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I've looked back in the B&M forum through Aug '08 and have not seen any discussion at all regarding cypress logs for a log home. My wife and I plan to select and build a log home in NE North Carolina, just below the Tidewater area of Virginia, beginning in 2011. We already have the land, and while we will be building above the flood plain, the sandiness of the soil will be an issue, and termites are definitely in the area. I've been told by one company that there is no need for the extra bug and rot resistence of cypress because of all the new treatments available. Another company says in their advertising that cypress is the most durable in this environment.

Do any of the manufacturers, builders, or owners in this forum have experience with cypress both in the building phase and over the long term as far as maintenance and upkeep are concerned? What are the things we must make sure of during the building process, and is cypress more or less expensive to maintain?

We look forward to building our log retirement home, and we want it to last.

I look forward to your responses.  Bob T.

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Replies to This Discussion

Nice find Donald, I find it fitting that Bill's web site, which is all about his company, is entitled log home myths. Yes, TRUE facts are hard to argue against.

Bob Warren
Khita Log Builders Ltd.
"a myth in my own mind"
Nice jab Bob W., but this is not a jousting arena. Anyone can throw mud against the wall and hope it sticks.

The Customer Bob T. is looking for facts. So if I have stated facts that are not true....Show me..... I'm up for a good challenge. As far as the Forestry article provided by Donald P., that's one article. I can show 50 plus articles that state facts that are completely different. History has proven many times over the long term durability for cypress.

Bob T. hold on this is where it starts to get fun.... Attached are a few links to start with.

Oldest wood schoolhouse in US Tourist attraction, no longer in actual use as a school. The Oldest Wooden School House is a wooden structure near the city gates of St. Augustine, Florida. It is reportedly the oldest wooden school building in the United States. The exact date of construction is unknown, but it first appears on tax records in 1716.

The house is encircled by a large chain, placed there in 1937, to help anchor it to the ground in case of a hurricane. The walls are made of bald cypress which are held together by wooden pins and iron spikes but it has had recent maintenance such as a new roof among other fixes.

Bill Mathews
I'm sure that the cypress at Saint Peters Basilica was bald cypress but..I actually looked at all of the links and didn't see one log home.

As far as log home myths, yeah everyone knows that carpenter bees can be a problem. Termites I wouldn't worry about. There is a fix for that. Painting can take care of carpenter bees but that kinda defeats the look of a log home.

Remember everything needs some maintenance every once in a while even if it is only re-staining. Of course you wouldn't have to stain cypress, but why would you want to see gray streaks.

Most log home companies that have problems with shrinkage don't keep too much inventory. I don't imagine in this economy that should be too much of an issue. I have seen white pine shrink 1/4" to 3/8" in 8' and some shrink 2" to 3" in 8'. A lot depends upon the manufacturer.
Yep, it's hard to get that old heartwood in any size.
Are there any owners of cypress log homes reading this? I'd like to know your experiences both during the building phase and after a few years of living in one.
I would like to know too.
Cypress lasts a long time but the logs can be small and expensive.

We have used Cypress for 25 yrs. and are at a tipping point in the industry were we can now supply cypress at the same cost as pine. As far a size, our cant lengths average 16' feet and can produce logs as large as 16" inch in diameter. Here's one example an independent story on why cypress prices are in line with less expensive wood;

Bill Mathews
It just depends on what you want. How much 1000bf 6 1/2" x 12 1/2" x 16' ? If you are just as cheap it might be something to look into.

Feel free to call me anytime, I'll be happy to get you a quote.

Bill Mathews
Why not post it minus shipping. I guess I'm confused as to whether you are a builder or supplier or both.
Both is the correct answer, 98% turnkey. Prices are fluctuating daily and to enable the customer to receive the absolute lowest price based on volume and size of product we choose not to post. Feel free to call me anytime for a hard quote.

Bill Mathews
386-697-1357 Cell


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