Category
Building

Are You in Hot Water?

Twenty to 40 percent of an average household heating bill is just for hot water. And that’s just for common household hot water usage, such as laundry, baths and showers, and dishwashing.  Most of us rely on a conventional storage water heater, whether it is powered by electricity or gas. It provides all the hot water we need, as long as its size is designed for the number of people in the household. It has a fairly long life, maybe 15-20 years, and when it goes we replace it with another standard …

Should You Be Your Own General Contractor?

If you’ve ever looked seriously into building a log home from scratch, then you know it’s usually not a low-cost endeavor. One potential way to keep costs down is with an idea that many potential log home buyers have entertained: Taking on the role of the general contractor themselves. And while this can result in substantial savings if done correctly, it’s a big responsibility, and certainly not a role to be taken lightly. “It’s certainly possible to do it yourself, but you’re going to need guidance, a…

Setting the Stages

It’s an undertaking that most folks will complete only once or twice in a lifetime, and building a log or timber home, they find, is a journey, a process that involves several distinct steps. An understanding of those steps and how they come together in the finished product is essential. “There are some things we run into that nobody can control,” acknowledges Brad Mercer, sales manager at Timberhaven Log & Timber Homes. “Unfortunately, the weather can play a part in the process. …

Eco-Friendly Living

Choosing a log and timber home is the first step down the path toward eco-friendly living. Wood is a renewable resource. Sustainability is a key component, and while the choice of a primary building material is an excellent starting point it opens the door to an enhanced environmental awareness and lifestyle. “Keep life cycle in mind,” explains Josh Beasley, president of Honest Abe Log Homes, Inc. “Log and timber homes are naturally eco-friendly, which to many may sound absurd on the surface. However, w…

Big Trend: Small Homes

In November 2010, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported that the median size of new home construction continued to decline during the latter half of the decade, peaking at 2,268 square feet in 2006 and settling to an even 2,100 square feet in 2009. According to the report, a similar trend occurred in the early 1980s, when interest rates climbed to astronomical heights, but this reduction in square footage was only temporary. The 1990s saw t…

Finding the Right Builder

You’ve spent years dreaming about living in a log home: collecting magazine pictures, touring model homes, fleshing out designs, and scoping out the perfect site with a view. Now you’re ready to find the right builder who can transform your dream into reality.  Building a new log home is a significant investment, and you’ll want to take the time to find a reputable, experienced builder. The task may seem daunting, but with careful research you should be able to find the builder who matches your nee…

Stock Plan vs. Custom Design

All log cabin homes begin with the same two things: a dream and a floorplan. The dream of owning a log home is pretty straightforward, but choosing a plan? Not so much. You’re faced with a host of considerations from determining how large of a home you really require for the ebb and flow of your family’s daily lifestyle and a thousand other needs in between.  But one of the most important choices you’ll make when it comes to your home’s floorplan is whether…

Completing the Puzzle

The purchase of a log home package is an important step in constructing that home of a lifetime. However, determining the ingredients of the package and finding the right supplier for those necessary items that are not included requires some study and preparation. “All clients need to be aware that log package prices can be misleading,” relates Jeremy Bertrand, national sales manager for Log Homes of America. “Someone could click on a plan, request a quote, and see a number that is…

Choosing the Perfect Floorplan

You’ve been dreaming of your perfect home for years, and if you close your eyes you can visualize the grand entryway, the soaring cathedral ceilings, and the views from the wraparound porch. So when it comes time to select a floorplan, you might think you have it all figured out. Think again! There are many factors that go into selecting a floorplan that you might not even consider until you start making decisions on the specifics. This…

New Materials, New Trends

Not crazy about the idea of a solar array on the roof of your log home? Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are designed to replace standard construction materials with PV systems that produce clean energy, increase home value, and protect the environment. BIPV is not added to the home, but is an integral part of its structure. For example, instead of putting a typical roof on your home and adding a solar array on top of it, the roofing material becomes the solar collector. There are two basic type…

Passive Solar Principles

Who hasn’t been drawn to the warmth of a sunny spot on a cold day, or cooled off in the shade during the dog days of summer? Passive solar design takes that natural comfort and incorporates it into the design of your house. Put simply, you can design your home to gather and make use of the sun’s light and warmth in the winter, while minimizing the warming effects of the sun in the summer. The result: a comfortable, bright, efficient home.  There are many factors to take into consideration when inco…

DIY? The Pros and Cons of Building Your Own Home

Log homes have come a long way from the days of Little House on the Prairie and Grizzly Adams. Modest one- and two-room cabins have given way to multilevel showstoppers that are equal parts art and architecture. Still, the yearning to invest sweat equity remains strong for some log home owners. There is romanticism to knowing you built your home with your own two hands. At the advent of the modern log home industry in the 1960s and 197…