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Hello all! My wife and I want to build a log home in Va. Neither of us know much about them, but I do take care of a lady's Jack Pine home, but that all the knowledge I have. I have heard that cedar is more detouring for insects and won't split as much as pine, but then again, I've heard that you could add a borate-glycol preservative to pine that should keep the insects away. The actual home we are looking at is Eastern White Pine as well. I was just wondering, for those of you who are living in current log homes, why you decided to choose that type of wood and what you did to the wood once it was erected? I thank you all in advance for your input!!

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With the borate being pressure treated in to white pine, it will have all the advantages of cedar or cypress without the high price of these species.  In addition, using white pine will be "greener" as you will not be importing these species from out of state (Northern White Cedar from New England or Western Red Cedar from the West Coast) and eliminating the long distance shipping of getting the wood product to the job site in VA.  I've lived in my borate pressure treated log home for over 20 years now and don't have any of the problems that un-treated pine may have.  In addition, the pressure treatment process with borates guarantees better penetration (and more retention) of the borates as compared to the glycol based products.  That's the reason that the borate pressure treated products offer a warranty against wood digesting insects (termites, wood borers, wood beetles, etc.) and decay.  According to USDA/Dept. of Forestry, ALL wood checks.  To what extent one species checks as compared to another is hard to guarantee.  In all the research I've done, wood experts won't say/guarantee which species checks more or less - they just advise that ALL wood species will check and is something to be expected.  Good Luck with the research and building your dream log home!

Thank you Donald! We have been leaning toward the pine species, so you comment is very helpful!!

cedar

Why?

Insect resistant, looks better, will last longer, easier to work with, don't have to stain it, if you don't, it will turn a silver gray color.  (personally I would like a stain on it for color)  You are getting a reply by someone who has used yellow pine, and it can warp and twist, harder to maintain, overall.  I've seen cedar (Northern white cedar) homes, and they really look so much better!  So it is up to you, but if I were going to build again, I would use the white cedar.  Good luck

 

Thanks!! It's a lot to think about!!

Remember - the borate pressure treated white pine (not yellow pine) comes with a warranty against wood digesting insects and decay - something that cedar does not.  Be sure to ask the restoration/repair companies about cedar (both western red and northern white) - they'll tell you the issues they've had to correct over the years.  White pine is easy to work with and does not have all the issues with twisting/warping.  Keep in touch!

I never thought of contacting restoration companies!! That's a wonderful idea! Thanks

Generally insects stray away from cedar, but hey love pine, white or yellow, and other wood species.  As far as having a warranty, warranties are only as good as the log home manufacturer.  Ask anyone who has a Heritage log home, Tennessee Log Home, New England log home, etc.... where is their warranty, now that these companies are out of business???  White pine is easier to work with, but cedar is easiest!  This is what I have learned over the years!

Yes - it's a great way to lean about the wood species and the difference between what salespeople like to tell you and what they experience every day.  Although insects tend to "stray" away from cedar - it is not a guarantee.  As for warranties - it is correct that they are only as good as the paper they are written on.  However - when researching, you'll find that when the restoration/repair companies are out doing their jobs fighting wood digesting insects and decay (on pine, cedar, cypress and ALL other wood species) they like to use borates for all of the advantages they have to offer.  When pressure treating white pine with borates you now have wood that is protected against wood digesting insects and decay.  Warranty or not - the research shows there is no better way to protect the investment you are making in your dream log home than with borates.  Click the link to learn more about borates and what advantages they offer you when using wood in your home.

Donald, do you work as a rep for Appalachian log, which uses white pine logs?  If so, then I can see you, why you would think it would be the best wood to use.  I don't represent anyone, I just post what I have learned and seen over the years.  I have seen wood rot, twisting, and problems, never have I seen these problems in a white cedar home.  Just my observations!

Yes - I work for Appalachian Log Structures (this is listed in my loghomeu profile).  Over the past 35+  years we've produced log homes using Oak, White Pine, Yellow Pine, Western Red Cedar, White Cedar, Poplar and other wood species if the customer requested it specifically.  When we did the research with the University of Mississippi on the use of borates in the pressure treating process in the late 1980's it was determined that white pine was a good species to use as it absorbed the borates the best.  In addition, white pine is very stable and does not have the problems with twisting, warping, etc. that some other species do.  Living in and being around log homes since I built mine in 1992 I too post what I have seen and learned over the past 20+ years.  I get a lot of insight from the log home restoration/repair folks as they see (and solve) a lot of the problems discussed in this forum and show photos of log homes, from all wood species, they have worked on.  In addition, resources like the USDA Dept of Forestry, papers from the University of Tennessee, White Papers from the Log Home Council are what I typically use when discussing topics geared towards log homes.  I too like to make sure the folks are getting good information and just not a sales pitch.  Sounds like we're on the same page!

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