Log home construction: What you need to know

Living in a residential log cabin is like a dream coming true. Indeed, it has numerous benefits such as natural appeal, cosiness, long-lasting, peace and many more. There is no subjectivity in this. 

To enjoy its numerous benefits, we should be well-informed, realistic and far-sighted in the first place in constructing residential log cabins. The motive in telling this is not to spread apprehension but to inform you about the “things you should do” when building residential log cabins because this would be the most sincere thing we can do. 

So, to avoid uninvited post-construction issues and to increase the comfort, utilities and lifetime many folds, there are the things you need to know when constructing your fanciful residential log cabin. 

Things to do in building residential cabins

1. Strategies in initiating construction

Whenever you consider building a residential log cabin, pay close attention to the construction site, land, climate and facilities available there. It would be better to ask people of the locality about their practical experience. Choose the type of wood according to the place. In erecting your cabin, you have three choices:

 1- You can hire a manufacturer and a builder to cut the wood and raise the house for you.

 2- If you have enough working knowledge about wood quality, construction and other essentialities, they can direct people in constructing your residential cabin on a wage basis. 

3- If not above two, then you are right in guessing. One can plan and build a log home on his own, but it would cost him a lot of time and effort. 

There is another option. You can purchase a ready-made log cabin, but we leave it for another day. 

2. Constructing log homes can cost you a lot if:

You may have come across some pessimistic or ill-informed people who would have drawn a comparison of the costs of constructing log homes with conventional homes. Never get fooled by their half analysis. Otherwise, it would cost you a lot psychologically before giving it a shot. 

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If you do a comparative analysis, you would be surprised to know that the worth of residential log cabins is much greater than brick homes. For example, even if complete construction of residential log cabins costs you 10 per cent more funds, their worth will be 25 per cent greater than conventional brick houses. In short, the net value of log homes is still greater than traditional brick homes. Besides, they sell much more quickly than brick houses. 

  • The above analysis was to break a myth about the higher costs of residential log cabins. Now, let’s find out how we can further reduce the construction cost of residential log cabins. 
  • Roughly 60 per cent of expenses in constructing log cabins are due to high labour costs. In order to save hefty labour costs, we advise you to perform trivial tasks such as carrying, watering and cleaning logs by yourself.
  • Through value engineering, use cost-cutting tricks, such as reducing square footage and choosing designs of walls and doors that are both cost-friendly and eye-catching simultaneously.  
  • It is better to go for roofs having shallow pitches. Besides, go for opting log structure of exterior sides, as rectangular as possible, and adopt thrifty techniques of saving money in building a kitchen and bath.

3. Be aware of the chinking character of wood:

Wood develops checks or cracks on drying up or losing water trapped in its cells. Even if you air dry wood before construction, it retains 15-20% water, which it releases on drying up slowly. Shrinking is a typical wood character. Everybody knows this. The purpose of mentioning this here is that when you build a residential cabin, use materials such as sealants, which help to block the separation of the settling parts, at shrinking, from the unsettling portion of the wood. 

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It is necessary to do caulking with high-quality sealant to facilitate movement while avoiding chinking. It has a quality of expansion that prevents checking of wood. If you apply poor-performing sealants, they will fail to cover the gaps that make your log cabin energy inefficient. 

4. About floor planning

The Floor plan is often less considered, but one of the paramount factors in defining the shape and cost of your residential log cabin. We estimate the land width and cost in the floor plan. Using hardwood if you’re using wood is recommended. You can also use stone or tiles to increase their strength. 

5. Caution regarding log walls

In constructing residential log cabins, there should be great precision in raising log walls. They should be vertical, and their corners should be square. Log shrinking is okay, which we’ve established above. So, leave room on top of the windows.  

In log walls, choosing window walls that are in the fantasies of the majority, one should keep in mind that it may not be good news for utility bills. It is a general view. 

In cold areas, one can reduce bills when building window walls on the south side. In this way, they would catch sunlight to a great extent in winters. In summer, an overhanging from the roof would be instrumental in blocking sunlight. 

If you’re living in hot areas, one should construct window walls on the northern side. 

Additionally, in raising window walls, window height should be that it does not affect the strength upper part of the wall in bearing the pressure of the ceiling. There are many ways to increase the height of windows of residential log cabins besides maintaining balance with the roof, but they are costly, so one should decide according to one’s budget.

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6. More care in electric wiring:

When you build your residential log cabin, it is better to prepare for wiring through logs during notching joints. It is better to fix plug boxes on the floor instead on the walls. Always use an expert electrician in drilling and passing wires through them. You can also buy pre-milled parts of wood at the wiring place. This advice may seem obvious to you, but it is one of the most important. The reason is last-minute changes in bad wiring planning can not only affect the circuit and design itself but also directly affect the insulating characteristics of a residential log cabin.

7. Roofing of residential log cabin: The last step in basics

Roofing is of prime importance in saving your residential log cabin interior. One has to plan according to climate and to keep it safe from snow and rain. Different materials are available for this covering, such as wood, glass shingles, copper and sometimes silver. One should be careful in keeping it simple and covering joints perfectly to increase the insulation quality of a residential log cabin.


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