Log-home: building

Construction Timeline

A step-by-step guide to building a log home.

BUILDING A LOG HOME is an exciting prospect but can seem a formidable challenge. Once the sequence is revealed, the process seems less intimidating and can proceed in an organized manner.

Preparing for Construction

Planning to build a log home can take from months to years. Finding just the right location, choosing a log-home provider, settling on a design, estimating costs, arranging for contractors and subs and securing financing are all grouped into what professional builders call “pre-construction activities.” Although thorough preparation during the pre-construction period greatly improves the ease and efficiency of building, the real excitement begins the day materials and workers first arrive on your land to start turning your log-home dream into a reality.

Site Preparation. Although log homes can be built almost anywhere, most log-home enthusiasts favor the freedom and seclusion of larger, more rural locations. So, construction often begins with basic site preparation, including an entrance road, well and septic system. It may even be necessary to bring in electrical and phone service.

Road Building. A solid, all-weather road is often the first order of business. The excavator scrapes a roadbed, clearing it of trees and topsoil. A bed of large stone several inches deep provides a solid base for everything from pickups to concrete trucks and the eighteen-wheelers that will deliver the logs and other materials. At the end of construction, the road will get a layer of finer stone and perhaps a surface of asphalt or concrete.

Clearing. As part of road preparation, the excavator often also clears the building site, using a front-end loader to remove trees and loose surface rock. If the project includes a septic field, the excavator may clear trees from the designated area as well. Before going further, it’s a good idea to cut any downed trees into firewood and remove stumps. Savvy builders make sure firewood is stacked well out of the construction and material storage areas. A wood chipper can reduce treetops and limbs to mulch that will come in handy during final landscaping.

Well. The first heavy equipment to follow the road builder is often the well driller. Depending on depth and ground conditions, well drilling can take from a few hours to several days. The actual water line connecting the well to the house will be installed after the foundation is in.

Septic System. Just as many log homes rely on wells for water, they also need a septic system to dispose of waste. Septic systems generally consist of a tank and tiles or perforated pipe to carry wastewater from the tank into a septic field consisting of a series of trenches or pits. There the water seeps back into the ground to be filtered by soil particles and purified by microorganisms. Because geology and soil conditions are important to the efficiency of a septic system and the purity of water returning to the soil, they are often closely monitored by local health departments. In many areas, health regulations require that licensed subcontractors install the septic systems.

While the septic system may not be installed until late in construction, the location of the tank and field should be marked before construction begins. Sometimes it’s necessary to store building materials in the septic area, something obviously not desirable once the system is installed.

Utilities. It’s always a good idea to have electrical service available when construction begins. Construction using a generator proceeds slower and is usually more costly. In many areas, the utility company runs phone lines along with electric lines, making this an opportunity to arrange for phone service. The electrical subcontractor can provide a temporary service head with a circuit breaker box and phone jack. Once the house is closed in, the service panel will be moved to its final location.

Now, before construction shifts into high gear, is a good time to bring in a portable toilet and prepare temporary storage for construction materials and tools.

Breaking Ground

Excavation. Once the building site is prepared, the builder lays out the foundation and excavation area using stakes or batter boards. These markers guide the excavator, who scoops out a rough pit that will hold the foundation. If the house will rest on a concrete slab or crawl space, excavation may be nothing more than a trench dug with a backhoe to hold the footings.

Footings. Footings are a solid base of concrete or stone that support the foundation and ultimately the whole house. Regulations (and good sense) require that the footings rest on undisturbed solid soil. The base of the footing must be below the maximum depth of frost penetration, which varies with location. Local building codes specify this depth, ensuring that the footings will not be influenced by the expansion and contraction that results from soil freezing and thawing.

Foundation

Log-home foundations vary as much as the homes themselves. The most popular foundations are poured concrete and masonry block, although some homebuilders use wood foundations, pre-cast concrete panels and even foam blocks that can be stacked and filled with concrete. Contrary to some beliefs, few log homes require a “heavy-duty” or special foundation.

Walls. To install a poured wall foundation, the contractor erects forms into which concrete is poured. When the concrete is dry, the forms are stripped away. The entire process typically takes three to five days. Block walls require the services of a masonry contractor, who lays up several courses of block over a period of days, allowing time for mortar securing the block to dry.

Drainage and Waterproofing. Good drainage is the key to a dry basement. Most building codes call for drainage tile or perforated pipe to be laid around the footings or base of the foundation wall. If the topography of the building site doesn’t allow this pipe to drain at the surface away from the house, the pipe is directed into a sump crock in the basement floor where an automatic sump pump carries water up and out onto the surface away from the house. Foundation walls are usually protected with a waterproof coating and sometimes with a layer of rigid insulation.

Plumbing Groundwork. Unless the plumbing for the house will exit above the foundation, the plumber usually makes his first appearance during foundation construction. Before footings are poured, the plumber may place a piece of pipe, or “sleeve,’’ in the footing trench where pipes for water and septic will cross. This will prevent having to tunnel under footings or break through walls later. After the foundation walls are poured and before the foundation slab, the plumber installs any drainpipes or water line that will lie beneath the basement floor.

Fireplaces and Chimneys. If plans call for a stone or masonry fireplace, the foundation contractor usually digs and pours a footing and supporting walls for the chimney as part of building foundation walls. Masons will construct the fireplace and chimney as the log shell is being completed. If the home includes a “zero-clearance” fireplace — a metal unit set into a framed chimney — no footings or support walls are required (although carpenters may add extra joists to the sub floor under the fireplace area).

Backfill. Once the foundation is completed and drainage and waterproofing measures are installed, the excavator returns to backfill and rough grade. This step consists of filling the area around the outside of the foundation to a level slightly higher than the final surface (to allow for soil settling) and grading the surface so water drains away from the foundation. Backfilling can be delicate work due to the weight of soil piling against the new foundation. Builders often add additional bracing to foundation walls or wait to backfill until after the sub floor is complete.

Sub floor

The sub floor of a log home is usually no different from that in a conventional home. Floor joists are laid over a system of girder beams and support posts. Decking of plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) is secured on top of the joists. Floor trusses provide an alternative to joists and allow greater spans reducing the number of support posts needed.

Erecting the Log Shell

Delivery. Delivery day marks a high point for most new log-home owners. As the eighteen-wheelers bearing logs, beams and assorted other materials snake up the entrance road, it means that someone’s dream is finally coming true.

Careful planning for delivery day can ensure that the mood isn’t spoiled. Good builders confirm, in advance, that the delivery trucks can navigate the entrance road. Steep slopes are less a problem than sharp turns. Inability to turn an 80-foot-long rig around at the building site may mean last-minute changes to unloading plans. The fewer such surprises on delivery day, the better.

It’s wise to have an idea where materials will go when removed from the trucks. Generally, logs and materials used earlier in construction should be placed closer to the foundation, preferably on the high side of sloping sites. Lugging logs and lumber uphill not only aggravates workers, but also takes valuable time away from construction. Having the log-construction crew or carpenters unload the trucks can help ensure that materials are stored efficiently and workers get a head start on knowing where to find things.

Log Walls. Log work begins by laying out the first course of logs on the sub floor. Builders often take this opportunity to mark the location of electrical outlets, switches, windows, doors and partition walls. This is the beginning of turning paper plans into reality, and sometimes things need adjusting, such as window, door or electrical-outlet locations.

Actual log work varies with the type of system being used. Milled, pre-cut logs are usually stacked and secured in segments, moving around the house so that wall heights remain fairly even as walls go up. It’s especially important to make sure log walls stay plumb (vertical) and corners remain square. Good builders check plumb frequently using a level or plumb bob. Comparing distances between diagonally opposite corners quickly reveals when corners are slipping out of square.

Log homes built with large logs, such as handcrafted homes, often require the use of a crane, transferring much of the lifting from people to machine. If much of the log preparation has already taken place at the manufacturer’s plant or the handcrafter’s yard, then large, pre-fit, full-length log wall systems can be erected quickly, sometimes in only a few days.

Whether the home is manufactured or handcrafted, many systems require construction methods that allow for the settlement that occurs as a result of logs shrinking. Space left at the top of window and door openings allows units to operate freely as log walls settle. Posts placed on adjustable jacks that can be lowered to match any change in log wall height may support second-floor and roof systems. Interior partitions may be framed to include a space that will allow for log settling also. While the thought of changing wall height causes concern for some people, settlement is a normal part of a horizontal log system and presents no problems as long as proper construction methods are used. To reduce settlement potential, some log-home companies kiln-dry their logs, removing some of the moisture in the logs before construction.

Insulated Log Systems. Not all log walls are made from solid logs. Some log-home companies offer an insulated-log alternative. These log homes use half-logs applied over conventional framing. While they look like a solid log home from either inside or out (unless the homeowner chooses to use another type of wall covering in some areas), the core of the wall is similar to a conventionally framed house. In insulated log homes, builders may wait to apply the half logs until the roof is on.

Second-Floor Systems. After the log walls, the crew moves to either the roof (on one-story houses) or to the second-floor system. The second floor may be framed conventionally using dimensional-lumber joists and plywood decking, or it may consist of exposed square or round beams covered with 2-inch-thick decking. After setting the exposed beams, carpenters often use the roof sheathing as a temporary second floor while they frame the roof, passing the sheathing up to the roof when framing is complete. Then they can install the second-floor decking under cover of the roof.

Roof Systems. Log homes use a variety of roof systems. The simplest are conventionally framed roofs, just as in other types of home. But many people choose log homes for the distinctive look of exposed-beam ceilings, which require different construction methods. A roof of exposed beams may be made using timber or log rafters or purlins. Rafters run from the top of the log wall to the ridge while purlins run parallel to the log wall.

Framing a conventional roof begins with setting ridge and rafters. Carpenters cover the rafters with plywood or OSB sheathing and tarpaper. Roofers then apply the final roof covering — shingles, metal, wood shakes or tile. Later, insulation will fill the spaces between rafters. In cathedral-ceiling areas, ceiling coverings are secured to the rafter bottoms. For flat-ceiling areas, ceiling joists are added. Insulation may be added above ceiling joists after the ceiling coverings are installed.

A log or heavy-timber roof system begins with placement of the log rafters or purlins. Wooden decking is secured over the large timbers and a vapor barrier secured to the decking. Rigid insulation laid on top of the vapor barrier is covered with sheathing followed by tar paper and a final roof covering.

Interior Framing. Interior partition framing in a log home is similar to any other type of home. Some builders attach partition framing to logs using “slip” connections — nails or screws driven into the logs through slots in the framing. The slots prevent fasteners from interfering with log settlement. In some systems, interior partitions are framed to include a space below the ceiling. This will prevent framing from interfering with settlement adjustments. The settling space will be concealed behind trim after interior wall coverings are added.

If plans include a zero-clearance fireplace, carpenters frame the chimney and fireplace opening along with other interior framing. The fireplace subcontractor installs the metal flue and fireplace unit.

Because tub and shower enclosures won’t pass through openings in the framing, the builder or plumber makes sure these units are on hand as framing starts. Carpenters secure them in their final position as they complete the framing.

Sealing the Exterior. To prevent weathering and eventual deterioration, exposed wood in logs and trim should be protected with a wood preservative. Preservatives especially formulated for log homes are readily available and offer long-lasting protection. To get maximum protection, the preservative should contain a pigment that blocks ultraviolet rays from the sun. Clear preservatives offer no UV protection, which can lead to premature weathering of the wood.

Preservatives are easiest applied before window and doors are installed. Openings can be covered with plastic to prevent chemicals from blowing inside and staining walls. If the home requires caulking, this may be applied before the preservative to ensure a good bond with the wood. Chinking is often applied after the preservative to maintain the color contrast between chinking and logs.

Doors and Windows. Once the roof is covered to protect the interior and the exterior is sealed, carpenters install doors and windows to provide a complete weather-tight shell. Often homeowners save time and money by pre finishing door and window units while the shell of their home is being built. At this point, the log home may look near completion on the outside, but much work remains indoors.

Mechanical Systems

Together, plumbing, heating and cooling are referred to as the mechanical systems, or “mechanicals.” Specialty subcontractors, who may be individually licensed for their particular trade, usually install these. Mechanical work is divided into two parts: “rough-in,” which takes place before wall framing is concealed behind coverings, and “finish,” which takes place near the end of construction.

Plumbing. The plumber will usually arrive first because the location of pipes is the most restricted. The plumber installs all pipes that will be concealed within walls and hooks up the tubs and showers that were placed during framing. He may also connect the well and septic to the house at this point and place the reservoir tank. After all pipe runs are complete, the plumber caps open ends and pressurizes the pipes with air to test for leaks. Finally he calls for a rough-in inspection of the work.

Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC). To reduce possible conflicts between pipe and duct placement, good builders usually make sure the HVAC contractor and plumber know each other’s needs before rough-in begins. While the plumber is busy, the HVAC subcontractor may be measuring for ducts. Ductwork is often fabricated at the subcontractor’s workshop and then carried to the job site for installation as soon as the plumber finishes roughing in pipe work. Sometimes the subcontractor installs inside heating and cooling units now.

Electrical. The electrician is usually the last to arrive. It’s easier to snake wire around pipes and ducts than the reverse. The electrician places outlet and switch boxes and strings wire back to the power source, usually in the basement, garage or utility closet. He may also transfer the temporary electric service, located outside, to its final location. As with the plumber, the electrician finishes by calling for an electrical inspection.

Rough-In Inspection (Close-In). Following completion of all mechanical rough-ins, the builder calls for a framing inspection. The building inspector first makes sure all necessary mechanical inspections have been passed. Then he examines framing to be sure that proper construction methods were followed and that mechanical subcontractors didn’t inadvertently affect the structural stability of the framework in installing their pipes, ducts and wiring.

Interior Wall Finish

An approved framing inspection lets the builder start “closing-in” framing with the final wall coverings. On log homes, these are usually drywall or tongue-and-grooved (T&G) pine or cedar boards.

Dry wall. Dry wall is the least expensive and most popular wall covering. Installation consists of two steps: hanging and finishing. Dry wall hangers quickly cover large areas of wall and ceiling, securing the drywall sheets with nails or screws. Finishers follow, taping and concealing joints with drywall compound. After joints are sanded, the walls are ready for the painter.

T&G. Trim carpenters often install T&G. Installation goes slower than drywall, but the result is a wood-covered wall.

Paint, Stain and Varnish

Painters usually follow wall-covering subcontractors. Arriving before the trim carpenters lets them move faster, covering large areas quickly with spray guns or rollers. Walls get a prime coat, followed by one or two topcoats. Wood T&G gets varnish or oil. The builder may also have painters apply finish to trim before it is installed to allow sealing the backs of trim pieces and speeding installation.

Exterior Finishing

While the painters are busy inside, carpenters finish outside porches and decks. Once all outside work has been finished, the excavator returns one last time for final grading, spreading topsoil and preparing the site for landscaping. Installers add gutters and downspouts to catch and carry away rainwater.

Cabinetry & Floor Coverings

Floor Coverings. As soon as painters finish kitchen and bath areas, they are turned over to flooring subcontractors, who install tile, slate, vinyl or wood floor coverings.

Because a lot of construction activity remains, carpet installers won’t appear until the final stages of construction.

Cabinetry. As soon as kitchen and bath wall coverings have been finished and floor coverings installed, cabinet installers set to work in kitchen and baths. Cabinet installation in a log home is no different from that in a conventional home — unless plans call for cabinets on settling log walls. In such cases, cabinets may be secured to vertical furring strips that won’t settle with the logs. In exposed areas, furring strips are covered with a tongue-and-groove or tile backsplash. In baths, installers set vanities and medicine cabinets.

Fixtures and Appliances

Now mechanical subcontractors re-appear. The electrician installs switches and outlets into roughed-in boxes and sets light switches and appliances. The HVAC sub brings register covers and finishes any remaining connections. The plumber connects the septic line, installs toilets and sinks, and hooks up the dishwasher.

Interior Trim

While mechanical subcontractors complete their work, trim carpenters are applying finish trim to doors and windows. If the permanent stairs haven’t been installed yet, they remove temporary stairs and build or set the final staircase. They also set door hardware, baseboards and any special moldings and trim.

Floor Coverings

Finally, the trim carpenters and mechanical subs wrap up, leaving the log home finished except for areas of bare sub floor. These quickly disappear as carpet installers complete the last step, leaving a completely finished log home ready for final inspection.

Wrapping Up

The final building inspection and “walkthrough” with the new owners mark the end of four to six or more months of construction, involving 50 or more workers from several dozen construction businesses and trades. Months or years of planning and dreaming now stand ready to be seen, admired and enjoyed by the new owners.

Invest to Save

Your time might be worth money if you act as your own general contractor.

DO YOU WANT TO SAVE 30 percent or more off the price of your new log home? You can by being your own general contractor. A nationwide survey by the Consensus Group of Provo, Utah, revealed that persons acting as general contractor in the construction of their residences saved an average of 34 percent off the contractor price of the house.

To join the more than 200,000 Americans each year who act as their own general contractor, you need to determine whether you have the right stuff to take on such a project. Here are 10 leading qualifications for owners who intend to be their own GC.

Decide Who’ll Build Your

Acting as the general contractor appeals to more than a few log-home buyers, but that’s just one way to get involved in building your home, Labor counts for up to 40 percent of a new home, so any contribution you make might Eower your cost Your involvement also carries risks, however, and may not save as much as you expect.

Licensed contractors and experienced builders know what they’re doing and whom they’re dealing with, Hiring subcontractors, for example, sounds easy — until you discover that the good ones are already working for contractors they’ve worked for before and hope to work for again. The chances of their giving up steady work to come help you just once are slim. Also, contractors might get better deals from suppliers they buy from regularly and In quantity. And builders whore experienced with homes from the company providing your log package know right off the bat what they’re doing.

If you build it yourself, you’ll likely be learning as you go — not the most efficient way to build. Novice builders make costly mistakes, especially when they’re emotionally invested in the project. What’s more, being your own GC or building the home yourself increase your risk of being turned down by a lender- in short, the financial consequences can be severe and the stress level high.

That’s why most buyers prefer to hire a pro.

So where do you find an experienced log-home contractor or builder? Start with your tog-ho me company representative. Some reps just sell log packages. Others provide design and construction services. If the latter, they’re known as builder-dealers. Some advertise their services in the directory of this issue that starts on page 148. They’re listed by state, but keep in mind that many service other states, especially ones located near a border.

If your dealer is a builder, you’re under no obligation to use that person’s services, If you’re building your fog home in an area where log homes are fairly common, you ought to be able to locate several qualified candidates. Make sure the candidate’s experience is with projects similar to your own in scope and size.

Protect Your Investment

Regular maintenance will prolong the life and looks of your logs.

WOOD IS STRONG AND DURABLE, but it isn’t invincible. Because wood is a natural material, it is subject to natural forces. The two greatest threats to wood’s beauty and longevity are moisture and sunlight. Although these two potent forces won’t by themselves significantly degrade the surface of your logs, they might set up conditions under which more destructive forces can get a foothold and, if ignored, prevail.

Keep Logs Dry

Protecting your log home is fairly simple. Best of all, you have the opportunity to set up a preventive maintenance program for your new log home at the outset. You will become acquainted with your logs when they are in their best shape. To keep them that way, you need to ensure they stay smooth and dry.

Some people believe that using certain wood species known to have natural decay resistance will relieve them of a large part of the maintenance requirement of owning a log home. What is a characteristic of the living tree will not necessarily be that of the log. What’s more, modern preservatives neutralize any natural advantage one wood species may once have enjoyed over another. The strongest wood left unprotected will succumb to the forces of nature sooner than the weakest protected wood.

Again, those forces that must be guarded against are sun and water. Sun breaks down the lignin in the wood. Lig-nin holds the wood fibers together. Once lignin has been broken down, water can wash away the now-loose wood fibers.

Watch for Fungi

Weakened wood is vulnerable to fungi, which feed on the sugars and starches in wood. Left unchecked, fungi will eventually destroy the wood. Of lesser concern than fungi are insects.

Two kinds pose the greatest danger: termites and wood-boring beetles. Fortunately, you can easily guard your logs against these threats.

Several formulations of wood finish expressly protect logs. They add milde-wicides, fungicides, ultraviolet blockers and water repellents to ensure maximum protection. High-quality, breathable wood finishes will keep additional moisture from penetrating the wood while allowing moisture inside the log to evaporate. Apply only products that are intended to protect log homes. Deck sealer is not sufficient. If you are in doubt about specific products to use, check with your log producer or its local sales representative.

Log homes are subject to varying conditions, which will determine the lifetime of the finish. The only way to ensure permanent protection is to implement a systematic, regular maintenance program. It should begin even before you buy your logs. There are some simple steps you can take to protect your logs from the start and reduce the cost of maintaining your logs forever.

Design Defense

Above all else, design your home to shed water and shade sun. Caulk and coatings can do just so much. Besides, they eventually fail and need to be replaced. Good design lasts a lifetime.

Your practical aims won’t interfere with the look of the home. In fact, you can actually enhance the home’s distinctively log features.

Elevate your logs. Wood that comes in contact with the damp ground quickly succumbs. Splashing mud will hold moisture long enough to penetrate weakened protection. One way that actually improves the look is to set the logs on a taller foundation, then face the block, poured concrete or permanent wood structural material with stonework or log siding that mimics the wall logs.

Extend roof overhangs to keep rain, melting snow and sunlight well away from walls. Porches protect against blowing rain and the overhead sun, as well as enhance your home’s charm.

Gutters and grading help move water away from the house. Be sure lawn sprinklers don’t reach the log walls.

When you landscape, keep any shrubs around the house from touching the logs; otherwise, they can trap water against the wood. Although you might prefer to shade the house with trees, don’t keep them so dense and close that some sunlight and breezes can’t get through to help dry the logs.

Begin at the Source

Once you have a design that can keep the forces at bay, make sure your log producer takes proper steps to protect the logs from mold and mildew, starting within 24 hours of when they are milled, peeled or hewn. The logs should be delivered in good shape and properly stacked to keep them off the ground and covered to keep off moisture (but loosely enough so they can breathe). They may arrive with some road grime. A little trisodium phosphate in water will clean that off.

One measure you might consider is pre-treating your logs. They can be dipped, sprayed or pressure-treated with a preservative. Usually it’s a borate product. Water-based borate wood preservatives are effective against termites, boring beetles, carpenter ants and wrood-decay fungi. They are easy to apply, odorless and non-corrosive. The aim is to produce a concentration of the borate solution below the surface of the wood that is lethal to w’ood-eating insects by disrupting their digestive process and adds protection against the fungi that cause wood rot.

Besides being applied in several different forms before the logs are erected, borate products are available for protection after the home is built. Spray products are particularly effective in making sure the protection soaks into wood in hard-to-reach areas.

Whether your logs arrive pretreated or untreated, once the walls are erected, the logs should be protected with a stain or sealer to keep the logs from absorbing water. The more pigment that is in your stain, the greater will be your protection against UV rays, which can weather wood.

Ongoing Protection

Don’t assume that protection will last a lifetime. Depending on your home’s exposure to the elements, it could need re-treatment anywhere from three to six years. The best way to keep track of your protection is regular inspections. Give the home a good going over at least every spring and fall.

A home’s first two years are probably the most crucial. This is wrhen the most log movement occurs, while the home settles. Shrinking logs may create moisure traps at horizontal seams, overlapping corners and joints around windows and doors if they are not properly sealed.

Check all the walls, not just one or two or three. The southwest-facing corner of the home is usually the first place where protection weakens because it is exposed to more sun, so give it better than a once-over.

Pay particular attention to exposed log ends, especially if your roof doesn’t completely overhang them. They bear the brunt of the weather.

Look for cracks, called checks, in log surfaces, particularly upward facing ones. They appear when the outer layer of your log dries faster than its core. Checks are common but should be filled, with either a coating or caulk, to eliminate water from being drawn deeper into the wood, where more serious problems can develop.

Patch gaps in caulk and chinking promptly. Re-caulk and re-chink completely as often as necessary to ensure the sealing materials are performing to their maximum capacity. Any moisture that gets caught behind a hole in caulking or chinking may not evaporate as quickly as it should, making the wood vulnerable.

It’s never a good idea to paint logs or use any other closed-film coating, such as varnish, that can trap moisture inside the log. These coatings will crack as the logs expand and contract. Any water that gets into these cracks can start the decay process.

But there are many stains that can change the color of your logs. Some people like to leave the wood natural, others prefer theirs darker or lighter. A clear finish may seem like a good idea; if the sun in your area is particularly harsh, however, more pigment offers better protection.

Fix Problems

When you do notice something amiss on your exterior, you will have to evaluate whether a touch-up is required or it’s time to redo the whole house. Try spraying the house with a garden hose. If the water still beads up over most of the log surface, your protection is good. Wherever it doesn’t bead up and soaks into the wood instead needs protection fast.

Cleaning the logs and reapplying a preservative or finish is a chore you may be able to handle yourself. Doing so may seem more trouble than it’s worth, but you at least will be able to assure yourself that the job has been done properly. If you are buying a relatively new existing log home, you will be instituting your own maintenance program in case the previous owner wasn’t as careful as you intend to be.

Don’t have unrealistic expectations, however. No log will keep its original hue. That’s the nature of a natural material. Although you can never restore their original beauty, you can come close, provided you haven’t been too neglectful over the years. Vigilance and diligence can keep the weather from interfering with the natural lifespan of your log home. That way, you also won’t have to worry about the few but constant threats to your logs. The resulting peace of mind will allow you to enjoy your new home even more, knowing it will stand strong and solid for generations to come.

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