Saturday, June 23, 2007

Log Homes

Not all log homes are created equal.

In fact, there are a variety of methods and materials utilized to create the look and feel of log construction which either use manufactured or milled logs, half or split log, log panel, or a combination of these various elements.

Manufactured or milled logs are complete log components throughout which require chinking ( a type of caulk ) to seal the surface joint where the logs rest on one another. Since they are machined, this method usually requires a hidden spline detail as well as an additional means of adjoining the two components.

Half log or split log is essentially a facade treatment which affixes half log components to a conventionally stick framed structure as is the method of log panel type construction.

The highest level of craftsmanship can be found in the method of handscribing where each log component is handscribed and then hand-peeled using a draw knife. The result is a tight fit that requires no chinking. This is acheived by the handscribing and wedge notch corner detail.

Improvements in technology and engineering have brought innovations to the industry which have allowed for improved standards of quality such as the use of through- bolting which secures the vertical walls through the sill plate and into the foundation or footing walls. This allows for periodic adjustments and take up as the logs continue the process of drying and the structure settles which maintains a tight fitting, straight settling wall.

The look and feel of a true log home is quite incredible. They engage all of the senses as there is an almost surreal aura about them. As you walk through you experience the wonderful aroma of the wood, the vastness of the open truss construction, the visual beauty of large scale natural building materials, and an overwhelming sense of tranquility and belonging.

It has long been noted that earth tones are calming and there is probably no better illustration of this notion than an organically constructed home.

The written word does not capture the essence and beauty of such a home. It must be experienced first hand.

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