The Log Blog by Appalachian Log Structures

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

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

Part 4 of 4 - Log Homes are Better than Conventional Built Homes

Posted on Fri, Dec 23, 2011 @ 12:53 PM

log home interior

Beyond a steady stream of visitors seeking to soak up some rustic ambiance and connect with Mother Nature, there are other advantages for owning a log home over more conventional construction. Longtime homeowners say log and timber homes offer rich rewards over the stick and brick homes of their neighbors.  Here are 3 more advantages...

10) The Eyes Have It
If you’re worried about mold, mildew or insect infestation, then a log home offers clear advantages since you’ll be able to see anything untoward, just by taking a stroll around your home and visually inspecting the logs. This quick detection leads to a less costly remedy. In contrast to a conventional home, the sealed wall cavities can be a hidden refuge for mold, mildew and insect infestation, which can cause far more damage before its detected.

11) Superior Craftsmanship
Conventional custom homes can have their fair share of beautiful carpentry, but this is typically limited to trim and millwork. In log homes, examples of fine craftsmanship are at every turn, in the handcrafted staircase with its branch-like spindles and balustrade, in the hand-scribed large timbers overhead in the cathedral ceiling, in the one-of-a-kind light fixtures.

12) Peace & Quiet
Log homes are often quieter than stick built homes, thanks to the same thermal mass that provides energy efficiency and the sound deadening affects of wood walls, according to a white paper produced by the National Association of Home Builders Log Homes Council. “The acoustical benefits of a log wall, therefore, are the reduced transmission provided by its solid mass and the sound deflection provided by the profile of the log (the angle, shape, and texture of the log surface),” the paper concludes.

 

This article is reprinted from a Log Home Council webpage.

Tags: log home, log and timber home, logs, thermal mass, wood walls, Log Homes Council

Part 3 - Log Homes are Better than Conventional Built Homes

Posted on Fri, Dec 9, 2011 @ 02:44 PM

custom log  home

12 Advantages Log Homes Have Over Stick & Brick Construction

Beyond a steady stream of visitors seeking to soak up some rustic ambiance and connect with Mother Nature, there are other advantages for owning a log home over more conventional construction. Longtime homeowners say log and timber homes offer rich rewards over the stick and brick homes of their neighbors.  Here are three more reasons to consider a log cabin home.

7) Super Energy Efficient

Provided the home is sealed properly (between the foundation and the first course of logs, between log-to-log connections and where the roof system meets the log wall), you can have a super energy efficient home. Indeed, some builders routinely build log homes to meet the DOE’s “Energy Star” standards. This means it will be 30% more efficient than what building codes call for, saving you serious coin over the life of the home. “Today we can build a log home to be 15 to 20 percent more energy efficient than a conventional home,” says builder Mike Gingras, owner of Seven North Log Homes in New Haven, Vermont, who has designed and built Energy Star-rated log homes for the past 18 years.

8) A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Hanging a picture in a home with drywall is a big ordeal, involving a stud finder, a hammer or drill and bruised fingers—maybe even a bruised ego, since your spouse may tell you to move the picture, requiring patch work. Homeowners report the simplicity of hanging a picture is one the simple joys of living in a log home.

9) Rustic Doesn’t Mean It Isn’t High Tech

While rugged is appealing, roughing it is definitely out. That’s why today’s log homeowners increasingly want a hideaway that’s connected, automated and secure. Many log homeowners are adding backup generators (in case of power outages), security system and a CAT 5 wiring system that can accommodate high speed video, voice and data, as well as a host of new communication technologies on the horizon.

 

Watch for Part 4 of this 4 part series coming soon!

 

This article is re-printed from a Log Home Council white paper.

Tags: log home, log homes, log cabin home, log and timber homes, log wall, log homeowners

Part 2 - Log Homes are Better than Conventional Built homes.

Posted on Wed, Nov 30, 2011 @ 01:19 PM

log cabin home

                12 Advantages Log Homes Have Over Stick & Brick Construction

Beyond a steady stream of visitors seeking to soak up some rustic ambiance and connect with Mother Nature, there are other advantages for owning a log home over more conventional construction. Longtime homeowners say log and timber homes offer rich rewards over the stick and brick homes of their neighbors.  Here are three more reasons to consider a log cabin home.

4) Fit the Land
Since this organic building material comes from nature, the resulting structures blend into the topography like a 10-point buck on opening day. Log homes naturally integrate right into the landscape, rather than being awkwardly imposed on it.

5) Fast Framing
If you choose to use a precut and pre-drilled log system or a handcrafted home, the shell of your home can be framed on site faster than conventional stick framing, which will reduce the likelihood of weather-related damages or mold and mildew issues. With the right crew and building system, it can be weather tight in as little as two weeks—for an average sized home. In conventional construction, your home is exposed to the elements for far longer, which could lead to mold issues within framing of the home, where it can thrive undetected for years.

6) Warmth of Wood
Warm to the touch (as opposed to the always chilly sheetrock), wood has something called “thermal mass,” a natural property in the logs that helps keep inside temperatures of homes comfortable in all seasons. This allows log walls to collect and store energy, then radiate it back into the home.

Watch for part 3 of this 4 part series soon!

 

This article is re-printed from a Log Home Council white paper.

Tags: log home, log homes, log cabin home, log and timber homes, log walls, log system

Log Homes are better than Conventional built homes - 4 part series

Posted on Fri, Nov 25, 2011 @ 09:04 AM

log cabin home

 

12 Advantages Log Homes Have Over Stick & Brick Construction

Part 1 of 4

Beyond a steady stream of visitors seeking to soak up some rustic ambiance and connect with Mother Nature, there are other advantages for owning a log home over more conventional construction. Longtime homeowners say log and timber homes offer rich rewards over the stick and brick homes of their neighbors. The benefits start with the building materials.

1) Trees are Renewable Resource
Since trees are a renewable resource, log homes come with a solid green pedigree. When a home is made from solid logs, you are effectively taking the carbon contained in those logs out of environmental circulation over the entire life of the home. Moreover, some log home producers harvest standing dead timber (done in by pesky insects) or purchase logs from forests certified as sustainable. Some builders are constructing log homes to green building standards as well.

2) Long Lasting
Got a know-it-all in the neighborhood who thinks his brick home is durable? Inform him that log homes still in use in Europe routinely date back more than 800 years. And one log-constructed church in Russia is reportedly more than 1,700 years young.

3) Withstand Mother Nature’s Wrath
The log home industry has countless stories of these homes successfully weathering the worst weather Mother Nature can dish out, including the 2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. When Rita’s winds caused a giant oak tree to crash through the roof of Menlo Klingman and his wife Mickey’s 1,700 square foot log home in Eastern Texas, the home’s solid log walls withstood the weight of the toppled tree and prevented more damage “There is no doubt in my mind that this log home saved our lives,” says Mickey.

Watch for Part 2 next week!

 

This article is re-printed from a Log Home Council white paper.

Tags: log home, log and timber homes, log home industry, solid logs, log home producers, solid log walls