The Log Blog by Appalachian Log Structures

Prolong the Life of your Log Home - Save $$$ with Cleartreat Process

Posted on Fri, May 18, 2012 @ 08:22 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: log home, log home manufacturer, log home warranty

Getting to Know your Log Home Manufacturer

Posted on Thu, May 3, 2012 @ 02:18 PM

log home manufacturerWeb Pages, Blogs, facebook, Twitter, Email, Brochures, Magazines, etc, etc, etc.  It's how most of us go about searching for a log home manufacturer.  Social Media is fun, but how can you really get to know a log home company without ever meeting them?

You are making one of THE largest investments in your lifetime and hopefully you won't make it based on the layout and design of a company's web page or a facebook page or a tweet.  There's more to it than that.

On Saturday March 31 we hosted a great group at our first Plant Tour/Seminar for 2012 in Princeton, WV.  These people had visited our web page and several had spoken to one of us on the phone and decided it was time to come and see what we were all about.

What they all had in common was that besides everything they've heard, read or seen on a computer screen - they really wanted to actually MEET the faces behind the company that would be supplying their log home building materials, as well as see the mill where their dream log home would be made.  Investing one's time (researching) before making a buying decision is one of the best investments a person can make.

We spent the morning reviewing the process and questions one should ask when going through the planning process of purchasing and building a log cabin home.  Several insightful questions from audience members were fielded and the answers let everyone learn from each other in an informal and open setting.  Some of the feedback we got was that the display items we had on display, helped them visualize the parts/pieces that would come with their log home package.  Also the photos we showed of some finished homes as well as those under construction were useful to help them understand the process of building and living in a completed log home.

After lunch we toured one of our log home manufacturing facilities in Princeton, WV.  A brief tour of the log cut line, rafter line, the pre-cut/slotted jamb line as well as the pressure treating cylinder, and how it works was followed by a log stacking demonstration with many  getting a hands-on opportunity on how to lay logs.  We heard from several of the attendees that they enjoyed being able to participate in the log laying and learning practical solutions of log construction.

Gathering information from the web or Social Media is only one SMALL part of the research process.  Meeting people face-to-face and actually being able to see the process of manufacturing and building a log home is priceless.  Get out from behind your computer, put down your smart phone and come and join us on May 19th for our next Plant Tour/Seminar.  Not only will you learn something valueable, but you'll also have lots of fun!

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

Almost Heaven Log Home

Posted on Thu, Apr 26, 2012 @ 03:39 PM

log home ownersNo one can tell you better the advantages of living the log home life than someone who actually LIVES in a log home.  In previous blogs we have discussed how to plan, questions to ask, what to look for when building a log home.  Now we will share with you some of our homeowners experiences.

Once Mr. & Mrs. Lewis finished their beautiful log home by the Greenbrier River in West Virginia we couldn't help but ask if they would allow us to photograph their log home as well as get some additional insights into their experinece in building a log home.  CLICK HERE to read how they made their decisions and how they came to choose Appalachian Log Structures and learn what was important to them when completing their home.

In addition - enjoy some wonderful photos of their completed log home and be sure to start making notes on what you want in your dream log cabin home.

When you are ready to start your log home project please be sure to contact the local Log Home Building Consultant in your area.  We're ready to share with you our experiences and insight to make your project a dream log home come true!

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

Spring Cleaning your Log Home

Posted on Fri, Mar 9, 2012 @ 03:06 PM

log cabin kitsSpring has sprung a bit early this year and 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 apperance in early sping 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 vist 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!

Tags: log home, log cabin home, log home sales consultant

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

MYTH - Log Homes are more expensive than Conventional Built Homes

Posted on Thu, Feb 9, 2012 @ 02:55 PM

not a log homelog wall

 

 

       Log Wall vs Frame Wall   

 

If I had a nickel every time I proved this statement wrong – I would be living in a log home on Tahiti and enjoying an adult beverage while writing this blog!

Let’s get down to the basics.  Start with only the exterior perimeter walls.  Calculate the price of the 6" log wall materials and add labor fees to install it.  Then take ALL of the materials to complete a 6" frame wall and add the labor to install those materials.  When comparing the two finished/installed costs – you would find little to no difference in price. 

Remember when laying a log wall (on a typical 2000 sq ft floor plan it takes about 4 days) you are laying a “finished” wall when it is stacked.  On a frame wall, once the frame is up the wall needs to be insulated, then drywall or a wall covering on the inside of the wall, finished to a completed stage (if drywall, then tape, mud, sanded with at least 2 coats of paint) with sheathing, house wrap and a QUALITY exterior siding of some type on the outside.  With labor and materials – there’s not much price difference (if any) between the two wall systems.

Now, continue on with the finishing of the two homes.  What ever quality, type, style of product you use in the log home you use in the conventional built home – the price will be the same.  If you use different materials you obviously will come up with a different price.  Example – people usually think of a log home with the beautiful exposed beam cathedral ceilings they are known for – yet want to compare the price with a flat truss roof with drywall ceilings.  This is not the way make a comparison – they are comparing apples and oranges.  The price of an exposed beam cathedral ceiling costs more that a truss roof finished with drywall.  You can put the exposed beam ceiling on the conventional home OR put the truss roof on the log home – again – as long as you use the same products on each structure – the cost will be the same.

It’s not that a log home costs more – it’s what people WANT to put in to a log home that will make it more expensive than a conventional built home without the same “wants” included.  We’ve assisted hundreds of log home owners who thought a log home was out of their price range by simply using the same thought process throughout the design and building process.  Depending on the amount you want to invest in your log home, we can help you keep within your budget by suggesting ways to manage the costs.

Call your local Log Home Sales Consultant to find out ways we can make your dream log home become reality!

Tags: log home, log home sales consultant, log wall

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

Let There Be Light - Choosing Windows for your Log Home.

Posted on Thu, Jan 5, 2012 @ 03:13 PM

log home

Let There Be Light! – Choosing windows for your Log Home

Most folks like LOTS of windows in their log cabin home in order to let the “outdoors” in.  Whether its beautiful views of mountains, lakes, meadows or trees from your building site, windows allows Mother Nature to come inside your home and become part of your environment.

Since this blog discusses solid log wall construction, which is very energy efficient, we should also be talking about energy efficient windows!  Did you know about 30% of energy loss in any home (frame construction, block construction, log construction, etc) is through windows and doors?  Why would you consider building an energy efficient log home and then put inefficient, inexpensive windows in?

You can reduce this energy loss by using quality energy efficient windows.  Most window manufacturers make different series of windows to choose from.  You usually have a choice ranging from an entry level window (usually all wood or vinyl with clear glass) to Premium level (usually wood construction with the exterior clad in metal or vinyl with Low-E or upgraded glazing on or in the glass). 

At Appalachian Log Structures Inc. we have chosen to include JELD-WEN SiteLine-EX windows – their Premium window.  Not only are the windows extremely energy efficient but also are made from AuraLast treated wood materials offering a 20-year warranty against rot.  In addition they come in a variety of exterior clad colors as well as offering other options in hardware, grilles, glazing, etc.  Our approach is to offer our clients quality, energy efficient materials up-front and then let the customer determine the level of quality they want.

When comparing log home manufacturers quality of included materials – don’t assume that all packages are created equal, or that all windows that may be included are created equal.  If you are looking for energy efficiency, low maintenance and windows constructed of wood that has a warranty against rot – you’ll need to ask questions and get the facts before making the right decision.  Call 866-LOG-HOME or your local Log Home Consultant to discover more about the windows and other log home building materials we offer.

Tags: log home, log homes, log home consultant, log home manufacturer, log wall