Determining Your Log Home Style:
Full Scribe, Timber Frame or Post and Beam
Today, log homes have as much or as little timber in the design as you want. The three main styles of log homes are:.
the traditional style of log homes. Built using horizontal logs stacked on top of one another and interlocked at the corners by notching.
Advantages of a full scribe log home
• The strong structure can withstand almost anything that Mother Nature can throw at it.
• Full scribe log homes can be reassembled very quickly on your foundation since all the logs have already been pre-fit in our log yard prior to shipping.
• Little framing is required for a custom full scribe log home; because all exterior and some interior walls are made solely of logs, there will be less need of traditional framed 2×6 walls.
• The log walls are solid and considered the finished product, there is no need for siding, insulation or drywall.
• Building a full scribe log home can take anywhere from 1-4 months, depending on the design.
• Re-assembly of a full scribe log home can take 1-4 days.
Post and beam:
Consists of many round vertical logs that carry large horizontal logs on top. Traditional or log framing may be used.
Post and Beam Log Home
One of the most popular designs, post and beam log homes and cabins use full logs as a structural support providing a natural log surface inside and outside the home. Fewer logs are used compared to a full scribe making these homes a great cost-effective alternative to full scribe log homes.
A post and beam log home consists of many vertical log posts that carry large horizontal logs on top. The log components are then in-filled with conventionally framed 2×6 walls, cinderblocks or straw bales. This style typically uses larger diameter logs and is the best log system to meet strict energy codes.
Post and beam construction is the most flexible style when it comes to design and construction. Location of your log home will definitely influence the design as well as the logs we would recommend for your new house. If you are located in a very damp environment or one that is known for wood-boring insects, we would recommend western red cedar logs, for example.
Post and beam log homes are very energy efficient. We use closed cell gaskets in numerous log connections during the reassembly to ensure that there is no air infiltration once your house is complete. We also groove all the posts and beams to allow siding to be installed into the groove during finishing. This also helps prevent air from entering your new home.
Similar to post and beam, one of the main differences between a timber frame and post and beam is that timber frame uses square timbers compared to a post and beam using round timbers.
Timber Frame homes combine the beauty of wood with the functionality of drywall interior walls. They are very energy efficient. We use closed cell gaskets in numerous timber connections during the reassembly to ensure that there is no air infiltration once your house is complete. We also offer the option to groove all the posts and beams to allow siding to be installed into the groove during finishing. This also helps prevent air from entering your new home.
Timber frame construction is also a very flexible style when it comes to design and construction. It can be designed to fit any type of property. Location of your timber frame home will definitely influence the design as well as the timbers we would recommend for your new house. If you are located in a very damp environment or one that is known for wood-boring insects we would recommend western red cedar logs, for example.
The stunning trusses that you see in old wooden churches are usually timber frame.
Advantages of a Timber Frame or Hybrid Homes
• A timber frame log home has very flexible design options.
• There are no settling issues with a timber frame home compared to a custom full scribe home.
• Easy for trades to frame, wire and plumb the home.
• Less maintenance compared to a full scribe home.
• Option to kiln dry material.
• Traditional siding can be used with a timber frame home.
• Building a timber frame log home can take anywhere from 1-2 months depending on the design.
• Reassembly of a timber frame log home can take 1-4 days.
Full Scribe Log Homes are a good fit for those who:
• Want the traditional log home feel.
• Are building in an area with possible seismic and extreme weather conditions.
• Don’t mind the bit of maintenance to ensure that the home settles correctly.
• Have a log shell budget of $60-$100 per square foot and up.
• Want a mix of modern and log home accents—both exterior and interior.
• Want low maintenance.
• Want more flexibility with their design and style compared to a full scribe.
• Have a log shell budget of $45 per square foot and up.
Post and Beam Log Homes are a good fit for those who:
Timber Frame Homes are a good fit for those who:
• Want minimal logs or timber showing from the exterior but want the wow factor inside.
• Are designing a home with vaulted ceilings and want the timber accents.
• Want low maintenance.
• Have a Timber package budget of $45 per square foot and up.
If you are still not sure what style and design of log home you are looking for check out the following articles for more information. Or visit our plans and galleryto see some of the different styles and designs.
If you are wanting to research a bit more about log homes we recommend checking out these popular articles.
Log Home Lifetime and Maintenance Cost
Log homes, when designed properly, can last for 100’s of years. In Estonia there are some log building dating back to the 18th century!
Re-stain Logs – It’s recommended that your log home, no matter which style, is lightly sanded and re-stained every 4-5 years.
Washing Logs – We highly recommend you wash the exterior of your log or timber home every Spring. This
ensures that dust and mold spores don’t have a chance to embed themselves into the wood.
Caulking – Jackson Custom Homes takes good measure in building our homes so that calking or chinking is optional. By utilizing hidden gaskets we can assure you that your new home will stay weather-tight and energy efficient for generations to enjoy.
Adjusting logs for settling – This only pertains to Full Scribe log homes. During the first 3-4 years of living in
your log home, you will have to monitor and adjust your log home as needed. We will provide you with
the tools and knowledge necessary to do this properly
What is the difference between your Handcrafted Log Homes and your Milled Log Homes?
The logs in our Handcrafted line are completely hand peeled and hand scribed to fit together. Each log is individually unique and we incorporate logs into our homes with unique features.
Milled logs are peeled by machine giving each log in the home a standardized look.
The first step in constructing a log home is deloping a plan. Each homeowner has individual needs and desires, and Jackson Custom Homes is committed to customizing each home to its owner.
We begin with to come up with the basic layout of levels, rooms and approximate size. Using 3-D modeling, we generate floor plans, elevations, sections, furniture placement, etc. We incorporate innovative architectural ideas to suit each client’s unique vision of their dream home.
One option for our customers is the construction of the log shell only. This plan works best for those who want to finish their own home or who wish to utilize a contractor with whom they are familiar. The shells are constructed in our log yard near Centennial, Wyoming, then disassembled and shipped to the homesite, and finally reconstructed. We are capable of shipping log shells to almost anywhere in the world.
We use only premium quality logs
Chinked / Dove Tail
Post & Beam
Log Decor or Accent
Lodgepole Pine logs tend to have many knots, more "natural" crevices, and has some blue and gray streaks in it. It is generally referred to as more "rustic" looking with more "character", however, 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.
Strongest available wood. Good for structural elements such as floor and roof beams.
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
Best overall type. Does well in all settings, excellent stability. Old growth checks less and has less tension than other species, naturally resistant to decay.
Has natural oil content that helps preserve it over the long run because of it’s natural anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. Character flare at the log base that makes each very unique in appearance.
Which wood species should I use to build my log home? What is the best type of wood available?
Engelmann 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.
Where are Log Timbers Found
East and Northeast:
White pine, red pine, Eastern white cedar.
White pine, yellow pine, cypress.
White pine, yellow pine, Eastern white cedar, hardwoods (oak, poplar, walnut).
West and Northwest:
Western red cedar, spruce, fir, hemlock, ponderosa and lodgepole pine. Supply-and-demand economic principles apply to log-home manufacturers as they do in any other business. Most manufacturers offer woods that are readily available because they can purchase the raw materials at a reasonable cost. That is one of the reasons most homes are constructed of pine, which is available throughout most of the United States. Some manufacturers offer several different species, many of which are not native to the region in which the companies are located.
For example, an East Coast manufacturer offering Western red cedar must purchase the raw material in the Northwest and transport it to the East. This adds freight cost to the raw materials, so a wood species becomes readily available by importing it to the manufacturer’s region, but the price will be affected by transportation costs. Thus, you can expect to pay more for a Western red cedar log-home package than a pine package when dealing with an Eastern manufacturer. All wood species produce natural toxins that help them resist attack from fungi and insects. Some woods are more resistant than others. The degree of resistance is determined by the amount and content of toxins that are present in the wood. When you smell the aroma of wood, you are actually inhaling its naturally produced toxins that make it resistant to fungi and insects. The highest concentration of naturally produced toxins is present in the heartwood. The older the tree, the more concentrated are the toxins. Species containing more heartwood than sapwood are much more naturally resistant. While species containing more sapwood than heartwood are less naturally resistant, they are easier to protect with the use of wood preservatives. Sapwood of all trees has very little to no resistance to insect and decay damage. Heartwood of Western red cedar has the highest natural resistance to fungi and insects. This is due to its low sapwood content, slow growth and high concentration of toxins.
To keep up with demand, much of the wood produced today comes from managed tree farms. It grows more rapidly and is harvested as smaller trees. Because of this short, 50-to-70-year life cycle, these trees do not build the high levels of concentrated natural toxins that exist in trees that are 200 to 300 years old. Log homes from the 18th century in existence are made from these logs; the content of the heartwood in the log log gives it long lasting qualities. the heartwood
Sapwood is the living, outermost portion of a woody stem or branch, while heartwood is the dead, inner wood, which often comprises the majority of a stem’s cross-section. You can usually distinguish sapwood from heartwood by its lighter color.
But, color in wood can be very misleading; not all heartwood is dark and not all dark-colored wood is heartwood. And, the relative amounts of sapwood and heartwood in any stem can vary greatly among individuals, species, and growing conditions. So, for a more accurate – and less specious – distinction, we need a more complete understanding of what wood is and how both sapwood and heartwood form. This won’t hurt.
All wood starts as sapwood. It is formed just under the bark by a thin layer of living cells known as the cambium, which produces bark cells to the outside and wood cells to the inside. Tree stems increase in girth during each year of growth because a new layer of wood cells is added inside the cambium. In good growing years, this new layer of wood can be many cells thick, and in poor years, it is relatively thin. Regardless of thickness, when any such growth occurs, the cambium moves outward to accommodate the new layers of wood forming inside. Sapwood – this newly formed, outermost region of wood – contains a variety of cell types, most of which are living and physiologically active. This sapwood is where water and dissolved minerals are transported between the roots and the crown of the tree and, to a lesser extent, where energy reserves are stored.
In young trees and young parts of older trees, all of the wood in the stem is sapwood. But as the tree gets older and its trunk increases in diameter, things change. No longer is the entire cross-section of the trunk needed for conducting sap. This, combined with an increased need for structural support, causes significant changes in the wood. The cells nearest the center of the trunk die, but they remain mostly intact. As these older sapwood cells age and die, they become heartwood. That is, they are altered to accommodate a shift in function. As residues of the once-living cells and additional chemical compounds from elsewhere in the plant accumulate in the heartwood, those cells cease to transport water or store energy reserves.
These compounds (including resins, phenols, and terpenes, sometimes referred to as extractives) not only help make heartwood more resistant to attack by insects and decay organisms but also tend to give this inner portion of the stem a distinctive darker color. For example, the famous dark brown of black walnut lumber and the striking red hues of black cherry boards occur only in the heartwoods of these trees, and both owe their characteristic colors to these chemicals.
Such woods are highly prized largely because of their colored heartwoods, but it is important to remember that color alone is not the sole distinction between sapwood and heartwood, regardless of species. Indeed, wood can be colored for reasons unrelated to heartwood. There are many discolorations associated with injury or fungal infection of wood, for example, and some heartwoods – including that in most spruces, fir, cottonwood, and basswood – are naturally very light colored. Then again, if these light-colored heartwoods are injured, they often do become darkened by discoloration. So, in summary, sapwood, which is nearly always light colored, results from new wood formation. Heartwood, which is often – but not always – dark colored, results from the natural aging process of the tree. But both can be discolored by many other causes.
Typically there is less sapwood than heartwood in any given stem. The exception, of course, is in young trees and the youngest portions of stems and branches on older trees which – because they are young – are naturally dominated by sapwood. The proportion of heartwood to sapwood in the main stem does vary with species. Black locust, for example, usually has a very narrow band – often less than an inch – of functioning sapwood, whereas maple stems often can have many inches of sapwood and relatively narrow cores of heartwood. In general, more vigorously growing trees tend to have wider bands of sapwood.
This sapwood-heartwood distinction has important implications for woodworkers beyond the obvious implications of color. Because sapwood contains the sap-conducting cells of the tree, it tends to have a relatively high moisture content. This is good for the living tree but it is not so good for the woodworker, because sapwood tends to shrink and move considerably when dried, and it is much more susceptible to decay and staining by fungi.
A key to our superior log homes and our materials, is their origins. We use only the best naturally seasoned, dry-standing Western timber as our exclusive source for log material. Dry-standing timber is cut fully seasoned, not green, and only one in 10 will make the grade.
As a supplier of log and timber we are committed to staying on top of the ever-changing market, constantly updating our inventory.we have more choices in quality supplies, access to even better deals and increased purchasing power.
We use only premium quality logs
This standard means top-of-the-line materials at your fingertips. Even with the best design professionals and builder for a project could log or timber home dreams.
HALF LOG SIDING
Half logs are, in essence, a true Swedish coped log cut in half, lengthwise. Half logs provide the exact look of true full log homes, and can be used both internally and externally. Half logs simply attach to the 2x framing of a stick frame wall.
Some of our clients prefer the external look of a log home, but do not want the log look on the interior walls. With Half logs, this is possible! Half log siding can also be installed over an existing stick framed home to give the home a log home look.
This is cut from a Swedish Cope, Dove Tail, Double D wall log that has been split in half lengthwise. Half log siding looks exactly like a full log home from the outside when utilizing the saddle notched corners. Available in standard and cabin appearance. These logs are grade stamped. Sizes available: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, and 16-inch diameters.
Once associated with an Appalachian-style log home design, square logs are now popular in all regions. The corners are typically dovetailed or corner posted, the logs are cut to produce a fan-shaped wedge that lag into each other.
Full round logs will give you a traditional look for your log home. Each log is precisely milled, and can have a hand peeled look to lend a more rustic feel if requested. Once your logs arrive at your build site each round log is set on top of the next one with an technologically advanced cutom molded polyurethane log spacer placed between each log so that the space between each log stack is conformed. Next backer rod will be applied both inside and outside the log walls and finally chinking is applied and your log walls are finished.
Our award-winning homes begin with our custom-cut logs, precisely produced at our state-of-the-art mill. The mill’s rounding machines, custom built specifically for Rocky Mountain Homes, cut each and every one of our logs to your project’s exact specifications. The logs for a milled Swedish Cope home are processed by our machines, which creates logs that are uniform in size and have a smooth surface. The logs are then coped to sit right on top of each other with our spline and gasket system in between. The wall logs can be either full round, Swedish cope or dovetail. For a more rustic or handcrafted appearance, the logs can be draw knifed.
Rocky Mountain Homes offers both timber frame and log frame styles. Both framing methods use large, horizontal or vertical beams on the interior and/or exterior of the home to add structural strength and aesthetic interest.
A notch style refers to how the logs fit together at the corners. Notches are integral to the structural stability of the building.
Although we work with a variety of styles, the best notch technically speaking is the diamond notch – it takes more work but outperforms other styles.
When fitting the logs together, a lengthwise groove is cut on the underside of each log, so they nest tightly together, to keep the weather out.
We take the trouble to ‘over-scribe’ – an industry best practice – to ensure the logs attain their tightest fit after seasoning for a few years. A straight ‘scribed’ log joint is cheaper, easier, and quicker to assemble but can open up with drying so be sure to ask about this important detail.
For best protection from the elements we recommend gasketing, (a long seal that is inserted in the underside scribed grooves of the logs and in the notches) especially in areas of high winds or temperature extremes. Different gasket materials are available, the best being bi-cellular polyethylene foam. It generally costs more than other gasket options and insulation types but it pays off in efficiency. Treated sheep’s wool is an excellent choice for augmenting the gaskets in the notches.
We provide Design Services with the Log Package order/commitment with our company. We work closely with you on design to develop one of our standard plans, or on a custom design based on your plans or sketches. Complete Construction Drawings including architectural and structural drawings. Structural Engineering is included in the state of Colorado, by our registered professional engineer.
Log Package shell.
Handcrafted full round Log Package shell/structure; includes fully constructed wall logs, structural log posts, log beams, log floor joists, log roof purlins, log stair system, optional log railing, etc. 12"-16" mean diameter logs.
PREMIUM PACKAGE ( Log Shell)
TP® grade stamped wall logs & log beams
All log walls shown on print (1)
Log home screws (2)
Exterior log home stain (3)
Foam gasket (4)
Log home caulking (5)
Log roof beams (6)
Log support posts (7)
1X6 tongue and groove (8)
2X6 T&G for loft floor decking (9)
Log porch header (10)
Log loft floor joists (11)
Log stair set for most plans (12)
Log porch posts (13)
Log railing (14)
Our Dry-In Package is available nationwide, and includes
Log Package shell,
Log Package Assembly
Window/Door Package, Structural Insulated Roof Panel System.
The Roof Panel System includes the roof framing system, roof sheathing/plywood, R-36 to R-44 rigid foam insulation and 1x8 Pine T&G underside ceilings/soffits, all in one panelized system! The beauty of this technique is that it incorporates several building systems all into one process, saving weeks or even months over traditional construction methods, while yielding extremely high-quality, strong and efficient roof construction and finishes. We also offer an optional roof panel factory representative to provide on-site consultation during the first two days of the roof panel assembly.
ELITE PACKAGE ( Dry In Package)
Metal drip ledge for eave and gable (A)
Cedar two step fascia (B)
OSB rim board for eaves (C)
Architectural shingles (D)
Wooden I-joists & LVLs for roof rafters (E)
Roofing felt / ice and water sheild (F)
4' X 8' sheets of OSB (G)
Blocking between wooden I-joists (H)
Framing lumber for interior walls (I)
Conventional frame stair material if not log (J)
Double 2X6s for window bucking (K)
Redwood decking or upgrade to Trex (L)
Framing lumber for exterior decks (M)
Subfloor adhesive (N)
4'x8' sheets of 3/4" T&G OSB (O)
Wooden I-joists & LVLs for subfloor (P)
Pressure treated lumber for sill plate (Q)
Sill sealer (R)
OSB rim board for subfloor (S)
4'x8' sheets of T1-11subfloor fascia (T)
5/8" couplers and allthread (U)
Vinyl windows or upgrade to wood windows (V)
Metal drip ledge for subfloor (W)
Exterior doors (X)
In addition to the Log Package Kit and the Dry-In Package, we offer Turn-Key Construction through out the US. This encompasses complete construction services including design, structural engineering, excavation, foundation systems, framing systems, Log Package with complete Assembly, Window/Door Package, roofing system, deck systems, mechanical system, plumbing, electrical systems, interior finish-out, cabinetry and countertops, flooring, trim, etc. Turn-Key Construction Services are performed with the same quality, care and attention to detail helps establish Jackson Custom Homes as an exceptional log home builder.
Available nationwide and worldwide. Shipping is charged at cost, and varies with project location. The log package is shipped via semi truck(s) directly from the log yard to the job site, and includes loading at the log yard, tarping/covering of logs, transport and unloading directly from semi truck(s) to client's prepared foundation.
Log Home Energy Efficiency
Log Home Energy Efficiency
In most Jackson Custom Homes projects, we provide all pre-construction services. The services range from categorical cost comparisons to computerized cost analysis. We begin with a basic project assessment which includes the following:
Investigate the subcontractor and the material availability to determine unique conditions which would influence the design cost and schedule of construction.
Review drawings and specifications as they are being prepared, recommending alternative solutions whenever design details affect construction feasibility.
Provide an analysis of the types, quantity and availability of labor and equipment required for critical phases of the project.
After the preliminary project assessment is made, RMH reviews plans and specifications for possible design improvements or cost saving opportunities. For example, these activities include:
Advice on the trade-offs between alternative building system cost and construction schedule.
Performs a side-by-side comparison of recent projects utilizing similar building systems and or materials.
If appropriate, we will familiarize Architects with other jobs where solutions were developed to design and engineering problems similar to those which will be encountered on your project.
Invite specialty contractors to comment on feasibility of planned construction methods similar to those which will be encountered on your project.
Using a combination of manual and computer systems a preliminary project schedule is developed at an early stage of project design.
The first schedule is a simple precedence diagram showing only the major components of the project and is based on a comparison of similar project schedules adjusted for locations and seasonal variations. As the design becomes more final, a computerized schedule is developed with primary input from the Design Build Contractor. Additional reviews are made by our Client Services Department for the project. Long lead items are identified during the process and early purchases are coordinated with the owner and architect.
Our involvement will include control of cost from the initial concept stage through completion. Estimates will be prepared from extensive historical data of elemental cost, adjusted for location and time. Such estimates are used as a basis of subsequent work and more definitive estimates are prepared progressively as information becomes available. The designers working drawings will be continually reviewed with regard to construction methods and details and cost analysis of operations will analyzed throughout the design process. Our Design Build experience and exposure to the competitive bid market will assure a high degree of accuracy in budget estimating during these preliminary stages.
Because of the schematic nature of drawings and specifications at the early states, a percentage of possible variance can be assumed.
Because the majority of the work on the project will be performed by subcontractors. RMH places special emphasis on this phase of the construction project. We hire employees and choose subcontractors solely on the basis of their demonstrated ability to perform. Prior to, and periodically during construction if needed, we design and update a reserve gate system to allow us to deal immediately with potential delays and minimize their impact should they occur.
Prior to and during the project, Rocky Mountain Homes will:
Evaluate and pre-qualify subcontractors and conduct pre-bid conferences to familiarize bidders with the bid documents and management technique to be used on the project.
Secure quotations, make bid comparisons, and check for technical compliance with specifications.
Conduct pre-award conferences with successful bidders. Prepare and issue purchase orders and subcontract agreements.
Establish cost control procedures and prepare the purchasing control schedule.
Our QC program provides the guidelines and methods for assuring that activities, structures, components, systems and facilities are fabricated, constructed, installed, inspected tested and documented in compliance with contractually established project scope and requirements of applicable technical documents, codes, standards and approved project procedures.
There is a place that each of us goes to escape the hectic pace of life. When we get to that place, time slows a little, the tension eases from our shoulders and we truly feel like ourselves. For those of us who are very lucky, this place is our home.
We welcome the opportunity to start planning your legacy home.
Need a lot? We'll find it for you.Our Experienced land acquisition team will help find the right lot to capture all of your lot needs. We consider all aspects of lot search, including optimal size, location, and perhaps most importantly, price.