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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Aug 2002
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    Sugar Land,Texas
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    Kubota MX5000

    Default Log Cabins, Good or Bad ???

    We are about to have a Log Cabin constructed and I am still not sure about it. I need some feedback from those who have them.
    Mike

  2. #2
    Super Star Member
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    Default Re: Log Cabins, Good or Bad ???

    Are you building a log cabin of 'real logs' (species?) or with 'log siding'. Any details on the type of log cabin - ranch, overhang, chinking, preservative treatments, finishing, etc. would be helpful.

    Log cabins used to be a temporary building that would use the materials at hand in the forest or near a wooded lot. They were not something built for long term housing or where better materials were available. Log cabins were logs stacked and set in a way that when some of the lower logs decayed, the cabin was jacked up, and a new log set in to replace the old. Nowadays, some log cabins are built with the logs bolted and held in place with rods and the like, with electricals in the walls that make replacing a log a near impossibility.

    I witnessed a log cabin ($300,000 to build in the middle 80's) assembled out of logs that were likely over-mature trees that possibly had already begun to decay. Within 10 years, half of the logs were in advanced stages of decay and the verdict was it was a total loss as there was no way to make repairs.

    There are 'stories' of log cabins lasting for years and years. But not much documentation that new logs were not added to replace the decayed logs. Most wood decays unless kept quite dry.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    41
    Location
    Lyndeborough, NH
    Tractor
    Kubota L4610 HST

    Default Re: Log Cabins, Good or Bad ???

    I love mine. It's ability to retain then radiate heat from it's thermal mass can't be touched by standard construction.
    I'll take log over 2 by's any day. 23 year old cedar and still looks new.

    BTW
    The seller corrected me when I asked to see it... "It's not a log cabin, it's a log home."

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    Jan 2002
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    1,927
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    Home-1+ acres New Hope, TX / 24 acres-Fannin County
    Tractor
    JD 950

    Default Re: Log Cabins, Good or Bad ???

    Here is a <font color="blue"> recent thread </font> on log homes for more info.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
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    Jan 2002
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    Cambridge, New York
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    JD425 lawn tractor; JD4710 CUT; JD JX75 Walk Behind

    Default Re: Log Cabins, Good or Bad ???

    <font color="blue">"...about to have a Log Cabin constructed and I am still not sure about it..."</font>

    Be real careful here Mike. Not sure why you would want to proceed with construction if you're still having second doubts. Those doubts....you have them for a reason and must be dealt with before proceeding any further.

    I've heard good testimonials from people who have log homes, but I've also heard real horror stories. The horror stories are primarily associated with the homeowner who selects the a) wrong log home manufacturer or b) builder to erect their log home.

    Caveat emptor....my friend.

    ....Bob

  6. #6
    Super Star Member
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    Sep 2000
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    10,894
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    Triangle Of North Carolina
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    JD 4700

    Default Re: Log Cabins, Good or Bad ???

    popeye,

    Search through TBN for some previous discussions. I know
    we have had more besides the link that was already provided.

    Also get on google and search for log homes. I spent an hour
    or so one day doing this and found enough information to
    really scare me. I think one can get a good log home but
    one can easily get ripped off....

    Questions to ask...
    How to keep bugs out of the wood?
    Is the wood kiln dried.
    How many knot holes does it have? Knot holes can leak if
    rain is blown on them....
    Is it a kit home or just the logs?

    My builder I'm planning to use for our nonlog home has built
    quite a few log homes. One thing he does not like to do is use
    a kit. Its just easier, faster and cheaper to put up the logs
    and cut them as needed.

    Thats just a few things off the top of my head.

    I know we have had talks about this on TBN in the past. You
    might also check CBN as well.

    Later,
    Dan

  7. #7
    Platinum Member PitbullMidwest's Avatar
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    Sep 2001
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    948
    Location
    SE Iowa
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    1998 Kubota L2900GST

    Default Re: Log Cabins, Good or Bad ???

    My inlaws built their own log home in the '70's. They cut, peeled, notched and chinked the whole thing. They were committed to that structure and were willing to do all necesary upkeep.

    After it was lost in a fire, they had another home hand crafted. They used lodgepole pine and used swedish cope notches to eliminate the need for chinking. It is a beautiful home but it has more maintenance than a stick frame home.

    Are you prepared to "paint" the UV pretection every other year? How about re-hanging your kitchen cabinets after the house has settled, the in laws house settled 8" the first year. Does your builder have plans in place to account for the settling like sliding cap interior walls?

    I'm sure you already know all of these things but I can tell you that after helping to maintain both of their homes for 15 years I know that personnally I'm not committed enough to own one.

    If you have doubts, NOW is the time to resolve them. Good luck and let us know what you decide.

    PS My father in law loved his log home dearly and wouldn't have had any other kind of house. When his cancer was at its worst, his only request was that he be allowed to live out his last days in his log cabin in the woods, which he did.

  8. #8
    New Member
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    Nov 2001
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    24
    Location
    Imperial, Missouri
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    New Holland TC 35D, Farmall H, John Deere 450C crawler loader

    Default Re: Log Cabins, Good or Bad ???

    As far as longevity of a log cabin house I can attest that some last for a very long time. My father owns a log cabin that he bought back in the sixties that is well over 100 years old. It is a two story log cabin, constructed with 14"-16" square logs at the base. The logs have weathered the years very well, little to no insect or rot damage. They are pretty much petrified by now, almost impossible to drive a nail to hang a picture inside. Its amazing all of the work that they accomplished before the used any power tools. You can plainly see all of the broad axe marks on the logs when they were squaring them up. I will try to borrow my brothers digital camera and snap a few pics.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member mikim's Avatar
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    Feb 2001
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    Location
    Paige Texas
    Tractor
    NH TC45

    Default Re: Log Cabins, Good or Bad ???

    One thing that has sorta been brought up is the weight involved - if it settles that much in country with probably halfway stable soil -- what's it gonna do on your black gumbo? If you want a traditional look - go with pier &amp; beam and a dog-run look - with wrap around porch and metal roof -- there was a reason they built those around here (gulf basin -&gt; central tx) and the climate hasn't changed that much in the last 100 years. Personally I wouldn't touch a log home in this area. A pier &amp; beam should get you out of the flood plain too and save you on flood insurance. With all the concrete that's going in around there - the flooding is only going to get worse.

  10. #10
    Super Star Member
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    Default Re: Log Cabins, Good or Bad ???

    I think the "settling" comments were due to the wood logs drying out and shrinking in size, thus the height of the walls decrease, and this has to be figured into the construction. If not, the doors and windows try to hold up the house. The settling (depending on the heat added and the relative humidities encountered year around) usually is done in 5 - 8 years.

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