The Basics of New Log Home Construction
The log home lifestyle is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding life experiences. It can include hunting, camping, fishing and enjoying nature. It can also have coziness, nostalgia, and energy efficiency. Before you choose a contractor to build your log home, visit homes they have completed and check references. It is recommended that you get a price estimate from several contractors.
Log homes are unique in many ways, but they also use conventional building techniques. One of the most important things in a new log home is the subfloor, which provides a foundation for the entire building. Its components are usually included in a kit and include a pressure-treated sill, girder beams, support joists and sheathing. The package at Richardson Log Homes LLC have quality finish flooring and basement stair landing materials, if the construction design includes them.
Most log home companies offer both custom and stock plans. They are usually more expensive than a standard house, but they are often able to provide a design that fits your specific needs. In addition, they can often save time and money by using a standard plan as a starting point to customize the design.
The footings and foundation for a log home closely resemble those for brick, block or frame houses. The ground must be carefully graded and chemically treated to protect against termites. It’s also important to select the right type of soil. It’s not unusual for a well-designed, properly constructed log or timber home to be 15 to 20 percent more energy efficient than a comparable brick, block or wood frame house.
A new log home begins with the subflooring, which is usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB). It’s laid over a system of joists and girders that support the floor and ceiling of the house. Once the floor is secure, the next step in new log home construction is to install the log walls.
Some builders recommend installing the roof before constructing the first course of logs. This helps to keep water, wind and other elements out of the building until it’s ready for them. It’s also a good idea to install the electrical, plumbing and heating systems at this stage.
Once the concrete slab is poured, carpenters move on to framing the second floor of the log home if the plan includes one. Floor joists are a standard method of construction for most log homes, but some builders prefer to use floor trusses for the second floor because they provide more strength and a more symmetrical look. The joists are screwed or nailed to the studs, and plywood or floor sheathing is then installed on top. The floorplan is drawn or laid out on the subfloor and carefully checked against the blueprints before construction begins.
Once erected, the log walls need to be securely fastened together and a number of different fasteners are used to ensure that the logs don’t pull away from each other. Among the most popular are log spikes, nails, thru-bolts and lag bolts. Some builders also use adhesives and drift pins.
The roof system is then framed either conventionally (for one-story log homes) or with a built-up roof (on two-story log homes). Some builders choose to use a prefabricated, engineered roof system for convenience and cost-effectiveness, while others favor the traditional handcrafted style of a full-length log beam and ridgepole system. Whichever is chosen, the roof must be properly insulated to prevent moisture intrusion into the log walls and to ensure that the log wall exterior remains a weather-tight enclosure for the interior of the house.
Once the roof is in place, electrical, plumbing and heating systems can be roughed in. These are typically completed by a separate group of subcontractors who specialize in these areas. They are able to save time and money by working inside the log wall envelope, where they can quickly install systems before insulation is added.
Floor joists support the weight of the house. They can be made from heavy timbers, logs, dimensional lumber or trusses. The choice depends on a variety of factors including wood type, grade and span length. The bending strength of the lumber also influences its ability to support loads. The higher the bending strength, the longer the joist can span without additional supports.
A variety of joist materials are available, from standard dimensional lumber to custom logs milled from old growth trees. Many handcrafted homes use full round log roof rafters to give them a truly authentic look, and square timber joists for second floor support are popular choices. These joists have tenons that fit into precut wall and girder notches. Joists also come in a variety of sizes, and they can be stained to suit any style.
After the joists are installed, the subflooring is placed over the joist system and screwed or nailed in place. Then the floorplan of the home is drawn or laid out on the subfloor and checked against the blueprints. This step is crucial to ensuring that the foundation is accurate and square.
Once the joists and subflooring are in place, it is time to start building the walls. The wall construction process can take four to six months for a standard two-story log home. However, it may take a year or more for larger homes. Before the walls are built, the ground must be treated for termite infestation. This is done after the excavations are completed and before any concrete is poured. In most cases, this treatment is performed using a liquid termiticide. Some builders also choose to encase the joists and foundation with log siding to ensure that they don’t become damaged during construction.
Log homes are notoriously durable and are often made of a sturdy type of wood called white pine. This material can resist many natural forces including heavy rain, snow or strong winds. It’s no wonder that people choose to live in such structures. However, they should understand that there’s a lot to consider when building one. It’s important to consider the design of the house, as well as the flooring, roofing, doors and windows.
Most new log home construction is based on a traditional stud-framed foundation and is similar to that of most stick-built houses. The subfloor is then installed in the same manner as it would be in a conventional single-family home. After the floor joists are in place, the log cabin can be built. It’s important that the logs are kiln-dried before construction begins. This process reduces shrinkage, which is the main cause of settling in log homes.
Once the walls are erected, they’re sheathed with a weather-resistant product and then finished with siding. This process is much faster than constructing a standard framed home. Meadow Valley’s crew generally only takes three days to erect full log walls for most homes, including window and door openings.
The insulation value of a solid-log wall is relatively low, with an R-value of about R-9. This is less than half the R-value required for a building by current energy codes. However, today’s log home manufacturers can add sheathing, insulation and finish logs to achieve an R-value of about R-30 or higher.
When building a new log home, it’s important to plan for the installation of mechanical systems such as HVAC and electrical wiring. While it’s possible to install these systems in a log home, they must be properly designed and sealed. Additionally, the logs need to be drier to avoid leakage and other issues. This is why it’s important to use a reputable log home company to handle the construction of your new log home.
Log homes are a unique alternative to traditional construction. The process is more streamlined and efficient than traditional methods, saving both time and money. The advantages of log home building include the use of natural materials and an energy-efficient design. They also provide thermal mass and offer superior sound insulation, making them ideal for cold climates. However, the benefits of log home building are not limited to cost and efficiency; they also contribute to a sense of wellbeing. Many people choose to live in log cabins because they feel a connection with nature and the environment.
The first step in building a log home is choosing the site. Once the site has been cleared, excavation and foundation work can begin. A professional builder will then prepare the site and install well and septic systems.
Once the foundation has been built, the log home can be delivered to the site. In this phase, the interior structure and plumbing are installed and the spaces requiring insulation are finished. The cladding and other exterior details are also mounted in this phase. Depending on the log type and finish, this phase usually takes a few weeks.
When the logs arrive at the construction site, they are numbered and assembled according to a plan. This method of assembling logs is called the Norwegian system and it is considered one of the most secure and durable ways to build a log home.
During the construction of a log home, it is important to treat the walls with a wood preservative. This will protect the logs from insects and fungus, and help prevent decay and rot. It is recommended that you re-treat your logs every 4-5 years.