There are other advantages to owning a log and timber home over more traditional construction, aside from a regular stream of visitors looking to soak up some rustic ambiance and connect with Mother Nature. Long-time homeowners claim that log and timber homes outperform their neighbours’ stick and brick dwellings. The advantages begin with the construction materials.
Trees are a sustainable resource.
Log and timber homes have a good green pedigree because trees are a renewable resource. When you build a house out of solid logs, you are basically removing the carbon contained in those logs from the environment for the rest of its life. Furthermore, some log and timber home manufacturers harvest standing dead wood (caused by pesky insects) or purchase logs from sustainable forests. Green construction standards are also being used by some builders while building log and timber homes.
Do you have a neighbour who thinks his brick house will last forever? Inform him that the oldest log and timber homes in Europe stretch back more than 800 years. And one log-built church in Russia is said to be almost 1,700 years old.
Survive Mother Nature’s Fury
The log and timber home industry has numerous instances of homes successfully weathering Mother Nature’s worst storms, including Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. The strong log walls of Menlo and Mickey Klingman’s 1,700-square-foot Satterwhite log and timber home in Eastern Texas withstood the weight of the falling tree and prevented further damage when Rita’s winds drove a big oak tree to crash through the ceiling. “I have no doubt that this log and timber cabin saved our lives,” Mickey explains.
Fit the environment.
The resulting structures blend in with the topography like a 10-point buck on opening day because this organic building material comes from nature. Rather of being awkwardly imposed on the landscape, log dwellings blend in seamlessly.
If you pick a precut and pre-drilled log system or a handcrafted building, the shell of your home can be framed on site more quickly than traditional stick framing, reducing the risk of weather-related damage or mould and mildew issues. For an average-sized home, it may be weather tight in as little as two weeks with the correct personnel and building technique. Your home is exposed to the elements for considerably longer under traditional construction, which can lead to mould issues within the framing of the home, where it can thrive unnoticed for years.
The warmth of wood
Wood has something called “thermal mass,” a natural feature in the logs that helps maintain the inner temperatures of dwellings comfortable in all seasons (as opposed to the usually frigid sheetrock). As a result, wood walls can gather and store energy before radiating it back into the home.
You can have an extremely energy efficient home if the home is correctly sealed (between the foundation and the first course of logs, between log-to-log connections, and where the roof system meets the log wall). Indeed, some builders build log and timber homes to fulfil the DOE’s “Energy Star” criteria on a regular basis. This implies it will be 30% more energy efficient than required by building rules, saving you money over the life of the house. According to builder Mike Gingras of Seven North Log Homes in New Haven, Vermont, who has designed and built Energy Star-rated log and timber homes for the past 18 years, a log and wood home can be 15 to 20% more energy efficient than a conventional home.
A thousand words are worth a thousand pictures.
Hanging a picture in a drywalled home is a major undertaking that needs the use of a stud finder, a hammer or drill, and swollen fingers—possibly even a broken ego, since your spouse may urge you to move the picture, necessitating patchwork. One of the simple pleasures of living in a log or timber home, according to homeowners, is hanging a picture.
‘Rustic Doesn’t Have to Mean Low-Tech
While rugged appeals to some, roughing it is not. That’s why today’s log and timber homeowners are increasingly looking for a secure, connected retreat. Many log and timber households are installing backup generators (for power outages), security systems, and CAT 5 wire systems, which can support high-speed video, voice, and data, as well as a slew of new communication technologies on the horizon.
It’s in the eyes.
If you’re concerned about mould, mildew, or insect infestation, a log or timber home has evident advantages because you can visually inspect the logs and spot anything wrong. This early detection results in a less expensive solution. In contrast to a traditional home, the sealed wall cavities can be a hidden haven for mould, mildew, and insect infestation, causing significantly more damage before it is discovered.
Beautiful carpentry can be seen in traditional custom homes, although it is usually limited to trim and millwork. The handcrafted staircase with its branch-like spindles and railing, the hand-scribed big beams overhead in the cathedral ceiling, and the one-of-a-kind light fixtures are all instances of exceptional craftsmanship in log and timber homes.
Quiet and Peace
According to a white paper published by Premium Log House, Ireland’s best log cabin supplier, log homes are frequently quieter than stick-built homes, thanks to the same thermal mass that provides energy efficiency and the sound deadening qualities of wood walls. “The acoustical benefits of a log wall, therefore, are the reduced transmission afforded by its solid mass and the sound deflection offered by the log profile (the angle, shape, and roughness of the log surface,” the report finds.