The Log Blog by Appalachian Log Structures

Purchase log home floor plans - Step #6 in Planning for Success

Posted on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 @ 02:00 PM

log home floor plans

Assuming that you have progressed through the first 5 steps in the Successful Planning series you have now completed your research, set a realistic budget, know where you are going to build your log cabin home, sketched some log home floor plan ideas on paper and are within the building/move in timeline you have set for yourself, it's now time to have your preferred log home manufacturer start drawing your dream log home design.  Whether it is a floor plan that the log home manufacturer already has pre-designed, there are some slight modifications you want made to that plan or if you have your own custom log home design, gather your ideas, sketches and other information and get with your Log Home Consultant to get underway.

For folks wanting one of our pre-designed plans we offer a Study Set of plans that will help you gather building costs and/or provide to your lending institution for appraisal purposes.  For those wanting to modify a pre-designed plan or customize their own plan we have a Preliminary Plan option that provides the same type of information as the Study Set of plans include.  Contact your local Log Home Consultant for more information and pricing on the Preliminary Plan option.

Over the year's we have found that those homeowners who start working on their log home floor plans early are the most confident and well prepared when construction actually begins.  You should be very relaxed and not rushed through this step as it is your dream log cabin home.  Both your log home manufacturer and your Log Home Consultant are very interested in assisting you through this process.

Coming soon - Step #7 Obtaining Construction Estimate.

$ave on Plans

 

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Tags: log homes, log home design, log home floor plans, log cabin homes

Timeline for a New Log Home - Step #5 in Planning for Success

Posted on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 @ 02:25 PM

log home constructionSome folks will set a date that they want to be moved in to their new log home like Christmas, Thanksgiving or a special anniversary or birthday.  Setting goals are a great idea but they need to be matched with realistic expectations.  If you’ve never had a custom home built before, now may be the time to investigate a bit further.

There are several factors that will affect how long a log home building project will take.  Here are just a few:

  •  Complexity and size of the house plan
  • Location of the building site
  • Availability of building supplies
  • Weather
  • Size/experience of construction crew

On average our homeowners have told us that from the time they started clearing their lot until the time they moved in, it took them approximately 12 months to complete.  Remember, this is an “average” so some folks building smaller, simpler designs may have spent fewer than 6 months and some with very large (7000+ sq ft) complex houses on difficult building sites may have spent 18 months or longer.

If you have a move-in date selected be sure to keep the time lines and what can effect them in mind so you know when you have to start.  To help you along, click here for a sample time line to help you along in planning.  For further assistance, use your local Log Home Consultant as a wonderful resource for insights in to the time line planning process.

Our next topic is Step #6 – Ordering Blueprints

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Tags: log home consultant, log home design, log homes

Designing Your New Log Home - Step #4 in Planning for Success

Posted on Fri, Dec 7, 2012 @ 11:50 AM

Step #4 in the Successful Planning series is Designing Your Log Home.

What style of home are you dreaming of building, a single story ranch style for retirement (or just to give your knees a break) or a home with a 2nd story or loft? Does one of our pre-designed models fit your wants/needs perfectly or would you want to make some modificationlog home designs to one? Have your own custom design with rooms sizes and locations exactly where you want them? Any of our Log Home Consultants can help you get started with any of these options.

When designing your log cabin home, remember what furniture you have now and what you plan to take with you. Is there room enough for the 9 foot tall custom made wall unit you will bring to your new log home? How about Grandma’s dining room table that seats 12 for all the family dinners you have – will the new design accommodate this precious piece of furniture? What is in your attic or basement now and where will it go in the new house? What features in your existing home would you want to duplicate in your new design. What features do you NOT want to duplicate?

Consider your lifestyles too. For 2nd story models with the master bedroom on the main floor – do you want a bedroom above yours? All bedrooms on one side of the house or do you want separate sleeping areas with you on one side of the house and kids/guests on the other? Need a large kitchen since you cook a lot or just a galley kitchen since you plan on ordering take out frequently?

Get your ideas together and contact your local Log Home Consultant. We’re a great resource for your log home project.

Next in the 10 step series is Step #5 – Developing a Timeline.
 
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Tags: log cabin home design, log home design, log home consultant, log cabin home, log home

A Perfect Log Home Setting - Step #3 in Planning for Success

Posted on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 @ 02:20 PM

dogwood log home
Having a successful log home building project requires lots of planning.  Last time we discussed the importance of prequalifying and establishing a budget.

Today we’re on to Step #3 – Selecting a Building Site.  If you already own the property on which you will be building your log cabin home then you are “one step” ahead of the game.  You may want to read along anyway to see if there was anything you may have overlooked or forgot to ask.

It usually is easier to adapt a log house design to fit your building site than to find land that fits your design.  One of the most important questions to ask when investing in property that is not on a city sewer system is if the land “perks”.  A perk test is required where a septic system is necessary and is important because the system will need to be placed on the property according to where the waste water will best be absorbed in to the ground.  This may require you moving the building site in order to accommodate the septic system. 

Other questions you may want to consider asking before purchasing:

  • Restrictions (if any) of the type/size of homes that are allowed to be built here?
  • Are there architectural review boards that need to review my plans before I build?
  • Are there any deed restrictions, easements or right of ways that affect the property?
  • Is there a homeowners association that I will need to join?  Annual fees?
  • Who maintains the roads (county, state, city, owners association)?
  • Is the land in a flood zone?
  • When was the last survey done?
  • What services are available (electric, cable, telephone, cell signals, DSL, water, sewer, garbage pick up, etc)

Asking now will save time and money in the future.  Don’t forget to use your local Log Home Consultant as a resource.  We’re here to assist you!  

Look for Step #4 – Designing your Home in the near future.

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Tags: build a log cabin, log cabin home, log home

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

Posted on Fri, Nov 23, 2012 @ 10:34 AM

fair oaks log 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 prequalification 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.

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

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

Posted on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 @ 10:16 AM

Modified RichmondIt’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 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 Consultant.  We’re here to assist you along the way.

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

Tags: log home manufacturer, log home kits, log home

We're More Than a Producer of Log Homes!

Posted on Thu, Nov 1, 2012 @ 01:40 PM

Log AccentsMost 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?  This past year 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!

 

Tags: log home manufacturer, log homes, log cabin homes, log structures

Halloween, Trick or Treat and Appalachian Log Structures

Posted on Fri, Oct 26, 2012 @ 01:40 PM

Log HomesRemember 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 get the most savings on free options.  By taking delivery early in 2013 you can earn a nice rebate 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!

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

October Log Home Maintenance Checklist

Posted on Fri, Oct 19, 2012 @ 09:39 AM

Log Home MaintenanceOctober is the first full month of fall; by the end of this month, most of your winterization should be completed. Falling leaves and dwindling daylight signal a final opportunity to do some outdoor organizing before winter settles in.

Reinforce windows
Replace your screens with storm windows. If your screens are dirty or damaged, repair and clean before storing them to prevent further deterioration. Light scrubbing followed by a blast from a hose will eliminate bird droppings and other grime. Small tears can be sewn up with thin wire. If you have older single-pane windows and no storm coverings, apply heat-shrink plastic to the inner or outer window frame to create an insulating air space and save heating expense.

Fire fluency
Make sure your damper is in good working order by opening and shutting it prior to lighting the first fire of the season. If you didn't clean your chimney at the end of the heating season, do it now — especially if you burn soft woods, which release more creosote. Often the first indication that a chimney needs cleaning is a chimney fire, so preventive maintenance is important.  The fireplace/wood stove in your log cabin home is now ready to enjoy on those soon to be cold nights!

Detect deadly gas
If you heat your home with wood heat or a gas heater, a carbon-monoxide detector is a must. These devices look and sound like smoke detectors, but they detect carbon-monoxide gas instead. Units that plug into an outlet are also available.  Protect your loved ones as well as your dream log home investment!

Check batteries in smoke detectors
Daylight saving time ends Nov. 7. Get into the habit of checking smoke-detector batteries when you "fall back" and "spring ahead." Also make sure household fire extinguishers are fully pressurized and in good working order.

Close seasonal air conditioners
If you live in a place where air conditioners are used seasonally instead of year-round, this is a good month to close them down. Switch off power, make sure the condensate drain is clear, and clean condenser coils and filters (a vacuum will do). Either remove window units or cover them, to protect your home from drafts and the units from inclement weather.

Bleed air from radiators
Radiators can get air pockets in them when not in use. If air pockets stay, they will keep the unit from heating up to its full capacity. If your unit doesn't have automatic air valves, you need to bleed it prior to every heating season. To bleed air out, turn on the furnace and circulator and open the supply valve to the radiator. Find the bleeder valve (it's usually opposite the supply valve) and open it while holding a pan to it. Air should be released, followed by hot water (thus the pan). Close the valve as the water comes out. Lightly feel the radiator to make sure it is heated along its entire surface; if there are gaps, repeat the procedure.

Cut brush back from the house
Before stowing all of your gardening equipment for the winter, walk around your house with a weed whacker and a pair of pruners and cut back any brush, weeds or branches that contact your house. This task will eliminate a common access point for insects, rodents and rot. It will also keep branches and shrubs from scraping away at your siding during windstorms.

Watch those leaves
If you don't want the tannin in fall leaves to leave hard-to-clean imprints on your deck and concrete walkways, keep those surfaces leaf-free. If you do get some leaf prints, try a solution of half water and half bleach (test it first in an unobtrusive spot — it may lighten the wood on your deck) or trisodium phosphate (commonly known as TSP) and warm water. Or, just leave the prints and consider them an artistic addition to your exterior look.

Store outdoor furniture
Scrub and store outdoor furniture; even furniture designed to stay out year-round will last longer if protected from extreme cold and wet. Store or cover your barbecue unless you cook with it all year. Empty and store large planters — clay or terra-cotta units will crack if left out to freeze and thaw. Clean and store your gardening tools, but don't put them completely out of reach — shovels are useful year-round.

Winterize external plumbing systems
This is the most important job of fall if you live in an area that freezes in the winter. The simple fact that water expands upon freezing has caused countless homeowners innumerable woes. Ignore this job and flooding, water damage and thousands of dollars worth of plumbing bills will be your constant winter companions.

Here's your to-do list:

  • Drain underground sprinkler systems

  • Have outdoor pools drained and professionally serviced.  

  • Drain exterior water pipes and any pipes that run through unheated areas (such as a garage, crawl space or unheated porch). If draining these pipes isn't possible, wrap them with foam insulation or heat tape. 

  • Cover exposed spigots with foam covers. Or, if cosmetics and ease of removal don't matter, wrap spigots in layers of newspaper, cover the newspaper with a plastic bag, and seal the whole affair with duct tape. 

  • Drain and store garden hoses. Leave one hose and nozzle somewhere that's easily accessible; you'll need it for gutter cleaning and car washing.

Preparing now will save you time and money next spring when the thaw comes.  Take care of your log home and it will take good care of you!

Parts of the article above was reproduced from a posting by By Anne Erickson of MSN Real Estate

Tags: log home, dream log home

On My Honor - Appalachian Log Structures & The Boy Scouts

Posted on Sat, Oct 13, 2012 @ 11:27 AM

Boy Scout Camp

On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

I'm sure there are plenty of you who remember growing up in the "scouts".  Whether it was Brownies, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts, there are a lot of grown ups today who have fond memories of the great times spent with other youngsters doing a lot of fun things. 

I remember the uniforms, the meetings, gathering in the Fellowship Hall at our Church to race the Pine Wood Derby car that Dad and I worked so hard on.  There were also some camp outings, cooking over an open camp fire and other such activities that bring back LOTS of good memories.

Today's Scouting is MUCH different with all sorts of new activities that young people can get in to.  In 2013, the Boy Scouts National Jamboree will be held at the Summit in West Virginia (our Home State!) and you should see what they have in store....(see video below)!

In 2011 Appalachian Log Structures was asked by one of the sub-contractors on the Summit project to pre-assemble some of the 300+ bathhouses that are being built on the site.  Since we are known for our manufacturing of log homes and other wood building components it was a good match.  We worked with the sub contractor to come up with a mass production type of assembly for all of the panels and other pre-built components for these structures.  When the pre-assembled components were off-loaded at the site, they were quickly installed and completed by the contractor (see photo above). 

We are honored to be chosen to assist the Boy Scouts in their new venture and are excited to see how it all turns out next year when the Summit is visited by the thousands of Boy Scouts from all over the world.  Not only will it bring awareness to the Boy Scouts, but also to West Virginia and Appalachian Log Structures.

As you will see from the video, West Virginia has lots of outdoor activities to offer which makes it a wonderful destination even if you are not a Boy Scout.  Lots of folks who plan a visit to one of our Plant Tour/Seminars held in Princeton, WV will also schedule a long weekend to take advantage of the outdoor adventures that are located close by.

Whether it's a log home, log siding, log railing or other log home building materials that you need, or other wood components that need some milling, pre-cutting or pre-assembly, Appalachian Log Structures is just the company to provide you with quality products and workmanship.

If you are considering some type of commercial structure instead of a residential structure we can also assist you.  We've done several hundred of these commercial type structures over the past 35+ years and will be happy to assist you as well.  Contact one of your Local Log Home Building Consultants to help you get started.

BE PREPARED!

 

Tags: log home, log siding