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Hello everyone!

I'm closing on a log home in a few weeks.   Being from Florida I know nothing about log homes other than what I have read on this, and other log home pages.   The home I am buying is located near Franklin South Carolina.  From my understanding, it is D log construction.   I just became aware that the home may have been painted rather than stained.  I'm still in the due diligence period and have the home inspection next week.  If its painted is that a deal breaker?  I read that painted logs trap in moisture and are more prone to rot. Also are there any questions I should ask the inspector prior to the inspection?  Thank you, everyone, for your help.  

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Hi, Brian.

No, painted logs shouldn't be a deal breaker, necessarily. While paint can hide developing problems, it doesn't also follow that there will absolutely be problems.

What I would recommend is that you have a log home finishing contractor do an independent inspection of the logs themselves. A normal home inspector isn't qualified to do that. A log home contractor will be able to do a thorough check for rot, as well as point out areas at higher risk and how to mitigate those areas. Based on his/her inspection, you may want to negotiate some concessions. 

Can you let me know a zip code for where the home is located? I'd be happy to give you some names and numbers of contractors who you can contact to see if they'd be able to do an inspection for you. 

--- Charis w/ Sashco - cbabcock@sashco.com 

Thanks Charis, 

The property is located in Otto, NC 28763.  Are there any things I should look out for? 

Thanks, Brian. Names below. All of these folks are located 3-4 hours from the home. I don't know of anyone closer myself, but do a google search to see if anyone else comes up.

What to look for: 

- Soft areas in the wood near high-risk areas (logs closest to the ground or exposed to splash back, run off, etc. You'll have to use a screw driver to check for rot).

- Peeling and/or cracked paint: that will be a natural entry point for moisture and could be a sign of an area where moisture has already gotten in. Peeling is often a result of too much moisture, but can also be a sign of cheap paint. :-)

- Exposed logs. Anything that is not protected by a porch or large overhang should be checked for rot.

- Where any dormers or logs meet the roofline. Rain likes to hit those logs. They're at higher risk for problems.

- Black or green spots on the logs. Some is normal in a humid environment. Large amounts could be a sign of bigger problems. Some will be mold/mildew, some could be algae.

- Joints between logs. Are they sealed tightly? Can you see daylight at all? Find out from the owners what the construction type was. If tongue and groove joints, what was used to seal between? You might consider having the local energy company do a blower door test to see how tightly they are still nested. Could require quite a bit of caulking if there's a lot of air infiltraion, which will cost you (especially if you have a contractor do the work). 

- Joints between different materials: chimney to logs, logs to foundation, logs to window trim, logs to deck, etc. Make sure there's nothing developing there.

Hope that helps. Again, a log home finisher will be able to give you a much more thorough report. In many cases, there won't be anything needed for several years. In some cases, you may need to do a complete refinish by removing the existing paint, replacing logs, etc. Better to go in eyes wide open and know what expenses to expect.

Contractors to call:

Log Home Maintenance - Erin McCutcheon - 828-260-1893

Log Home Repair & Restoration - Ashley Gamble - (252) 459-0068

WoodTeks - Jason Benge - (336) 244-1718

Log Building Maintenance & Restoration - Dave Hoffman - 800-284-6520

Hope that helps for now. Let me know if none of these contacts respond. I'd be happy to reach out to them for you.

Have a great afternoon!

--- Charis

Thanks Charis, 

This property looked immaculate.  That is why I am worried it was painted.  I am a firefighter in Florida so I am pretty familiar with ordinary Type III construction.   I was trying to apply my knowledge of that to this log home.  The plumbing was done with Pex pipe and looked brand new. Pex in Florida is frowned upon, but we don't have to worry about freezing. Other areas I checked for was the electrical panel.   Whoever wired this must have had OCD, it was meticulously done.  Honestly, I have never seen such a good job at the breaker box.  I'm a bit skeptical because of how good it looks.  When doing a Google search is "log home finisher" the term I should be using around the Franklin area? 

Log home finisher, log home contractor, log home stainer - all of those terms will net you some results. There aren't a lot of them out there, and most are used to traveling for jobs, so don't let distance scare you off too much. You might also check out log home builders. They generally don't know as much about the stain job, but may be able to point you to a sub they work with who will.

My electrical panel at home was the same - very meticulous and OCD-ish. Turns out, the guys who did the remodeling weren't as OCD because they put several outlet covers on crooked. I wondered if they knew what a level was. :-) Glad the wiring itself is in good shape, though.

--- Charis

You may want to check out www.wefixloghomes.com.  They have folks in Bostic, NC.

Thanks, 

I just emailed them.

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