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What I would like to see discussed in the magazines . . .

What a great idea! - thanks for asking for our input. I would like to see some information/articles/discussions on the following topics:
1. land loans and construction loans - pros and cons of combining the two, how to find a knowledgeable loan company for either/both, and how to finance in these trying times. Also what to expect when negotiating land and/or construction loans. It is clear that many banks do not understand this process - where does one go for help?
2. Bathrooms - where to locate them inside your home; finishing interior logs for the shower; must haves, nice to have, and "in my dreams"; bathtubs - how many do we really need?; what value does it add to have a bath open into a second-master bedroom? versus just how many doors can that little bathroom have?; what about an outhouse? - is it practical or just for fun? it could be fun to have when one is on a lake - or if you have an outdoor hot tub or pool - is this practical to prevent wet folks from tracking into the house or just plain 'out there?"; discussion on the chemical or self contained toilets that do not require a septic tank (for the outhouse or the basement); what things in a bathroom add value to a home?; what tends to use up money - and not really worth it?; what about the end-line tankless water heaters? - how well do they work in areas where it freezes in the winter?; how many bathrooms are necessary in a home? and what is the minimum of what they should contain (shower or shower and tub - etc)?

OK that's it for now - more later. Dee

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Hey Wes!

Thanks for the heads up on this...weird, really weird.

I will forward this to our web gurus and find out if we can disable these folks.

Stay tuned, and please let me know if it continues.

Have a wonderful week!


I'm in the pre-pre-pre stages of log homes. Haven't bought land yet. Which brings up my suggestion for a topic: How much land?
I have a hard time grasping/conceptualizing X number of acres. Perhaps someone could address How much land is suggested for certain activites - such as if you want to walk/hike for an hour and not see your neighbors or your cabin, how much land would you need? If you wanted paths for cross country skiing or riding ATVs, how much would someone suggest for that? What about if you wanted to make sure you had enough property to eventually put up a 2nd cabin, out of sight of the 1st?

Thanks for this forum (which I just found). I'm looking forward to learning from it.

- K
Great ideas! I am particularly interested in small log homes- smaller than what I've seen so far on this site. I'm also very interested in how to design, build, and live in a log home with the least environmental impact. Perhaps even how to build a log home into the side of a hill and utilize solar and geo-thermal power, et cetera. The more sustainable the better- thank you!

I would like to see an article on log home landscaping...with some pics of nice use of large rocks, bushes, trees etc. When I see a log home with no landscaping it looks kind of blah. When I see the pics with lots of nice landscaping and large rocks spread around, water, trees they look even more beautiful.

I am sure a landscaper would love to write it and advertise :-)

Mike C
I've been reading several log home magazines for some time now. I don't think I have ever seen individual log home company interviews /profiles with lots of pictures of their facilities with information of the types of construction ,different logs ,styles , innovations and services each have. Kind of like a spotlight on different log home companies. Although they are mentioned in articles done with homeowners which you can see the homes styles and also short biographies in listings and once in a while company owners are just interviewed, I think it would be great to see pictures of their facilities.

A popular thing nowadays is 2 master baths in a master bedroom. The closet and bath space being smaller for the mans side of course.


Good luck with that. If anyone figures the banks out, please let us all know. Back before 2007, you could put your land up for a construction loan, build you home, and then convert it into a mortgage. Now it takes the banks a while no matter how good your credit is. Too many repos, I guess.

Forgot to post this link:

I would try to answer all of these questions but, "it depends", but when it comes to plumbing a new home it is possible to separate your gray water from what you shower and drink with if it's going in a remote location. Yes, they do make composting toilets that you might like (I don't think I would). After everything you may have to have a septic tank because of the requirements of your local building official.

You might try to get a local designer or architect to work with you as a in house designer at a log home company may or may not be able to meet you needs but in any case you should decide to work with the company and exactly how their logs go together including any special considerations.

I personally like the tank-less water heaters IF they are backed up by a standard water heater. It all depends upon what you want, what you want to spend, and of course the all important local building codes.
An article on optimally controlling the relative humidity inside a log home.
I'd like to see an intelligent discussion of the whole idea of thermal mass and R-values, with some concrete tools for analysis.  We've looked at a variety of building methods, and, while I understand the concepts perfectly well, I've yet to find any resource that is actually helpful in planning.  Most of what I've gotten amounts to very generalized advocacy from the manufacturers of competing technologies, but almost nothing that helps in deciding how it affects the bottom line of energy consumption.



I too, would like to see a cost vs. return discussion enter into the code driven debate.   Being involved with DOE testing and also being present during the recent 2012 code hearings, I was amazed with the decision making process and the special interest groups that were driving the agenda.  The whole "national security threat" and "zero energy home" goal by 2025 is proposterous.  Targeting 450k new homes a year with difficult and expensive benchmarks, when there are roughly 130 million existing energy hogs is the bigger picture. 


The 2009 code changes (15% better than 2006) just started getting enforced, but not all states have the infrastructure to manage.  The northern  climate zones 6 and 7 require minimum R-values for walls to be R-15 and R-19 respectively.  And with minimal tradeoffs (beefing up performance one place to compensate for others elsewhere), these minimum R-values drive cost vs. return through the roof. 


During these code hearings, we heard some paid proponants use "payback" assumptions in the 3-5 year range.  Well, who would argue with that?  Approved.  But now, as the 2012 code cycle is pending and another 15% improvement is required, the "loggies" aren't the only ones fretting.  Payback analysis in the 30-50 year range will cause the consumer to look elsewhere for shelter.  It just doesn't make sense to drive the cost of new home construction out of reach for some, when they can buy existing instead.  Had the code officials and people voting for these changes understood the cost vs. return, they wouldn't have voted approval.


The 2015 code cycle is supposed to be another 20% jump----50% better than 2006.  How as an industry, or a specialty business, can one design or modify a product if the target keeps moving?  How do we achieve a "zero energy home" by 2025?   Was the intent of the new codes to exterminate a proven building system (solid logs) with examples still standing and being used in this country for 200+ years?   How much of an energy drain is this proven solid log system when compared to a new fangled alternative?


I like the SIPS concept and have been building them for years, along with solid logs.  But a foam house with slabs of wood is not a "log home".  The SIPS industry has had issues and we've repaired them all---most at our expense.  Vapor drive, delamination, outgassing, structural failures----can all happen (and do happen).  Not by design, but through mistakes/quality control in manufacturing, construction, site location, weather, neglect and lifestyle.  Only when a company has been around long enough to take care of their problems, will I endorse them.


Solid logs are just so much more forgiving, predictable, and ultimately easier to deal with when issues arise. 


The intent of the new building code(s) and their enforcement will be subject for debate, regionally managed, and ultimately budget driven.  Just this week, our county laid off the building inspector and the responsibility got pushed upstream.   

Exterior Wood Finishes and Topcoats.

Every log and timberframe homeowner needs to know the details of the many options available. Answers to simple questions would really benefit everyone. Questions like: How long will the stain last? Is it ok to use only clear? Does the previous stain need to be removed? How will a new coat of stain effect chinking? Why is there such a huge debate over water based vs. oil based stains? Why not just buy an inexpensive product from the local "big box"?

The answers to these and many other questions would really help homeowners make educated decisions.

Thanks for the opportunity to make suggestions.


Weatherall Company


Methods and Standards for Advancement of Log and Timber Structures has come a long way, and we professionals Log and Timber builders should be very proud of this. As we grow larger and larger as a building community we have missed something. The Log and Timber Home Owners and the horror stories that seem to grow and grow every year as we grow. The bad building standards of a few that hurt us all. Policing our own industry isn't being done! Not at all! This problem hasn't been addressed as a community because it is bad for business? Has political correctness infected our ability to not judge? Well ignoring this wont make it go away. How can we properly police these Bad Contractors? As an employee of one of best in the business for 3 decades I will say it! We have a problem Houston! I think I see one way to address this issues right in front of us. I believe this should be covered in-depth in your magazine? As an industry we owe it to whom pays all of our bills and share our passion, the Log and Timber Home owners of today, and the future people with dreams of there own Log and Timber Homes.




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