Log house designs can be divided in many ways. Understanding log home designs and basic concepts can help you choose the design that's right for you. As you get involved in the design process, consider these basic concepts as they apply to your design:
o Log shape used – the logs used in your home can be fashioned in different ways. They can be round, D-shaped, square, rectangular or Swedish. The D-shaped logs will have one side of the log, the other three sides being rounded. The Swedish screed style has a part of the bottom of the log cut out so that the log rests more securely on the log and benefits from it in the wall.
o Type of log of wood – There are many wood species commonly used in the design of log homes. There is no "better" wood to use, but each species has its advantages and disadvantages. Wood types include cedar, cypress, Douglas fir, hemlock, lodgepole pine, oak, spruce, white pine and yellow pine. If log home designs, construction and maintenance are done correctly, any of these woods will provide many decades of enjoyable log home life. If it is not designed, built and maintained properly, none of the woods can withstand very well.
o Firewood peeled or trimmed – peeled logs used in log houses will be cleared of bark and sapwood. This can be accomplished by hand or by the machinery of the factory. The crushed logs pass through machines that will create the desired log shape once finished. Log surfaces will be smoother and even in machined logs.
o Corner Systems Used – The following are the four main corner systems used in log home designs:
1. Butt-and-Pass – these corners are formed when a newspaper stops where it meets the cross newspaper, and the other newspaper goes past the corner. There are many variations involving the shape of the area where the logs butt. Usually, passing logs have a cutout in which the log ends up fitting.
2. Dovetail Corners – These corners are primarily used with square or rectangular logs. The end of each log is cut to produce a fan shaped wedge. When the logs are stacked, the ends of the logs of a wall will be locked in the perpendicular logs.
3. Notched – notched corners are also known as saddle-notch. A saddle-shaped cut is cut in the bottom of each round log so that this notch on the bottom of the top log overlaps the top of the log from the perpendicular wall. The two newspapers then extend beyond the corner. The saddle is one of the most traditional corner intersections used in log home designs and is favored by many handcrafters. These types of corners are very strong, but they require more construction time. Notched corners are also easier to seal and retain corner logs than racks.
4. Post Corners – The ends of the log are cut perpendicular to the length of the log and joined at the corners using what amounts to vertical posts. This type of construction is not as demanding in manpower. This corner style sacrifices some of the traditional look of the log cabin or log home. The use of post corners will require a different engineering treatment than other chisel corners because the vertical posts do not settle on the horizontal ridges.
One of the best ways to find out more about log home designs is to see the log home plans that have been built successfully. Each plan you review can give you design ideas that you have not thought of. Trying to create new plans from scratch can be time consuming and expensive. You can save money if you can find great plans that exist that you like. Just make sure the plans service can make changes to the plans so that they become exactly what you want. In this way, you can really create the log home design that will give you many years of enjoyment.
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