The Log Blog by Appalachian Log Structures

Are ALL Log Home LOGS Created Equal?

Posted on Fri, Feb 7, 2014 @ 11:10 AM

log cabin home log profiles

There are some that think the logs used in log homes are all created equal.  That's why many potential consumers think all logs should all be priced the same.  As with any product, there are differences in quality, thus differences in price.  Let's take a look at a few of these differences.

THICKNESS - Most log home companies will advertise 6", 8" or 10" thick logs.  When you go and actually MEASURE these logs you'll find they are 5.5", 7.5" or 9.5" thick.  Appalachian produces FULL THICKNESS logs for our log cabin homes, thus more wood AND more insulation.

GRADE STAMPED - Know the difference between a graded log and a grade stamped log?  A grade stamped log guarantees that your log home building materials are structurally sound and approved to meet building codes.  Building inspectors will be looking for this stamp on each of your logs to verify that they meet the ASTM specifications.  Many log home companies talk about "graded logs" - BEWARE - these are NOT GRADE STAMPED logs.  Graded could mean a visual grade (not structural) or just that the guy running the mill thinks it looks good so he gave it a good grade.  Quality is the difference - you'll pay less (and get less) with a non-grade stamped log.

SPECIES - Still believe there is one wood species better than the rest?  Do some research and you'll find that besides some color and grain difference they are all about the same.  Think cedar or cypress is impervious to rot/decay or wood digesting insects?  Think again and start doing some research for yourself.  You'll soon discover that these species, just like all the rest of the wood species, need to be protected with preservatives for great looks and longevity.

TREATMENTS - What is the optimum way to protect my log wall?  Research pressure treatment and see why it is the only way to go.  Research Borates and you'll soon learn why we pressure treat with this organic (non-chemical) product.  In the 35+ years we've been providing log home building materials, not one of our homeowners have had to replace/repair any of their pressure treated materials we've provided.

Now that you begin to understand that not all logs are created equal, you'll start to understand some of the differences in QUALITY and pricing.  When creating your dream log home think about the type of products you want surrounding you and your loved ones as well as the quality of materials you plan to use in one of the largest investments you'll be making.

Don't forget to contact your local Log Home Building Consultant to discover more about our log home building components and how they can save you time and money not only today, but for the lifetime of your log home.

Remember to "Like" and follow us on Facebook!

Tags: log home, log cabin home, log home building consultants, log home building materials, borate pressure treatment

How to Properly Compare Log Home Packages.

Posted on Fri, Apr 5, 2013 @ 09:48 AM

log homeIf 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 or materials. 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 supplied to you in random length and pricing from another that includes materials that are extensively pre-cut and ready to assemble and supply materials to complete 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!  It's best to remember to compare MATERIAL LISTS before you compare pricing.

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.

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

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

Not All Log Home Logs Are Created Equal!

Posted on Fri, Mar 22, 2013 @ 08:08 AM

Dovetail LogD-log

 

There are some that think the logs used in log homes are created equal. That's why many potential consumers think all logs should all be priced the same. As with any product, there are differences in quality, thus differences in price. Let's take a look at a few of these differences.

 THICKNESS - Most log home companies will advertise 6", 8" or 10" thick logs. When you go and actually MEASURE these logs you'll find they are 5.5", 7.5" or 9.5" thick. Appalachian produces FULL THICKNESS logs for our log cabin homes, thus more wood AND more insulation.  Using full thickness logs will typically add between 15% and 20% more wood product to your home - stronger, safer, added insulation - a lot more benefits for the same price!

GRADE STAMPED - Know the difference between a graded log and a grade stamped log? A grade stamped log guarantees that your log home building materials are structurally sound and approved to meet building codes. Building inspectors will be looking for this stamp on each of your logs to verify that they meet the ASTM specifications. Many log home companies talk about "graded logs" - BEWARE - these are NOT GRADE STAMPED logs. Graded could mean a visual grade (not structural) or just that the guy running the mill thinks it looks good so he gave it a good grade. Quality is the difference - you'll pay less (and get less) with a non-grade stamped log.  We've heard from folks who purchased from other log home companies who did not grade stamp their logs and were surprised when the local building inspectors arrived at the job site and stopped their project.  They had to hire a specialist to come and grade stamp their logs before they could continue.  This not only added more time to the project but also more money!

SPECIES - Still believe there is one wood species better than the rest? Do some research and you'll find that besides some color and grain difference they are all about the same. Think cedar or cypress is impervious to rot/decay or wood digesting insects? Think again and start doing some research for yourself. You'll soon discover that these species, just like all the rest of the wood species, need to be protected with preservatives for great looks and longevity.  Remember - if there were a perfect wood species to build log homes with - ALL of the log home industry would be using it.  We use White Pine because it is a wood species that is abundent in our area, easy to work with and takes our borate pressure treatment easily and completely.  You'll find most manufacturers using a wood species that is close by to their manufacturing facilities.

TREATMENTS - What is the optimum way to protect a log wall? Research pressure treatment and see why it is the only way to go. Research Borates and you'll soon learn why we pressure treat with this organic (non-chemical) product. In the 35+ years we've been providing pressure treated log home building materials, not one of our homeowners have had to replace/repair any of their pressure treated materials we've provided.  Once again, you can save LOTS of time and money by investing in good quality products upfront and not spending LOTS of time/money on maintenance over the years taking care of your log home.

Now that you begin to understand that not all logs are created equal, you'll start to understand some of the differences in QUALITY and pricing. When creating your dream log home think about the type of products you want surrounding you and your loved ones as well as the quality of materials you plan to use in one of the largest investments you'll be making in your lifetime!

Don't forget to contact your local Log Home Building Consultant to discover more about our log home building components and how they can save you time and money not only today, but for the lifetime of your log home.

Be sure to follow us on facebook!

Tags: log home, log home building consultant, log home building materials, log home components, log home companies

More than just Log Homes!

Posted on Fri, Mar 15, 2013 @ 01:46 PM

Although we've blogged before that we do more than just log homes, I thought you might like to see and read about some of the projects we've been working on this year that are more than just log homes.

log trail shelterA few years ago our Arkansas Independent Representative, Jerry Allensworth, was approached by the Friends of the Ouachita Trail (FoOT) about some shelters they were looking to construct along the 233 miles of walking trails through Oklahoma and Arkansas.  These 3-sided shelters are open in the front for easy access for hikers and their equipment.  Offering basic shelters to first-come, first-served outdoor enthusiasts these structures offer a place to rest, slog trail shelterleep and cook some food while enjoying a leisurely walk along all or just part of the trail.  Recently through fund raising events and a grant, a total of 12 new shelters will be built along this trail to add to the existing shelters that were previously built. Previous shelters used cedar logs, however with cedar being so expensive these days they looked for a good alternative.  Using Appalachian's Borate pressure treated materials - they found it offered all the benefits of cedar but also offered significant savings on the investment. Working with the US Forestry Service to approve the design and the sites where they will be located, the project finally got off the ground this year.  The first three shelters were delivered a few weeks ago and the first shelter is already built.  Using all volunteer staff to construct these shelters, it's quite a project and one that we are proud and honored to be chosen for.

Log Trail CabinAlso, in the fall of last year we were awarded a contract to construct and deliver 6 of our Trail Cabins for use at a campground in West Virginia.  These log cabins use our 4"x8" logs and are designed to be built on a wooden platform similar to a sub floor so they may be picked and moved.  Designed for campgrounds, back yards, storage building, man-rooms, hobby houses or other small areas that may be remote,sportsman log trail cabin we offer these in both a pre-built ready to ship and use OR un-assembled so you can buillt it yourself.  Like the rest of Appalachian Log Structures materials, the logs are pressure treated with Borates to offer long lasting protection against wood digesting insects and decay.  A definate benefit when clients are looking for long term protection without a lot of maintenance.  These cabins will be ready for rental this summer and I'm sure the family's renting them will appreciate their beauty as well as their uniqueness.

If you have a project that is not necessarily a residential log structure don't forget to think of Appalachian Log Structures when considering who to contact with your ideas.  We've done all types of commercial structures as well as cabins and shelters so keep us in mind for these special projects.  We're ready to hear what you have dreamed up!

For more photos of both the trail shelters and cabins visit our facebook page and view the albums there.  We'll keep them updated as our partners send us their photos.

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

A Back Porch Perspective from my Log Home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are all Log Home Logs Created Equal?

Posted on Fri, Mar 23, 2012 @ 01:44 PM

log profilesThere are some that think the logs used in log homes are created equal.  That's why many potential consumers think all logs should all be priced the same.  As with any product, there are differences in quality, thus differences in price.  Let's take a look at a few of these differences.

THICKNESS - Most log home companies will advertise 6", 8" or 10" thick logs.  When you go and actually MEASURE these logs you'll find they are 5.5", 7.5" or 9.5" thick.  Appalachian produces FULL THICKNESS logs for our log cabin homes, thus more wood AND more insulation.

GRADE STAMPED - Know the difference between a graded log and a grade stamped log?  A grade stamped log guarantees that your log home building materials are structurally sound and approved to meet building codes.  Building inspectors will be looking for this stamp on each of your logs to verify that they meet the ASTM specifications.  Many log home companies talk about "graded logs" - BEWARE - these are NOT GRADE STAMPED logs.  Graded could mean a visual grade (not structural) or just that the guy running the mill thinks it looks good so he gave it a good grade.  Quality is the difference - you'll pay less (and get less) with a non-grade stamped log.

SPECIES - Still believe there is one wood species better than the rest?  Do some research and you'll find that besides some color and grain difference they are all about the same.  Think cedar or cypress is impervious to rot/decay or wood digesting insects?  Think again and start doing some research for yourself.  You'll soon discover that these species, just like all the rest of the wood species, need to be protected with preservatives for great looks and longevity.

TREATMENTS - What is the optimum way to protect my log wall?  Research pressure treatment and see why it is the only way to go.  Research Borates and you'll soon learn why we pressure treat with this organic (non-chemical) product.  In the 35+ years we've been providing log home building materials, not one of our homeowners have had to replace/repair any of their pressure treated materials we've provided.

Now that you begin to understand that not all logs are created equal, you'll start to understand some of the differences in QUALITY and pricing.  When creating your dream log home think about the type of products you want surrounding you and your loved ones as well as the quality of materials you plan to use in one of the largest investments you'll be making.

Don't forget to contact your local Log Home Building Consultant to discover more about our log home building components and how they can save you time and money not only today, but for the lifetime of your log home.

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

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