The Learn More at the 2013 Log and Timber Home Show
I have a friend named Tim who has a wife and four kids. They live in the country, amidst rolling hills, green pastures, and tree forests in rural Belfast, New York. Tim and his wife Shannon used to live in suburban Rochester, but they wanted their children to grow up playing outdoors in the fields and the woods, away from the traffic and noise of a hustle-and-bustle society.
Tim has plans to build his family a log home. A couple years ago, he showed me several books he read to get ideas on how to accomplish this mighty goal. However, it takes a lot of knowledge and work to take one’s dream and make it a reality.
I came across “The Log and Timber Home Show” website (www.thelogandtimberhomeshow.com) the other day, and found out there are several shows across the U.S. where people like my friend Tim can go and learn all about planning, designing, building and decorating their log home. In fact, there’s a Log and Timber Home Show in Lake George, New York, coming up June 14-16, 2013.
I am going to tell my friend about this show, because it’s where he can meet leading log and timber frame home manufacturers and dealers, attend seminars and demonstrations to get a clearer picture of what building a log home truly entails, and meet artisans, designers and financial experts who work in the field and know how to get a log home built and decorated well.
My friend Tim has plans and dreams, like we all do. I know in his mind there’s a vision of what he’d like his future log home to look like, so his family will have a cherished place to live and enjoy in the country in Upstate New York. And, if he can’t go to the Lake George Log and Timber Home Show, maybe he can catch one in Toledo, OH; Asheville, NC; Denver; Chantilly, VA; Chicago or Seven Springs, PA, later this year.
Pioneer Log Homes of BC Featured in Dream Home Showcase magazine
Pioneer Log Homes of British Columbia supplies logs for dream homes. Started in 1973 by Bryan Reid Sr., it’s a family business that has grown over the years, handcrafting the most amazing logs for use in dream log homes all over the world. Pioneer’s success comes from their employees treating customers like family.
With access to British Columbia’s bountiful choices of top notch Spruce, Fir and Western Red Cedar logs, Pioneer has become known worldwide as a state-of-the-art, handcrafted log building company. This summer, Pioneer Log Homes’ luxurious logs are spotlighted in Dream Home Showcase magazine on pages 18 through 23 in an article entitled “Elegant by Nature.”
In the magazine article, readers get to see vivid, colorful pictures of Rich and Dee James’ classic log home in Frisco, Colorado, and the special touches that make it both livable and elegant at the same time. The home, built by Mountain Log Homes of Colorado, utilizes Western Red Cedar logs handcrafted by Pioneer Log Homes of British Columbia. These logs range from 20 to 36 inches in diameter, meeting at notched corners to highlight growth rings of the logs.
Pioneer’s process for handcrafting logs starts by seasoning and air-drying each and every log to control shrinkage and checking. The result is very little maintenance and adjustment for a family’s home. Each log is hand-peeled at Pioneer’s building sites in British Columbia using a drawknife, and then precisely dimensioned and fitted for the best in performance and character.
Once every detail is honed to perfection and the log-only structure is complete, the logs are tagged and transported to the building site.
See what Pioneer’s handcrafted logs look like in a completed home at Dream Home Showcase magazine’s website: dreamhomeshowcasemag.com or on our own site at http://www.pioneerloghomesofbc.com/featured.htm
Expansion of Log Homes to China: Why the Appeal?
What comes to mind when you first hear the word “log cabin?” Many envision a cozy lodge high up in the mountains, hidden beyond the tall trees and away from the busyness of everyday life. But as of late, these rustic homes are becoming more and more popular in the residential areas of not-so-expected countries!
China, rich in skyscrapers and high-rise apartments, has become a new site for these buildings of superior craftsmanship. But why? These log homes are unmatched in quality and bring a sense of serenity and peacefulness to the everyday hustle and bustle of China. Earthy and spacious, these homes bring a touch of nature to the usual contemporary landscape of China. All of which appeal to the people of China.
In addition to the calm and natural feel that these log cabins bring, they are also built of the highest quality of timber, which is another appealing trait to the Chinese people. Pioneer Log Homes uses the world’s finest cedar in all of their homes. If you have a family crest or a symbol that is important to you, it can be beautifully carved into the logs of your custom home.
The durability of these homes is incomparable. Most high-rise, cookie-cutter apartments require much upkeep and maintenance. Log cabins are designed to resist the everyday wear and tear and even withstand natural disasters such as earthquakes – a very attractive attribute.
The unique alternative to standard housing in China is inherent in log homes. Architectural experts can create an aesthetically pleasing structure designed exactly to your qualifications using the finest timber. Your home can double as an earthy escape when you become a log home buyer.
Choosing high quality wood prolongs the life of your log home
A log home that stands the tests of time is the kind of home that can be passed down through generations. We here at Pioneer Log Homes in British Columbia know that there’s a certain type of wood that can last more than the average person’s lifetime. In fact, there’s a wood that can last well over 200 years—Western red cedar straight grain.
For exterior walls, Western red cedar straight grain is an ideal choice if you want low maintenance, more character, and walls that will last a very long time. Western red cedar has a medium to coarse texture, and is resistant to rot and decay, even without any treatment or coating. Besides being used for log homes, you often see this softwood used for long-lasting musical instruments.
Starting out with a reddish/pink/brown color with random streaks and bands of darker red and brown, Western red cedar ages to become a natural-looking silver-gray color. It is a popular choice for log homes around the world because of its stability and durability.
Western red cedar straight grain has low density, providing good thermal insulation while also being easy to transport and handle. Unlike other coniferous woods, Western red cedar straight grain has a very low shrinkage factor, which means it resists warping and twisting. It accepts paint, stains, oils and other coatings well, and is easily sawn, glued, and nailed.
If you end up choosing a low quality wood for your log home, the maintenance costs can add up quickly. We recommend using Western red cedar straight grain so you won’t have to worry about consistently maintaining your log home walls.
Energy Efficient Log Homes
In the past, we’ve highlighted the wide array of benefits that log homes and timber-frame cabins give. The largest benefit of all, perhaps, is that you can completely choose every factor about your new custom home.
Reward yourself for a lifetime of hard work with a touch of luxury, while giving back to the environment. No matter how technologically advanced we grow, or how smart we get, mankind will always be at the mercy of the elements. This means everyone must do their part to ensure that Earth behaves exactly as it should. You can do your part by creating an energy efficient log home.
Energy.gov recently posted an article explaining the thermal qualities of wood, and ways you can prevent the ubiquitous air leaks to which many log homes are susceptible. This usually happens as logs dry, so ensure you are using completely dry wood.
The article also explains how moisture control can help keep energy usage down. When the wood rots, it is vulnerable to insect infestation, and it wastes an exorbitant amount of heat.
“The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 90.2 standard contains a thermal mass provision that may make it easier to get approval in states that base their codes on this standard. To find out the log building code standards for your area, contact your city or county building code officials. Your state energy office may be able to provide information on energy codes recommended or enforced in your state.” Read More | Energy.gov
Spring Cleaning and Decor for your log home
Spring is officially here! We’re currently seeing some nice weather ahead, so you know what that means; time for that dreaded spring cleaning. When it comes to this task you have two choices: procrastinate and hate it, or make it fun and enjoy it. Taking something as tedious as spring cleaning and turning into a revamping and decorating process is the key to getting the job done.
Clean & Protect
While you clean, envision the new look for your room. The visual aid will help keep you motivated, and the excitement will wash away the woes! Plus, it sets you up for a pretty awesome reward when you’re all done! Cleaning a log home isn’t like any other house though; you must provide special care and maintenance on a routine basis. After you’ve cleaned your cabin, take a break and read our blog about caring for your log home. Take the time to do any added steps you might have missed, as it will be worth it in the long-run. Proper care and maintenance will ultimately improve the value of your home.
Once you’ve cleaned and taken care of your logs, then it is time for the fun part. Relax at your desk with a nice cup of coffee, or a snack and pull up the links below. Pinterest, Imgfave, and Houzz all deliver amazing tips and photos for decorating log homes.
To help get you started, we’ve posted a few of our favorites, as seen on Houzz.com!
Tips for Prolonging The Life of Your Log Furniture
Keeping Log Furniture in Good Condition
Log furniture is one of the most in-demand and beautiful pieces of furnishing available. The fresh and natural look can add peace and comfort to any setting. In short, it helps turn a house into a home. Nevertheless, how do you keep your furniture in good condition so that you get the most out of it? Here a few helpful hints that will add years to your furniture’s life.
First of all, you want to keep your log furniture looking natural. A great way to maintain your furniture’s natural look is to apply a finish to it. Now, be careful, as some finishes may change a wood’s appearance, it all depends on what the finish and what type of wood makes up your furniture. You can ensure you get the right kind by asking for help at a local hardware store.
One of the main reasons for applying a finisher to your furniture is that there are oils on our hands that transfer to the furniture whenever we touch it. This leaves unwanted dirt and smudges on untreated wood. You might consider a clear finish because it helps to give the logs their most natural look.
Once you have solved the problem of keeping your furniture looking natural with a finisher, you want to make sure that you keep the logs looking clean. Cleaning your furniture frequently with a log-friendly solution will help keep it free from dirt and grime that can slowly build up over time. If your log furniture is outside, be sure to place a protective cover over it during the winter to keep it safe from the elements. Also, if you have pets such as a cat, be sure that they don’t use the furniture as a scratching post. Unsightly scratches can turn your furniture into an eye sore.
Following these few easy steps will ensure that your furniture will maintain its natural and clean appearance, along with its color and strength. You won’t have to worry about the wood rotting and growing weak, allowing you to rest easy knowing that your furniture will last for many years to come.
How to Prepare and Dry Wood for Custom Log Furniture
Wood shrinks as it dries, morphing the shape of the wood. This makes it ideal for creating and molding log furniture. The wood is also much easier to carry and cut when it’s dried out. If you used wood that wasn’t dry- it could change the shape of the furniture as it does dry.
Apply wax to the ends of each log, sealing it. Then you have to decide whether you want to purchase already dry wood, or prepare it over the course of two years.
Before you being your log furniture project, remember that you want to ensure that your wood is completely dry. Stack logs outdoors, they will need to dry over a long period of time- as the bark retains water for a while. It can take over a year for logs to be ready, so storing logs for two years is how you can ensure that they are completely ready to use.
Now that you are ready to build, you want to strip the bark from the logs once they’re ready. You can use a log U-bent knife for this, as you strip away the bark.
Once the logs have no bark on them, you’re essentially ready to build your furniture. If you’re a beginner, stay tuned for our next post, on how to link and build log furniture!
Pro Tips for Decorating Your Log Cabin Home
Truly breathtaking homes, log cabins quickly catch the attention of people passing by. Once you have decided to build a log cabin home, the real work beings. Although it is exciting and like nothing else, deciding what will go inside your home can be a challenge. Personally, I think it is much more difficult to design and decorate the inside of a cabin home, more than anything else.
Designing and decorating a home to accent the logs, instead of taking away from them, is not a simple task. In fact, a great amount of thought and research must be put into your home’s décor. While building a log cabin home is rustic in itself, it does not mean that you cannot bring the modern world into your new home.
We have compiled a list of the four most important aspects to remember when decorating, courtesy of LogHome.com, to show off the natural beauty of your log cabin home.
- Plan Your Rooms: Before the rooms are finished, gather inspiration and ideas from different resources, including magazines, fabric swatches, and photographs and pin them on a bulletin board. This will act as a source for color and patterns ideas, and visualizing what you want in one room could lend a hand to ideas for another room.
- Use the Color Wheel: The color wheel can give you color ideas you hadn’t thought of. For instance, colors next to one another on the wheel are analogous, whereas colors opposite from one another, compliment each other. For example, if your room is a neutral brown or beige, compliment the room with hues of blue or purple accents, or have a room full of different hues of greens and yellows. Color choices are endless; don’t be afraid to try something new!
- Mismatch Accessories: These days, mixing and matching is the latest craze in all aspects of life, especially home décor. For your home, accent your rooms with different patterned and colored accessories, such as pillows and blankets. More neutral rooms can handle more variety, where in a colorful room, choose one pattern or color to accent the room, after all you don’t want to overwhelm your guests!
- Get rid of Clutter: When it comes to accessorizing the rooms in your home, be careful not to have too much “stuff”. Less is more when it comes to decorating, you don’t want to overdo it, as it will take away from the room. Select a few accessories and highlight them, and keep in mind, you can always change the decoration in your room.
Remember, your home should show off your personality and tastes. Don’t be shy about choosing unique, one of a kind pieces; these are the accents that will genuinely make your home stand out.
Maintaining The Beauty and Durability of Cedar Log Homes
Maintaining the beauty of your cedar log home is not excessively difficult, but it is time consuming and necessary. Even with the highest quality cedar and expertise, your home is still somewhat vulnerable to various threats.
You also must consider the normal weather patterns for the area in which you live. Most cedar cabins can withstand harsh storms and precipitation, but some areas see rough weather daily- and that may deteriorate materials faster.
The good news is that, with a bit of extra effort, you can avoid costly repairs and renovations. The biggest key to catching problems, is scheduling routine inspection. Walk around the cabin and check the logs for anything that may seem hazardous, like mold or chinking logs. You want to do this several times a year, maybe more if your area sees harsh weather often.
The ideal time to clean the home is just after you inspect the outside. A power washer is a great way to wash excess dirt and debris of the side of your home or cabin. Just remember, go lightly with the power washing, to avoid spraying away the cellulose that holds everything together. As you power wash, keep a close eye on the frame of the home, doing a quick scan to ensure you did not miss anything during the initial inspection.
You may have a wood treatment already, but if not- ask an experienced professional for help with this. There are various treatment options for different types of wood, some for aesthetics and some for durability. Whichever you choose, remember to let the logs dry for a few days before applying the treatment.