Building a Log Home – One Lincoln Log at a Time
By Eloise Morano, Associate Broker, Lake Realty
I love the natural feel of a log home; the hand hewn elements and the tremendous solidity of the logs gives you a feeling like no other. I think it’s because it is the very definition of home and coziness. Stacked tree trunks surround you with their natural growth rings providing the insulation.
My builder is fond of saying that you could make several stick built homes with just one of the log walls. It makes sense when you think about it. The exterior walls of a log home are, in effect, stacked tree trunks that have been notched to fit against each other and bolted in place. Ours are spruce trunks called “D” logs because they are round on the outside and flat on the inside like the letter “D”.
The actual building process was something I will never forget. We got the word that the logs were arriving by truck to the site, where the concrete foundation was already in place and the subfloor had been completed. We arrived to find a huge scattering of peeled, pale tree trunks, lying on the ground.
The home’s design was not a kit, but one that we had worked on with the builder’s design team over the course of 9 month
s. He had made sure all the logs were marked at the mill so that the crew would know what log went where in the design.
Construction began immediately, with the walls fitting together from the ground up. It was fascinating because it was like a giant’s game of Lincoln logs. Anyone who played with those as a kid would have been delighted.
For those wondering, the tree trunks are all treated to repel termites. It is much more common to find termites attacking stick built 2x4’s before they will touch heavy logs. Log homes have also been known to be the last and only thing standing after a tornado has passed by. And in fires? Contemporary log homes like mine (with stick built interior walls) have tended to burn inside, leaving the log walls still standing.