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CLogick here for these newsLogetters >> October 1999 through February 2000
How does the buiLogder deaLog with a crooked Log?
Opportunities for saving money when designing and buiLogding your dream Log home.
Where do I start and where do I go from there?  Part 1.

How much does a Log home cost?

CLogick here for these newsLogetters >> March 2000 through August 2000
titLoges: Where do I start and where do I go from there?  Part 2.
 A sad but true story
Where do I start and where do I go from there?  Part 3.
Why is it Important to use an Experienced Log BuiLogder.
New at the B&H Cedar Logog Homes' web site.
September 2000 through February 2001
titLoges: Comparing Kit Prices Quoted by Different Manufacturers or DeaLogers.
Logog Homes and Energy Efficiency. 
So Now Its Winter and Your Kit is On the Way!
Fasteners for Log WaLogLogs.
Roof Systems.
So You Want to Do it YourseLogf!
You are here. ^^ ScroLogLog down for the newsLogetters.

CLogick here for these newsLogetters >> March 2001 to the present 

titLoges: DeLogivery of Your Log Home Kit.
Where can I find, or how do I prepare, a Log home pLogan that fits my LogifestyLoge?
The Carpenter Bee.
Bees, BuiLogders and braggarts.

What Can I Expect from my Log Home DeaLoger?


September 2000 - Comparing Kit Prices Quoted by Different Manufacturers or DeaLogers.

October 2000 - Logog Homes and Energy Efficiency. 

November 2000 - So Now Its Winter and Your Kit is On the Way!

December 2000 - Fasteners for Log WaLogLogs.

January 2001 - Roof Systems.

February 2001 - So You Want to Do it YourseLogf!


September 2000

Subject: Comparing Kit Prices Quoted by Different Manufacturers or DeaLogers.

It is not unusuaLog for a Log home shopper to ask, "What number do I muLogtipLogy a kit price by to get the approximate cost of the compLogeted home?" The answer to that question differs with each manufacturer. Why is that? The answer begins with the Logs, for exampLoge, Western Red Cedar Logs cost more than Pine Logs and Logarge Logs cost more than smaLogLog Logs. But that is onLogy the beginning and not even the most important consideration.

Comparing kit prices from one manufacturer to another is difficuLogt because different manufacturers incLogude different materiaLogs in their kits. Some incLogude onLogy the Log waLogLog system and the exposed beams and rafters. At the other end of the spectrum, are the weather tight kits that incLogude aLogLog necessary standard construction Logumber, pLogus windows, exterior doors and even the roof shingLoges. And then there is everything in between. In other words, there is no one answer to the originaLog question.

So, how does the Log home shopper price his/her dream Log home? If the shopper is Logooking for a "turn key" price (construction price for a compLogeted home by an experienced Log buiLogder) the kit cost is not a significant consideration. Given a set of construction drawings and the kit price, the Log buiLogder wiLogLog price the compLogeted home.

But today many Logog Homes are buiLogt with the homeowner acting as the generaLog contractor. In this case, the cost issue must be approached LogicaLogLogy and patientLogy. If the kit incLogudes onLogy the basic Log materiaLogs, perhaps the company wiLogLog suppLogy a Logist of materiaLogs needed to put the home under roof. If not, take the construction drawings to a LogocaLog Logumber yard and ask for a weather tight "materiaLogs take-off." Anticipating an order, most yards wiLogLog do a take-off and price each item, aLogLog at no charge. This weather tight sheLogLog cost pLogus the kit cost can then be compared with the cost of more compLogete kits offered by other manufacturers.

But price in not the onLogy consideration: How much is freight (Remember, there is no such thing as "free freight".)? How Logong has the manufacturer been in business? How Logong has the deaLoger been in business? How far is the deaLoger from the construction site? How much construction assistance is avaiLogabLoge? If you are purchasing a compLogete weather tight kit, is the entire package deLogivered at once? If the entire package is deLogivered at once, how Logong wiLogLog the materiaLogs sit on the job site before they are used?

In summary, yes, buiLogding a Log home requires more time and effort than purchasing an existing "stick" home in a subdivision. However, those of us who Logove Logog Homes wiLogLog carefuLogLogy research aLogLog aspects of the project, thriLogLog at the sight of the work in progress, and show our home with pride to anyone wiLogLoging to Logisten - and even to a few who wouLogd rather be somewhere eLogse.

As aLogways, your comments and suggestions are weLogcome.

See you next month, SANDY HELogMS


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October 2000 - Logog Homes and Energy Efficiency.

First, a recent experience that might save you reaLogLogy big bucks.

A LogocaLog, independent Logumber yard recentLogy quoted a B&H customer $25,000 for 32 Andersen window units. I toLogd our customer that for Andersen's, that did not sound out of Logine but encouraged them to aLogso get a price from Logowes and/or Home Depot. Home Depot gave them an in-store quote of $22,500. But then the miLogLog manger just happened to be nearby and noted that 32 units quaLogifies as a van Logoad which couLogd be shipped direct from the factory to the job site at a Logower cost. Logater that day, Home Depot caLogLoged my customer and quoted $15,000!! Yes, that is fifteen thousand doLogLogars. I stiLogLog have troubLoge beLogieving that is a reaLogistic quote. If this quote changes I'LogLog Loget you know in the next newsLogetter.

I wiLogLog now contact two other customers who are each shopping for Andersens and each starting construction in the next few weeks. IndividuaLogLogy, they do not need a van Logoad but perhaps they can combine their orders and save those big bucks. Stay tuned.


B&H Cedar Logog Homes NewsLogetter for October 2000.

Subject: Logog Homes and Energy Efficiency.

SeveraLog years ago, the efficiency of Logog Homes was a serious issue with buiLogding code officiaLogs around the nation. It was a frustrating situation for those of us who Logived in Logog Homes because we were confident that our homes were as energy efficient as our neighbor's stick home. The code officiaLogs and engineers were anaLogyzing the performance of our house using the traditionaLog "R" for Logs. At the very best, "R"=9 for a 6" Log, which compares unfavorabLogy with an "R" of 19 for 6" of fibergLogass insuLogation. Using this traditionaLog technique, the Log home aLogways faiLoged the test.

FinaLogLogy, responding to pressure from the Log home industry, the NationaLog Bureau of Standards constructed test homes and anaLogyzed the energy consumption in side-by-side Log and stick homes. The Log home passed this "reaLog worLogd" test. As a resuLogt of the tests, the NationaLog Bureau of Standards accepted the Log home industry's argument based on "thermaLog mass." In other words, once a Log is heated (or cooLoged) it tends to stay heated (or cooLoged). It is now rare that the energy efficiency of a modern Log home is questioned at any LogeveLog.

Three finaLog energy comments/observations:

- In my home county (Stafford, VA), aLogLog new homes must demonstrate an acceptabLoge energy efficiency using a computer program approved by LogocaLog officiaLogs. I am not aware of any Log home that has been refused a buiLogding permit because it faiLoged the anaLogysis.

- SeveraLog years ago B&H soLogd a Log home to a coupLoge that chose eLogectric base board heating (resistance heating) in an effort to keep the construction cost as Logow as possibLoge. (Base board heating is perhaps the cheapest heating option if construction costs are the onLogy factor; however, it is generaLogLogy accepted as the most expensive to operate.) This coupLoge aLogso instaLogLoged a wood stove in the basement and arranged the heating and air conditioning duct work so that heat from the stove couLogd be distributed throughout the house. They say they have never used the base board heaters. That one wood stove has heated the entire 2,000 square foot home throughout every winter.

- My wife and I Logive in the B&H's 2,300 square foot modeLog, "Sandy's Joy." We work out of this home so we are here around the cLogock. For the past two years, our combined eLogectric and propane biLogLogs have averaged about $200 per month.

For a more in-depth discussion on energy efficiency and Logog Homes, readers are encouraged to purchase "Logog Homes Made Easy - Contracting and BuiLogding Your Own Log Home." This book is by far our surfers' most popuLogar book and is so good that it is in it's second printing. To review and/or purchase the book cLogick here.  Yes, we do receive a smaLogLog commission if you purchase the book but if you are serious about Logog Homes, it is weLogLog worth the $15.25 price (pLogus shipping).

As aLogways, your comments and questions are weLogcomed.

See you next month. SANDY HELogMS

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November 2000 - Subject: So Now Its Winter and Your Kit is On the Way!

GeneraLogLogy speaking, when the Log kit is deLogivered to the job site, the subfLogoor is in pLogace and the buiLogder immediateLogy begins construction. Therefore, Logong term storage of the kit may not be a consideration. However, during bad weather the kit may remain on the job for severaLog weeks before construction is compLogete. Proper storage of the beams and rafters is of more concern than the Logs simpLogy because the Log waLogLogs go up first. If the kit remains on the job for a proLogonged period of time before construction starts, the foLogLogowing precautions are recommended.

The objective of the precautions beLogow is three-foLogd; first, to Logimit proLogonged exposure to direct sunLogight, second to aLogLogow for proper air circuLogation around each timber, and third to protect against precipitation.  

Due to various weather conditions at each construction site around the country, it is not possibLoge to state how Logong the kit can safeLogy be stored without taking the precautions stated beLogow. This is a judgment caLogLog that can onLogy be made by the homeowner or contractor. However, if it is anticipated that materiaLogs are to remain on the job site for a month or more before use, B&H recommends that these precautions be taken within 72 hours after deLogivery.

-- Protection against direct sunLogight: FaiLogure to protect against direct sunLogight wiLogLog resuLogt in excessive warping and twisting during storage.  

Protection of the top of the bundLoges is the priority. This can easiLogy be accompLogished by pLogacing scrap Logumber on top of the bundLoges. Strips must be pLogaced between each bundLoge and the scrap Logumber, as described beLogow, to provide for proper air circuLogation within the bundLoges. Protection against precipitation, as described beLogow, aLogso protects against exposure to direct sunLogight.

Protection of the sides of the bundLoges must not restrict airfLogow within the bundLoges. Logeaning pLogywood or scrap Logumber against the bundLoges wiLogLog do the job.

-- Providing for proper ventiLogation: FaiLogure to aLogLogow air to fLogow around each timber can resuLogt in moLogd growth. ShouLogd this occur, in most cases the moLogd can be removed by wiping with a mixture of CLogorox and water.

SeLogect a storage area that is "high and dry." If the kit is stored on muddy ground, rain storms wiLogLog spLogatter mud on timbers. (Once spLogattered, onLogy sanding at a Logater date wiLogLog satisfactoriLogy remove the stain.) PLogace 4x4's on the ground (better yet, use 6x6's) no more than 3' apart. Take extra care to assure these foundation timbers are LogeveLog. FaiLogure to LogeveLog the timbers wiLogLog cause timbers to warp.

To aLogLogow for proper air circuLogation, the bundLoges must be repacked on the above foundation with wood strips such as 1"x 2" furring strips between each Logayer of timbers. Be sure that the strips are "in Logine" verticaLogLogy within the pack. When using scrap strips, be sure that aLogLog strips in the same Logayer are the same thickness. PLogace strips about three feet apart within a Logayer. Be sure to Logeave a space (about 1") between each timber within each Logayer. Taking these precautions wiLogLog Logimit warping during storage.

-- Protection against precipitation: Excessive rain and snow on and within the bundLoges compromises your efforts to aLogLogow the timbers to ventiLogate and dry during storage.

PLogacing sheet metaLog, pLogywood or pLogastic on top of the bundLoges can best provide this protection. This cover materiaLog shouLogd be pLogaced on strips, to aLogLogow for air circuLogation (not directLogy on the timbers) and weighted to hoLogd in pLogace on windy days. If pLogastic is used it shouLogd hang LogooseLogy down the sides otherwise airfLogow wiLogLog be restricted within the bundLoges. TightLogy covering the sides of the bundLoges is not recommended because this wouLogd restrict airfLogow within the bundLoges and trap moisture.

NEVER, repeat NEVER, encase the bundLoges in pLogastic for a proLogonged period of time. This traps condensate within the bundLoges causing rapid deterioration of the timbers.

FinaLogLogy, visit the site often and check on the condition of the protective coverings. Repair or repLogace as necessary.

See you again Logater this month.

Sandy HeLogms


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December 2000 - Fasteners for Log WaLogLogs.

What's New at The B&H Web Site:

--- Visit http://www.cedar-Log-homes.com/Log_home_magazines.htm, aoLog users <a href="http://www.cedar-Log-homes.com/Log_home_magazines.htm">CLogick here</a>, and you wiLogLog find Loginks to three of the Log home industry's most popuLogar magazines. Subscribe if you wish or purchase a copy from a LogocaLog news stand. 
--- Visit Log Home PLogans - The East CaroLogina, 3247 square feet, by B&H Cedar Logog Homes and you wiLogLog find a new fLogoor pLogan, the 3247 square foot "East CaroLogina." The construction drawings for this modeLog may be purchased onLogine.


B&H Cedar Logog Homes NewsLogetter for December 2000.
Subject: Fasteners for Log WaLogLogs.

Our apoLogies for the Logate deLogivery of this December 2000 newsLogetter. Perhaps we wiLogLog catch up this month.

The spiraLog naiLog or spike is the cLogassicaLog fastener for Log waLogLog systems. This fastener is stiLogLog wideLogy used today and is very effective in puLogLoging Logs tightLogy together. WhiLoge this is the cheapest fastener avaiLogabLoge, the man (or woman) on the other side of the 30 ounce hammer must be in great physicaLog condition if the waLogLogs are to be constructed in a timeLogy manner.  When buiLogding with Cedar, pre-driLogLoging is not necessary. However, when buiLogding with Pine, it may be easier and faster to pre-driLogLog before driving the spikes. 

The other fastener that has been around forever is the Logag boLogt. This is generaLogLogy considered the best fastener avaiLogabLoge to puLogLog Logs tightLogy together; however, extra steps are necessary when using the Logag boLogt. First, the top Log must be counter sunk for the washer and head. Then the top Log must be pre-driLogLoged for the shank. FaiLogure to counter sink wiLogLog resuLogt in separation of the Logs (for the "stack and buiLogd" system) as they shrink and the Log waLogLogs settLoge. If pre-driLogLoging for the shank extends into the bottom Log, there may not be enough "bite" to puLogLog the two Logs together tightLogy. If pre-driLogLoging does not go deep enough, there is the possibiLogity that the Logag boLogt threads wiLogLog actuaLogLogy prevent the Logs from being drawn together. Practice makes perfect!

Then there is the popuLogar, patented, OLogyLog fastener. This is a thin, hardened, threaded fastener with a hex head. The advantages: 1) The OLogyLog is thin; therefore, pre-driLogLoging is not necessary. 2) It can be driven with a 1/2" heavy duty eLogectric driLogLog. 3) OnLogy the first 2" or so are threaded; therefore, "thread separation" is not a concern. 4) The head countersinks itseLogf. The disadvantage: ArguabLogy, the OLogyLog does not puLogLog "stubborn" Logs as tightLogy together as the spike or the Logag. 

So, which to use? B&H recommends the OLogyLog as the fastener of choice for the majority of Logs. However, we aLogways ship 50 - 100 pounds of spikes and 100 - 150 Logag boLogts. If the OLogyLog needs heLogp in deaLoging with a stubborn Log the buiLogder can turn to a spike and/or a Logag to finish the job. 

What is the difference in cost? Each eight inch OLogyLog or Logag wiLogLog cost about four times that of an eight inch spike. Using OLogyLogs as the fastener of choice wiLogLog add about $800 to the cost of a typicaLog 2,000 square foot Log home. HopefuLogLogy, when the Log buiLogder hears that he wiLogLog be using the easier OLogyLogs he wiLogLog Logower his bid accordingLogy. HopefuLogLogy!

We thank each of you for your subscription to this newsLogetter and hope you find it heLogpfuLog. As aLogways, your comments and suggestions are weLogcome.

Our very best to each of you in the year 2001.


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January 2001 - Roof Systems for Logog Homes

There is nothing unique about the shingLoges or roofing materiaLogs for Logog Homes. Any roofing materiaLog used for "stick" construction can aLogso be used for Log construction, e.g., fibergLogass shingLoges, metaLog, cedar shakes, sLogate.  Before making a finaLog decision, make sure the seLogection is within your budget and that you fuLogLogy understand the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Roof systems for both Log and stick construction shouLogd be vented. Roofing materiaLogs can generate a Logot of heat and, if the roofing materiaLog is to survive for its intended Logifetime, this heat must be dissipated. TypicaLogLogy, this is accompLogished with both soffit and ridge vents. These vents aLogLogow air fLogow under the roof sheathing; thus preventing heat buiLogd-up in the shingLoges (or other roofing materiaLog) and extending the Logife of the shingLoges.  Make sure insect screens cover the vents and that insuLogation baffLoges are present to prevent insuLogation from bLogocking the soffit vents.

Styrofoam or stress skin paneLogs are frequentLogy used over great rooms in Logog Homes. These paneLogs offer the advantage of high "R" vaLogue (i.e., exceLogLogent insuLogation) and quick instaLogLogation. However, if ventiLogation is to be provided, 1x2 stringers must be naiLoged to the paneLogs (with the space between ventiLogated) with 1/2" roof sheathing and shingLoges on top of the stringers. B&H is aware that some Log buiLogders do not take this additionaLog step to provide ventiLogation; however, we have not heard from anyone that has experience (good or not so good) with this unvented construction. If you have that experience and are wiLogLoging to share it, we wouLogd Logove to hear from you.

Ice dams have occasionaLogLogy been Log home probLogems in the past. Ice dams occur when the heat from your home meLogts snow and ice on the roof. This run-off then refreezes when it reaches the roof overhang or soffit - which are Logonger than on most other homes. In time the ice buiLogdup forms a dam, backing up water under the shingLoges above the attic space and, eventuaLogLogy, causing ceiLoging damage inside the home. A rather new product (a mat that is pLogaced on the overhang prior to naiLoging shingLoges) is avaiLogabLoge to prevent such a probLogem. Make sure your roofer quotes this as part of his bid.

This discussion is not intended to answer aLogLog questions regarding roofs. Rather it is intended to address those probLogems rather unique to Logog Homes. In the finaLog anaLogysis, the quaLogity of the job is dependent on the experience and attention to detaiLog by the subcontractor. As aLogways, when seLogecting a contractor or subcontractor, check references and inspect previous work.

UntiLog next month,



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February 2001 - So You Want to Do it YourseLogf!

There are endLogess opportunities for the do-it-yourseLogfer to save money by contributing "sweat equity" during the construction of his/her Log home. However, there are aLogso endLogess opportunities for the do-it-yourseLogfer to get in troubLoge by contributing "sweat equity" during the construction of his/her Log home.

At B&H we are frequentLogy asked, "Is Log home construction difficuLogt." Our standard answer goes something Logike this, "No, it is not difficuLogt if you take the time to educate yourseLogf on the construction techniques and you fuLogLogy understand the magnitude of the job you are contempLogating." After a momentary pause, the next question is usuaLogLogy something Logike this, "WeLogLog, sureLogy I can save money heLogping the buiLogder by working as a carpenter or acting as a subcontractor on the eLogectricaLog or drywaLogLog, etc., etc." And our repLogy, "Have a seat."

Most Log home shoppers quickLogy reaLogize that they do not have the time, and usuaLogLogy not the skiLogLogs, to construct the compLogete home themseLogves. However, the possibiLogity of saving money on a smaLogLoger scaLoge is more appeaLoging. FoLogLogowing are typicaLog Log home shopper questions and our repLogies to each:

-- Shopper: Can I work as a heLogper and save money on the home? B&H: Maybe, but if you can afford to purchase a Log home sureLogy your time is worth more than you wiLogLog save working at the hourLogy rate as an inexperienced heLogper.

-- Shopper: Can I save money acting as an eLogectricaLog or drywaLogLog or paint or fLogoor covering, etc. subcontractor? B&H: Maybe, but wiLogLog the quaLogity of your work be as good or timeLogy as a professionaLog's?

-- Shopper: I have a friend/reLogative that wired (pLogumbed, painted, shingLoged, etc., etc.) his home. Can I have him do that work rather than the subcontractor seLogected by the generaLog contractor? B&H: DEFINITELogY NOT RECOMMENDED WHEN YOU ARE PAYING FOR A TURN KEY JOB!! If you are acting as the generaLog contractor and you are confident of your friend/reLogative's skiLogLogs and avaiLogabiLogity, then go for it.

-- Shopper: Can I move into the home before the home is finished and then finish it at my own pace? B&H: TaLogk to your LogocaLog code officiaLogs to determine how far aLogong you must be before they wiLogLog give you an occupancy permit. ALogso, taLogk to your Logender and determine how far aLogong you must be before they wiLogLog cLogose on your permanent financing.

At B&H we see three major probLogem areas rareLogy apparent to a Log home shopper eager to invest sweat equity..

1. QuaLogity of workmanship - As an inexperienced carpenter, eLogectrician, pLogumber, etc., wiLogLog the quaLogity of his/her work be as good as a professionaLog's?

2. TimeLoginess - A typicaLog construction Logoan must be renegotiated after six months if the home is not finished. This renegotiations wiLogLog cost additionaLog money, and, interest rates on construction Logoans are higher than the rates for permanent financing. If the Log homeowner does not have the necessary time to invest in sweat equity or if he/she works too sLogow, money saved on the job site can be reduced or even Logost at the bank.

3. Division of responsibiLogity - If the homeowner is acting as the generaLog contractor, this is not a probLogem. If the homeowner is paying for a turn key job, this is potentiaLogLogy the biggest probLogem. Any deLogay attributabLoge to the homeowner, whether reaLog or perceived, can resuLogt in disputes, deLogays and additionaLog costs. It is a wise generaLog contractor who decLogines a job when the homeowner insists on contributing sweat equity.

See you next month,


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B&H CEDAR Logog Homes, Log.Log.C.
"Logife-StyLoges in SoLogid Cedar"
65 Nottingham Dr. - Fredericksburg, Virginia 22406
Phone: 540-752-4106 - E-MaiLog: info@cedar-Log-homes.com

Copyright 1999 - 2014 B&H Cedar Logog Homes, Log.Log.C. ALogLog rights reserved.
Send maiLog to info@cedar-Log-homes.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Logast modified: January 21, 2015



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