Monday, May 21, 2012

Building a Log Home - Book Recommendation

There are thousands upon thousands of questions that crop up when you are building your log home. We are always available to answer any questions that may arise either through email or by phone 250-791-6683. One handy tool we have discovered is a book called The Illustrated Guide to Log Home Construction - From Log Shell to Finished Home. 

We are always quick to recommend this book to our clients. Here is the description as well as some reviews and some information about the author:

Book Description

Publication Date: July 12, 2010

This very unique book focuses exclusively on converting the log home shell into a finished log home. There is no other book like this on the market today! It is a must-have "how-to" guide for log home builders, general contractors who finish log homes, designers and architects, students and do-it yourself log building enthusiasts. It covers detailed provisions right from the foundations to ensure that the sill log will be tightly sealed, all the way to the installation of kitchen cabinets in a manner that will allow the logs to settle without damaging the cabinetry. Each chapter of this book depicts one aspect of the log home finishing process and provides several options using a diverse selection of techniques and products available today. Three dimensional color drawings depict the placement of sealants e.g., gaskets, wind-proofing membranes and vapor barriers, and explicitly show how to use and install them so that they effectively perform their function.


This book is a giant step towards demystifying the process of turning a log shell into an outstanding dream home. Wayne Sparshu, Spar-Log Homes Inc., Alberta, Canada --Personal correspondence

Log Homes are everyone's dream home. Building with logs is truly an art and a science. This essential guide details the necessary provisions to complete the dream and avoid the nightmares of guesswork. Robert Savignac, Arbor Vitae Log Craft, British Columbia, Canada --Personal correspondence

This book promotes the observation and understanding of the separate parts of the building process puzzle. It provides creative common sense solutions that have evolved through the open sharing of ideas by a network of focused log building professionals. The result yields enduring end-user satisfaction, creating more work for all. Donald L. Breimhurst, Home Field Advantage Ltd., Pennsylvania, USA --Personal correspondence

About the Author

Dalibor Houdek was introduced to log building construction at the Pat Wolfe Log Building School in Ontario in 1993. In the following year, he received his engineering degree in timber construction and started his own log and timber frame building company. Subsequently, he earned a Ph.D. for his work on the fire performance of handcrafted log walls.

Since joining Forintek Canada Corp., now known as FPInnovations , Houdek has assisted dozens of log building companies with improving product performance and increasing productivity in the log building yard. He is an active member of the International Log Builders' Association where he also served as a Director, and a Vice President.

He has co-authored two other books on round log construction, and frequently presents on log and timber construction throughout North America and Europe.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What is The Best Wood for Building A Log House?

Sitka Log Homes is located in beautiful British Columbia, Canada where there is an abundance of natural beauty and a tremendous variety of forest. We are able to acquire our wood from sources within 150 km's from our facility, therefore reducing emissions caused by long hauling. There are four wood species that we use when building our log homes or timber frame homes.

Wood Species offered by Sitka Log Homes

Engelmann SpruceEngelmann Spruce logs tend to be whiter than the other species available. It is very uniform, has a limited amount of knots and is very clean looking. However, it also tends to have larger "checks" (cracks) in the logs when the logs finish settling and drying. This is not a structural issue, but an aesthetic one. Spruce dries easily and is very stable. It is moderately strong, stiff and tough, is soft and easily worked and stained. Only slightly decay resistant and good in dry climates.

Lodgepole Pine
Lodgepole Pine logs tend to have many knots, more "natural" scarring such as cat faces and crevices, and has some blue and gray streaks in it. It is generally referred to as more "rustic" looking with more "character", however, that should be qualified by saying that we have had pine log work in some of the most contemporary homes we have built. A beautiful wood, soft, it is stable and resistant to checking in dry climates, and it’s easy to stain.

Douglas Fir
Douglas Fir logs are very uniform, have very few knots and a light "orange" hue to the cambium (outside) layer of the wood with a deep orange/red heartwood color. Commonly used for long beams and trusses where strength is of concern. It is the strongest of the species available, but really does not offer anything extraordinarily above the others. Douglas Fir is relatively decay resistant, and accepts stain moderately well.

Western Red Cedar
Western Red Cedar  has great value in being naturally more resistant to moisture, that said however, if a log home is properly finished and maintained it will last just as long as a cedar log home. Cedar is darker in colour and is also softer tending to dent more easily. Cedar has that amazing scent (think of a cedar chest) that will also accompany it. We often use cedar for large feature posts and leave some of the flared trunk on the bottom. It is a beautiful and often stunning feature in many homes.
Note: Western red cedar is British Columbia's official tree. Western red cedar has been called "the cornerstone of Northwest Coast aboriginal culture," and has great spiritual significance. Coastal people used all parts of the tree.

Log house with different timber types used.
Home built with more than one timber choice.
Occasionally log homes have a variety of wood used within. The main walls may be pine, the ridges may be fir and then they may have a cedar post as a feature accent log.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sitka Log Homes Welcomes BC Delegates to 100 Mile House

Sitka Log Homes would like to welcome the NCLGA Delegates to 100 Mile House. We hope you enjoy the conference and your visit to our community.
100 Mile House Mayor, Mitch Campsall, thanks Walter Bramsleven, General Manager of Sitka Log Homes, for the log and timber pergola displayed at the NCLGA Conference held May 2-4 at the South Cariboo Recreational Centre.