Talk with any log home builder, and you'll quickly learn that these types of projects are different from building with normal wood. As a customer, though, you may be wondering how the choice of logs and hewn timbers can be that different. Here are three ways that constructing a log home will differ from more common kinds of build.
It's Not Just a Style Choice
When the style of a house is discussed, it's generally a cosmetic issue. If you're building a Cape Cod, Tudor, ranch or cottage home, for example, the main building techniques are the same. Certainly, you'll encounter some differences in terms of scale and cost, and there will likely be some different engineering challenges with each one, but the basic solutions are similar across all builds.
With a log home, the very way the beams and walls are constructed is different. For example, the corners where the walls are joined provide significantly more support to the structure than you'd get from the walls of a normal house.
Likewise, no one pays for all those timbers and doesn't show them off. Pillars are often visible in log houses, and even the beams and rafters will be shown off. The logs make the visual impact of the walls happen from both the inside and the exterior. That's very different from contemporary home building styles where you're often barely aware of the presence of wood once everything has been plastered and painted over.
The majority of log homes are custom builds. It's possible to use construction systems, but almost no one pays a log home builder to do a residence that can be found elsewhere. Similarly, working with timbers and logs means that small modifications inevitably have to be made to make the project come together. These are not meant to be cookie-cutter houses, and customers should embrace the chance to customize their homes.
Costs Tend to Be Higher
Foremost, log home construction is a specialized trade, and many builders simply don't have the equipment or training to do the job. Secondly, using most of a log rather than cutting it into many boards means saying good-bye to the manufacturing efficiencies that come with using contemporary wood planks.
If there are significant amounts of timber on a property, though, you may be able to cut into materials costs while doing land clearance. Conversely, individual logs may cost well above $100 per log.
To learn more about log homes, contact a log home builder in your area.