Log houses are fascinating; actually I find them fascinating. The peace and quiet that come with it, the feeling of nature, not to mention the fact that log homes keep a stable temperature within. Some say music sounds better in a log house-hahaha-well I haven’t experienced that yet but with the science they backed it up with, I think I believe them.
A friend once told me, “I don’t like the idea of living in a log home. It makes me feel like a monkey…you know a monkey living in a tree. I just can’t imagine myself living in a house made of trees!” actually I laughed out loud and said, “Well, your opinion”
I thought I should write a simple yet detailed procedure on how to build a log home. You can do it yourself even if you’re a complete novice or still with the help of a an expert log builder
First things first (at this point I’m assuming your floor plan is ready. If this is your first time, it is required to keep the design simple and straight to the point. For beginners, a square house is always advised, but a few rectangular spaces here and there is not a bad idea; if you can handle it), think of where to site your building. Log houses are usually sited in quite wooden acres close to nature where you enjoy the goodness of trees and everything that comes with nature.
Next is choosing your logs. I must say that anything that grows straight and tall can do the magic but always and always consider their strength, durability, resistance to rot and all that when choosing your logs. You might consider choosing from any of these options- cedars, balsam, pine, spruce etc. get these logs from your local log providers and get them treated. Borate wood preservatives are very good to get rid of infestations and rot from fungus and wood boring insects. We recommend you do this treatment after peeling your wood and after erecting your walls.
Staining is optional but it sure makes your house look more beautiful and classy. Choose one with UV protectant as it protects your wood from the UV rays of the sun and prevents it from turning grayish over the years.
After you’ve got these settled, start preparing the site for foundation.
Clear out the site and do your excavation according to floor plan design. Your soil type and house size determine greatly the type of foundation you should build. The foundation of your cabin is the most basic thing in all of these. Somehow I would advise that you hire the services of an expert builder at this stage because as we at this point we don’t wanna take any chances. As the foundation of all things is its foundation, lol; we want to make sure we do not make any mistakes because it’s just a luxury we can’t afford.
If you’re building on a soft soil; a raft foundation is required. Soft soils have low bearing capacity and can easily absorb moisture. Pour your foundation concrete on your whole site area to form your foundation slab as this would hold the weight of your cabin. Make sure to use materials which don’t absorb water such as stones and broken bricks.
A strip foundation is the type we’re all familiar with. Excavate your ground, pour your concrete and start building. This is also a good foundation type for your cabin but not so good. It doesn’t do well in ‘splash back’ when water hits the cabin base, or, if your site has waterlog and much moisture. This foundation type is just typically for dry sand without any form of water logging. If your site does not meet the requirements of strip foundation, please consider a raft foundation.
Next is your pad foundation. It is a foundation type used to carry a single point load. The four corners of your log house are going to rest on these square pads; this means that this foundation type is used on very dry land.
As soon as your foundation is ready, start erecting your walls. Lift the logs and start placing them on your foundation.
Placing the walls should be when you are sure your concrete has gained strength which usually is after 28-39 days. The first logs should be placed on the side wall at right angles to where the floor joist will run; fasten them with short rebar pins. All butts should face one way; flatten the underside of your logs. The next log should follow after the first at right angle to the former. After you have completely laid your logs, notch the open corners of your laid cabin.
The cabin roof comes next. Add all the roof members including the ridge, rafters, purlin and all what you have. Build your floor and install your rooms. Invite the mechanical and electrical engineers to do all the necessary installations that you need once these are done, get ready to move in.
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