from the unexpected events

• Expect that all those friends and family members who said they’d help you build your home, suddenly have other commitments to attend to

Although the above paths are different they will all result in your dream log home becoming reality.  Once you choose your path, enjoy the journey and keep the end goal in mind.

When you're ready to begin your journey, contact your local Log Home Building Consultant and we'll walk the path together.

Be sure to "Like" and follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!

 

This article was taken in part from the Log Homes Council web page www.loghomes.org

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

How to Choose a Builder for Your Dream Log Home

Posted on Fri, Mar 14, 2014 @ 02:30 PM

custom log home builderFinding the right building professional to turn your dream of log home living into reality will take time and research.

When you buy from Appalachian Log Structures, a Log Homes Council member, they will provide graded logs and timbers, as well as construction drawings or a construction manual and 8-hours of on-site technical assistance, to help builders become familiar with their building system.

Although a few log home producers offer construction services, the vast majority of council members like Appalachian Log Structures leave construction to independent builders and contractors. It’s up to these individuals to turn that log home package into a comfortable and well-crafted home. Choosing the right professional for this job can be a daunting task. But that’s why the Log Homes Council created this Buyer’s Guide, to help consumers make educated decisions when making their dream home a reality.

Identify Your Role
Before you can move farther along The Perfect Path to Your Dream Home, you will need to identify your role in this construction process. This decision will affect a host of issues, including your budget. With the downturn in the housing market, the cost of labor accounts for three-fifths or 60% of the total cost to build, according to a recent reports from the National Association of Home Builders. You may be able to save some of this cost by doing some of the work yourself. Essentially you have three options, all discussed here at more length:

Professionally Built
When choosing this path, you will work with Appalachian Log Structures, a Log Home Council member, and a builder/contractor or a builder/dealer to finalize the design of the home. Then the manufacturer cuts the log home package while the builder performs infrastructure improvements, including installing foundation, driveway, water, sewer or septic and more. Once the log home package arrives and is inventoried, construction begins. When the home is finished, the builder obtains a certification of occupancy from the local building inspector and you move in. This is the easiest path and it’s often recommended if you want to have a home completed on time and on budget.

Owner-Contractor
This is a more difficult path. As the owner-contractor (general contractor or GC), you will be responsible for hiring talent to do the work. However, this is not without risks or long hours. In fact, it’s a full-time gig.

You will have to prepare all the specifications for each trade (specifications are the instructions for what materials to use and description of the job they are expected to perform), locate subcontractors, obtain bids, prepare cost estimate and budget, maintain a comprehensive construction schedule and finalize all contracts. (Hint: Have an attorney familiar with construction review all contracts before signing.)

You will also to educate yourself on all local building codes, insurance rules, safety regulations, plus attend to a raft of other details. This includes obtaining building permits, dealing with building inspectors and your lender, ordering and inventorying building materials and managing the job site.

Another duty that you will have to reluctantly perform as a GC is make mistakes. It could be scheduling errors, building materials broken or overlooked, a bad choice in a subcontractor or any number of other drop-the-ball blunders. Even professionals make mistakes, from time to time. But if you are new to construction, it’s nearly guaranteed you will make far more. This will cost you more in time and money.

Owner-Builder
This is the most difficult path. Think of it as several full-time gigs. This means you will likely be working days, nights and weekends. You will be responsible for everything the general contractor is responsible for, plus you will perform much of the labor yourself.

Work for Your Builder
Yet another option is to find a builder who is willing to be flexible and allow you to perform some of the labor yourself. If you have some home improvement skills, you can tackle any number of construction tasks and eliminate the cost of that labor. Scores of log home buyers have saved on thieir building budgets by installing landscaping, staining logs, cleaning up the jobsite and more.

Lender May Decide For You
Unless you just arrived here in a hot tub time machine, you already know that lenders and banks are much more conservative. In this new lending environment, they may require a veteran log builder construct your home. Explore your options with your lender.

Which Role is Right for You?
How much time do you have in your life for this project? Reviewing your schedules can bring some clarity to the decision of whether to tackle this job or hire a pro.

Budget for A Pro
Even if you are going to tackle some of the construction yourself, you should budget the project as if you were having it turnkeyed by a builder. This creates a safety net that ensures your project will get done. If you get hurt on the job and can’t finish the project, you will have enough to bring in a professional to finish the job.

Shopping for Builder/Contractor
The company you have chosen to cut your log package will likely have lists of builders they have done business with before. You can also contact building associations in your area. Select several to consider and evaluate each carefully.

Check References & Rapport
Review each company’s standing in the building community. Also weigh their communication skills and whether you have good rapport. After all, you will be spending anywhere from a few months to a year interacting. You want a good working relationship.

Tour Completed Homes
Visit log homes the builder has built before. Closely inspect crafting and sealing at corners and around doors and windows. A three- to five-year-old home is probably the best example of a builder’s art.

Check Official Channels
Contact the local contractors’ board or similar state or regional authority, to see if the individual is in good standing. Make sure the builder is licensed and bonded. Check online with your state’s Attorney General’s office to see if the builder has been involved with litigation or judgments in the past. In today’s litigious society, don’t expect a spotless record in a career spanning decades. But multiple incidents in a shorter time frame can be an alarm bell.

Trust Your Intuition
Interview each individual, to get a feel for their communication style and customer service. Talk with their past clients to see how they performed in real world situations. It’s likely that at least one individual will click with you.

When you are ready to begin the process of building your dream log cabin home be sure to look up your nearest Log Home Building Consultant and schedule a meeting with them at your job site.  We're excited to assist you and get you in your log home as soon as possible.

Remember to "Like" and follow us on Facebook and Pintrest!

 

This article was taken in part from the Log Homes Council web site www.loghomes.org.

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

The Log Home: An American Dream!

Posted on Fri, Dec 6, 2013 @ 11:41 AM

Custom log home, log cabin home, cozy log cabinOver the centuries log homes have come a long way.  The resurgence in log home construction came in the mid-1970's and along with it several opportunities to improve on what our forefathers taught us about constructing homes with full logs.

Of course when log home construction started in this country, our virgin timbers were HUGE and contained a lot of heart wood.  Heartwood of all wood species is naturally resistant to insects and decay. Preservatives weren't so necessary then and what was used to help protect the wood was organic.

Now that we're on our 3rd or 4th harvesting of timbers there is a lot more sapwood exposed when the logs are milled or hewn.  Sapwood of ALL wood species (yes - even cypress and cedar) is susceptible to decay and insects so preservation is very important today.  It's the reason we started in 1977 to pressure treat our log wall building materials - something that no one had tried before - and we have never had a homeowner with insect or decay problems.  In addition, just like our forefathers we're using an organic preservative in our pressure treating process - borates.

In the infancy of the new log home building industry the Log Home Council (LHC) was formed and became a division of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).  Appalachian Log Structures was one of the companies that helped form and support the LHC and still does today.  Over the years several white papers have been produced by the LHC and one of them is featured here today.  Click Here for an overview of the Log Home Industry and be prepared to learn some interesting and useful facts that you can take with you and use in your own dream log home project.

Don't forget to contact your local Log Home Consultant when you have questions or are ready to turn your dream log home in to reality!

Win a chance for a $50 Gift Card by liking us on Facebook!

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

Energy Performance of Log Homes

Posted on Fri, Nov 29, 2013 @ 11:24 AM

log home, custom log home, warm log homeA lot has been written about the energy efficiency of log homes. 
When discussing this topic with those "none 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" phenomanom 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.

Enter for a chance to win a $50 Gift Card by liking us on Facebook!

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

We're MORE Than a Producer of Log Homes!

Posted on Fri, Nov 22, 2013 @ 02:52 PM

custom log homeMost 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!

Enter for a chance to win a $50 gift card by liking us on Facebook.  Drawing is in December - so do it today!

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

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

The World Through the Windows of My Log Home

Posted on Fri, Oct 25, 2013 @ 02:08 PM

custom log cabin home

The 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 making 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 climb 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.

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, dream log home, log home building consultant

A Fireside Chat about Fireplaces in Log Homes

Posted on Thu, Sep 26, 2013 @ 01:43 AM

custom log homeWhen 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 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 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!

Be sure to follow and "like" us on Facebook!

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