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Building Techniques

There are lots of techniques that are used for building a log home from scratch. We've been researching them and trying to learn about the alternatives and then to select the specific method that suits us best. Here are some of the techniques that we have explored and made decisions as to which way we will go.

We will be acquiring logs straight from the logger we we will have lots of work to prepare the logs for assembly. We are hoping to be able to get a good supply of Douglas Fir at a reasonable price. We expect that the debarking process will be really time consuming so we'll have to manage it carefully so that it doesn't hold up other activities.

The method we'll use for log assembly is the butt and pass technique. This means we won't be notching the ends of the logs so assembly will be quicker. We could have used the swedish cope method if we were notching but it seems so labor intensive that we ruled it out pretty early in the planning process. When you use the butt and pass technique, it really helps to pin the logs together with rebar. We've heard that this technique creates a really strong structure. One story has it that a tractor tried to push a log house built this way and was unable to budge it.

The logs will be set on a foundation using a technique called pillar and post. This is not that unusual of a foundation type and is actually the oldest technique which started with piling rocks at the corners.

If you imagine what we are talking about here, you might realize that trying to lift those 45 foot logs won't be easy. There is a process that we will use that can be done by one person so we are told. Check out the lifting process if you are interested in the details.

Once we have the walls built, there will be spaces between the logs since they are not milled and have somewhat irregular shapes. These spaces will be filled with chinking so that we will end up with a wall that doesn't get cold in or heat out.

It gets pretty cold here in Washington so we need some source of heat. our first thought was to have a traditional fireplace. Another option was a wood stove. Or maybe both. One thing we have been just starting to learn about are masonry heaters. There is surely lots more to research and discuss about how we will heat the house. There are several options that are viable and we don't have to make that decision for a while so for now, we'll keep learning, discussing, re-discussing and then eventually make a decision. We'll share more as we learn.

One of the items we're really looking forward to us building the stairs that will lead to the loft. These will be something that we always see and use alot too so we will be spending some extra time getting them just right.

To top it all off, we'll be putting on a metal roof. We love to hear the raindrops on a metal roof and they are also very cost effective both short and long term.


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