What should you choose for the type of wood for a log home? Well, there are relatively few species of wood that are used when building log homes. Each species (or type) of wood has its own characteristics. Some are popular for their strength, others for their beauty and aroma, still others for their ability to resist insects.
• Pine is one of the most popular wood species for log home building. Pine is strong yet lightweight, energy efficient, and inexpensive. It is an attractive wood that easily accepts stain. Since pine is very stable, there is little shrinkage and less settling of the walls.
• Fir, particularly Douglas Fir, is another very common type of wood. Like pine, fir is energy efficient and inexpensive. Fir is very attractive, and is known for its light reddish-brown color. Fir is very strong, somewhat decay resistant, and accepts stain moderately well.
• Cedar is very attractive and aromatic. Cedar is a soft wood, meaning it’s durable and easy to work with. It is resistant to checks (cracks) and warping. Cedar also resists both insects and decay, one of the reasons cedar is somewhat expensive.
• Spruce is a moderately expensive, lightweight wood used primarily in the Northern U.S. and Canada. It is a soft wood, light in color, and readily accepting of stain. Spruce is very durable and stable, allowing for very little shrinkage when dry.
These wood species, along with a handful of others, have battled the elements over time, and have emerged as popular choices for the construction of log homes. Which type you choose should be determined by your personal preferences and budget.