Random Observations about Log Homes
1. Log homes are generally safer during a drive-by shooting unless you are sitting in front of a window.
2. Log homes, on average, have several times as much lumber in them as stick built homes and are generally more expensive to build. DUH?
3. Generally speaking you either like log homes or you don't. They are not for everyone. If you are one of those folks who don't like them, THEN WHAT THE HECK ARE DOING HERE? You must be a closet loggie.
4. Log homes are more completely finished at dry-in than stick built homes.
5. Log homes are generally MORE efficient to heat and cool than well insulated stick built homes. They accomplish this NOT BY "R" factor but by energy storage in the logs, i.e. "THERMAL MASS". Cows understand this principle very well for in cold weather they group together to prevent their milk from icing up.
6. Log homes nearly ALWAYS appraise for a good bit more once built than they do on paper. One house we were involved in appraised for $375,000 before it was built. Same company came back after it was finished and rated it at $525,000. I guess seeing is believing or some appraisers lack "vision".
7. Log homes generally fair better in high wind and earthquake situations. Hurricane Andrew seemed to like to eat stick houses a good bit better than log ones. Few log homes, though, can withstand the hot air emitted by most successful politicians, but then again what can?
8. Interior walls done in full logs increase the efficiency of log homes by increasing the "thermal mass" just like adding more cows keeps the herd warmer.
9. Using heat to force the water from cypress logs can damage the integrity of the wood, therefore it is VERY difficult to dry........ but like most good things, it is worth the wait. Oh well, all good things come to he who waits with the cash in hand.
10. Have you ever noticed that most log homes have the front where the back usually is and the back where the front is? I wonder what that says about loggies? (people who love log homes)
11. Log homes generally weigh more than stick built homes, so driving one by the DOT scales is NOT recommended.
12. Most "rookie loggies" think that they need a serious professional to build their log home. Truth is, what you need is what the whole world needs, a good man who takes pride in his work and one who can be trusted. Experience is unequal to quality, in fact seasoned log builders sometimes get tunnel vision and develop the "if it was good enough for Abe, it's good enough for you" attitude.
13. Fable: There are a higher percentage of log homes in the United States than ever before. (Practically everybody used to have one)
14. Fact: Sound travels very well through wood and therefore, when spending quality time with your wife, be sure that you have fans or some other distractions running in the children's rooms. In other words, wood floors upstairs = ratty tat tat downstairs.
15. Fable: People feel sorry for you if you only can afford to live in a log home.
16. Fable: The IRS will feel sorry for you if you can only afford to live in a log home.
17. Fable: Log homes are not as safe in a fire as are stick built homes. You always start fires with sticks and kindling. Ever tried to start a fire with a big old LOG? It is harder to start and burns slower, however longer. So, if you have some REALLY BIG fish to fry, a log home will provide you will lots of heat for a long time, but will be hard to get going. Tractor-trailer loads of grease are available at the local fast food restaurant on a daily basis.
18. Fact: Kiln dried logs do NOT stop shrinkage due to loss of moisture. Most woods (cypress being somewhat of an exception, read on drying cypress) take on moisture when exposed to it. Meaning after being kiln dried, most woods swell up during the building process unless it is very dry every day for the entire month or so it takes to build the house and, of course, shrink when that water leaves after hvac is turned on. Proof: Take a piece of Kiln Dried pine and put it outside for a month. Check and record the stack height during that month. It will expand and contract just like Oprah. Being gravitationally and spatially enhanced myself, I really should not pick on her, but what the heck, she will never read this page.
19. You can build nearly any design you desire in logs. Complicated designs may be more expensive, but not impossible. Whatever you can dream up..... and pay for..... can be done in logs.
20. Fable: You must match all the woods in a home for it to look nice. Our house has cypress, yellow pine, oak, cherry, white pine, and maybe a little walnut. All are finished naturally and look great together. Of course it is 90% cypress. I wonder why?
21. All logs check, that is they get cracks in them when they dry. These "seasoning checks" are normal and if they bother you, then perhaps vinyl siding is what you are after. Cypress tends to check less than many other woods, with the possible exception of cedar.
22. Fable: All log home companies are about the same......you'd better check this one out for yourself.
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