Behind the Rumours: 6 things you’ve always wondered about Log Cabins

If you’ve ever discussed log homes with a group of people who know someone with a log cabin, you’ll hear different stories.  One person loved their log home.  Another had nothing but problems.  What’s true and what’s not?

There are a lot of contradictory rumours out there. The quality of log homes varies so widely that what’s true about one log cabin might be absolutely false about another.  Here is our professional opinion on six top log cabin questions. If there’s anything else, just contact us and we’ll be happy to explain more!

1. Are Log Homes High Maintenance? No. But they’re not maintenance-free.

When a log home is constructed properly using high grade logs, it is as low-maintenance as any other home wood exterior home. Excellent wood finish products available today mean less upkeep than ever before.

2. Do Log Homes Settle? Yes. Is this a problem? Not in a well-built log home.

Logs shrink a certain amount as they dry and the weight of stacked logs are subject to gravity. A good log manufacturer takes this into account when designing the home and building it. Choose an established log home company that stands behind its work for peace of mind. Certain adaptations are built into the house to prepare for natural settling. Screw jacks may be placed under weight bearing posts allowing the homeowner to adjust them as necessary. Door and window openings are built with extra space to allow for expected changes. The life span of a log home is hundreds of years and this settling is part of the process that makes more impenetrable with age.

3. Are Log Homes Energy Efficient? Yes!

In addition to the “R-Value” of logs, the thermal mass* of thick log walls makes a skillfully handcrafted log house exceptionally energy efficient. Sadly, not all log homes are created equal. Narrow machine cut “logs” don’t have the same insulating properties that occurs naturally in large logs. Poor quality logs or building techniques can result in drafty gaps. A reputable log home builder with a long track record for excellence is the best way to make sure you’ll end up with a cozy log house. (Thermal mass: a material’s ability to absorb, store and gradually release heat over time when temperatures drop. Logs do this superbly because of their cellular structure and bulk.)

4. Will Log Homes Rot? No. Not if things are done properly.

A good roof, adequate overhangs and drainage, appropriate wood finish and correct wood selection will ensure this will not happen. (The natural oils in Cedar make it the best choice for extremely damp areas.) There’s a log house in New Jersey that was built in 1638. That’s impressive, but there’s no reason your new log house shouldn’t last that long, too.

5. Aren’t Log Homes Ridiculously Expensive? Not all of them.

The “log cabin” has definitely seen an image changes over the years, with exotic log mansions grabbing the spotlight on TV. But custom log homes still come in ALL dimensions and you’ll find some log home companies (like North American Log Crafters) keep the focus on uncompromising quality in log homes of any size. The size and complexity of a log house contribute to the cost of the log package, but the choice of finishes is a major determining factor in the overall cost of a home. If you really want one, chances are you’ll be able to plan a log cabin you can afford!

6. I Love Log Homes But There Are Some Bad Rumours Out There. Who Do I Believe?

We’ve heard those stories, too. It’s a royal pain to have the reputation of our excellent product suffer because of shoddy craftsmanship by some “competitors”. For a number of years, many inexperienced companies sold log homes, and the quality in the industry became extremely inconsistent. A log house that looked charming from a distance might reveal a number of problems on closer inspection, and the original builder had often closed his doors. Scenarios like this gave log homes a bad rap, but at North American Log Crafters we’ve been around for 40 years and we’re committed to ongoing quality assurance.

Choosing a reliable log builder means that the only stories told about your log home will be admiring and envious! More questions?  Just get in touch and we’ll answer them all!