22 Reasons for Buying Log Homes

Log Homes are Popular in British Columbia Today

Log Homes Frame Basement River House Estate Telkwa, BC

Peter Erbel working on a frame basement

1.  Log homes are more than just a house, it’s a lifestyle!  Owners are often fearlessly independent spirits who not only love the ambiance of been surrounded by natural wood but also enjoy the ruggedness these sturdy homes imply.

2.  A log home is a good investment, particularly since there are relatively few log homes for sale at any given time and studies have shown that appreciation on log homes is equal to or even better in some areas than conventional homes.

3.  A log home just “feels” different — both inside and out — but especially inside. It’s more cozy, rustic, and “warm” compared to traditional modern homes. Old world charm meets modern convenience.

4.  Log homes are more energy-efficient than traditional wood frame homes, so your utility bills are lower. A log home stays cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

5. Trees are a renewable resource. Therefore, logs are more eco-friendly than traditional homebuilding materials.

6.  Log walls are most often naturally thicker and more soundproof.

7.  Log homes are known for having porches and balconies. An abundance of porches and balconies, give you a great opportunity to add character to the exterior of your home with some uniquely styled outdoor railings.

8.  You don’t have to pick out paint colors and carpet when you own a log home.

9.  Log homes feature open floor plans with very high, vaulted ceilings and lofts.

10.  A log home is not “predictable” in any way. Visitors are always intrigued by your home’s unique charming qualities and impressed by your many modern conveniences.

11.  A log home is incredibly durable and able to withstand the wrath of mother nature.  During Hurricane Hugo, a log home was the only Carolina beachfront home to remain standing.  Florida log homes survived Hurricane Andrew in 1982 with only minor damage and in area of utter devastation during the California earthquakes, log homes were among the few dwellings that escaped major damage.

12.  Even years (or decades!) after it was built, there’s still a fresh wood smell inside.

13.  With so many natural elements incorporated into a log home — like wood and stone — you’re one with nature, both inside and outside of your abode.

14.  Log homes are notorious for incorporating a lot of natural light and floor to ceiling windows — often 2 or 3 stories high.

15.  When you live in a log home, you don’t have to find a stud behind the drywall in order to hang pictures on your walls.

16.  If you long for some color outside of the woodgrain throughout, it’s easy to frame out a couple walls that you can paint for a fun ‘pop’ of color.

17.  A log home is an heirloom to be passed down, even more so than a traditional home.

18.  Intricate staircases and railings are a common focal point inside log homes since many log are built around an open floor plan. Staircases and loft/balcony areas are viewable from practically every area of the home.

19.  A log home features beautiful carpentry throughout — with large beams, thick molding & trim, and hand-carved accents. These features are top-notch pieces of art.

20.  Log homes have an inherent craftsmanship and beauty built right in. Lofts, nooks, and built-ins are common in log homes. Not only do such features help to display all of the fine detail work, but they also add a unique charm and coziness to the home. The log home is a cozy gathering place for family members over the holidays or any time of year.

21.  One of the decorating aspects that’s unique to log homes is the ability to incorporate real log features inside the house — rustic full logs used as support beams, columns & pillars; twisted branches & twigs to form intricate staircase railings, and actual logs pieced together to form one-of-a-kind features.

22.  Grand fireplaces are the norm inside log homes, and it’s not unusual to see 2- and 3-story fireplaces as the main focal point.

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A Few Myths About Log Homes

Myth: Log homes are a greater fire hazard than framed homes

Fact: Light a match under and 8 inch log and time how long it takes for the log to ignite. Then, take another match to a pile of drywall, insulation, wood studs and trim material and see how long it takes to burst into flames. “26 forest firefighters trapped by a raging fire in the California hills, took refuge in a log home and waited out the firestorm as it passed them by.” They’ll laugh and tell you log homes are not a fire hazard, especially when they have a metal roof, as did this house. Yes, this actually happened in Topanga Canyon in 1993, and it demonstrates that log homes don’t burn easily.

Myth: Log homes are expensive to maintain.

Fact: Routine maintenance (washing and staining) of a well built log home is not any more expensive or time consuming than the routine maintenance of any other type of wood frame home. All homes demand a certain level of care to remain at their best, and log homes are no different. But you won’t find yourself exerting any more effort or spending any more money in maintenance than you would a standard home.

Myth: Log homes settle, so what you see at buying time may different than what you get a year down the road.

Fact: This is an old rumor and one that bears little merit today. some still claim that logs must be dried well before use but a skilled log home builder makes up for minor “settling” by utilizing proven techniques to minimize any major changes to the home’s exterior or interior.  Today’s log home builders can use green logs.  They are better able to control and localize the shrinking cracks, also called “relief cracks”.  Green logs settle into place better.  They settle and wedge together with the sharp notch and lateral edges biting deeper into the wood underneath.   Green logs are easier to cut and form and the result is a smoother finish.  Dry logs are pre-checked and harder to work with (rougher scribe lines and cutting edges).

Myth: Log homes are not energy efficient.

Fact: Modern log homes can easily meet or exceed the performance of conventional construction. Indeed, a host of scientific studies have proven this. Homes built with solid log walls are typically 5% to 15% more energy efficient than standard stick frame construction, according to studies conducted by The National Bureau of Standards.

Myth: Termites and other insects will be attracted to log homes.

Fact: Contrary to what most people believe, wood boring insects such as termites, carpenter ants, and powder post beetles are not attracted to large quantities of wood. When the wood is bark free and dry, termites and carpenter ants are no longer attracted to the logs. In fact, some log home experts say they’ve never even seen termites in log homes!

Myth: Log homes rot easily.

Fact: We all know that wood does rot, but with log homes, it only happens if the moisture content is between 30% to 60%. Dry wood will never rot and with a properly designed log home, you will never have to worry about a rotted and decaying structure. A log home with adequate down spouts, rain gutters and roof overhangs will be able to endure the harshest conditions.
With proper care and maintenance a log home will last well over 100 years. One of America’s oldest surviving log houses Braman-Nothnagle has a history dating back to 1643.