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When it comes to a finish for your log home, you have a choice between a film-building finish that lies on top of the wood and a penetrating finish that soaks into the wood. Although the film-building finish can last longer initially, Sjoerd Bos, vice president of Sansin Corporation in Ontario, Canada, prefers the penetrating finish for a couple of reasons. First, it is much easier to apply and maintain—you just wash, clean, and reapply. Second, a…

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…

Selecting Cabinetry

We use them for everything from showcasing crystal to storing linens, stacking pots and pans to stowing toiletries. Cabinets are among the most frequently used items in any house, can be a big budget item, and can make or break the look of your kitchen or bath. So it’s no wonder many people have a hard time choosing just the right cabinets! You want cabinets that will enhance the beauty of your home, but they must be durable and easy to care for. You’ll need to consider style, fini…

5 Steps to a Solar Passive Home

Collect  heat from the sun through windows. Ideally, windows should face within 30 degrees of due south. Absorb that heat with a storage element such as a masonry wall, a stone floor, or a water container that sits in the direct path of the sunlight. Store  the heat you’ve soaked up within that wall, floor, or container. The right materials will do that naturally. Distribute heat from the storage element to different areas of the house via conduction (the way heat moves through …

Snap, Crackle, and Pop!

Fire has descended through the ages of mankind from a necessity for survival to a luxury of comfort and ambience. The earliest shelters were equipped with wood-burning pits, fireplaces, or stoves for cooking and heating. While fireplaces may still serve those primary functions in some households, the majority are designed and installed for pure enjoyment, with an added benefit as a secondary heat…

Today’s Financing Options

Whether you are interested in building the log or timber home you have always wanted or purchasing an existing home, financing is often the most challenging aspect of the experience. The landscape for borrowers and lenders appears to be continually changing, particularly in the wake of the prolonged recession that gripped the global economy for years. But don’t despair! Financing is available for both construction and purchases. Interest rates are reasonable and remain stead…

Designing for Curb Appeal

Whether you’re building a cozy cabin, a modest retreat, or a big family getaway, the exterior of your home makes a memorable impression that gives people a sense of what to expect inside. “It sets the tone for the whole house,” says Cassandra Christensen, interior designer and project coordinator for Wisconsin Log Homes in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Curb appeal is important to a home’s resale value, too—prospective buyers may decide whether they even want to look inside based …

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…

Select a Floorplan

Artistic architectural elements, a spectacular view, or even classic décor elements can combine to create a home of unspeakable beauty and functionality. But one element knits it all together: the floorplan. Whether the floorplan is selected from a design book or created as a one-of-a-kind design by a homeowner and architect team, it tells a story about a family and how they live in a home. “When considering your floorplan, think about your personal preference in regard to style. Ask yourself how you wa…

Putting a Plan in Place

The adventure of building your own log or timber frame home is a rewarding and possibly once in a lifetime experience. Keeping that home in tip-top shape is an ongoing process that begins with the first conversations concerning materials and design. Then, when the home is complete, you should take the initiative to ensure that a long-term maintenance plan is in the works. “Take time to research the options for maintenance products,” urges Barbara Murray, owner …

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…

Buying Your Log Cabin Home

Sam and Gale Easter, self-described “loggies,” are enthusiastic about living in the log home of their dreams. But during the planning stages for the house, the couple took time to carefully research log home companies and builders. They were looking for professionals that would not only turn out a quality product, but who also would deal with them fairly and honestly. “The company we chose answered all our questions right up front,” says Gale, now owner of Roanoke River Valley Log Homes, LLC, an indepen…