The Log Blog by Appalachian Log Structures

Log Home Industry Recognized by U.S. Congress

Posted on Fri, Jun 22, 2012 @ 11:28 AM

Log Home Industry

On June 7th, the U.S. House of Representatives formally recognized the log home industry in the United States.

"America’s log cabin industry as a quintessential symbol of the American pioneering spirit, embodying America’s strength and ingenuity," said Congressman Reid Ribble (R-WI) in the Congressional Record.

"Log cabins, whether used for recreation or as primary residences, are economically sustainable, reducing waste and employing materials that put Mother Nature’s beauty at center stage," Ribble said. "The industry is experiencing renewed growth, exporting this American icon to nations from Germany to China."

The Log Homes Council, part of the National Association of Home Builders, was instrumental in helping Congressman Ribble bring attention to the log home industry. Council members are holding an open house this July, to help educate log home enthusiasts about the joys of log home living.

"Log cabin production directly supports thousands of jobs from builders to sales professionals, as well as the housing market, lending institutions, and many others. The people of this industry are hard-working, charitable, and deserving of recognition for their centuries of accomplishment," Ribble said.

This is not the first time that the log home industry has been honored with historic significance. In 2009, the United States Mint launched the Lincoln Log Cabin Penny at the National Park Service's Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site, in Hodgenville, Kentucky. The day was appropriate, as it was the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth.

Appalachian Log Structures will be celebrating National Log Home month in July with some exciting and money saving news.  Be sure to like us on Facebook, keep an eye on our web site (www.applog.com) and keep reading our blogs to learn more about our upcoming news!

Tags: log home industry, log cabins, log home living

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

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

Log Home Options Up to 50% Off

Posted on Thu, May 10, 2012 @ 02:35 PM

log cabin home discount

Save up to 50% off select log home options!

If you are thinking about a log cabin home building project, now is the time to get started and take advantage of these great savings!

Order your Appalachian Log Structures Predesigned or Custom log home Package by June 30, 2012 and take delivery by September 30, 2012 to receive up to a 50% discount on select options purchased.

  

Popular log home options include:

Metal collar tie plates

Porch, deck & stair railing

Heavy timber stair components

Interior log siding for gables, dormers or interior walls chinking

Log siding and log siding corners

High “R” roof insulation upgrade

Roof panel fasteners

 

 With our proven Cleartreat process, 25 year log wall warranty, and Premiere pre-cut log and beam system, all of these option products will add an enduring value to the log home of your dreams.

 

Note: This promotion may be combined with our 5% discount on ALSI Predesigned models! Discount on hand hewing and fixed gable glass are not applicable for this promotion.

Contact your ALSI Sales Representative or call 1-866-LOG-HOME
to take advantage of these fantastic savings NOW!

Tags: log cabin home, log home kits, log home packages, log home discounts

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

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

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

Who is Manufacturing your Log Home Package?

Posted on Thu, Mar 1, 2012 @ 04:17 PM

log home manufacturerThere are a lot of claims about being a log home kit manufacturer, but knowing the difference between a broker and a manufacturer is important.

A log home manufacturer owns and operates the machinery that cuts your log home building materials.  For those manufacturers belonging to the Log Home Council, like Appalachian Log Structures, we also provide quality grade stamped logs and timbers, as well as construction manuals, construction DVD's, on-site technical assistance and other such valuable services.  A few of the manufacturers, like Appalachian Log Structures, have their own drafting departments where they focus on providing homeowners with specialized drawings on how the materials are to be assembled.  Most manufacturers are very proud of their manufacturing facilities, and over the past 10+ years we've been offering Plant Tour/Seminars at our Princeton, WV facility, where we've hosted thousands of interested log home enthusiasts .  These people (many of which are now homeowners) tell us that visiting our log home manufacturing facility made them feel secure in the fact that they knew who and where their dream log cabin was being produced.

When doing research for your log home kit, you'll run across a few log home brokers.  Although advertised and promoted as a "Log Home Company" or manufacturer, log home brokers typically purchase the log home building materials from saw mills or sometimes from a log home manufacturer, or both!  The materials are then re-sold to consumers as being made by the "Log Home Company".  If you don't inquire, (or don't care), you'll never know who supplied and milled your log home building materials.

When its time to choose your manufacture/supplier - it's not a bad idea to visit their manufacturing facility.  You can learn so much more about the company you are going to be dealing with, as well as see first hand the quality of the product you are investing in.

Knowledge is power - be sure to educate yourself on not only the quality of the log home components you are purchasing, but know who you are dealing with, and where the log cabin kits are coming from...the manufacturer or someplace else!

You are invited to our Spring Plant Tour and Seminar being held later this month.  Contact your local Log Home Consultant to learn more.  Sign up soon as seats are limited!

Tags: dream log home, log cabin kits, log home manufacturer, log home kits