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My wife and I almost bought a coventry kit a couple years ago and then the land we were going to purchase fell through. In the end it was for the best, but we have a renewed interest to build.

I was introduced to panelized log homes this past wknd by a short factory tour of our local log home business (maine cedar log homes). I was not aware they made modular/prefab type log homes then started doing some digging on this forum. Doesn't seem to be much out there (except for testimonials) with regards to overall satisfaction, looks and general happiness with such a house. I am all for the traditional log home, hence the coventry possibility, but am curious about a panelized home that I saw last wknd. They claim an R value of ~28.

So basically, they use D-shaped half logs and attach over a traditional stick built 2x6" wall. They look like a real log home on the outside, although the corners are squared off. Also saw Blue Ridge log homes and they have a similar approach.

After heavily researching traditional log homes 2 years ago, I feel more confused then ever with the other options out there now. Can anyone provide some insight (pros/cons) into the prefab log homes? Are they really less expensive, less maintainence?  Is this considered a "poor man's log home"? Thanks.

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Great discussion topic! Many people have strong opinions in regards to siding, milled, and handcrafted log homes, and these debates tend to get heated. I'd like to remind everyone to remain respectful of their fellow members even if you disagree with them. Thanks!
Alan, I went out in the woods this morning looking for moral mushrooms. I didn't find any, but I also didn't see any trees in the rectangular shape in your avatar pic either.
Talk with an experienced builder in your area before you buy a modular or panel log home 'kit'. You may find a contractor who can build a stick framed home with a log look siding (some mills can even do log siding with faux butt and pass corners!) that will give you the same look for a better price.

Oh, and don't fret over what someone considers 'poor man's choice' or 'bad taste' !! YOU have to live in this home for the next several decades and YOU have to write the check that pays for it. So build what YOU want.........forget about what others think of your choice, forget about hype from a salesman, forget about questionable testimonials you read on the web, forget about what you think may be affordable or practical! (the question of affordablity and practicality is probably the biggest red herring in the log home industry)

You will have to wake up every morning and look at those walls........build walls that will put a smile on your face and make you happy!!!! (and your wife too, of course!)
John,

Let's start out by saying that some men like their woman to have Brown hair others blond and yet others hues of red. Some even like it green but that's another story. Some don't even like woman but we will stay away from that. The history of log homes is that they were a poor man's home and people covered the outside walls with flat boards, asbetos etc as soon as they could afford too. Now they spend a fortune buidling log homes, figure that one out.

Meanwhile build what you and your mate like (I'm being politically correct here). I personally don't like handcrafted logs, as Bob and Tim do, and neither due I like log siding but that's my taste, not yours or necessarily other people in our blog zone. I love dovetailed corners but some like butt and pass or butted corners. You will have to decide on that and price WILL come into play. You will have to narrow down your sq footage and then get price quotes which may depend on how much effort you want to put into the log home. The panelized log home you looked at certainly has some advantages with extreme insulation if that is important. As Bob said it will still have outside maintaince problems just as a "hand crafted" home has but air infiltration will not be one of them. I do want to point out that Blue Ridge Log Cabins are not "panelized" but are true log homes with stacked and screwed together outer walls with each modulized section being upwards of 14 foot across and 45 feet long. Tim's excellent home is hand crafted and assembled on his lot without screws and then disassembled and shipped. If it were less then 14 feet in width it could be trucked in one piece too. He used a log shaved on two sides in his ebay cabin, while BRLC uses a D log or a 6 x 12 timber as Bob likes to say. The D log or rectangular are "log homes" as far as I'm concerned and I'm the one writing the check. Old Henry Ford said you could have any color car as long as it was black. That lasted only as long as it took competition to come out with a colored car. Ford wisely change his policy.

I should mention that you should look around at homes in the area you are going to build in to see what others have done. I have seen Canadian log homes that I swear use logs 24 inches in diameter. Sounds great but actually might not look good in some areas where 6 x 6 D is common yet the 6 x 6 might be looked down upon in Canada. We were close to buying a lot in a development where there were a couple of log homes and in the lot next to the one we wanted a guy was putting in a Georgian revival something or other. We walked.

Is one method cheaper then the other is very difficult to answer because it depends so much on what is included and how fancy you want to get. I would visit several quality builders and even get on a plane and fly to SC to visit BRLC if they can ship to your area. Right now is an excellent time to go forward as builders are willing to bargain, just make sure that the builder is solid financially. More and more log home companies are willing to build a true turn key which allows you to compare prices better. Have an attorney review all contracts.

I definitely advise you to get a copy of Log & Timber Home Workbook. It has a costing section that is excellent although it may scare the hell out of you when you add it all up. It will provide the details in a contract if you decide to have the home, site built, and will eliminate any misunderstandings. I wish Log Homes Illustrated would make this a PDF file so that we could print it out to use. Hint Hint.

Joe
John,
Correction, I said Bob but meant to say Alan.
Joe
Alan,
You need to come out of the woods once and awhile and learn to carefully read. First of all I never said it was a log home. Second of all if you google "Georgian Revival" you will discover all sorts of homes and famous buildings built in this style. Thirdly I said "Georgian revival or something like that" as it took away from the log homes in the area. Fourth, go back up and read what Emily Rouche had to say. Fifth, If you knock the chip off your shoulder and go back and read again what I said, I complimented Tim on his work even though I don't happen to like that style. Six, your comments are getting very crude and really don't belong in a blog like this. You need a time out. Finally, being such an "expert" on Architecture you can figure out what this house is, as this is the one, and then enlighten us.

http://lakehouse.com/images.php?id=74528&f=74528.jpg

Joe
Ooh, Ooh, Ooh. I know, I know!! That's a cross between craftsman and carolina cottage........... (Sorry, I'm letting my inner Hermione Granger come out LOL!)

By the way. "Log" is a medium just like brick or stone. Craftsman, Georgian and Federal are all architectural styles and Appalachian, Carolina and Scandinavian are all regional style descriptions.
So, it would be possible to build a Georgian style home out of logs. But not as likely here in the US
Georgian Architecture:

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Appalachian (or mountain) style is a bit different...........and more likely to be built of logs

http://hendricksarch.com/index.php/origins-of-mountain-architecture...

And to confuse things the Appalachian style of log crafting isn't necessarily used exclusively on an Appalachian style cabin....it could be used on a Cape Cod style home...........jeez. Way to confusing for a num-nuts like me!

Sorry for the thread drift...........now back to our regularly scheduled argument!! ;-)
Susan,
Good comments on the "Georgian" house although I had to Wikipedia,Granger. Thought it was the electrical catalog at first. What you can't see in the picture is that the columns are fluted so now enters the possible Greek influence. We certainly weren't going to put a log home next to that one and show off.

I see Alan couldn't let go. Once again in his reference to another blog he didn't read the provided question correctly on how "to make a 2x4 studded wall that had to bear a LOAD yet allow for the settling issue". I guess in Alan's world you take load bearing walls with stacked, 2x4 INTERNAL columns and put the jacks at the top with a gap. Other wise you would have to attach the load bearing wall to the ceiling and that's not allowed.

Now the problem is that in most log homes East of the Rockies load bearing columns are attached to the first floor CEILING rafters with jacks at the bottom. Alan must think this is nuts to attach to the ceiling. Must be the way Californians do things. He keeps skipping over that this is an entire sheetrock wall with INTERNAL, 2 x 4 columns. If you attach that wall to the floor and the ceiling there is no adjustment. Or, you can pull an Alan and put the jacks at the top with a entire wall gap up there but you can't have it both ways. If you attach the required load wall to the ceiling (remember those log support columns in most houses East of the Rockies) and the load jacks at the bottom you need to "hide" the entire floor gap needed for the wall. and yes that wall must attach to the ceiling. You then either install trim boards across the bottom which hides the gap and the jacks as is normally done but then keep detaching them and reinstalling as the wall moves or build a simple U channel kick plate for the wall to move in. The trim around log home doors and windows is essentially a u channel. This u channel attaches to the door frame or window frame but not the logs, it's a simple matter to use this system on the wall either at the top or bottom depending if you use California top jacks or East of the Rockies bottom jacks.

Furthermore, Allen can keep "calling it like he sees it" but if it looks like a log home, it's a "log home" to me and I suspect others.

Nuff said.

Joe
Thanks Joe for promoting our cabins!

John,

Blue Ridge Log Cabins is a modular log home company and our cabins are constructed out of solid logs, offering a 6"x8" and 8"x8" "d" shaped logs (butt and pass), as wells as 6x12 flat logs (dovetail). We pride ourselves on our high quality standards and consider our construction methods to be high-end. Our cabins are constructed in a climate controlled environment to 80-90% completion and our cabins are usually "in the dry" on the first day of delivery.

As far as your maintenance question, you will have similar maintenance/upkeep with the exterior finish as you will have with any natural element. You will see a difference in issues associated with settling. Our use of a milled log with a very low moisture content, combined with our construction methods lends itself to very little settling (you won't have to make frequent door adjustments, etc.).

We encourage anyone building a cabin to do their homework. Visit our factory and see how we do it!

You can visit us anytime, but we also have a seminar every couple of months that includes an extensive tour of our factory. You can put your hands on our product and walk through the different stages of our production line. Our next seminar is scheduled for a upcoming Saturday in May (Call to make a reservation: 1-888-563-3275). If you have any questions let me know.

Sincerely,
Wesley Lawson
Lead Product Engineer
Blue Ridge Log Cabins
Wesley,

Thanks for the info. I have emailed BRC and requested some literature be mailed to me. Do you guys ship to Maine?

Everyone else, I appreciate the info and comments. Keep 'em coming.

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