OK repair folks. How about making a list of common traits of log homes that you are asked to repair. Maybe that will help us think of things we wouldn't have thought about as we plan our home.
Never put a window air conditioner in a log home.... that condensation has to go somewhere. Watch for backsplash, even at dormers where they meet the roof shingles on the sides, these areas get twice the rain exposure (due to the splash) and snow collects there. Wide overhangs are great.... that walk around porch is not only going to protect the logs but gives us a walkable access to the second story. Don't build over terrain that won't allow us to get a lift truck into your site (like in the side of a hill)... and don't landscape in such a way that we can't get our trucks in to service your home. Most importantly, use a quality acrylic finish like PermaChink Lifeline so that you won't have to see us nearly so often.
The larger the overhang, the less exposure to sun and rain. Also, keep the corners short. I've seen a lot of log homes where the builder leaves a couple of logs extra long and people hang planters or something from them. This looks neat at first, but will eventually rot. Never settle for sub standard products. It seems that mostly what I see is people who used poor quality products like "tub and tile" caulk rather than good quality products designed for log homes. If possible, leave at least 2-3 feet of stone/block beneath the bottom log, this will keep the bottom logs from getting wet. Finally, keep bushes/trees away from the house. Many people forget when they plant shrubbery that as it grows it gets bigger and what started out 3 feet away from the house will be touching it in just a few years. If you feel like you absolutely have to plant shrubbery, plant it several feet away and keep it trimmed so as not to brush against the house.
Thanks for the heads-up on the longer log for the hanging basket. What about hanging flower baskets above the railing out front - might we be asking for potential trouble with rot of the railing and possibly the porch below?
This is not as big of a deal as the rail/deck are still covered somewhat from the elements, however every time you water, you are likely wetting the rail and deck below so, yes it could be a problem. I guess a solution to that would be to take hanging plants down to water them, then hang them back up. Also, FYI railing is always challenging. Because it often sees more weather than other parts of the home, the finish on railings tends to come wear away much faster. Railings often need to be cleaned and finish reapplied every 2 years or so.
In settling homes, air leakage around windows and doors, is a big thing. Windows and doors not functioning proerly. Also, interior first floor weight bearing walls not having an allowance for the settling of the peremeter, leaving the second floor to buckle when the settling occurs. Interior chimneys being attached to the floors and or roofs, causing problems when the structure settles. Interior walls being butted to exterior walls instead of interjoined.
Very interesting thread with awesome replies. Keep them coming.