Frequently Asked Questions
Most people are drawn to log homes for aesthetic reasons, and with good reason. They have an incredible connection to our country’s natural landscape and just feel ‘right’ in a wide variety of settings.
Being equipped with facts makes the process of building with logs even more comfortable. Here we answer some of the most commonly posed questions about building with logs.
1. Why are there splits in the log? Is my whole house going to crack?
Checks (cracks/splits) in a log are the result of the drying process a log goes through. Checks are common and occur in all species of wood. They are not a concern since they do not affect the structural integrity of the building. As checks do not pass through the center of the log, energy efficiency is not compromised. Checks are good to see in a log as they indicate the log is dry.
2. How is my house insulated? What goes in between the logs and how energy efficient is it?
Efficient log home design uses logs at least 8 inches thick with a rigid foam gasket installed between the logs. The logs are the actual insulation. Pine and cedar are amongst the best to use. An 8 inch pine log is equivalent to R-20 insulation (same as wood frame construction). When the foam gasket is properly installed, the energy efficiency of the building will meet Energy Star Standards.
3. What types of foundation can be used with the logs?
Any type of foundation can be used for a log home. The thickness of the foundation is normally the same as wood frame construction. To give you an example of the weight of a log home: A pine log home with logs 16 inches in diameter weighs less then a wood frame house with brick veneer.
4. Will the entire inside of my house be logs? What material is the roof?
Usually the exterior walls are log and the interior walls are frame (2*4 and 2*6). For someone who wants more log wall, we can construct interior log walls as well. For someone who wants less log, we can build post and beam style which uses log only for structural supports. Frame walls or windows are inserted between the posts and a chosen interior/exterior finish is applied.
The roof system is constructed with log posts and beams (which are visible from the inside) and frame material (2*10 and 2*12) for the rafters. The roof frame is covered with an interior finish of choice.
5. Can the entire house be a mix of logs and other material?
Yes! Log homes do not have to be restricted to full log walls. Post and Beam construction uses log for structural support only. Logs are visible from the inside and outside. Between the posts, there can be any other type of exterior wall construction or, a mix of log and other exterior wall construction.
6. Do the logs come in different shapes or sizes?
Yes! For hand-crafted log homes, there are two profiles, round and timber.
- Round logs use tops (top of the tree) close to 13″ thick. The butts of the log are whatever the taper is, usually a 40′ log will have a butt around 19″.
- Timbers can be any length/width available. Common sizes are, 8*10, 8*12, 10*10, and 10*12. Lengths for handcrafted logs are up to 50 feet.
For milled log homes, there are 3 different profiles; round, timber, and d-log. The d-log profile is flat on the inside and round on the outside. The round logs are available 6 to 16 inches thick. Timbers and D-log can be 8*8 and 8*10 or 10*10. Milled logs are available in full length and up to 60 feet long.
7. Can I get different stains? If so how is it applied? Is it more expensive?
Yes! Stains are available in many different shades from light to dark. Interior stains can be clear, keeping the log its natural color or, contain one of the many pigments available. Exterior stains can be any shade except for clear.
Due to the development of a log stain industry, staining a log home is now a once in a life-time application. All log home stain companies have a clear top-coat that is applied on top of the stain, providing years of protection (7 to 12 years). After this time, a single coat of top-coat is all that is needed to continue to protect the stain. Stains are applied by brush or sprayer. It is no longer costly to maintain a log home due to the development of the stain industry.
8.Where do these logs come from?
Our handcrafted logs are eastern white pine and they come from eastern Ontario FSC certified forests.
Our milled logs are naturally air-dried and are from the pine-beetle forest, the only source for a truly green and energy-efficient milled log home.
One thing that separates us form other companies is that we don’t harvest any young growth timber. All of our logs are at or near life expectancy when they are used. Our milled logs have reached end of life and are waiting to be preserved in one of our homes. Our handcrafted logs are near end of life and would naturally fall to the ground soon after they are harvested.
9. How long does it take to construct a home from start to finish?
A milled home normally take 3 to 5 months to complete, depending on the size of the home. Handcrafted homes are normally complete in 5 to 7 months.