Things to Consider
Designing Your Home
Your dream home or weekend retreat will be more than just bedrooms and bathrooms. With careful planning, its layout will reflect the way you want to live. Whether your
is a place to entertain, or a cozy cabin, your home’s design can be customized to accommodate your lifestyle.
In our experience, rarely does a previously used plan suit the needs perfectly for others. Many of our clients have
realized thier dream home by slightly modifiying existing plans. Several
of our homes have very similar footprints but reflect many different styles. Individual tastes on interior layouts along with exterior changes
will offer an entirely new look to both the interior and exteriors of these homes. Start your design process with an open mind.
Flip through magazines, surf the Internet material, and pursue some of the great log home books on the market as well. Clip or print out photos of your favorite rooms, décors,
colors and styles and keep them in a scrapbook by room. Now it's time to narrow down what you want. You can discuss your ideas with us or head off to your designer/architect for a little one on one
time. Voice what you want very openly but also be receptive to any ideas your designer may have to offer.
Handcrafted Log Home Costs
The most commonly asked question is how much do log homes cost? This is the most difficult question to answer. There are so many variables that can have a small or large impact on overall costs. Also, since we typically supply only the log
and roof structure it is very difficult to determine how much the entire house will cost. In our experience, log homes costs
range from $100.00 - $300.00 per square foot. The three principal factors affecting costs are
1), the geographical area for your home, 2) the style/design of the home and
3) the quality of finished materials and workmanship.
Log homes do cost more than a basic conventional home and handcrafted log homes should cost more than milled log homes. While you might pay more for a handcrafted home you will realize much more value. The majority of costs involved in handcrafted homes is labor, while with a milled home it is sales and marketing. Our average custom handcrafted log package will cost between $30.00 and $70.00 per square foot.
The shape of the main floor layout and complexity of the roof system,
along with package options, have the most significant effect on log package costs.
Building log corners and roof systems is very labor intensive.
It is very difficult to give anyone a rational "completion price" on their log
home because of the diverse home finishing styles on offer today. A good range
however is three to four times your log shell package costs. This range may
vary but on average has been very close to actual costs. The costs for
our "Kwik-Kit Series" will be less. We believe we can suggest a home design that will suit your needs and your budget.
To be competitive with milled manufacturers and to be able to offer an economical handcrafted log home, we have developed the “Kwik-Kit Series”. Kwik-Kits are comprehensive log home packages that are designed with efficiency in
mind. These homes can be completed from $100.00 - $120.00 per square foot.
For more information, have a look at our Kwik-Kit packages.
General Contracting & Log Homes
Choosing the right General Contractor is as important as choosing the right log builder. A General Contractor is the backbone of your construction process. They take your plans from a hole in the ground to a meticulously finished masterpiece. Many prospective log home owners believe that general contracting is within their means and that they could probably save several thousand dollars by doing it themselves. In our experience this is not usually the case. Construction usually ends up taking several months longer and costing thousands of dollars more.
We suggest hiring a General Contractor that has several years experience with a reputation for being on time and within budget. It is not necessary to find a contractor that has worked with log or timber frame homes, a competent contractor can build any type of home. Above all, make sure you have a detailed contract to avoid any cost over runs. To aid you and your General Contractor in the construction, Legendary Logcrafters offers
a free consulting service. We provide detailed drawings and explanations on how to incorporate all aspects of conventional construction to log and timber frame construction. Legendary Logcrafters
Ltd. has a sincere interest in the construction of your entire home (not only the log structure). Finding a General Contractor that has the same interest will ensure your dream home or cottage will get built as planned without any pitfalls.
However, if you have construction experience and believe General Contracting is
within your scope, then we encourage you to go forth and do some thorough research. You can never be too prepared.
The most important responsibility you have in keeping your log home looking
beautiful while also protecting your investment is to maintain its finish. Maintaining your log home should be simple and straight forward
your home has been built according to the general construction information
provided in our construction guide. The maintenance of your home will
consist of applying two or three coats of stain initially and then applying a
maintenance coat of stain every four to seven years. Caulking may also be
necessary from time to time. An averaged size log home can be stained with a
couple of friends in a weekend. The two elements that your stain needs to provide protection against are sunlight and moisture (rain). Both can affect the appearance of your home.
Sunlight (ultraviolet (UV) rays in particular), while not as damaging as
moisture, will oxidize the surface of your logs causing them to turn gray.
Repeated exposure to moisture however could lead to the surface decay of your logs. The best protection against ultraviolet light is to shield the logs with a pigmented stain with
a high solid content. Even logs treated with clear stain that contains UV inhibitors will eventually turn grey.
If you prefer the look of natural looking logs it is best to choose a stain that
has a pigment similar to the natural look of the wood. To protect logs from moisture it is important to choose a stain that has a high solid content,
is very water repellent and can also penetrate deep into the wood surface.
This will ensure a longer lasting finish that will not require as much
The stain you choose to protect your log home is one of the most important decisions you can make. There are two common types of stain for log homes
-oil base and water base. Oil based stains offer excellent water repellency however they are not very suitable for handcrafted log homes that have moisture in the logs. Oil based stains have a film building finish. They sit on the surface of the wood and
do not penetrate very far into the log. Because they seal and produce a
water and air tight film on the surface of the wood, oil based stains do not
allow the wood to breath or let any moisture in the wood to escape. When this moisture is trapped,
the wood begins to deteriorate and will eventually decay. A visible sign
of this occurring is the darkening of the stain or the log and this may
eventually turn almost black. Oil based stains are only suitable for kiln
dried logs or lumber. But even with kiln dried wood, oil based stain will build up a thick finish like paint
over the years and will eventually peel or flake. Water based stains can be applied to air dried and green logs making them very suitable for log homes. However because they don’t seal the logs with a film they don’t have the same water repellency as oil base stains. Logs
treated with water based stain will never decay from the inside but can deteriorate on the surface if the stain is not maintained or if the surface is exposed to excessive surface moisture.
We have researched and tested many stains over the years and have found that the
Sansin classic stain outperforms all others and is very suitable for handcrafted log homes.
It is a very unique product and in a class of its own as it is an oil based
stain but water borne. It is a non-petroleum based oil stain that can be diluted and cleaned up with water. It has the characteristics of a water based stain but offers more water repellency.
Critically it is environmentally safe and can be applied to green logs making it an excellent choice for log homes.
We recommend applying two coats of Sansin in the factory prior to delivery (time and weather permitting). This will protect your logs from being marked or stained during
the delivery, setup and construction of your home. We would then advise another coat of Sansin
be applied after a year or so. As the logs dry and "check" it is important to
protect the raw wood in the checks. Most of the checks will occur in the first
year. Any large checks that are subject to driving rains should be calked or
chinked to prevent moisture from entering and sitting in them. Above all, follow
the stain manufacturer's recommended applications.
A log home will typically need an initial two or three coats of stain depending on the product. A maintenance coat will be needed every
four to seven years depending on the amount of exposure to the elements. The two
most important application rules to follow are to properly clean and prepare the logs and follow the application instructions exactly.
Basic rules include:
never use a an oil based film building stain on your logs; make sure logs are clean and free of particles;
never apply stain in direct sunlight; never apply stain if there is a slight chance of rain within a 48 hour period; completely saturate the wood with stain to increase penetration; pay special attention to areas that will be subject to moisture (bottom courses and log corners);
exposed end grain (log ends at corners) will absorb more stain and should be
treated at least
twice for each coat.