Log Cabin Directory
Cast your mind back to 1998 and before Google. The internet was in it’s infancy, barely been weaned off milk, and if we wanted to find any items on the web we had to switch on your computer, click to connect and then wait for ages (or so it seems) whilst your computer tried to connect with loads of whines and beeps and eventually you got online. Admitted, at the time there was not masses of web sites to go to but the question was how do you find what you wanted. There was Alta Vista, Yahoo, HotBot, Ask and then Ask Jeeves. None were very good and relied on ‘pot luck’ listings.
So to get more specialised results – directories type web site were set up similar to The Log Cabin Directory. On this site it concentrated on listing all log cabin companies, initially in the US and then from around the world. This included all log cabin dealers, builders and installers, cabin furniture, timber frame cabins as well as web sites in connection with repairing or renovating log cabins, books and any accessory to do with these delightful outdoor buildings.
The Log Cabin Directory opening About Us page was as follows and explains quite well how the directory worked and how useful and popular is was.
How this directory came about…
The inspiration to compile a list of quality log and rustic furniture manufacturers evolved as a result of my own frustrating searches for log furniture and decorating ideas. A typical Internet query was disappointing and chaotic at best. You are as likely to find information on tree farming, server “logs” and geek “blogs” as to discover a log furniture company in Montana. I believed there was a need to sift through this chaos and pull together an all-inclusive list of companies and individuals involved in the creation of quality log and rustic furnishings.
Fabricating a piece of log furniture is not unlike building this directory… we see this work as creating order from chaos. The natural shape and character of a log is usually emphasized to produce a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. The niche of log furniture makers is small and it is buried deep within the chaos that is the Internet. This directory brings order to this wonderful and much abused niche of log and rustic furniture artisans. Keyword Search!
Search engine technology vs. this directory
What makes this directory more significant than any search engine
Search engine robots and the algorithms they employ to evaluate websites (for inclusion in their database) means that many of the most talented log furniture makers’ websites don’t appear in many search engines. Or if they do, they are buried hundreds (or thousands) of listings deep. Why is this, you ask?
Search engines use highly sophisticated automated technology to make a decision on a site’s “worthiness” (for inclusion) by using pre-programmed conditions. Among their criteria…
The amount of traffic a site receives. Well, that leaves most of us out in the cold as we operate in such a narrow industry niche. Our goal is not oodles of traffic, but qualified, interested buyers.
The numbers of sites that link “to” a particular site. The thinking here is that if numerous sites link to XYZ.com, it must be popular and offer great information. Don’t confuse this with links “from” a site (your links page). That benefits the sites you link to – not necessarily your website.
Depth of content. Again, this eliminates most of us as our websites are more like electronic brochures and storefronts, not necessarily jam-packed with related educational matter. As an example, few log furniture sites discuss the history of log furniture, construction techniques, etc. in depth. Typically, the goal is to sell products, not instruct.
These are a few reasons why a human-edited directory is so much more valuable than any generic web search. We have collected our data as a result of spending countless hours sifting through search engine data, city business listings, furniture directories, Yellow Pages – and receiving submissions from vendors wishing to be included. As a result…
This Log Furniture Directory is by far the most complete listing of log and rustic furniture manufacturers available online – or offline
That is what it was like back in the day. How things have changed! Google reinvented the search engine and although there is still place for ‘niche’ directories you will find that most searches for log cabins, garden cabins, log rooms and the like is done through Google and Bing. The Log Furniture Directory evolved in to The Log Cabin Directory and was a very valuable resource right up until recently.
Log Home & Log Building Directory was the #1 online resource!
Finding log home & wooden cabin info. & resources was easy on that site as they had an online the map where you could choose your state and find the log home companies that can help you design, mnaufacture and build your dream home. Most log home manufacturers can ship a home package (i.e. log home kit) almost anywhere in the world to be erected onsite.
When considering such a purchase, many of us prefer to visit model homes to touch, smell and feel – and ask questions. To make it easier to locate those model homes and companies, they had organised their listings by State (and Canadian Provinces) or subject matter. You can view log cabins in the UK as well as many other places. It’s a great piece of advice to look before you buy.
Why Log & Timber Frame?
Logs and heavy timbers used in home construction create an ambiance unlike any other building styles. The best way I know how to introduce one to the splendor of logs is to point you to an article I wrote about this very subject entitled, “The Norman Rockwell Effect”.
Logs for home construction can be round, D-shaped or squared. They may be machined to interlock with each other, stacked one atop of the other and cut (coped, or Swedish cope) to fit its corresponding mate, or they can be irregular and “chinked” for a snug and weather tight fit. Log siding is also a popular way of making a stick-built house look like a real log cabin. Another facet of log-style construction is a very old practice called timber framing.
Timber frame (or timberframe) is one of the oldest traditions of constructing wooden structures. Just like fine furniture uses dovetails, mortise and tenons and old-world joinery, timber framing is a sophisticated method of “post and beam” joinery that uses wooden pegs in place of steel hardware as fasteners. This art form dates back to early Grecian times and remained the principal method of building construction until the advent of “stick framing” in the mid-eighteenth century.
Modern craftsman carry on this unique timber frame construction creating homes, barns, shops, hotels and churches. Timber framing has experienced a revival in today’s home building as people rediscover this beautiful and functional method of construction.
Do You Have A Plan
Building a log home can be a fun and rewarding experience, but as with any big project, the better your plan – the less likely you will be to make mistakes. The big picture requires that you choose a manufacturer, obtain your land, find a qualified builder and select the ideal floor plan that suits your needs. Featured log home & log building floor plans
To help you narrow your focus, browse the web for exclusive “Log Home Floor Plan Showcase” where you can view find the most popular floor plans from many leading manufacturers. See over 100+ floor plans!
As these are the most popular floor plans you will can see what’s hot and which features appeal to most people. In other words, do the searching, and you pick the best of the best.
A search engine offers a place to showcase industry related companies while providing you a one-stop repository of related websites. You will find all-inclusive list of manufacturers, builders, dealers, architects, designers, log home show schedules, (even books & magazines) and other companies involved in the business of log homes and cabins.
Decorate your Log Home like an Interior Designer
by Tom Heatherington
If you turn on the TV and do some channel surfing, chances are you will come across a number of shows featuring interior design or home improvement ideas. From celebrity mansions in shows such as Cribs to the renovation of ‘real’ people’s homes like Trading Spaces, interior design is a very popular topic. Most of the log home industry magazines take this same approach because it appeals to so many people.
Whether you live in a mansion, apartment, trailer or a log home, if you’re paying the bills, buying the food, investing in caravan insurance and doing what you can to make your house a home….it makes sense to focus your time and money making the interior look the way you want it to look. Unfortunately, very few of those home improvement shows feature log homes, which is a shame, because log homes can be made to look fantastic with a few basic interior decorating fundamentals, and the key to achieving a fantastic look is to start thinking like an interior designer.
Preparation is key
Before starting any decorating project, it’s important to sit down and plan properly. Professional interior designers have a vision for what they want the room to look like, and you should have your vision of the perfect setting also. For ideas, look in industry magazines, visit antique stores or flea markets and try to find accessories and furnishings that fit in with your vision. Don’t rush the planning stage, especially when it comes to choosing colors. Make the wrong decision here, and the entire effect may be ruined and you’ll need to start over. So experiment with different shades and make sure the colors you go for don’t clash with existing furniture you may want to use.
Make the best of what you have
There is no getting away from the fact that log homes have a rustic look and feel – that’s the appeal for most of us. Trying to use many contemporary ideas may well work for a loft apartment, but not always fit with the natural wood and architecture of a log home. Get inspiration from traditional western motifs and styles. Think of colors that go well with the natural hues of the wood. Shades of green such as olive, moss and sage can create a lovely warm room, while browns and darker shades of red also go well with the rustic nature of a log home. Do go for contrast, earth tones are great, but by themselves can look washed out. Choose colorful, contrasting accents to compliment the look.
In most cases, avoid overly modern designs when it comes to buying furniture. Look for natural fabrics such as wool or leather, but don’t overdo it. A cluttered room will distract from the naturally beauty, but a few key pieces strategically placed will help add atmosphere and style to a room. Rugs, throws, pillows and blankets can make just as much of an impact as a new sofa, so experiment by mixing and matching such accessories to see what effect they give the room.
Remember whose home it is
Getting ideas from other sources is always a great place to start, but only if you are comfortable with the end result. You have to make sure you are happy with whatever changes you make to your home. If you are not entirely comfortable with a color, don’t use it, no matter what other people may advise or what you see in magazines. Choose colors and styles that suit you. A good way to do this is to go through your wardrobe and see what you instinctively buy. If there are no browns or greens in there, the chances are, you won’t feel comfortable with those colors in your home.
Don’t stretch yourself too much financially. Just because you have seen something fabulous in a store window that will look perfect in your log home, it’s not worth breaking the bank for it. It is possible to find some great items at flea markets and antique stores, which won’t cost the earth and will look just as great with a little varnish of coat of paint. Also, try to get in touch with your creative side. Think of your log home as a canvas with you being the artist. Decorating is a great way of expressing yourself so dig deep and see what effects you can create.
Importance of lighting
Don’t underestimate the lighting. The right type of lighting can really change a room’s entire look and feel, and add extra dimensions. Lighting creates mood and can make rooms appear more spacious. Different bulbs, dimmers and type of lights can make startling differences to the appearance and feel of a room. Wall lighting, for instance, can create wonderful shadows, but it is a fine line between warmth and gloomy. Don’t forget the effect of natural light either. A room’s feel can change dramatically at night compared to during the day, so choose lighting that complements the light that shines through the windows and keep the same mood.
The natural wood and design of log homes exudes western history and romance, and these interior design techniques can really help emphasize this. By following these interior design fundamentals, there is no reason why your log home can’t look just as stylish as the other types of homes so often featured on design shows, only you have the benefit of all that natural, rustic beauty underlying it all.
This video features dozens of log home interior shots that can give you some great ideas. When the slideshow starts, pause the video on the rooms you want to study because they only appear for an instant.
This was an article on The Log Cabin Directory and was great help for their visitors.
Hopefully this will give you some ideas and thoughts about you log cabin and how you should or may want to personalise for you and your family. So whether it’s a ‘wild west’ style log cabin or one more suited to the UK environment there is no reason it can’t be special and to your taste.
Greatest Places for the Cabin Lifestyle in the US
If you’ve considered renting or buying a log cabin, you’ve probably given considerable thought into where you want to spend your time. Not only that, you’re also considering how you want to spend your time. And if you’re heading away from urban or suburban life for a few days or an entire season, or even longer, how you’re going to spend your time is likely also on your mind.
So, where are the greatest places for living the log cabin lifestyle? Well, it depends solely on your tastes, preferences, budget, and goals. People tend to know what they want, or at least have a list of their idealized cabin. While the U.S. is packed with a diversity of amazing and unique places to visit or settle down in (a diversity that is arguably shrinking), what defines “great” can depend on what you’re looking for.
If a view is what you’re after, and it’s always high on many people’s lists. Some want to look out and see the ocean. Others want the picturesque mountains. A few prefer the sparse desert. And, of course, everything in between. Tastes vary so dramatically, but luckily there’s a place for everybody. It’s just a matter of finding it. Want a coastal view? Try the central Oregon Coast. It’s close to civilization, yet features an air of seclusion, especially the region between Lincoln City and Florence.
Many people choose the cabin lifestyle not for the views or the novelty of escaping for a few days, but because they want to live in seclusion. They want to be more self-reliant and in control of their own individual lives with limited or no influence or intrusion from others (others, which can be defined by a great many things). One great place to live at a distance? Central Idaho, near Stanley in the Salmon River Mountains may be a great destination. Luckily, the whole Rocky Mountain region is dotted with very secluded locals, so if that’s your goal, it’s usually one that’s very achievable.
There are number of choices when it comes to climate. Are you looking for heat, cold, rain, snow, or a sweet 75°F? There’s a place for you somewhere, literally anywhere between Alaska, to New Mexico, to Florida. People desperate for that dry heat head to the Southwest, usually New Mexico or Arizona, and find a place in the desert between the metropolitan areas of Phoenix and Tucson or Albuquerque and Sante Fe.
Activities are also a major defining point of what makes a place great. Fishing, hiking, wildlife observation, stargazing, napping, writing, or whatever else is on your mind, there’s a place for you. Cody, Wyoming and the surrounding area makes for a great “activity” location. It’s close to basically everything in the second sentence. It’s situated next to Yellowstone National Park, plus the town of Cody always has something interesting going on.
This was an article on The Log Cabin Directory and was great help for their visitors.
To sum up renting or buying a log cabin will bring you the great outdoors where everything seems better. Everything is more relaxed and you can enjoy the moment. And that is what life should be about. Where as the great outdoors in the ‘Wild West’ may be beyond you a new Trentan log cabin is the next best thing. Give it a little thought – you won’t regret it.
Is your log home ready for winter?
Fall (Autumn) is in the air…
Preparing for winter is something that every homeowner does in one way or another. Even if you live in a home clad in vinyl siding, there are always things that need done to keep Mother Nature where she belongs…outside. Log homes require a tad more TLC and preparation than other homes such as brick or other weather resistant materials.
Log Home Staining and Maintenance
One chore that can be an annual project depending on where you live, is staining. One of the most popular posts on their blog was an article from 2008 that discussed staining a log home. This year alone that same post has had about 15 new comments. If staining your home is on your To-Do list you may want to see, Log Home Stains – Which is Best?
That is the million dollar question, and one you will see regularly on every log home forum or blog. In my case, I was like many other new log home owners in that I didn’t know – what I didn’t know. I assumed that if you buy a stain from a ‘name brand’ and you get a good quality product.
When we bought our home from the former owner who had built the house, it was in need of re-staining. I asked the owner what he used and followed his lead. He was using a popular brand name product available from Home Depot. I elected to use the same stain for two reasons. One, the former owner had used it and I was anxious about mixing products to avoid any adhesion or coloration issues. Secondly, I was swayed by the manufacturer’s “X-year” guarantee.
Julie and I share the same problem in that I cannot get more than two years on my horizontal surfaces, but the manufacturer “guarantees” five. In fairness, my verticals look great after five years, but decking, stairs and railing horizontals look terrible after only two years. I went so far as to ask the people at Home Depot about this when I did my first two-year re-staining. They told me I needed to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter, including stripping and pre-treating the wood with their “authorized” cleaning solution. I did – it didn’t.
Two years later, I had to re-stain all horizontals once again. To make matters more confusing, I attended a log home show last Spring and had a conversation with a representative of a major supplier of stains to the log home industry. This salesman told me that even with the “guarantees”, he knew of no product that would survive more than two years of our harsh Montana seasons. According to him, few people pursue such guarantees and can seldom prove that they followed the manufacturer’s directions as required, thus calling such guarantees into question.
Many log homers heat their homes with a woodstove or keep a fire burning in the fireplace so the annual ritual of stockpiling firewood is one chore that needs attention. We use our woodstove as our primary heat source and this year I let too many distractions keep me from my summer exercise of dropping trees and buzzing them up for firewood. September rolled around and I realized I would need to buy wood this year.
Usually, I can find enough standing dead timber in my area to heat my home, but the chore of cutting down trees, cutting them up, splitting and hauling away in my truck was not going to happen before the weather turned. So, I compromised and found a local fellow (thank you Craig’s List) who was clearing some land and was willing to sell lengths at a discounted price. I bought a small logging truck load of 17’ trees of all sizes. There was a mix of diameters from 3” to 15” so not everything needed to be split. He dumped the logs on my property and I’ve spent the past few days playing lumberjack.
Firewood for Woodstove
Buying the wood this way saved me 30% of what I’d normally pay for a cord of wood that was cut to length and split. I enjoy (and need) the exercise so cutting these logs and splitting the large rounds seemed like a good compromise. I got my wood and my exercise and saved some money to boot.
I still have some staining to do before the weather gets much colder. My deck and railing tops need some attention. All the verticals are in great shape, but these harsh Montana winters play havoc with my deck.
What about you? Do you have your winter prep projects finished? What other fall chores did you do to get ready for winter? And, feel free to add to the discussion about which stain is best for log homes. As I mentioned, that article is now four years old, but people still read it and add comments as recently as this past week.
This was an article on The Log Cabin Directory and was great help for their visitors.
Even if you don’t have a ‘wild west’ style log home you still need to look after your log cabin in your garden. Take the time before winter to check it all over. Check the roof covering and windows and ensure they are sound. Ensure that your timber protection is not wearing out and re-treat as required. You will find that it’s only the sides of your garden cabin which face into the weather that ‘wears out’ for want of a better description. On my log cabin which I assembled back in 2000 the rear and side which are away from the sun and rain is nearly as good as when I treated it 20 years ago. The front and the open side I re-treated recently to help to keep the cabin protected.
Energy Efficient Windows
When pricing out the components of a new log home package, looking for opportunities to cut costs is something we all naturally do. Think twice about trying to save money on windows and doors by buying bargain products. The cost savings in energy alone over the years can make up for any added expense at the beginning.
Whether buying new windows and doors or replacing old components, make a few inquiries. In some parts of the country, local or state governments often offer programs to help taxpayers with such improvements. Additionally, the federal government has programs to assist or rebate homeowners for such purchases. Contact you local county or city building offices to see what is available in your area.
Logs – Thermal Batteries
The logs In a log home wall acts as insulation. Wood’s thermal resistance or resistance to heat flow is measured by its R-value. The higher the R-value, the more thermal resistance.
Logs function like “thermal batteries” and can store heat during the day and gradually release it at night. This generally increases the apparent R-value of a log by 0.1 per inch of thickness in mild, sunny climates that have a substantial temperature swing from day to night.
For designing an energy-efficient log home, you should consider using the whole-house systems approach. You might also want to incorporate some passive solar design features.
If you are new to this log home building/buying/designing business, and still in the discovery and learning phase of your quest, you are probably confused about a number of things. Don’t feel like you missed something, this industry uses a lot of terminology that is unique to log & timber homes. If terms such as Swedish cope, butt-and-pass, clean peeled logs or saddlenotch corners make your brain tired, you may need a crash course in LogHomeology!
With you in mind, we are developing a new website that explains all these strange words and phrases. While you’re doing your research, you may want to bookmark LogHomeology for future reference. That is, unless you already know what purlins and saddlenotch corners are.
Green Texas Log Homes
Building a log home in Texas offers some ‘green building‘ advantages not found in most other states. Due to the amount of sunshine Texas receives (even in winter), makes it ideal to utilize many solar solutions. As an example…
Positioning your log home so that part of the roof faces south is great for installing solar water heating panels and energy collectors. Planting large shade trees such as Live Oak on the east and west sides of the home will keep the entire house cooler and save a bundle on air conditioning.
Buying not building?
If you are in the market to buy an existing log home instead of building one, make sure you are getting what you think you’re buying. ALWAYS order a home inspection from a qualified inspector with log home familiarity. Discovering problems with settling, rot, insect damage, chinking, etc. is different than what one will find with a stick-built home.
Make sure your inspector has a knowledge of log building, or find one who does. Also, make sure the utilities are turned on prior to inspection as it will be impossible to perform a thorough inspection of appliances, plumbing and other critical components that rely on electricity to function properly.
Exterior Cabin Stain
Forget what you’ve heard or read about the longevity of exterior stains and finishes for log homes. Of course, some are better than others, but none of them seem to last as long as the manufacturer’s claims will have you believe. Wind, weather and sunshine will destroy ALL finishes.
Verticals will typically weather in accordance with manufacturer’s claims, but horizontals (decks, stairs, railings, etc.) always seem to need re-treating long before the warranty states. In climates with harsh winters, horizontals will often need to be re-treated every other year.
How deep is your water well?
A log home perched high on a mountain top overlooking majestic valleys is an enviable vision. Before you choose your mountain on which to build, know that you will have substantial additional costs to achieve that altitude. Site access, utilities and water can double the cost of such a project.
In the mountains, especially in the west, elevations of 500 – 1000+ feet may provide spectacular views, but you could be looking at drilling a well 500′ or 2000′ to reach a reliable supply of fresh water. The cost to drill a well is determined by the size and depth of the well and also the drilling conditions of the site (can you say rock?). Not including irrigation, swimming pools, etc., an average household requires 75 gallons per day – per person. A family of four would need approximately 300 gallons in a 24 hour period. Your lending institution will probably require that your water well pump 5 gallons per minute.
Trenching utilities and building a safe road access are also huge costs that one does not always consider when envisioning their dream house. You may be getting a great cost-per-square-foot price on erecting your log home, but getting that home to the site could be cost prohibitive. When planning, take your time and get all the costs on paper before you start digging a hole!
Do your floors talk back?
You don’t have to live in a log home (or in Canada) to have squeaky floors. Humidity, changing weather conditions, house settling, leaking plumbing and other factors can play a part in creating a floor that talks back to you.
If you have access under the floor, this can oftentimes be fixed by adding bridging members or adding additional screws angled from the joists to the subfloor, which can snug the floor and eliminate the movement (squeaks).
One quick, but temporary fix is common “talcum powder”. Sprinkling the powder on the floor and letting it settle between the boards acts as a dry lubricant. If you have large gaps between your boards try using sawdust, which can function similar to the powder recommendation. Remember not to vacuum for a while so that the talcum or sawdust can settle down between the boards. However, if the squeaking persists, you’d might consider calling a Pro to determine the cause of the noise.
Code of the Windows…
Unlike the old ‘Code of the West’, which was often ‘assumed’ and not written for public compliance, there are formal building codes that pertain to windows. In addition, some local codes can be more strict than the International Residential Code that requires an egress window to be a specific size and distance from the floor. Why is this important?
Log homes and timber frame structures are constructed in a way that makes use of spaces not always utilized in a conventional stick-built home. Exposed timbers and ceiling designs can eliminate the attic spaces one would find in a standard home, and these open roof areas will create knee walls on second floors. Placing windows to permit light may sound like a great idea, but it may not be acceptable to some building codes. Be sure to double check such things when you are designing your log home.
Additionally, having your builder add a window in mid-phase of the building project is where people sometimes get into trouble. If such changes were not part of the architectural design, besides code violations, you could also damage the structural integrity of the building.
As you decorate and undertake different DIY projects around the house, don’t forget the basics. Just as matting and a frame complete a wall hanging, accents like crown molding and wainscoting can dress up a plain room and add that touch of wood that ties everything together! This is a great help when remodeling rooms that have plaster walls and you want to blend the space with adjoining rooms of log walls or timbered ceilings.
Most log home owners furnish their homes with a rustic flair. Hopefully these examples will give you some great ideas.
Green building means the builder too!
When you select your log home builder, choose one that builds to “Energy Star” standards. This will assure you that your home is 30% more energy efficient than conventional homes, and save you hundreds of dollars per year on utility bills. To learn more about ‘Green Building‘, see our green building information here.
How ‘green’ is your home?
Building ‘green’ is a red-hot topic these days and for good reason. Green is good… green is healthy… and green means that our children and their children’s children will be able to share in this planet’s natural resources for a long time. Besides being a popular political topic, green does not always mean green any more than “organic” always means our produce is truly organic. There are various shades of green and it is worth the effort to find out how green things really are.
Green building starts with understanding the true meaning of green products and practices and a good place to start is the U.S. Green Building Council’s ‘Green home Guide’, which provides educational content on how everyone can create a green home.
Log home community living
Many people want the log home lifestyle, but they don’t want to live ‘out’. Most depictions of log homes include a beautiful home nestled in the forest or on a mountain top – away from the world at large. However, many people like the feeling of community and neighborhoods and prefer to have people close by. If this is your ideal setting, check out the many log home communities that are being built all over the country. Ask your log home dealer or manufacturer for some locations.
Handcrafted vs. milled log homes
It is not a question of which style is better, as much as it is a matter of personal taste (and budget). Typically, handcrafted log homes are more expensive than milled (round) log homes but the look of handcrafted custom log homes (see examples) is distinctive and demand has been increasing. To find out what you should look for from a handcrafter, begin with their portfolio of completed homes. If you discover a style and floor plan that you like, you can begin to discuss ideas with their architects.
Green can make you happy!
85% of people who own a “GREEN” home are happier than the rest of us….. (well maybe not happier than everyone else). But according to the National Association of Home Buyers, they are happier with their ecologically friendly home than their previous homes. Being green and living a more eco-friendly lifestyle is not as difficult as some might think.
Did you know that if you install dimmers and lower your lighting levels, by 50% you can actually use 40% less electricity? Imagine the national impact on our energy usage in the USA if everyone took that approach.
Increase your living space economically!
When you are designing your log home you can increase your living space by as much as 100% if you look down… Often overlooked is the basement as part of your home’s living space, but if planned properly it can become the most popular area of your home.
To best utilize the basement, plan for higher ceilings (9′-10′) to give depth and add visual space. Plumb for an extra bathroom, seal your walls thoroughly, add a wood stove and make it a walk-out basement. In addition, this is an area you can finish over time. Unlike the main living level, it doesn’t need to be completely finished to enjoy your home.
Log home companies – who to trust?
Buyer beware! The age old problem of “who do you trust to do business with” has certainly not escaped the log home industry. There are ‘great log home companies’ and there are ‘not so great companies’ just as we find in any other industry.
The fact that a business is listed in any directory does not constitute an endorsement any more than a listing in the Yellow Pages implies a good company. As buyers, we must make our own decisions as to whom we choose to do business. Most reputable log home companies will gladly provide contact information of their customers for you to talk to, and a satisfied customer is always a great reference source. You should also check out the local Better Business Bureau and other public sources of company information. Don’t forget the Internet… people that have had a bad (or a good) experience with a company will often post comments on blogs and forums.
Once a company passes your basic due diligence, the final decision is often based on your comfort level with the company’s representatives and your belief that they can deliver what you are requesting. Like everything else… if something sounds too good to be true — it most likely is. Trust your research and trust your gut.
These tips were on The Log Cabin Directory and was great help for their visitors.
To Build or Not To Build.. That is the Question!
As many of you know, I am a woodworker; not by profession, but by love of the craft – it’s my hobby. It is something I enjoy immensely, but I never seem to have enough time to do as much as I would like to do. This is a problem for me and my bride whose honey-do list continues to grow longer every year.
I lie to myself all the time and I don’t seem to get tired of the self-deception. I am always making myself some fantasy promise like “this Christmas I’m going to take some time off and play around in my shop”. Then February rolls around and I remember my broken promise to myself and I kick myself (metaphorically) and make a new promise for the next holiday or long weekend.
Over the years I’ve met a lot of people like me. Maybe it’s just human nature to have these good intentions and continually find excuses to avoid them or postpone action with some face-saving self-talk. It is just so dang easy to procrastinate and justify to ourselves that something else is more important than fulfilling our dream.
I’ve met a lot of people who have fallen for this ruse while planning their log home project. “Next year we’re going to break ground” or maybe “as soon as I retire we’re building that log home”. Next year comes, and the next year and retirement happens and they’re no closer to achieving that log home dream than they were – many years ago. Like me and my woodworking projects, it just doesn’t seem to happen.
Obviously, building a log home is significantly more time consuming and expensive than planning a weekend woodshop escape, but the delaying tactics we use on ourselves are no different. We put it off because (fill in the blank)…
I don’t have time right now
My finances aren’t in order
I need to retire first
Sell my house first
Don’t have my plans nailed down
Yada, yada, yada
If this kind of inaction has been keeping you from making the leap and committing to a log home, you’re not alone, but it is time to reprioritize and move forward. Think about it… nothing is substantially different today than it was last year – or the year before that. We all have the same worries, fears of the future and every other conceivable excuse we tell ourselves to justify our well-founded procrastination.
The one thing that has changed is within the log home industry itself. It has been many years since you could build a log home as inexpensively as you can today. Manufacturers are hungry and making deals that were unimaginable a few short years ago and you can find builders who can start your project next week. Add to this our artificially low mortgage rates and you’re talking about a perfect storm that has developed around your log home plans.
Okay, you’ve procrastinated but the universe has been conspiring to place everything you need in front of you and has removed all obstacles except the very last one…your commitment to yourself. It’s time.
Oh and BTW, I’m heading over to the shop.
This was an article on The Log Cabin Directory and was great help for their visitors.
So it seems that building a log home is a dream for so many people. But like a lot of things in life it’s just a little too far away from your comfort zone. It’s good to push yourself but many an answer is a Trentan log cabin which can be supplied in kit form which created a manageable and fulfilling exercise. Or maybe let 1st Choice do everything for you from building a base, assembling the garden cabin and fitting electrics so it’s ready to go. You know you want to – so what’s stopping you?
What’s your Cabin (Floor) Plan?
People who build log homes tend to fall into one of two camps. There are those who have designed their own floor plans or hired an architect to design their home based on drawings, photos and the interpretation of the dreams of their customer. Once the plans are perfected, the search for a log home builder begins.
In the other camp are those who choose a builder first. This is often done in person while attending a log home show and seeing all that is available from the many vendors. Once this decision is made, the logical next step is to choose a floor plan. All major log home builders and manufacturers have dozens, if not hundreds of floor plans from which to choose. In most cases, the plans can be modified to suit individual needs and desires.
There may or may not be a fee to modify these plans; that will be determined by the manufacturer/builder and can often be negotiated.
DIY Floor Plans
If you are an adventurous soul and are comfortable using a computer, one of the most exciting things you can do is to create your dream home’s floor plan yourself. There is software available that can make you feel like you are a professional architect. You can start designing your home right out of the box with an intuitive interface that leads you through the process.
In fact, most of these programs include a drag & drop library that will let you position cabinets, edit room shapes and sizes, design a deck, roof lines and virtually control every aspect of your home.
All of these programs offer templates that can be modified, which is a great way to jump start your project. As you add rooms or enlarge spaces, the program maintains all the critical calculations such as ceiling heights and other design components. As with all software there is a learning curve, but typically this is a minor issue with help just a click away for every question you might have. Many programs also have help in the form of videos, which make things even easier to learn.
Planning your log home project
If you talk to any industry experts they’ll tell you that the planning phase for log homes can range anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of decades. Many people take years to finalize on everything from a location to the finished design. This is where designing your home yourself can be a lot of fun. As you browse magazines and online resources for ideas you will see things that you would like to incorporate into your design. Making modifications becomes a snap when you are using software to create your vision.
Floor Plan Software
One of the major players in this home design software category is Punch Software. They offer numerous programs for home design, interior design and even landscaping. This permits you to get creative and save money by planning changes to your interior and outdoor living spaces before you invest. Once you have created your log home floor plan you can give it to your builder or manufacturer and get an accurate quote for your custom home.
To learn more about this floor plan software, contact them directly! This was an article on The Log Cabin Directory and was great help for their visitors.
Over the year the software for designing log cabins has gone up tremendously and it’s even possible to create your own designs now. Just imagine sitting out in a cabin you designed yourself. Sounds good to me.
Why is log & rustic furniture so popular?
Every furniture style makes a statement
Whether it be the delicate lines of a Queen Ann highboy, the kitschy boldness of a Louis XV vanity, or the resolute proclamation of a log dining table… this is who I am Our furniture choices reflect our interests’
To be certain, some log or twig furniture pieces won’t blend with every decor as few of us would place a log chair with a Chippendale kneehole desk, but in the right setting, rustic furniture can’t be surpassed.
Nature – and romantic feelings
Log and rustic furniture speaks to our history when people fashioned their furniture from the raw materials nature provided. North American pioneers built log and twig furniture out of necessity.
This furnishing style is quixotic – and inspires thoughts as daring as the Westward expansion and as intimate as a memory of a ski or fishing trip in days gone by. Log furniture is bold – yet warm. It can be massive and graceful – yet it is a way to bring nature into our homes. The answers to “why log and rustic furniture being popular” are as varied as the craftsman who produce rustic furniture. Simplicity, elegance, boldness, history, natural beauty…
A quote from the RusticFurnitureDirectory.com
“Rustic furniture is… furniture with a soul. Rustic furniture pulls together elements of nature – while craftsmen using special tools and inventive designs, create functional furniture that is as appropriate in a backwoods cabin as it is in a contemporary home or office.
Utilising recycled barn wood and standing trees or twisted juniper roots and willow weavings, rustic furniture makes a personal connection. It evokes a memory of an earlier era when people fashioned their furniture from nature to serve their needs. A distressed appearance of some rustic pieces adds character, charm and a individuality not found in other furniture styles.Rustic furniture is warm, creative, and practical and it speaks to our appreciation of human genius and resourcefulness.
The term “rustic furniture” means many things to different people. This category is wide-ranging as it relates equally to log furniture, willow and twig designs, western or southwestern styles, Shaker and early American styles. To me, rustic furniture is natural, hand-made freeform artwork.”
To peel or not to peel…
As it relates to log furniture (rounds), you generally find two varieties, peeled (clean shaven) and skip-peeled. A peeled log has had all the outer and inner bark removed. What remains is a cleanly shaved piece with traces of the draw knife’s flat trail. A perfectly round log indicates that the piece was machined on a lathe. Skip-peeling leaves traces of the inner bark producing a mottled (more rustic looking) effect. There is no right or wrong method of peeling logs for furniture, the result is only a matter of individual taste. (Sap peeling relates to green wood where the bark is peeled off while still green).
Wood choices are usually influenced by geography, but furniture makers tend to use the woods that are native to their area. Generally speaking, log furniture refers to the family of pine, which includes about 35 species found in North America. However, you will find log furniture made from hickory, oak and other woods.
Cracks or checks that appear in dry wood are a natural occurrence and do not impact the strength or durability of the piece. Often times these “imperfections”, along with diseased areas and burl are positioned to add character to a piece of furniture. As an example, any which show cleanly peeled or machined legs with diseased areas called “cat’s eyes” exploited as a prominent feature of the table.
Most furniture builders obtain their wood through a variety of sources. You will notice that many websites boast that their furniture is produced using “standing dead” or fire damaged trees. Few builders cut living trees for raw materials, as there is an ample supply of dead or fire-damaged trees in most forested areas of the country. One of the exceptions to this are the craftsmen who fashion willow (or twig) furniture. This is because the willow plant will grow new shoots from the stump when trees are harvested.
Log Furniture Joinery
Trees grow as spherical objects. Wood is strongest in its natural, rounded form – a log. Log furniture capitalises on woods strength while exposing it’s exceptional natural beauty.
While a log is perfect as a structural member (legs and stiles, etc.) it’s a tad difficult to balance a dinner plate and glassware on a log. Hence, we saw logs into planks, plane them square and join them together to form table tops, shelves and other flat surfaces. Bonding these pieces together is called joinery. Joinery involves much more than just gluing boards together.
Most log furniture makers pride themselves on using old-world methods of joinery. That is, using dowels and biscuits embedded in the boards to add strength to the glue joint and help keep the boards aligned vs. metal screws or guides. An example shows two boards which have been cut exposing a biscuit. If done properly, a glued joint is usually stronger than the rest of the board (note how the boards unusual grain pattern was matched to avoid the appearance of a joint).
Mortise and Tenon
The most common visible joint in log furniture is the mortise and tenon, basically an opening (mortise) that accommodates a shaft (tenon). The joint needs to be a snug fit, if it is too tight, it can split the wood and if too loose the joint will be weak and wear over time. We have all sat on wobbly chairs with weakening joints.
There are many variations of this joint. A blind mortise where the hole stops prior to being exposed and a through joint where the tenon extends through the piece. Sometimes you will see this where the tenon has been cut to accept a wedge that is inserted to snug the tenon fully. Glue and hidden dowels (or even screws) are sometimes added to reinforce the joint.
Unlike most other furniture manufacturers, log craftsmen often rely on hand tools more than machines. The draw knife and spokeshave are essential tools of log craftsmen used to peel the logs and also make the tenons. However, automated tenon makers such as that pictured at right, act like a pencil sharpener and cut the tenon as the work piece is pushed into it. They fit on the end of a power drill or hand-held brace. Handsaws, chisels, hatchets and other hand tools are found in every log furniture crafter’s toolbox.
This was an article on The Log Cabin Directory and was great help for their visitors.