Thinking of building a Log Home?

If you are considering a log home, we have compiled a list of tips and tricks to keep in mind.

Many people dream of building or owning a log home. The log home industry has been growing at a rate of 15 percent for the last 10 years. Here are some key items to think about when considering building a log home:

  • Log homes typically cost 20 to 30 percent more than a conventionally built home.
  • The same size log home is typically worth 30 to 40 percent more than a conventional home.
  • Log homes usually sell much faster than regular homes.
  • Log homes are harder to build than traditional homes.

Log homes can be built to almost any set of plans, but with the cost of log homes being considerably more than traditionally built homes here are some suggestions on how to keep the cost down as much as possible:

  • Keep the exterior log structure as rectangular as possible.  As with all construction, every extra corner adds to the cost of the project.  This is especially true with log homes.  Simple rectangular, "T", or "L" shaped homes work best.
  • Keep the roof structure as simple as possible.
  • Build only part of your home with logs, such as the great room or front porch and build the rest of the home in the more traditional manner.
  • Build most or all of the interior walls with traditional framing.  This allows drywall to be put up, which breaks up all the wood and brightens the home.
  • Plan on putting all the plumbing on the interior walls.  Carving out space for plumbing lines in a log structure is very difficult and not recommended. Without insulation, water lines can easily freeze.
  • Install the least amount of electrical fixtures in the log structure as possible.  One simple way to do this is to install the plug boxes in the floor versus the wall of the log structure.
  • Install most of your kitchen cabinets on a flat interior wall or plan on building a wall in front of the log wall in your kitchen area.  Cabinets can be installed on log wall but it is very difficult and costly.

Climate and Moisture content of the logs needs to be considered; depending on where you are building your log home.  As logs dry out they shrink, sometimes a substantial amount.  Manufacturers have developed techniques for dealing with this shrinkage, such as leaving 4 to 6 inches above every door and window or installing special systems to help level the floor or ceiling. Another way to achieve the feel of a log home is to build a traditional home and add log accents.  This can include almost any part of the home such as: siding, posts, beams, stairs, railing, trim around windows and doors, fireplace mantles, built-in furniture and more.  One can create the feel of a log home without the cost of a complete log home.

Log homes are livable, comfortable and calm. Maybe it's built into our psychology from centuries of our ancestors living in natural settings, but everything from acoustics to even the natural smell of wood in the home results in a very warm and comfortable atmosphere. Quiet environments and calm settings that reduce the stress of daily life and therefore promote healthy living.

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