Log homes have been a part of history since practically day one, but modern log homes have come a long way since those pioneer days. Misconceptions of log home living often stem from old news and hearsay and this article will help clear up several of the myths still circulating.
Myth #1 – Log homes are not energy efficient.
Most of these rumors have been started by individuals who have never lived in a log home or are “concerned” relatives giving free advice to other relatives who are considering building a log home. Now let me say that the log home that I am talking about is one that is well designed, manufactured to modern standards and built by someone who knows what they are doing.
Most building codes only recognize “R” factor which does not take into account the tightness of a well built log home. It does not take in the mass of wood which holds the heat far better than a flimsy stud home. A recent study showed a log home manufactured of dry, western red cedar logs tested for air-tightness came in as the second tightest home….most of the tested homes being stud homes.
In the late 90’s it got down to minus 27 degrees F in Pueblo, Co. A couple did not have any heat on in their 3,000 sq. ft. model home and 3 days unheated, the tropical plants in it, including a fern in a window, had no damage what-so-ever.
In short, there is still a reason why log homes are still being built in very cold climates such as Canada and Alaska!
Myth #2 – Termites and other wood boring insects will be attracted to log homes and set about devouring them.
Wood boring insects are not attracted to large quantities of wood. If the logs are constructed of green, unseasoned logs with the bark still on the logs, then some wood boring insects can become established under the bark during the summer and live there for several years. Once the wood is dry these insects are not attracted to the logs. It would be extremely rare to find termites in a log home!
Myth #3 – Log homes are more expensive than a conventional home.
First of all, what is a “conventional” home? Is it a double wide or a modular? Is it a 2×4 framed home with vinyl siding? Is it a Tudor home with field stone exterior?
Of course a custom log home with 8 or 10-inch logs will cost more for the logs than a pile of 2×4’s and vinyl siding. But the logs will go up faster saving labor. Also, people who build a log home don’t usually finish it off with cheap carpeting, sheet rock, and fixtures. As the exterior walls are the least expensive of any home, the amenities installed within (wood flooring and ceilings, a fireplace, a solid wood paneling on the walls) can boost the price of the home substantially.
In short, a log home is comparable to a standard home, if you compare the same apples-to-apples.
Myth #4 – Log homes are a fire hazard.
Again this is an argument that goes against common sense and logic. When you start a fire in the fireplace or build a campfire, you start with small pieces of wood…. not large solid logs. When a fire gets into the walls of a frame home, a chimney is formed in the walls and the spread is rapid. A solid log wall is very resistant to heat due to its mass. When a log home burns, the sub floor, interior walls and the conventional roofing is the first to go. The log walls would be last.
Myth #5 – Insurance rates are higher for log homes.
This could be a case of some insurance companies, however, but generally speaking log home owners do not have any trouble getting insurance.
Myth #6 – Banks will not make a loan on a log home.
Of course there are banks that do not want to make a loan on a home that they know nothing about, but log homes popularity has grown significantly over the years. Lenders are much better understanding these days when assessing value for log home mortgages.
Myth #7 – Log homes will rot easily.
Yes, wood does rot, but only between the moisture content of 30% to 60%. There is no such thing as dry rot as wood must be quite moist to rot. So a properly designed log home (or any home for that matter) with adequate roof overhangs, rain gutters, down spouts and periodic maintenance will endure of generations.
Myth #8 – Log Homes require more time to build than a conventional stud home.
The log walls go up quickly by those who are knowledgeable about log construction. If the weekend do-it-yourself family does it, it takes quite a bit longer. Here is the secret to log construction… when you place a log you have the interior of your home, the exterior of the home, the structural component and the insulation all in one component. After the log walls are up, you are done with the exterior of the home except the interior and exterior stain or finish.
A frame home has many steps; stud walls, exterior plywood, exterior roofer’s felt, and siding. For the interior the home is insulated, a vapor barrier installed sheet rock with its taping, sanding, taping, sanding, and finally the paint. Whew!
Myth #9 – Most contractors cannot build a log home.
This is not true. If they do not want to build it, it is not because the system is too complex but rather they are like the old dog that doesn’t want to learn new tricks! Most contractors could build log homes, but choose not to. Log Home Builders like Country Elegance Log Homes choose not only to build log homes, but also specialize in the craftsmanship of log home build. The final product will depend on the contractor’s willingness to put the same degree of craftsmanship into the log home as he does the frame home that he has built in the past.
Myth #10 – The log home is hard to maintain.
In our present age of “space age” materials the public has been swamped with claims of low maintenance. When motor vehicles used to have the oil changed at 1,500 miles the claim of the sales person is to change the oil at 6,000 miles. Counter tops, siding, windows and roofing all give the claim of longevity and low maintenance. Well, to use an old adage, if it is worth owning it is worth taking care of.
The first step in the maintenance of the log home is proper design & True North Log Homes innovative technology. The next step is periodic maintenance with a good stain purchased from a company that specializes in log home products and not something off the shelf of a local discount store.
The exterior of the home is the main area of maintenance that must be taken care of during the life of the home. The interior stained or varnished walls will never need to be redone to any normal failure. If little Johnny smears the walls with marker or crayon, then drastic steps must be taken to bring the walls back to their original condition. Always remember that conventional homes with an exterior of paint must be refurbished periodically as well. There is no free lunch and there is no such thing as minimal or extended maintenance.
Ready to start log home living? Contact Country Elegance Log Homes 210-372-9880.