Settling for log home construction styles


When a stacked log wall reduces in overall height, it is called settling, a well known occurrence in log home construction.

Settling in log homes can occur in three ways: compaction, slumping and most significantly, radial shrinkage of the logs.

A- Compaction occurs mainly in log construction using cope style lateral groves where the interior and exterior sharp corners of the cope are the only contact with log below. The cumulative weight of logs, roof and snow above crush these contacting lines of wood fiber into the log below, creating a tight seal between stacked logs.
Compaction can account for up to 1% height reduction of a log wall.
Compaction is minimal for logs with large contact areas like tongue and grooved flat to flat log profiles.


Solar energy log home design

Three main solar energy systems are available for household energy needs.

1-Photovoltaic power generation systems are designed to produce electricity when sunlight hits photovoltaic panels usually installed on roof slopes with southern exposure.

Those systems may cost up to $100 000.00 for an average size home to meet its energy needs. Performance drops sharply to negligible level for cloudy days.


Solid log or timber homes and fire safety

According to US National Fire Association, leading causes of occupancy related home fires start:

1-In the kitchen when cooking is left unattended
2-From heating systems that are not professionally checked and maintained.
3-From bad smoking habits resulting in bedding or couch/armchair smoldering.

– Fire resistance of solid log/timber homes
As a designer of log homes, I often encountered difficulties convincing local building departments all over North America of the great fire resistance of log walls.


The masonry stove or thermal mass heater

Over ten years ago, I met Chris Hedderson from Rocky Mountain environment Technologies outside the Denver log home show. Chris had an outside booth with a masonry stove (modular refractory kit) fired up within a large tent. While it was a very cold weekend, I recall how toasty warm it was inside that tent. I kept his business card and after much research, knew that one day I would install my own stove.


The top ten goals when designing your log or timber home.

1- Budget – Nothing is more heart breaking than designing a beautiful home that just got all you want, then get construction quotes… and find out you are way over budget.
First step before starting design is to inquire about construction cost at your building site and establish what you can comfortably afford without crippling your finances with a life time mortgage.
Building costs vary greatly depending on location.


Universal design for log homes

In North America about 2 million people live in a wheel chair.
Wheelchair and walking aid users live in 30% of households.
One out of five of us have one or more disability.
Our population is aging rapidly.
In 2040 one in four will be 65 or older!

Basic terminology:

ADA (American with Disabilities Act 1990) applies to public and multi-family buildings accessibility mainly for people with mobility and agility disabilities.