Category
Building

Building “Green” Log Cabin Homes

When Barry Ivey and Lany Sherman sit down to design a log home these days, some of  their customers’ first concerns fall under the “environmentally conscious” category. Looking to incorporate green elements into their homes, both new owners and those looking to retrofit existing structures are concerned about site sustainability, environmentally friendly materials and construction methods, and water and energy efficiency.  “We’re seeing a strong desire for environmentally …

Log Home Withstands April Tornado Strike

Kimball I. Maull feared the worst when he learned Deltaville, VA, was struck by a tornado on April 16, 2011.  Maull owns a vacation home there, right along the Chesapeake Bay. As he rushed to the typically quiet coastal community the next day, news reports revealed the tornado’s path traveled from Fishing Bay to the Rappahannock River—and directly over his 10-acre estate. “The tornado destroyed three homes directly across the creek from my property, as well as a nearby church,” says Maull, a trauma…

Comparing Package Quotes

Building that perfect log or timber home is a process that many people pursue only once or twice in a lifetime, so the benefit of personal experience is often rare. Considering the first major step, which is the comparison of quotes from qualified log and timber companies, advice from experienced professionals is pure gold. “The most important thing going in is to determine what you want and need,” assesses Mathew Sterchi, vice president of sales…

Raising the Roof

Modern construction materials and methods complement the rustic charm and appeal of log and timber homes, allowing owners to complete their project with the aesthetics they want with lasting, good-looking components. One of the most visible and structurally significant elements of a new home is the roof. The choices for roofing material are extensive, and two factors—location and climate—significantly influence the decision. “What really is going to matter is the type of weather wh…

Alternative Energy Sources

When Doug and Laurie Pooch built their central Iowa log home in 2005, they opted for a geothermal heating and cooling system—a unit similar to the one in their previous house. The Pooches, who are the owners of Cabin Fever Construction and dealers with Expedition Log Homes, say they simply wanted the same energy savings their customers look for. “We had geothermal in our previous log home and were pleased with it,” Doug says. “We wanted to make our home as energy efficient as possible and lower our long…

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…

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…