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How to Build a Log Home

Log Home Construction and Materials Are Eco-Friendly

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Log home construction has come a long way since the Pioneer days.

© Big Stock Photo
By Mary Douglas, Ponderosa Realty

Log Homes are available in many varieties of woods and styles. There are milled logs and handcrafted logs, round logs, D-logs and, on top of that, different corner styles too. When you are beginning to think about building a log home, most of these differences pertain to your personal preferences rather than structural integrity.

Milled logs are uniform, they can be round, D-shaped (round on the exterior and flat on the interior) or flat of both sides. Handcrafted logs will vary in diameter.

Choose a Log Home Company

There are hundreds of log home companies; all the choices can be overwhelming. Start by looking online or subscribe to Log Home Living magazine. This magazine publishes a special catalog edition each year dedicated to building. The more you look at log home styles, the more you will begin to get an idea of how each manufacturer’s options fits your style. Your preferences will allow you to eliminate several manufacturers immediately.

Once you have a style or manufacturer in mind, visit a dealer / distributor for that log home manufacturer in your area to actually see a finished home or homes in construction. Most dealers/distributors are self-employed independent sales agents. Some dealers are log home builders or contractors as well. They will work closely with you and the manufacturer of your new log home.

Visit existing homes and attend log home shows to get more information, and learn as much as you can. Because not all log home manufacturers are alike, it’s important to talk face-to-face with dealers and examine their products.

Locating an experienced log home builder/contractor in your area is invaluable. They have experience in log home construction and often have worked with various manufacturers, too.

If you plan to act as your own contractor, make sure to choose a manufacturer that will provide additional information and a help line when needed. Once you know what you are looking for, it is easier to compare costs of the “log package” among competitors.

Generally, log home manufacturers have stock plans but will work with you on a custom plan, too. Your log home is assembled off-site, disassembled and then shipped to your building site. Your local experienced log home builder/contractor usually takes over after the “log package” has been delivered.

Log Homes are Environmentally Friendly

  • Logs require less energy to produce over methods used to manufacture traditional lumber.

  • Log homes use fewer man-made materials such as those traditionally used for insulation, drywall, rigid foam board and siding.

  • By virtue of their sheer mass, logs have great insulation qualities; today’s log homes are carefully engineered to eliminate air filtration between the courses.

  • Logs come from a renewable resource.

  • All parts of the tree are utilized from bark mulch to sawdust -- nothing is wasted.

    Tip: When you are visiting with various manufacturers, ask if they harvest only standing dead trees and ask about their role in maintaining and preserving our forests.

There is something very warm and welcoming about living in a log home. Whether you decide to build your own log home / cabin or purchase an existing log home, do your homework, ask questions, rely on professionals and, above all, enjoy the journey.

At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, DRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

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