Ok so this is my first time trying this out. I have been reading a lot of the threads and it is obviously clear that many, many questions need to be asked before making a descision about a supplier for a kit home/logs.
My husband and I are contemplating building a log home for our first home. Please let me know what questions we should be asking to make sure we get all the information required from the companies before we make a decision?
Did you go through the process and wish you asked a certain question? what are common things they don't want to offer up unless we ask?
thanks for all your advice.
Hi Bill. Not quite local but go through there every now and then. sounds good. thanks. let me know the details. cheers
Your question is very broad. Answers are too long for a reasonably short post. I'd advise doing what you're doing - read lots on the internet. There is a lot of good advice out there. There are several good books to help as well. Seek out people who have already been through the process, see their houses and talk to them; you can learn a lot there and most are enthusiastic to help. It is a very confusing industry. Each log home company has a different angle on materials, design, construction methods and what's included in the kit. Then there's the whole challenge of finding someone to build your home. I'd be happy to have a chat with you if you'd like to send me a message. My house is 90% complete in VT, so I'm right in the thick of it.
It is very important to do research on the companies that your looking at. Make sure it is a reliable company and they have been in business for several years. There are several start-up companies out there that buy second logs. Buy Quality!! Also, most companies sell a standard package. Compare apples to apples and research what is in the package. Some have window and doors, some don't. Some have framing materials, some don't. Let me know if you need help, I have been around log home sales for many years and will be glad to answer your questions.
I used to sell and build log kits, but since energy is now a part of the Building Codes, I push DIY from logs. 10" and 12" logs from one of three places that do log dowels and/or swedish cope on the dowels. One each in Montana, Utah, and Colorado. Personally I prefer short log style (Piece 'en Piece), because I can still put everything in place by myself -except ridge and purlins. It is a verion of post and beam that is over three hundred years old, from France, and still works well for DIY'ers.
Most kits, today, are still 6" and 8" and don't meet ICC Codes. If you still want to try one - only go for the ones that sell the floor box and complete roofs, with their walls. Windows and doors are best purchased locally, along with 2x4, 2x6, and other lumber. Do it this way and you can afford an interior designer to really make it pow your critics. I do my own designs and have clients get them Ok'd by a Structural Engineer ('cause they have to do the foundation, anyway) and most Building Inspectors can relate and even help. Angled walls are a current trend, so I did a two pod Hogan that makes kits look primitive.
Wolf Country Log Homes
Here's paper from the Log Home & Timber Frame Council regarding the ICC Codes and how it affects log homes. In some cases, logs less than 10" and 12" will pass code.
Thanks, but I already have the ICC400 info. If you re -read page 22, you'll see that that stack joint width would have to be so wide (to meet the formula) that a 50% increase in stack rounds would be required. Normal 6" and 8" kits have stack joints of 2 1/2" to 3" (vary) and to meet energy codes, would need to be over 4.75". When you cut the log down in height to achieve Reschek standards, your stack height is about the same (4 3/4" to 5"). Just go with the 10" mass and be warm in winter and quit trying to keep the kit guys in business. I've never been able to make one of those 'cases'.
Yep - we have stack joints over 4.75" and structures that meet the ICC400 code and we don't use 10" thick logs. There are options - just making sure folks know about them.
Well, now we have given folks an opportunity to think, because of our little discussion, I'll bet they are going to make the best choice they can. I vote for the least number of rounds for the least cost and the maximum mass. I just love the idea that half of my 12" log (6") is giving heat off to the inside of my home all night.
And for those of us in the south - we like our full thickness 6" or 8" square logs logs (11" tall for least number of courses and maximum mass) keeping the heat out and the cool in! I'm all for choices.
Oops, my bad. I forget some folks still do Appalachian style cabins. I'm an old mountain man (Rockies) and we do rounds of round logs. At -30 in the winter and huge snow loads - big -matters. They do a great job of keeping the summer night temps , all day, too. So, one of us will suit the folks who originally asked the question. Y'all have a great day......pilgrim.