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Archive for the 'Log homes' Category

Stale homes

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Vinyl siding, vinyl shingle roofing, vinyl roll flooring, vinyl ceiling tiles, vinyl sheet covered drywalls, plastic covered couches, vinyl record player and rubber chicken (what?). Now that is a formula for low cost but dull housing, unless you have all the colours of a rainbow, then we got hideous housing or ginger bread housing. Nobody wants to live in a ginger bread house, but that evil witch. Let’s take a look at something completely different.

Log walls (pine), pine wood shingle roofing, pine wood flooring, pine wood panel ceiling, pine wood panel drywalls, log stairs (pine), log railings (pine), wooden cabinets (pine), wooden doors (pine), wood frame windows (pine)… this isn’t that much different, is it? We got high cost but dull housing solution, but show some paint and rainbow colours you shall have.

That was bit harsh, wasn’t it? It is so easy to go overboard with this log dream that I often have to present some eye opening questions to my customers. If you are thinking to build a log home, no matter what everybody say, you have more options than… wood. One especially bad but common advice is that you can use textiles and other decorative items to make it your own. Please do think about materials first and after that decide on decoration. You’ll thank yourself later.

Some log homes are art

Monday, September 8th, 2008

Wonderful, gorgeous log homes and wooden buildings from Siberia! You will get great design ideas for your own log home or log cabin from this site, so you can’t miss this. Really amazing level of detail…

Turf roof

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

Vintage turf roof
Old turf roof

Turf roofs used to be very common and there were some good reasons for that too.

First of all they have terrific ability to withstand sunlight. Even vampires would love to use turf roofs because they can handle sunlight much better than any other traditional roofing material. Actually they thrive in sunlight, where other materials wear down.

Another important reason is insulation capability. Turf roof is instant protection against elements, but also gives the better insulation the thicker the roof layer. Hard to achieve same result with tiles, eh? As a result, turf roofs provide warmth during winter and soothing coolness during summer.

Third reason for their past popularity comes from durability. Like I said, turf roofs are especially good in dealing with sunlight, but it doesn’t end there. Thick layer of soil gives good foundation for small plants, which keep pushing new sprouts, no matter how much wind, snow and rain the roof gets - sort of a regenerating roof, how cool is that?

We are never going to run out of people who like cheap. Turf roofs are your thing if you happen to like cheap things. Materials are readily available and building is rather straight-forward. Maintenance is also easy, just occasional watering during long dry spells.

Here is a photo showing that turf roofs are not only yesterday’s news, but defend their place in modern log home building. Photo from Norway, a country where turf roof can put all its good features in good use.

Modern turf roof
Modern turf roof

Viking chieftain lodge

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Far

This photo puts the building into perspective. Like I told, it’s huge and while walking inside - well - it just seems to go on and on and… Notice how it slightly curves because it follows the shape of the hill. It has turf walls, which also has something to do with curving. Original building (about millennium ago) had even turf roof, but this modern roof version lasts longer and doesn’t need that much maintenance.

Near

Here we come closer.

Close

Here you can see the roof structure bit better.

Dragon

You all know what this is.

Details, details

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Just wanted to show you some stunning craftsmanship with following photo.

Carvings

At least I thought it was handmade, but as I walked close I noticed that it was manufactured. Still it doesn’t derail the claim that you should always pay close attention on detail, because details will be surprisingly visible when your log home or cabin is done.

Detail and trim

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

Devil is in the detail, how many times have you come across with that? I’ve heard it too many times, because I just want to get things done, but slowly I’ve started to agree.

TAKE A LOOK AT THIS

Down here we have a detail photo of a log home gable end. What a nice fascia board it makes, eh?

Gable-end detail

That photo is part of a large commercial log building. The restaurant is actually made of old recycled logs and is nothing truly splendid. However, their attention to detail has given a definitive boost for the overall appearance.

WHAT A SHAME
Too many massive log homes and log cabins are being ruined by standard trim and finishing touches. We plan, design and build, finally the house is standing, but still it takes ages before we move in. At this point, heavy lifting has been done and just some minor tweaks have to be done.

Unfortunately those final details are often neglected and many a time I’ve visited homes without floor skirting or curtain hangers. As I said, heavy lifting has been done and it is time to relax, enough with the house already…

AGAINST THE MAINSTREAM
I always like to suggest removing some square meters of the log home’s total area to make enough money for all those tiny details. Not that all final details are so tiny even finish or paint jobs take many working hours and lots of expensive chemicals. You better be prepared for these costs or you will be living in a project house. What about the mainstream then?

THE MAINSTREAM
We are often told that it is the size that matters. First you need to build as big as possible and as low class as possible then you slowly upgrade your way to great cabinets or finishing materials. No thank you, I have better things to do with my time than constant fixing and tweaking. There’s going to be long list of maintenance operations in any case, so why take the hard way?

Make yourself a favor, try to ignore those log home magazine photos and dream of a normal log home instead, but a stylish one with all the right details.

Viking log home

Monday, August 11th, 2008

It has been my summer holiday and my wife and I decided to spend it around Scandinavia. My goal was to check old log homes while rest of the family enjoyed beautiful nature.

Borg, Norway has a live sized replica of Viking chieftain dwelling. As you can see, it is huge…

Viking log castle

The remains of the original were just close by, did I mention that the whole thing is HUGE? Notice how they built it by using old fashioned methods like wooden plugs to fix posts and beams together. Even every single roof rafter that I checked had been extended with plug-joints.

Roof support

We spent quite a while to find the place and took a turn according our GPS. Parking lot was surprisingly small, only for 4 or 5 cars, but there were some cool scenes to photograph so we thought nothing of it. We circled around the site and couldn’t find any ticket booth so we just walked in. Wonderful place - HUGE - you really need to visit Borg if you ever travel to Norway.

Anyway we spent over an hour inside the building and finally it was time to leave. To our surprise, we noticed that there was a gate that was closed and we couldn’t get out, ouch! Right that moment tiny parking place made perfect sense - employee parking.

  • Log home photos

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