The Log Blog by Appalachian Log Structures

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

Learn More about your Log Home Manufacturer

Posted on Sat, Sep 1, 2012 @ 01:50 PM

Log Home Plant TourWhat better way to learn more about the log home manufacturer you are considering doing business with than to make a personal visit to their manufacturing facility.

By doing this you accomplish two important things; (1) Making sure that they actually own and operate the mill (not just brokering your log home materials from another manufacturer) and (2) Meeting face to face with your Log Home Consultant and/or other Senior Staff.

At Appalachian Log Structures we encourage clients to attend one of our Plant/Tour Seminars that are held in Princeton, WV four times a year.  These Saturday events have been well received and attended over the past 15+ years.  The feed back we get from the folks that visited with us has been very positive and that they learned a lot more about the project they were about to undertake. 

The workbook and information that is shared during the day is valueable and the hands-on experience for those considering building their own log home is very insightful.  Even those folks who are hiring someone else to install their log home building materials get a better understanding of the process that will be taking place.

In addition to learning more about Appalachian Log Structures, the materials we have to choose from and the advantages of building a borate pressure treated log home, you also get to share your hopes, dreams and ideas with other folks just like yourself!

This fall we are offering these events on Saturday September 29 and Saturday November 3.  A lot of attendees plan to combine a trip to our Headquarters in Ripley, WV on Friday afternoon then travel to Princeton and spend the night in preparation for the Saturday seminar/tour.

Since there are a limited number of seats please be sure to call us (800-280-2574) to register as far in advance as possible.  You may also contact your Local Sales Consultant to find out more about these events.

We hope to see you at one of these events in the near future and look forward to working with you to accomplish your dream log home!

Tags: log home, log home manufacturer, log home sales consultant

Log Home Consultants - We're Here to Help!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is your Log Cabin Home Manufacturer a Log Home Council Member?

Posted on Mon, Aug 6, 2012 @ 11:34 AM

 

custom log home

Building your dream log home is likely one of the largest investments you will make in your lifetime. But you’re not the only stakeholder in this project. Your local building department requires the log cabin home be constructed to code. Your lender wants the log home to be valued correctly. The builder wants to earn more business through word-of-mouth, as does the log home manufacturer.

With so much riding on this decision, who do you trust? We suggest limiting your choices to members of the Log Homes Council like Appalachian Log Structures. Why? Because for decades now, new log homes buyers have trusted members of the Log Homes Council to make their dream home a reality. That’s because all council members must:

  • Abide by a strict code of ethics
  • Grade their logs and timbers by third party agencies to ensure quality
  • Provide construction manuals to ensure correct construction techniques
  • Sponsor scientific studies that advance log building technologies
  • Provide information to help consumers make smart choices


"This means when you buy from a Log Homes Council member, you are getting quality building materials that will stand the test of time," says Nicole Robinson, Chair of the Log Homes Council.

But those aren't the only advantages in choosing a company that belongs to the Log Homes Council. While member companies compete fairly for your dream home while adhering to the membership requirements, they are united in their passion for their work.

"When was the last time you bought anything from anyone who not only harvests the raw materials, but also designs and crafts the finished product?," asks Robinson. "You will find everyone from the sales rep to the owner of the company have something in common with you: They share the same passion for living in a log home as you do."

Learn More About the Council
The Log Homes Council is a national organization with membership comprised of manufacturers of log homes. The council is part of the National Association of Home Builders.  Appalachian Log Structures is proud to be one of the companies that first formed this organization and throughout the years have had two of our employees being Chair of the Council as well as serving on numerous advisory boards and committies.  We proud of our association with the Log Home Council and their efforts to promote and support our industry.

 

Information above is taken in part from the Log Home Council's web page.

Tags: log home, log cabin home, Log Home Council

A Company’s Legacy of Log Home Living

Posted on Fri, Jul 27, 2012 @ 09:44 AM

custom log homeLooking back 20 years ago next month, my wife and I were putting the finishing touches on our log home and preparing to move in.  Over the previous 18 months, we planned, sketched, met with banks, met with builders, scheduled the work to be done and prepared for our journey in to the building process.  We started construction in March of 1992 and by mid-September were moved in.  Building a log cabin home in South Carolina during the summer months is NOT the best of planning but we pulled it off. 

Along the way we learned quite a few things about building a log home and the construction business in general.  Over the past 20 years I’ve been willing to share these experiences and assist several hundred homeowners to successfully move in to their log home.

There are several employees, including myself, at Appalachian Log Structures Inc. that live in log homes and have done so for quite a few years – over 200 years combined in total.  My father, the founder of Appalachian Log Structures, who passed away in 2010, lived in two log homes (my mother still does), the President of Appalachian personally built both of his log homes (lots of sweat equity there!), our VP of Marketing has lived in two log homes, our VP Sales lives in #13, the 13th log home to roll off our line over 32 years ago (see photo above).  The Manager of both our production facilities in Princeton, WV built his home in 1992 as did my sister and her husband who since has moved in to my Grandmothers log home and remodeled it.  Over the years we’ve had other employees and family members build log homes and they are still living in them today.

In addition to employees most all of our Independent Representatives either live in or work from a log model home (or sometimes both!).

So you see, when you contact someone at Appalachian Log Structures you have the opportunity to speak with someone that has first hand experience of building and maintaining a log home – experience that is valuable to someone just starting the process.  In addition, all of us are willing to share our knowledge and experience so that you too can have the opportunity to live the log home life like so many us have been blessed to do.

When you are ready to start your log home, we’re here and waiting to assist you.  We’re only a phone call or a short drive away so come on by for a visit and let’s get you started on your dream log cabin home.  Contact your Local Sales Representative today!

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

Log Home Logs offers Unique Commercial Applications too!

Posted on Thu, Jul 19, 2012 @ 09:05 AM

custom log restaurant

Thought building with logs was for residential use only?  Well think again.  Over the past 35+ years we’ve supplied our quality, pressure treated log home building products for countless commercial projects.

Whether it is for rental cabins, hotels, restaurants, office buildings or a small back yard office, our log wall building materials are perfect for these applications.  Folks using log construction for their businesses report that clients that are coming in to their place of business ask lots of questions about the building itself and enjoy the warm, comfortable surroundings which adds to the purpose of their visit.

Aside from being unique, you find log construction hard to beat when it comes to the sturdiness of construction.  With thru-bolt technology (we were the first in North America to use these), solid log walls, timber framing 2nd floor and roof construction all add to how solid these buildings are in all types of adverse weather and other mother nature induced events.  For those buildings located close to an interstate or busy roads, the sound proofing that the log wall offers makes the working environment extremely quiet and very pleasant.

And once you are moved in to your commercial property you’ll be delighted how easy it is for clients to find you.  EVERYONE knows when a log structure is going up in the community and you’ll be pleasantly surprised when the locals start using your location when giving directions!  What better FREE advertisement could you ask for?

If you are considering using logs or timbers for your next commercial project please contact your local Log Home Consultant to get their input and expertise to assist you with the design and layout.  You may want to visit our web page (www.applog.com) to see some photos from just a few of the commercial projects we’ve been involved with.

Tags: log home, log home consultant, log home building products, log wall, log construction

The New FRONTIER-TRS Log Home Package from Appalachian

Posted on Mon, Jul 9, 2012 @ 03:42 PM

log home packageIntroducing our newest log home package – the FRONTIER TRS.  Just in time for the National Log Home Month being celebrated in July, our FRONTIER TRS series is being launched with 10 single story plans and special pricing.

Our FRONTIER series will feature a choice of either our Premier (pre-cut) or Pioneer (Linear Foot) materials for the log wall and include cost saving features like pre-manufactured trusses for the main roof and porch roof and Jeld-Wen Builder Series aluminum clad windows.  As always, there are numerous options to add to your custom package should you choose.

The 10 floor plans (including 2 garage plans) are all ranch style and have been the top choices our homeowners have looked towards when choosing to build their single-story log homes over the past 30+ years.  From contemporary to rustic designs ranging between 1300 and 2000 square feet, these plans have lots to offer the discerning log home buyer.  Whether it’s a starter home for a younger couple with a growing family, an empty-nester wanting to “right-size” in preparation for retirement or a summer home by the lake or in the mountains, these floor plans offer something for everyone!

Since we’re introducing this new FRONTIER series in July – National Log Home Month – we’re also offering introductory LOW pricing. 

Don’t forget to call or stop by your local Log Home Sales Consultant when you are ready to get started.  We’re here to assist you with every aspect of your project and look forward to seeing you soon!

Tags: log home, log homes, log home package, log wall, log home building consultatt

Energy Performance of Log Homes

Posted on Fri, Jun 29, 2012 @ 10:55 AM

custom log structureA 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.

Tags: log home, log cabin home, dream log home, logs, log cabin kits, log home building consultant, Log Home Council

The Log Home: An American Dream

Posted on Thu, Jun 14, 2012 @ 10:08 AM

custom log home
Over 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!

Tags: log home, dream log home, log cabin kits, log home construction, log home industry, log wall building materials

NC Log Home Owners Use Strategic Planning

Posted on Fri, May 25, 2012 @ 09:36 AM

Cozy Log Cabin HomeGood strategy, communication, vision and hard work eventually pay off for two homeowners who used all of the planning tools in their tool belt to build their dream log home.

It was not planned or executed overnight but over several years.  Cultivating the dream, envisioning the finished product and working towards a common goal all paid off in the end.  Now this beautiful log home is the Shaffer's dream log home come true.

A lot of their own blood, sweat and tears went in to their retirement home in Western North Carolina and it really shows.  For the protection of their investment, they chose to use logs pressure treated with borates to guarantee against wood digesting insects and decay.  In addition, they also liked the advantages that the spring loaded thru-bolt offered - keeping their log cabin home tight and energy efficient over the years.

Now that it's complete - they enjoy their time on the porch looking over the picturesque views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Their home was featured in Country's Best Log home magazine and you can CLICK HERE to see more photos and read about their experiences.

When planning your dream log home, take your time, think it through and don't forget to work with a Log Home Consultant that has your best interest at heart.

Tags: log home, log cabin home, dream log home, log home consultant, log home magazine