Log Home Construction: Which Wood Is Best?

Log Home Construction: Which Wood Is Best?

Which Wood is Best for Log Home Construction?

Much has been written about which wood species is right for log house construction. In this article, I will draw on many years of experience to spell out the pros and cons of some of the common wood species used commercially for vacation cabin construction.

Lodgepole pine is most likely probably the most common and trusted wood species for log wall construction. It is commonly straight with a low taper as a result of slow growth from the dry climate where it can be found. It is moderately strong and possesses low to moderate shrinkage in the seasoning process. Lodgepole Pine offers only moderate to low bug and decay resistance and great care have to be taken to make sure that the logs are treated for insects and decay.

Spruce is the one other species that is frequently used in log construction. Spruce is traditionally used inside Interior of British Columbia when lots of North America’s log homes come from. Spruce usually grows straight with little or no taper rendering it a good candidate for log construction. However, it is common for Spruce to grow with the spiral grain. Spiral grain logs really should not be employed in construction and doing so will surely have disastrous results. Spruce, like Pine, is moderately strong and it has moderate shrinkage throughout the seasoning process; and like Pine, it gives you only low insect and decay resistance. Spruce logs often need more maintenance than many of the other species especially Douglas fir and Western Red Cedar.

Douglas fir is a good selection for log shell construction because it grows straight with the low taper and is quite strong. However, Douglas fir, like Spruce, can grow to have a spiral grain. Spiral grain logs should not be utilized in log wall construction if at all possible. Douglas fir logs are strong and so are well suited for beams and purlins. Douglas fir has moderate shrinkage and moderates to high insect and decay resistance. Douglas fir log home often looks more uniform than the others because of the low taper.

Western Red Cedar (WRC) could be the final along with my opinion the best option for log home construction. Quality WRC logs have low to moderate taper and low moisture content. WRC logs will shrink the smallest amount of type of wood during the seasoning process. WRC is almost always straight-grained and offers high natural insect and decay resistance. WRC is moderately strong thereby perfect for log wall construction. WRC is additionally the only real species that grows using the “butt flares” that are becoming increasingly popular in log homes. The flares provide the customer with a way of making their house unique and give it a much more rustic and “hand-crafted” look that differentiates it in the cookie-cutter design of log homes seen in many areas.

Before deciding on the logs for your residence, you must do some investigation into what is available in your location. … Read More

Custom Home Construction Or Renovation – The Process

Custom Home Construction Or Renovation - The Process

Saugatuck, Michigan, like many lakeside communities, is a beautiful area with a multitude of choices for custom homes. You’ll have to decide between building your dream home from scratch (I’m partial to Parkside Landings), or buying an existing structure and turning it into your dream home.

Multiple searches with different search engines

Since you are reading this article, I recommend beginning your search on the internet. Don’t be content with just one type of search; do multiple searches with different search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.), using different keywords. If you are fairly new to searching by keywords, consider: “Custom Home”, “builder”, “construction”, “renovation”, “remodel”, “property management”, or “interior design”. You might want to try the Saugatuck/Douglas Visitors Bureau website. (They have a business directory). Other alternatives are the phone book (there is also an online version of yellow pages and also white pages), personal recommendations, real estate publications, and the multi-list.

Selecting a custom home construction and renovation company

Once you have made your decision to build or buy an existing structure; the next step is selecting a custom home construction and renovation company. You will want to hire a local company that can take the stress and confusion off your mind, and make the experience fun and exciting. A great choice is a company that can take you through the entire building/renovation process.

Depending on your plan

If your plan is to remodel or renovate, select a company that will give your project the full attention it deserves. Look for a company that offers ASID and NCIDQ certified Interior Design. There is also one other important item to consider: what will you do with the property throughout the year? Look beyond building or renovation, for a property management company that can fully manage and maintain your vacation property year-round with a complete package of services.

By taking the time now to look ahead to the completion of your dream home, you may save yourself time later. You may be able to find one company that can do it all, and take you through the entire process.… Read More

Saving Energy With Weatherstripping

Weatherizing is necessary since this prevents air leakage from your home. As a homeowner, you should do this because air leaks can cause soaring energy bills. One of the most effective ways to weatherize your home is through weatherstripping. This is sealing doors and windows using several materials such as metal, vinyl, silicone or rubber. Make sure to pick out the right material since these materials have different wear and tear process that can be highly affected by the home location.

Depending on the warmth or coldness or an area, you should look for the right material that could sustain the factors affecting its functions. A weatherstripping material should be installed correctly for a good seal. You will only be able to enjoy great energy savings from your electricity bills if there is a complete air blockage from door gaps and windows.

Take care of important tasks before sealing your home. Make sure that everything is okay before you proceed with this project so that there will be fewer problems while air sealing your home.

Ensure that your home is properly ventilated to decrease the risk of being exposed to pollutants that could cause risky levels on indoor air pollution.

Check out the places in your home for air leaks. You can do this by holding a piece of paper across all closed doors and windows. If the paper begins to move despite the fact that all windows and doors are closed, then some cracks and gaps might be allowing cold winter air to get inside your home.

For a precise air leakage estimate, you should have a professional inspector inspect your home. They can do a blower door test to locate air leaks and estimate the levels of leakage.

Commonly used weatherstripping materials are the following:

1. Tension seal or V-strip, which is made of copper, vinyl, stainless steel or aluminum. This can fill gaps of double-hung and sliding windows.

2. Felt is made of metal and known to be flexible. Installation includes the use of adhesives or pounding nails. It is best to use in the doorjamb and windows. Felt is easy to install and inexpensive.

3. Vinyl is used best on window stops and door, sashes and bottom part of doors. It is self-adhesive and can be seen when installed.

4. Non-porous tape can be open cell or closed foam and is recommended for use on hatches of attics, window sashes and other kinds of windows.

5. Reinforced silicone, which is also known as tubular gasket, can be used on window stops or windows jambs and does an excellent sealing job.

You can use many more weatherstripping materials. Again, you should choose a material depending on your location. Furthermore, you should also take into consideration the door or window in selecting a weatherstripping material.

When buying weatherstripping materials, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions if you prefer to do it yourself. Nevertheless, if you are not sure or uncomfortable of doing it on your own, it … Read More

Kitchens and Baths Receiving More Attention in New Home Design

At the height of the housing downturn the most impacted areas in new home design were also once the most lucrative: kitchens and baths. For several years new home owners passed on popular and expensive add-ons to their kitchens and bathrooms such as water filtration systems, large pantry areas and natural wood cabinets. However, a recently published A.I.A Home Design Trends Survey indicates these functions and more might see a comeback.

Kitchens and Baths Receiving More Attention in New Home Design

Renovation and remodeling contractors want to make the most of a renewed interest in these once popular amenities. Homeowners who passed on the functions to save money during construction are now more interested in having it installed after the fact. Meanwhile, some architects report an upward trend in the kitchen space requested by customers during the design of their new homes. What might it mean for renovation and remodeling contractors? More business.

The area that received the most attention was the kitchen. 22 percent of respondents in the A.I.A report said the size of the kitchen is increasing in new home design and construction. The rediscovered focus on size opens up the possibility of remodeling and addition work that can be done in this popular and lucrative sector. The dominant feature requested for new kitchens are renewable materials. Almost half of the surveyed architects said that materials such as bamboo, cork and concrete are becoming increasingly popular.

Bathrooms are a different story. The report suggests their size and quantity is remaining stable but with an added emphasis on accessibility of design. The trend towards more accessible, safer bathrooms has long been anticipated by contractors as current generations choose to stay in their homes into old age. Doorless showers and handheld shower heads are a popular addition to customer bathrooms.

Contractors are already beginning to mount advertising campaigns aimed at these unique customers. It remains to be seen if homes constructed in the residential downturn will become the latest, hottest market.

Overall, the report indicates a trend of stabilization in the design of kitchens and bathrooms with notable upticks in certain areas. Savvy renovation and remodeling contractors are cashing in on the number of households that renounced popular features during the downturn. Meanwhile, others expect more remodeling and addition options as the size of kitchen and bath design continues to increase in new home construction.

Check out the AIA’s full fourth quarter of 2010 Home Design Trends Survey Report.… Read More

Tips for Moving Out of Your Parents’ Home

Moving out can be very exciting. However, there are a few things that you will need to do before you move out of your parent’s house. Below are some tips that will help you prepare to move out on your own:

Get A Steady Job

Before you call moving services, you want to make sure that you have a steady job. Having enough money to pay your own bills is an important part of being independent. Ideally, you should work for at least six months before you move out of your parent’s house.

Build Up Your Savings Account

Emergencies do happen, so you want to make sure that you have enough money in your savings account to cover unexpected expenses. If you get paid every week, then you should try to save at least $20 out of each check. You should try to save $40 out of each check if you get paid every two weeks. You can potentially save up to $480 in six months if you save $80 each month.

You can use part of the money that is in your savings account to buy furniture. However, you want to make sure that you have enough money to cover your expenses for a whole year.

Start Looking for Places to Live

After you have been working for at least six months and built up your savings account, you will be ready to start looking for a place to live. It is important to note that many landlords require that you make three times the rent in income. For example, if you want to rent an apartment for $600 per month, then you will have to make at least $1800 per month.

Price is not the only thing that you should take into consideration when you are looking for places to live. The location, size, parking and amenities are some of the other things that you should take into consideration before you move into an apartment. Additionally, if you will be bringing a pet, then you want to make sure that the apartment allows pets.

Consider Getting A Roommate

If you have trouble finding a place that fits your budget, then you should consider getting a roommate. A roommate can help you split the cost of the rent and the utilities. However, you to want to make sure that you select a roommate who is responsible.

Ask Your Parents If You Can Take A Few Things from The Home

Furniture, pots, pans, curtains and bed sheets can all be quite expensive. That is why you want to ask your parents if you can have some of the things that they are not using. You should try to get as many free things as possible because that will help you save a lot of money in the long run.

Try to Maintain A Good Relationship With Your Parents

You should make sure that you keep in touch with your parents after you move out of their house. You … Read More