The Log Blog by Appalachian Log Structures

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

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, log home package, logs, log home building materials, custom log home

Log Homes - Made in the USA?

Posted on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 @ 03:51 PM

log home made in usaMost of us today are PROUD to buy products that are made right here in America, supporting not only the local/regional businesses but also supporting the hard working people these businesses employ.  It's also a GREAT way to help grow our struggling economy.

Appalachian Log Structures is located in the heart of the West Virginia Appalachian Mountains.  We're a proud group of Mountaineers and stand committed behind our 35 years of manufacturing and pressure treating log homes for over 5000 homeowners.  In addition, all of our raw log and timber  materials come from right here in the good ole USA. 

These are some of reasons you'll start to see our emblem, "American Owned / Made in the USA", our our website and in our advertising in the near future.

If supporting our economy and businesses located here in America is important to you, be sure to ask where your log home materials are coming from, and who exactly owns the business.  You may be surprised at some of the answers you receive.

To learn more about the log home building products we make at our Princeton, West Virginia manufacturing facility, contact your local Log Home building consultant.  Keep your log home investment from leaving the USA!  Buy American made products from American owned businesses.

Tags: log homes, log home building consultant, log structures, log home building products, log and timber products

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 wall, log home sales consultant

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 home manufacturer, log cabin home, log home consultant

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 home manufacturer, log homes, log home consultant, log wall

A Happy Log Home New Year

Posted on Thu, Dec 29, 2011 @ 04:29 PM

log home christmasThis greeting comes with heartfelt thanks to all of you who took time from your life to call us, visit us, or write us an email about the dream of living in a log home of your own. Having experienced owning, building and living in a log home for over 20 years, I understand the overwhelming desire to live in a quiet, warm, and comforting environment that leads one back to a simpler time of living. Log homes provide this ambiance. Appalachian Log Structures looks forward to it's continued mission of providing not only the highest quality log home building material components, but also timely, educational and important information concerning the numerous choices to be made during the log home buying and building process. We hope our blog has helped you explore some of these important choices, and we have given practical and logical information to be used in making the best choice for you. We will continue to bring you the best information and suggestions concerning log homes, and look forward to hearing from you for input on topics for discussion.

As we say goodbye to 2011 and welcome the New Year of 2012 our wish for you and yours is a healthy and prosperous New Year, and that we may help you realize your dream of owning a log home in the near future.

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