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  1. #1
    gcp
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    Default Log cabin construction

    Good morning all,

    I am getting ready to put up a log cabin (constructed by square oak logs) and was wondering if there's a "worth while" forum out there I can become a member of that discusses construction ideas. What I'm buying is a kit with plans, and directions, and it'll be a 2 story 24x24 cabin.

    This is a first for me so I want to avoid as many mistakes as possible. I live in North Alabama....

    Thanks,
    gcp

  2. #2
    Super Member
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    Sep 2000
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    9,944
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    Triangle Of North Carolina
    Tractor
    JD 4700

    Default Re: Log cabin construction

    I don't have a log cabin house.

    We found our builder when he was building a kit house out of 6x6 PT. He has also built a few log cabins. After he built the kit house he said he would prefer to just buy the logs and cut them as needed. I guess finding piece A to put on B was time consuming. And sometimes A did not quite fit B so they had to fiddle to get things to go as they should.

    I assume the logs are dried so they won't shrink after the house is built?

    Sorry, I don't know of a forum about log homes though. I did google the subject years ago when we where planning our house. I found enough info to make me stay away from log homes. Love the look of them though.

    Later,
    Dan
    Last edited by dmccarty; 07-17-2008 at 10:41 AM.

  3. #3
    Silver Member
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    Feb 2004
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    Location
    Brazoria County, TX
    Tractor
    Jimna 254

    Default Re: Log cabin construction

    Folks across the freeway from me built a log cabin about 15 years ago. Awesome hardwood throughout. First rain it leaked like a sieve. Company inspected and said that the logs on the ends have some kind of insect in them, now dead because of the treatment. Left holes throughout the logs. Warrenty was that the company would replace any bad logs. They did, they dumped tham in the back yard, like the owners were supposed to disassemble their house and replace the bad logs. The owners just hung plastic on the outside. The logs are now rotten.

    I would have just painted it with about 4 coats of 2 part epoxy paint.

    Ron

  4. #4
    Elite Member MotorSeven's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
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    NE TENN (Hancock Co)
    Tractor
    Kioti DK40SE Hydro

    Default Re: Log cabin construction

    I built one out of pine in the eighties. 1600sqf 2 story. I am gearing up to build another one out of my own eastern red cedar(sawmill/log arch).
    Safety first: Square oak logs are going to be heavy. Get some type of machinery to lift them(fork lift/FEL/etc) You will also need some scaffolding for the gables. Logs that big will constantly change shape. They will require some fitting so get a set of chisels, a grinder and a small chainsaw. You will need a heavy duty 1/2in drill & bits to bore holes. Add to this list beer & ice for the end of the day for those that help you.
    Google "log home construction" and read a ton. Do not get in a hurry, that is when mistakes happen. Post some pic's here of your progress so we can armchair quarterback.......

    RD
    2008 KIOTI DK40Se Hydro
    1978 Sling Blade/wood handle

  5. #5
    Silver Member
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    Garden Valley, Idaho
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    Kubota RTV 900

    Default Re: Log cabin construction

    I live in a "log home only" subdivision in Idaho. I am forester by trade and did alot of investigation before building our home. First, the more dense the tree, the less insulation you will get as the cold, and heat will penetrate more easily. Your oak logs will work but they will not hold heat in the winter very well and visa-versa. The oak will also be prone to alot of insects and will require alot more maintenance to maintain their look and keep the bugs out.

    I would suggest that you sell the oak logs to a mill and take that money and purchase a cedar log home kit. Alot less insect worry and maintenance issues are alot less as well. You will like the results of a cedar log home as compaired to any other, except for maybe a cypress log home which is equal or better IMHO.

  6. #6
    N80
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    Default Re: Log cabin construction

    I would agree about the oak logs. Does not sound like a good idea to me.

    I built my log cabin close to 5 years ago now. It is one story, 1000 sq ft, made of square pine logs and came as a kit from Southland Log Homes.

    Log Cabins and Log Homes for Every Life Style | Southland Log Homes

    Southland was great to work with. The logs are pine and are treated with Tim-Bor for termite protection. Cedar or cypress might be better but are often nearly twice as expensive. The Soutland logs are guaranteed to life against insect damage.

    I had the foundation laid and the metal roof installed but I did everything else myself with the help of friends and family. I had significant experience at building prior to this.

    I'm glad I did it. It turned out fine. It was a great learning and bonding experience for the whole family which was priceless. But it was hard and it took a long time. The foundation, floor, walls, roof etc were done very well and are super solid. However, my inexperience on trim, modling, soffits, etc shows. But this is a weekend cabin, not a permanent home, so the minor uglies and flaws, etc give it character.

    Feel free to PM me or ask any questions you have here in this thread, I'm no expert but I know what worked and what didn't and I can give some pretty good pointers and tips. I can post some pics to if anyone is interested.
    Last edited by N80; 07-17-2008 at 11:46 AM.
    George
    South Carolina

    The size of government is inversely proprotional to the degree of freedom it affords.

    "What is truth?" Pontius Pilate

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Eastern Ontario
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    Jinma 284(Spirit fel), MF 135 (MF200 fel)

    Default Re: Log cabin construction

    I have a circa 1860's squared log cabin (20 x 30 feet 2 storey) that I have restored. It has about a five foot deep basement with piled stone walls, then two cedar logs, then the squared pine logs. I have never seen one around here constructed from hardwood (part of that is that it would be harder to cut, shape and drill than the softwood with manual tools).
    I now have a twelve foot wide wrap around porch to keep the moisture well away form the logs. I have not seen a forum for log homes but have not really looked.
    Wait untill you find out what a PITA chinking is

  8. #8
    N80
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    Kubota L4400 4wd w/LA 703 FEL

    Default Re: Log cabin construction

    On modern log homes there is no chinking. My logs have grooves milled into the bottoms and ribs milled into the tops. You cover the ribs with foam tape then screw the logs together.

    My kit used Oly-Log screws which are these long narrow hardened steel screws. They are fantastic and self tapping. They are the hardest steel I've ever encountered, even with a Sawsall it is tedious and slow to cut through one! You have to have a powerful drill to sink them but they sink fast and hold tight. I would highly recommend them for any new cabin.

    I'm pretty sure they would not do well in oak.

    George
    South Carolina

    The size of government is inversely proprotional to the degree of freedom it affords.

    "What is truth?" Pontius Pilate

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Eastern Ontario
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    Jinma 284(Spirit fel), MF 135 (MF200 fel)

    Default Re: Log cabin construction

    George -- you mean on milled log homes there is no chinking -- and technically that foam strip is chinking -- there are still a bunch of places around here that will sell you a "shell" cut from logs dowelled together in the traditional fashion. With foam insulation and modern chinking compounds the r rating ends up at least as good as the log thickness. Believe me I am not commenting on one over the other -- I think any log home is great and building or renovating any of them is a worth while accomplishment.
    It's just that after several weeks of chinking, I was trowelling and smoothing the stuff in my sleep!

  10. #10
    N80
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    Default Re: Log cabin construction

    Well, if the foam tape was the chinking then it was pretty easy chinking. Southland sells a square log with a groove milled in it that you fill with some sort of latex stuff to look like real chinking. I passed on that option.
    George
    South Carolina

    The size of government is inversely proprotional to the degree of freedom it affords.

    "What is truth?" Pontius Pilate

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