Log Homes

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by wilded, May 2, 2006.

  1. wilded

    wilded Well-Known Member

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    We are considering a log home in Texas. Your opinions and experiences would be appreciated. Pros and Cons, best companies to use. Whatever. Thanks, ET :)
     
  2. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    My grandpa built a huge wonderful log cabin in 75/76 from the pines on his place in KY I would say YOU would be the best company to use to build it with.
     

  3. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I had one built last year and love my log cabin. I was given a pretty decent price for the shell and some interior work, a carport, patio, and crawl space foundation. I chose the closest builder (lucky for me he was 90 minutes away) with a reputation spanning 30 years in the same area and plenty of houses to look at. He milled his own logs. He gave me a free blueprint based on my own drawing of what I wanted my floor plan to be and what I wanted the exterior to look like. I didn't have to pay transportation but from what he told me he charged, I know that many log companies overcharge horribly for transportation.

    The cons are woven into the pros. These are rustic cabins and they don't square perfectly. we've had some door, window, and shower stall troubles but I'm not entirely convinced the morons hired to do some finish out work were capable of doing what they said they could do. The logs need to be sealed every year for first two years and then every few years. Get large diameter logs because if you insulate the interior you will lose the beauty of the log. I have 8 inch "D" logs (flat inside but round outside) and don't need interior insulation downstairs. I've seen some little logs on houses that I now would be cold in our mild climate without insulation.

    One word of caution don't buy a kit unless you are confident you can build it yourself.
     
  4. End of the Road

    End of the Road Well-Known Member

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    Having owned a log home that somebody had built I swore I would never own another one. That said most of the chaulking problems have been solved, at least well enough. I don't know about Texas but here in N.C. everything eats a log home, and I mean everything. LOL I was ready for termites and carpenter bees but not all the other things I didn't know about. We have a tiny insect I call a carpenter misquito that drills thousands of tiny little holes, then there are carpenter ants, flying squirrels, reg. squirrels, chipmunks, ground hogs, rats and woodpeckers (2 types) to name a few. When I got my divorce it was a toss-up as to which I was happier to be rid of, my ex or that labor intensive house. :D
     
  5. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My brother and I built a home for his son/my nephew that was purchased from the Sisson Log Home company. Their link is:

    http://www.sissonloghomes.com/

    Immediately after building it, we both agreed that we would not build another. He has since softened his stance and is considering building another as a hunting cabin. The wiring and plumbing can be problematic, or at least your options are somewhat more limited. The outside maintenance effort is more than I suspected too.

    If I were going to build another house, I would give a lot of thought to a masonry home with an earth berm on three sides. I'm not sure I would want an earthen roof, but I would consider it. With energy prices likely to continue rising, this type home, which was very much in vogue in the 70's, may be revisited.

    Best of luck in whatever you decide to do.
     
  6. Beststash

    Beststash Well-Known Member

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    I would definitely consider a "cordwood" home. I built one 15 years ago and just recently built a 800 sq. ft. addition. I love it - it is virtually indestructible and contrary to what you hear - we have never had a problem with having to caulk the logs - you have got to be patient and let the logs dry (if cedar) for at least 2 years and then forgetaboutit.
    A excellent cordwood website is www.daycreek.com
     
  7. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

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    I built Real Log kit houses for several years. As far as a kit log house, they were good. They went up easy and the ones I see now are still looking good after 15 or 20 years ...... That said, I would not build one for myself. There are always problems with them, no matter how well built they are.

    If I were to desire a log house, I'd put my money into a well kept 100 year old log house that has been dissassembled and re-built. These logs are a little more expensive on the front end, but they are stable and the bugs don't seem to enjoy eating then as much.

    Several sites on the net have these reclaimed log houses and they are worth looking at.

    JMO ..... for what it's worth.
     
  8. coalroadcabin

    coalroadcabin Well-Known Member

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    Well, if you can wait a couple of years, I'll tell you first hand about the process! We're getting ready to break ground on our log home in a couple of months. :)
     
  9. BillyGoat

    BillyGoat Well-Known Member

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    I use to always want a log home.

    Our retreat home is a rock house. It insulates itself well, there is no outside maintenence(except window trim). The roof is metal. I really like it alot better. Insect cannot eat their way through it.

    On top of all that it is bullet proof! :shrug:

    Limestone is very plentiful in Texas! Go out to the country to find it cheap, either off someones property, an old building being taken down, etc.
     
  10. Quinton

    Quinton Active Member

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    Ed,

    Please make sure that you know EXACTLY what it is you are desiring, and please DO THE HOMEWORK if you have any contractor do ANY work for a Log home.

    Many of the details are NOT standard compared to stick frame houses. Just because so an so has built 5,000 stick frames, doesn't mean they can come in and do an AVERAGE job on a log home!! :nono:

    I too, looked into these "kits" that companies had offered and found that the price was WAY too high, and then I would have to hire someone to build the thing too! :Bawling:

    So, I did more research and found a non-profit organization that teaches people a certain way to build their OWN log homes. It may not be suitable for most people to build themselves, but I found the information to be outstanding for knowledge IF I wanted to build myself, or use myself as General Contractor.

    http://www.loghomebuilders.org/

    These folks are what I would consider "out there" a bit, (but just because your not paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you either ) ;)

    but they are genuine and friendly and willing to offer advice ,free!! :dance:
     
  11. QBVII

    QBVII Well-Known Member

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  12. GoatsRus

    GoatsRus TMESIS

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    2 WORDS ......Carpenter bees! Enough said. Do some research on pests. We have log and I don't think I'd have another one especially out in the woods. You'd think the pesky varmints would eat on the trees instead of your house....but Noooooo
     
  13. logbuilder

    logbuilder Well-Known Member

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    I've built two. One small (200 sq ft). One large (1850 sq ft). The construction is quite different from stick but there are proper ways to handle most everything. They are different in both building as well as long term maintenance. If you LOVE them, go for it. If you don't feel some sort of passion for them, make sure you know what you are getting into both short and long term. Here are pics. The big one is farther along than this pic but it is the best pic to see the structure of house and roof.

    http://ourloghouse.com/cgi-bin/olh.pl?00031+../images/normal/IMG_5415.jpg
    http://ourloghouse.com/cgi-bin/olh.pl?00031+../images/normal/img_3049.jpg

    Full set of pics at:

    http://ourloghouse.com/cgi-bin/olh.pl?00320

    Robert
     
  14. Kickapoo

    Kickapoo Member

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    'Sconsin
    We just moved into our new log home in Wisconsin and so far, so good. One pain in the butt is trying to get the humidity down since the logs we used were green. Do make sure you get a good crew. Ours was the laziest bunch of hooligans I'd ever seen. In by 10:00, out by 3:00, 3 days a week. Really hard workers! Anyways, that was my mistake.

    I really like that I can drive a nail anywhere in the wall. Running your electric wires is a huge undertaking. Our builder dug out grooves between logs with a chainsaw to run the wires. Stick framing definitely has its advantages in that regard. Did I mention plumbing? Make sure to plan your interior framed walls with this in mind. I'd get your plumber on board in the planning stages.

    I wouldn't have built it for myself but my wife has always wanted one, so I did it for her. It does look better than an antiseptic, white-walled stick frame. It feels lived-in before you even move in.
     
  15. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

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    Alabama
    Very good advice. A log house is different than any other form of construction. It's a different animal and as you said, just because someone has tons of experience building frame houses doesn't mean they can build a log house.

    Things like air spaces over all the doors and windows can make or break a log house ... and often they do break the house. If anyone builds a log house, they should learn all they can before they begin. Don't just trust a general contractor to know what's going on ... more than likely, unless they specialize in log construction, they will just make a costly mess of your logs.
     
  16. cordwoodguy

    cordwoodguy Active Member

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    Apr 24, 2005

    WILDED...........CONVENTIONAL LOG BUILDING IS AN ACTUAL TRADE.ITS NOT VERY USER FRIENDLY FOR DO IT YOURSELFERS.TRAINING IS REQUIRED.
    FROM THE OTHER POSTS THEY TALK ABOUT CAULKING..WELL IF THEY BUILT WITH THE SCANDINAVIAN SCRIBE FIT METHOD,NO CAULKING REQUIRED EXTERNALLY.THE JOINTS ARE ALL ON TOP AND WATER WOULD DRAIN AWAY NATURALLY.
    THEN "ENDOFTHEROADS" PROBLEM WITH THE BUGS AND OTHER
    CREATURES COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED BY PROPERLY TREATING THE WOOD.
    [AS SOON AS THE LOGS ARE PEELED YOU SPRAY THE LOGS WITH A SOLUTION OF BORAX...2 CUPS OF BORAX TO 1 GALLON OF WARM WATER.
    THIS IS APPLIED IN FUTURE MAINTENANCE STEPS THEN SEALED SO IT WILL NOT LEACH OUT.]THIS WILL KILL OFF ALL INSECTS INCLUDING LARVAE IN THE WALLS.IT SHOULD DETER THE RODENTS AS WELL AS THE WOOD PECKERS.BORAX IS A SALT SO IT SHOULD GIVE THEM A BAD TASTE.
    IF YOU TRY TO BUILD YOUR OWN LOG HOME WITHOUT TRAINING HERE ARE SOME PROBLEMS YOU WILL ENCOUNTER.[PLUS I`M NOT A BELEIVER IN LOG KIT HOMES EITHER.]
    [1]IF YOU USE A LEFT SPIRAL GRAIN LOG IN A WALL.IT CAN BLOW OUT THE WALL.BUT A PROFESSIONAL CAN JUST TOUCH IT AND KNOW ITS A SPIRAL GRAINED LOG AND EXCLUDE IT.
    [2]WALLS OF GREEN LOGS WILL SETTLE 3/4" PER FOOT.THIS WILL BLOW OUT WINDOWS AND DOORS IF NOT ALLOWED FOR.PLUS YOUR CEILING WILL BE ABOUT 6" LOWER.
    (a)THIS AFFECTS CUPBOARDS,PLUMBING,STAIRS ETC.
    (b)IF YOU HAVE ANY VERTICAL LOGS INPLACE.THESE CAN PUSH THE ROOF OFF WHEN THE WALLS SETTLE.
    [3]CHECKING MIGHT SHOW IN YOUR WALL.BUT IN SCANDINAVIAN SCRIBE FIT THEY INDUCE CHECKING BY DRIVING WEDGES UNDER THE JOINT TO INDUCE THE CRACKS WERE THEY WON`T BE SEEN.
    [4]CHIMNEYS,WIRING,PLUMBING,STAIRS,ROOF AND FLOORS ARE DIFFERENT THAN CONVENTIONAL HOMES.
    [5]LOGS ARE COSTLY AND HEAVY TO PLACE.MAKING THE SYSTEM VERY LABOUR INTENSIVE.


    CORDWOODGUY
    PS:CORDWOOD IS A SIMPLER LOG BUILDING SYSTEM THAT`S EASY FOR DO IT YOURSELFERS
     
  17. arabian knight

    arabian knight Miniature Horse lover Supporter

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    Very High Maintenance, and once built if you ever want to redo something add a room take a room down that is very hard because most walls and rooms are weight bearing connected to the roof so it makes it next to impossible to redo anything once built. in Other words once built that is what you have forever. And In WI. I don;t know about other States But Log Homes Are Taxed at 110% of value in other words are taxed at a Higher rate then conventional stick built homes don't ask me why, buy they are~!~! My veterinarian just built a nice large log home on their property just 2 miles from me~!