Log Home Plans 2,000 to 3,000 Sq Ft.:
The Builder’s Corner Blog:
Log homes have been around for a very long time, which is a testimony to their durability. When properly built, they have staying power that is second to none in terms of construction. What’s more, modern technologies are enhancing the existing exceptional qualities of log homes and making them even more appealing in terms of energy efficiency.
It’s important to consider the R-Value of wood when it comes to log homes. R-Value is a material’s thermal resistance, and the R-Value for wood ranges between 1.41 per inch (softwoods) and 0.71 (hardwoods). Log homes typically have a 30%-40% lower numerical R-Value. In turn, these log homes provide equivalent performance for heating and cooling when using numerically lower steady state R-Values in their walls than a stick-framed home of similar construction.
It’s no secret that log homes are made of natural, renewable sources that are by nature more environmentally efficient than other processed materials. There are green building methods, which is when logs are produced locally, or log home producers that use wind or fire-killed timber as their source. Another type of log is manufactured, which is when smaller dimensional wood and an insulating material are used together to make a log-like unit. As you can see, there are several different options when choosing to build a log home, all of which are environmentally efficient options.
A key ingredient that is often times an afterthought is insulation along the logs to truly make it an energy-efficient home. Essentially, this means building a wall on the inside of the log wall, and it needs to be thick enough to provide energy efficiency. You can also insulate the roof with urethane foam and a layer of sod to complete rustic dwelling. The bottom line is to get the best possible insulation for your money.
Like all homes, it’s important to make sure you’re optimizing your log home to the best of your ability, taking care in its design, construction, and maintenance to achieve and maintain energy efficiency.
Warmer weather is finally arriving! Spring is a beautiful time of year. The flowers are blooming, bees are buzzing, and everything feels fresh and clean. Spring is also a great time to check around your log home to see how it fared during those seemingly never-ending winter months. Let’s get started with some Spring maintenance tips!
While it doesn’t take long to inspect your log home for potential issues, it could save you lots of time and money in expensive repairs. Read on to get some quick tips to keep your home in tip-top shape and ready for spring.
- Check around your home for any large checks or cracks in the logs. Checks are a normal part of a log home and help to give the home its unique look. However, if the check is facing upward or is wider than ¼ inch, it’s time to caulk. If the checks are wider than ½ inch, fill in the check with backer rod before applying caulk. See more on backer rods and caulk.
- Look for any area where moisture might be trapped. Pay particular attention to the logs near the foundation, where decks and porches attach, and at gables and dormers. Look for darker areas on your logs. If you see places where the logs are absorbing moisture, apply log sealant to these areas. Remember that the most exposed areas of your log home will probably need to be resealed more often than other, less exposed areas.
- Check the caulking or chinking between your logs to see if any touch-ups need to be done.
- Keep in mind, if you are dealing with a frame home, these issues are more difficult to see, so proper prep and especially moisture and termite treatment is essential on a regular basis.
Roof and Gutters:
- After ensuring that your ladder is on steady ground, climb on your roof. (Be careful!) Clean the roof and gutter with a garden hose or carefully use a pressure washer from top to bottom towards the guttering. After you’ve cleaned, inspect the roofing material. If you have shingles, check to see that they are all in place and are undamaged. If your roof is metal, check to make sure there is still a good seal around chimneys and pipes. Roof issues could lead to moisture or insulation problems. If you have any questions about your roof, contact a professional.
- Clean out all gutters and downspouts. First, clean all the debris out of your gutters. Then, use a hose to flush the remaining debris out of your gutters and downspouts. It is important to clean out as much debris from your gutters as possible before using the hose. Otherwise, your downspouts might become clogged. After your gutters and downspouts are cleaned, check the gutters for pooling water. Pools of water indicate low spots in your gutters that need to be adjusted.
Porches and Decks:
- The Spring is a great time to get out the pressure washer and clean all of your decks and porches. Not only will cleaning remove months of accumulated debris, but it also helps you to see if any boards need to be repaired or replaced.
- If a board is loose, simply screw or nail it back into place. If the board is warped or damaged, consider replacing it before an accident occurs.
- Check all handrails and repair or replace any warped or damaged spindles.
- When planting shrubs and other plants, make sure they are set far enough away from your home to allow air to circulate. It is best if the plants do not touch the logs, as this could invite moisture issues.
- Stay away from climbing plants, such as ivy. While these plants are beautiful, they will rapidly attach to your home’s log surfaces, damaging your stain and sealant and causing rot.
- Take a look at the trees on your property. Make sure they look healthy and are not leaning dangerously toward your home. If you have questions about a suspicious-looking tree, call an expert for advice.
Doors and Windows:
- Winter can be tough on weather stripping. Check the weather stripping around all your doors and windows and replace any that is missing or damaged. This will help keep the cool air in and the bugs out during the warmer months.
- Repair or replace any window screens that were damaged during the winter.
- Grease door hinges, and make sure all windows are in good working order.
Odds and Ends:
- Spring is a good time to deep clean your dryer vents. Keeping your vent clean and lint-free could help prevent a fire. It could also save you money, because your dryer won’t have to work so hard.
- While you’re in the laundry room, check your washing machine hose for cracks or dry rotting. You don’t want cracks to become leaks, so checking the hose once or twice a year is a good idea.
- Vacuum the coils underneath and behind your refrigerator. Dust and debris can accumulate around the coils, causing your refrigerator to work harder than it needs to and possibly shortening its life. If you want to keep your fridge working well, keeping the coils clean is key.
If you will take a weekend to inspect your home and make minor repairs, you can enjoy the warm months in peace, knowing your home is maintained properly. All it takes is a little time and effort to keep your log home looking its best and running in peak condition. It will be well worth it!