Archive for April, 2006

Link to Nancy Lavely article

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

This one is quite fascinating and I think you will get something out of it, especially if you have a habit of browsing through log home magazines. In The Jackson Sun article Nancy is talking about her experiences on this male dominated construction field (yes, log homes are also part of the field). She was working for various companies in the industry, but today she has her own company that specializes on kitchens, called Cottage Cabinets, which you should also check out.

Log home burned down in X

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

Or so the headlines have been screaming lately. Still, I have nothing special to report. All this quiet brooding made me notice that local newspapers all around English speaking world are publishing dramatic news. Log homes fit well to the need of drama because the most common sudden death that comes on log homes way is fire. Fires make excellent news – families driven out to the cold night running for their lives. I don’t want to focus on this sort of news.

Pine – Pinus Sylvestris

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

My first tradable item on the road to owning a log home is a … (drums) … PINE (title gave it out, I know). Actually it is a cube made of pine and it contains preplanted pine seeds.


Here’s the product description: “Box contains soil and pine seeds. Remove wrapper, place box in light, water and keep moist. Seedling takes 1-2 weeks. Plant the whole box in the ground when the seedling is 10-15 cm. Or replant the seedling to another container. Pine has a 90 % germination rate.” Producer calls it Kota.

So you could experience the joy of growing a real tree. As you can see, you are presented with two choices. plant the seedling on ground or on container – you will have either a big tree or a small bonsai. Furthermore, if you are unwilling to take such a long project as growing a tree, you can alternatively just enjoy watching the seedling to sprout up from the cube. This really is a present that suits for everybody.

You can send your offers to my email, which goes as follows jarkko (dot) aho (at) gmail (dot) com. I will reply to everybody and keep you guys posted on any developments. Hopefully You will make me an offer that I can’t refuse.


Puumix Oy is the company that manufactures these wooden cubicles. Company is selling “Kota” in boxes of 50 units. These cute boxes comprise only a small portion of company’s business. They mainly manufacture wooden furniture and create office spaces and art on project basis. They are fairly new company, as they were established 1997 in Finland. Unfortunately they don’t have English website, but you can contact them at jarmo.kokki at puumix.inet.fi and +358 14 263 777.

1 BIG dream rules

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Here are the simple rules for my exchange project.

1. I present a commodity to be exchanged.
2. Anyone can make an exchange offer by email.
3. I will decide, which exchange will be carried out and when.
4. Transaction details are discussed case by case.
5. Back to rule number one.

1 BIG dream

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

One red paperclip did it. I also have a dream to own a house, and not just any house but a log home. I will embark on similar journey as Kyle has, I will exchange stuff and end up with the log home of my dreams.

Aiming pretty high, eh? Isn’t it boring to do this, it’s not like its anything new anymore? Very good questions indeed… I just have to say that anything to keep life interesting. This is also a great chance to get to know people and the industry. Maybe get some new friends.

I will issue the first item as well as official rules (I will keep them brief) shortly. I will not start as small as Kyle, but he has the innovation on his side. I am just a copycat that hopes to do well.

Real estate experts worried

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Inman News gave a chance for real estate agents to voice their anonymous opinion on real estate market. To nobodies’ surprise, real estate agents’ take on market condition looks gloomy. Tales of high inventories, slow sales and languishing prices were on the menu.

Statistics support the grass root view, as the interest rates keep on going higher, housing starts decline and housing prices are leveling. Buy while you still can or wait for the downhill of housing prices. I spotted the story at CNN.

Southland Log Homes makes a deal

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

Homeowners Mortgage signed an exclusive deal with Southland Log Homes. With this move, Southland is trying to ramp up their service as log home market is coming increasingly competitive.

In case customer decides to make purchase from Southland, they can get almost one-stop service, so only the land to build on is missing. If you check, Southland home page now has a pre-approval process link to Homeowners Mortgage. Just check under financing and you will find it.

This is big business for both companies, because Southland customers take double the average mortgage size of 125.000 USD. I wonder how come it is so that log homes are that much more expensive.

Log church

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

Just as I was telling how expensive it is to build a log home, I stumble on this article on local newspaper. A new log church is being constructed in Jyväskylä MLK, Finland. Church builders use traditional log building methods to erect the church, only few tasks are done by using modern equipment. All the logs are peeled and carved with an axe!

An idea for the log church sprung up while the church decision makers were thinking ways to put their forestland into use. Instead of selling the wood for sawmills they decided to use it for the church. Also they decided to use as much community effort as possible. Now they estimate that church’s total cost will ad up to 170 000 euro. That is not bad for a log building with 84 seats.

At first their progress was slow and all offers for construction were as expensive as ready-made log building solutions would have been. Luckily they managed to find a master builder that had log home construction experience and project got going. Now they are right on schedule and the construction team of three is making good progress.

Article reveals a surprising fact – of about hundred medieval log structures in Finland, three are not churches. This shows that log manors came into picture after medieval times.

Log homes are expensive

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

When I look back, I realize that all standing, old log structures in Finland are some sort of manors or churches. To less degree, there are some other buildings but almost to no exception, they are in poor condition. Why is this?

Log homes were popular because it was easy to fell trees and stack them as a log home. Sawing was impossible because of the inadequate tools. What made the difference were the building location and artisan skills. Farmers and hunters built lone log cabins all over Finland’s forests. However skilled they were, they weren’t master builders and their log cabins tended to rot away.

When important building was in question, master builders did their very best. These log homes and log buildings were also investments, therefore it was sensible to keep maintaining them even it was expensive.

Locations were also different from moist forest clearings. Important log buildings are located on hills and they are built on stone or rock foundation. This way log home can stay dry and solid.

These two principles are still valid today. It is fairly cheap to have a log home frame, but it is expensive to have professionals working on it and to locate it on solid and high foundation. I will soon write more about choosing a good location for log home in the article series, but for now – have a nice day.

End of holiday

Monday, April 17th, 2006

Back at home, back at work and back at this site. Going away (not in seriously mental manner) is good for you. Break rips you off from the routine – if you got one. I noticed that during my stay in Lapland, days seemed to be full of hours and I managed to do much more than usual. Now as I am back home – I blink my eyes and it is already time for shower and sleep.

I took some nice pictures you can go to Flickr and check them all. Some pictures of log homes are included, but the focus was clearly the nature. I’ll be back tomorrow and then I have some log home news for you.

Well, I just couldn’t go without posting a picture too. Newly built log home with three floors. Notice the round log building method, which uses half moon shaped full logs. Not biggest logs money can buy so heating costs rise, as this log home doesn’t have top of the line insulation. One thing though, I wasn’t able to take a look inside, so I can’t say if it has some extra insulation inside.


  • Log home photos

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