Tim, it is obvious from previous postings you do not consider pre-cut (or what you refer to as "kit") log homes as "real" log homes. So trying to start a forum discussion with the pretenses of wanting other people's "knowledge" on the subject just doesn't fly with those of us who build log homes (pre-cut and handcrafted), live in log homes and who regularly read this forum.
It is unfortunate, that you are not able to embrace the fact that there are many quality, long-standing, reputable companies and builders who provide this product and service for many very satisfied customers - as well as quality, long-standing and well-built log homes. Not all people have the desire for, or the the funds for, what you like to call a "real" log home. Nevertheless, they are living in their dream home that provides the comfort, quality and lifestyle they were looking for.
I have been building pre-cut log homes non-stop since 1982 - almost 30 years. I have built all over the western U.S., and even in Japan. And, all my homes are still standing - strongly, I might add. Of course, as with any industry, we have learned things over the years to provide a better, higher quality product. Hopefully, all professionals continue to look for new and better ways to improve. I'm sure that B. Allen Mackie would say that even handcrafted techniques have changed and improved over time. Alice and Doris Muir and Victor Nymark would agree. I assume you are aware of these pioneers and trend setters in the log home building industry. They set the standards on which the current industry is built. I incorporate many of Mackie's building techniques into each "kit" home I build.
Cheers to all those out there who have been able to build their dream home - pre-cut or handcrafted, built by owner or by contractor, vacation or permanent residence!
Northern Arizona Log Homes
PROUD Independent Representative for REAL Log Homes
I know some of the milled manufacturers (not many) use full length logs (neville I think was one).
I was wondering about precisioncraft...if their milled homes are 16' maximum...or if they use full length milled / lathe turned logs?
shanny, I don't really look too closely at machined log homes which gets really confusing when a company has Handcrafted, Hybrid and whatnot....aaaaand beautiful pictures. Wouldn't it be nice if a beautiful picture would warm your home in winter and cool it in summer?
I remember years ago as a teenager, I worked retail in a chain department store.
There was a large bin with mens dress shirts on sale for $3.50 or so.
They were not selling.
This is when the store manager taught me "the deal".
He told me to take the shirts out of their packages, and throw them all loose, into the bin, and put a sign on them for $3.75.
They sold like crazy.
The manager told me the customer needs to believe they are getting a deal.
RE: It is actually quite unfortunate that people purchasing "any" type of log home have to do their own research and due diligence.
There are several of "us" chinked style homes that use 40' lengths regularly. Not advisable with a log-on-log applications as dimensions can vary from one end to the other. But with a true dovetailed chink style (like those built in 1600's till invention of wire nail), a full length timber is preferred. Raw cost is 2.5 to 3x for the long timber, but less structural issues and butt joints.
The other issue that drives log length (other than cost) is species and kilns. Not too many 40' long white cedar logs exist, or Cypress over 24' for that matter. For those who can properly kiln dry and reduce shrinkage and settling (note not "eliminate"), the length of kiln or turnover time dictates size.
There are some quality "kits" that pay attention to detail and there are some handcrafters that need to. Have the GC do a blower door test with thermography (maybe $750) at the end of construction to catch any air leaks (most are in the roof/floor connection) and manage the 'uphill checks' exposed to weather.
Yeah.....I have a few large white cedars that I could get maybe 25-30' out of....they go about 24"-30" at the butt , and of course alot of taper.
Most of the old utility poles are now gone (these were very large white cedars), but even on those you loose the bottom few feet to rot and mining ants.
It might be wise to design the building with bumpouts (even if stick framed), and reduce some lengths on the long side.
Also on the chinkers, a lot of time you have much greater stack height then the milled stuff.
Here is the inside of some very old reclaimed white cedar utility poles.
I sawed both faces off and will draw knife the gray, and possible adze the exterior face.
" target="_blank">http://<a href="http://s1117.photobucket.com/albums/k593/Chuckadze/?action=view&current=ChucksPictures138.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1117.photobucket.com/albums/k593/Chuckadze/ChucksPictures138.jpg" border="0" alt="Inside old gray poles"></a>
You should come down to Fl. as Florida Power and Light appears to be replacing their old wood poles on a mass basis. One of the big problems is the woodpeckers destroy the top of the poles where the high voltage wires are located.
I am curious as I always assumed these poles were chemically treated to keep termites and other insects out. I vaguely remember creosote being used. Is this not a problem since you cut the base off the poles and then cut it into timbers?
We all see the logging shows on TV and I was wondering what does the average size(?) raw log cost that is used in the log home industry.
We have some woodpecker drilling too, but not as nearly as bad as you.
We don't have termites, but we do have mining ants, who build nests in the butts of old poles.
I am not sure about FL (maybe they have some old cypress poles?)....but up here a lot of the older pole (60+ year and older) were white cedar. Many times they were untreated or just "butt dipped" ....you loose the butt anyway because of "critter mining (carpenter ants) and eventual rot.
These poles were originaly 35' or so.
Not too many left, but I got a few.
The best ones I got about 17'-17.5' in length, and anywhere from 16" wide at the butt to about 8"-10".
On my lot...I have a couple stacks of white cedar logs of various sizes...and I have a few quite large ones still standing.
White cedar stumpage has gone down in price....so I would rather use it on my cabin, have it sawed for porch decking etc.
I can buy some good size white cedar trees for about $65.00 a ton (I think that is what I was quoted the last time)...so if you figure 3 to 4 trees to a ton (depending). But you take what you get, just delimbed.
Price goes up if you want it cut to length etc.
There are still alot of creosote treated poles (until it was banned)Alot of the newer poles are Penta treated.
Also the older railroad telegraph poles were cedar too.
They were mostly small....maybe 20' poles....but some of these are still standing after 100 years.
It might be wise to do some investigation if you haven't as to what those poles were treated with and how far a penetration they got with the treatment. If only the bottom end was treated you would still need to know how high up you should cut off for penetration to be safe and then how would you know for sure that other areas of the poles didn't have contact with chemicals.You just wouldn't know and I sure wouldn't just trust someone telling me that the poles are untreated and safe! Most of the chemicals that they used to use and still do for treatment are highly toxic to humans such as arsenic along with many other carcinogens esp if used in an indoors application. Many of the sights that treated poles are environmental hazard sights with millions of dollars used for cleanup and are some of the worst contaminated sights around. I would be very wary of using any poles for a home, if not for yourself, for future owners of the home.http://www.beyondpesticides.org/wood/pubs/poisonpoles/intro.html
Chris, Interesting observation on the lack of good dimension on full length logs.
I agree on the thermography but I can't imagine having problems at the roof/floor connections but I agree that this is quite common due to poor building techniques and really inexpensive to avoid.