For most people the concept of Log & Panel is a new one. Most of our plans on this site are designed as Log & Panel though we are now including hybrid accented log style homes. Our clients have chosen to build log & panel homes over traditional full log homes for many reasons. Log and panel designs offer a beautiful and contemporary blend of full round log accents that will compliment your home and offer maximum potential to create your dream home. Our design ideas a committed to layout, beauty and function for our clients. Log & panel offer greater flexibility to design a home that will meet a budget. Log and panel designs take in consideration construction applications that reduce labor costs without compromising strength or durability. ( back to top )
Log & Panel designs are created with a consideration the practical application of full round logs and conventional framing components. It is our goal to provide a design idealy based on your floor plan which is not only beautiful but easy to build.
A Log & Panel design utilize all pre-cut and notched logs which are machine milled from seasoned and dry pine or spruce type logs. We firmly believe in the use of dry log materials to minimize shrinkage and settling. Logs have all flat cuts provided which add to the ease of application when connecting exterior wall panels or roof framing components, Flat cuts also make it easier to apply interior and exterior finishes since there is a square edge to finish to. Other components of your home such as the foundation, floor framing, interior wall framing are mostly identical to a conventionally framed home. Log & Panel designs implement standard framing procedures which are easily identified by builders, plans examiners, and engineers; unlike many full log designs which can be very challenging because of the many different styles of log profiles found on the market today which are largely unregulated or standardized.
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One very important factor in deciding what log design is right for you is long term maintenance. Maintenance activities such as cleaning, staining and caulking can be greatly reduced with the right design. Log homes have been referred to many times as “a labor of love”. That love can easily become a “ball and chain” if design flaws accelerates natural wood destroying exposures to sun, moisture or wood boring insects. That of course will have a devastating effect on the value of your home which in most cases people rely on for creating financial stability. For our log home designs, we focus on a design that will help preserve your equity for the long term. There will always be maintenance issues with your log style home as there are with any other home. However, when we do focus on good design choices, you will spend more of your time enjoying your home, instead of sweating over it trying to keep it looking great. Log and Panel homes are easier to maintain because there is hardly any settling similar to stacked log homes. Because exterior walls consist primarily of flat wall framing, there is less risk of log related problems such as settling, cracking, air infiltration and moisture penetration. ( back to top )
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Choosing the right design takes time consideration. Design choices will affect the outcome of your home for the short term as much as the long term. Short term such as your mortgage payment, homeowners insurance, short term maintenance activities, heating and cooling energy usage, and component performance for windows, siding and exterior doors. The right design decision maybe be one of cost up front verses short or long term savings. It is my opinion that it shouldn't take any longer than 5-10 years pay you back in savings for a investment made on a design decision. An example would spending an additional $3000 for radiant floor heat over the cost of a conventional forced air system. With this example two considerations should be carefully examined. Financially will it work into your budget or should you stay with a conventional system? You may have to discuss the savings you might expect to see with your professional heating contractor to help you decide. The other consideration beyond financial is the “feel good – look good” factor, having the warmth and comfort of radiant floors on your bare feet is great. Bottom line is, take the time to make what application decisions will be right for you and your family. ( back to top )
While researching the log home market for my projects, I looked at all the types of logs used today to build log homes. I basically came down to two choices, dry verses green logs. As a woodworker for many years I instantly choose dry logs for my projects. It made sense to me that building with dry logs had practical advantages verses green logs that shrink, warp and twist if not properly handled or applied. Most of all, building with dry logs reduced the chance of mildew and mold, which can be a big problem. Once I decided to use dry logs, there were several resources to be considered. One natural source of dry logs is dead standing timber which has been harvested from trees that have been standing dead for several years mostly from forest fires and sometimes from beetle infestation. However, don't be alarmed dead standing timber killed off from fires or beetle kill have to meet certain criteria to meet grading requirements. All dry and seasoned timber should not exceed 19% moisture content which is the standard set forth for most kiln dried lumber. ( back to top )
Pre-cut kits are log kits that exceed the 95% pre-cut to length log material. As apposed to random length kits which only contain on average 30% pre-cut logs. Precut kits save labor, time and reduce waste. Log and Panel designs utilize pre-cut logs and pre-built wall panels to create a very effective and efficient method to build a log style home. Logs will have all lengths cut to length within a quarter inch. All saddle notches will be pre-notched. All logs will include tags to identify each piece and its location on the structure.
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You will discover as you research log homes that there are a number of different species to choose from. Some of the most popular are Lodge Pole Pine, Englemann Spruce, Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar. Englemann Spruce is the preferred species because of its tight grain and minimum taper. We can supply you with any of these species but beware Cedar and Douglas Fir command higher prices. We can quote you any of the following species for your home at your request. ( back to top )
Logs are graded by T.P.I. certified inspectors. Grading insures certain standards useful for structural design and capacities. Grading also addresses visual characteristics such as grain twist, bug holes and existing checks. Beware when you are looking to purchase a log home kit, if the price seems very low, you may end up with a low grade log.(back to top)
Treating logs can provide extended protection for your home. I recommend applying a Borate based solution which will protect against wood boring insects for many years. Borate will also help control mildew and fungus. For more information on wood preservatives, click on our partners link and find Wood Care Systems and link to heir web site. You can read more about ways to protect your log home. ( back to top )
Choosing the right stain is very important decision that will impact the short and long term protection of your home. Choosing the wrong stain will add to the cost of maintaining your home later in years. I suggest using a deep penetrating stain with some pigment or otherwise noted as "solids" to add to the UV protection from the damaging effects of sunshine. There are basically two types of stains, water and oil based. I have experiences with both types. Water based stains are easy to clean up but are more temperamental to outdoor conditions . Whereas oil based stains are more tolerant and much more forgiving to high humidity. Which ever stain you choose to use be sure to follow manufactures instructions. ( back to top )
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