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A log cabin can be a viable option for a home, in fact, a lot of people are turning to them as a primary residence. Building one can have a significant environmental impact that is worth it because society is now geared into making environmentally friendly homes. In contrast to what stereotyped image you may have for a log cabin – a pioneer family with a golden retriever – the modern designs are efficient and gives off a relaxing feeling and comfort.
There is a rise in demand for sustainable housing and it has made owning a log cabin one of its major categories in the investment of real estate. Homes made from logs are from natural and renewable wood that has a positive effect on the environment. Because it is sold, unlike those materials made from processed wood, you can easily detect infestations of insects and mold development. You can also save up by sourcing log cabins from trusted manufacturers using their voucher codes to avail of discounts and other freebies. The value of a custom-made log home can be appreciated when top-tier care is taken when designing and making them.
There are three things that can make up a sturdy and well-built wooden cottage and those are the materials, design, and workmanship. These three components must be carefully considered when making your log cabin in order to avoid mishaps, design flaws, and back jobs.
Here are some tips into making a log cabin that can stand the test of time and elements:
Your Logs and Treating them
There is a rule of thumb that stomps out a well-accepted myth about choosing the right log for your house and that is: you can build your house with almost all types of wood that grows straight up and can grow really tall. Many people would want you to believe that there are only a few species that are suitable for construction.
Many of these come from companies that sell kits, which they claim are better than other woods found in the market. A builder can make do with any log and they can save on material and transportation if they can find local loggers, mills, and foresters to supply them with logs. Consider intrinsic characteristics of the log such as strength, resistance to infestation, and insulation. Compare them with other available types and choose the ones suited for your needs.
When treating your wood, you can use borate preservatives because they are naturally occurring and they prevent rotting from fungus and insects. Since these minerals occur naturally, they are safe for humans as they are often used in detergents. It is recommended that you treat your logs with the solution only after peeling and when the walls are built. These are not expensive solutions and you can even mix one up by yourself.
To add that natural wood appearance, you can add “stain” to your logs. Mixed with a UV protectant it can actually help your log maintain their color over time and prevent it from turning gray. It’s not a one-time deal as you’ll need to supplement its coating ever after a couple of years.
In order to have a sturdy log cabin, the foundation must be first and foremost be sturdy as well. Choosing your foundation must take into account the weight of the logs in addition to the things that you will then burden the structure with. It should also be durable to maintain the structure from sinking if the soil surrounding it diminishes. Here are some of the factors you’ll need to consider when laying the foundation:
- The soil type
- Size and shape of the structure
- Available resources like cement and gravel
Log cabins don’t need the same structure as conventional houses. You can make do with a formation like a pad, raft, or a strip. The pad is the most recommended type because it provides a “splash zone” which makes it damp-proof preventing water from splashing back to your home.
Laying the Logs
You’ll want to use your premium materials as your sill logs. These refer to the largest and straightest of your logs. After cutting them and having them drilled you’re ready to lay them in position. This process is more of a question about lifting your logs into place. By now, you’ll have realized that each log is heavy and simply lifting it requires a lot of work.
If your cabin is in a remote area, then you might consider employing tools like block and tackle to hoist your logs. Attaching these tools to your car can do the job of lifting logs with ease. But if you have access to heavy equipment, then I recommend renting them rather than subjecting yourself to too much work.
When the logs are up forming the wall, you will have to secure them in place. A tight pinned butt and pass will require you to fasten each log with short pins of rebar. You can consult with a structural engineer to give you the approved positions and sizes of your pins. This will make your structure pass earthquake codes and other building requirements.
Floors and Walls
A suspended lumber floor will have to be used for this part. Each of the floor joists will be laid about a foot apart and parallel with the sill logs.
You will have to create a notch on your sill logs every 14 inches aligned to each of the floor joists. To fit them securely the notches should be equal to the width of the joists. Then you can install the floor plank perpendicularly and you have yourself a rustic wooden floor.
Framing and Roofing
You will then add the rafters and ridge beam which will hold the roof up in its place. You can use any size for the rafters as long as it can carry the load of the roof and snow in your area.
If you want your roof to last for a long time then you’ll have to shell out to put up a standing seam metal roof. It’s more durable and will have longer warranties than asphalt roofing.
Spending time in a log cabin can bring up our fondest childhood memories. To experience living in a wooden cottage you’d get that feeling of peace and comfort. If you’re building your cabin surrounded by the natural wonders, you’ll get the liberating feeling of being detached from the stress and anxiety of modern life. Log cabins, nowadays, are not devoid of modern comfort but it still maintains the things that give joy to the simple elements of life.