The real scoop on log insulation

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cc-rider, Aug 21, 2006.

  1. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

    Jul 29, 2003
    flatlands of Ohio - sigh
    I've tried to look through the archives, but find such a variation of responses.....

    I have my choice between the following.

    I can build a stick-framed building. I can make it super-insulated and have a sunroom.

    Or I can have a 6" log cabin built, also with a sunroom. The logs are 6X6 inch timbers, and they use 1"x4" or 5" between them to space them, then chink the resulting gap.

    I really want something that is easy to heat and cool. I really like the log cabin look....but will I be sacrificing insulation and energy efficiency?

    One place I saw said wood is about 2 (can't think of the word...R factor) per inch, another said 45!!! Any other ideas????

  2. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    I don't know the numbers, but a well insulated stick framed building of good quality construction will far outperform any variation of a log structure. If you want real easy to heat and cool, forget the logs, IMO. The best choice for a tight structure is building using SIP panels, but I believe it does have a price premium to stick framing.

  3. coalroadcabin

    coalroadcabin Well-Known Member

    Jun 15, 2004
    Logs make up for the lack of 'R value' with thermal mass. Basically, the logs hold and radiate warmth back into your living space. That being said, logs less than 8" thick really don't do the job.
    The log home council has a study (.pdf file) on their website that gives much better information than I can. Check it out here:

    The Energy Efficiency of Logs

    If you are considering a log home, you might enjoy surfing their site for info on log homes
  4. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

    Sep 22, 2004
    I have a friend who is building a landscape timber cabin like boylez but his is a couple feet bigger width and lenght. He is running the regular run of logs around and then dropping back 4 inchs and making another shell with the timbers on the inside. The gap between is going to be filled with that liquid foam type expanding insulation. His r value was judged to be about 45 or more. At 3 bucks a timber the timbers for a 24x36 is gonna run him about 3 grand for inside and outside shell.

    I have a home built out of 6x6 timbers. I cant tell it is any worse than the stick home I used to have.

    But I live in Alabama not the great white north.