Part 1: Before you Build-Front-end planning
1) In the Log Home planning phase make sure that you have your home designer put large gutters on your specifications sheet for the builder. Large gutters help to control water flow away from your log walls.
2) You will want to have sufficient roof overhangs to protect the wood siding. If it is a smaller home and only a one story home you can have 18" to 24" roof overhangs and not have the roof look like a top hat. If it is a large home with more vertical log walls exposed to the sun and rain, a large roof overhang can be accommodated - as much as 36 -48 inches. Think about the function (to keep the home dry) and the form (how the roof over hang looks. Timber Outriggers can visually diminish the appearance of a large roof overhang.
3) Make sure your builder includes window flashing and deck flashing. If water gets behind the window trim, this can, over time, rot the logs. Also if water gets behind the deck band, the bottom log can rot out.
4) The deck, as a rule, should have about a six-inch step down from the house. The doors onto the deck should have a professionally installed flashing pan in order to keep rain and snow from undermining the bottom log below the door.
5) All exterior grades should slope away from the house and there should be no logs or other wood siding within 12 inches of the ground.
Log Homes require regular maintenance in order to prevent damage from insects and moisture. Our mountain environment gets an unusually high amount of moisture from rain and snow.
Part 2: Maintaining Your New Log Home-Make it last
If you have a "second home" log home, your visit to your vacation home should be all about relaxing and having fun. The best way to relax in your beautiful log home, or second home in general, is to not have much work to do on it when you get there. In order to enjoy yourself, you should always make sure that a little routine maintenance is performed. By following these easy steps you should be enjoying yourself in no time. If your primary home is a log home, following this list can assist you as well.
1-Water Damage Check: During the fall and spring seasons your gutters should be checked for debris from your surrounding trees. A clogged gutter can lead to blocked downspouts, which overflow onto your logs causing them to rot. If you do not have gutters, we suggest that you consider getting them.
2- Once or twice a year you should walk around the house and check to see if the log ends remain wet after it rains when the adjacent logs are dry, this is a sign of rot. If you take a hammer, gently tapping it and it sounds like a melon or drum, you should contact us.
3-Always make sure there is positive drainage of surface water away from the foundation of your home.
4-Inspecting Your Roof: You should occasionally look for loose tiles and shingles. In a metal roof, look for loose screws, or loose metal. You should always clean the gutters every chance you get. A good way is cutting a plastic two-liter soda bottle to scoop things out.
5-Trim Plants Close to the Home: You should take the time to check for tree limbs and shrubs that are too close to the home and trim them so they are not scratching the logs. This can cause the finish on the logs to erode.
6-Check for Spots Vulnerable to Insects: If your log home has a wood-burning stove or hearth, make sure your wood pile is located away from the home, and off the ground. This keeps the pile dry with no insects living in the firewood.
7-Clean the Logs: You should wash your house. The cleaning solution you use depends on the brand of sealer on your logs. You never want to use bleach to clean your home. This can harm your home's finish. A regular cleaning will go a long way in making your home looking its best for years.
8-Professional Help: Most people can handle the majority of the maintenance themselves, but sometimes you should leave the job to the experts. These cases are for significant amounts of damage or things that might be unsafe.
Insufficient gutters, flashing and/or sunlight can cause the logs to mildew and rot.
If your Log Home has become damaged over time, we can help.
For a nominal fee, we can provide you with a thorough analysis of your Log Home repair needs, and an estimate for the completion of the work.
NOTE: THERE ARE MANY OTHER INCLUSIONS TO YOUR NEW LOG HOME THAT YOU WILL WANT TO CONSIDER. PLEASE SEE OUR GREEN BUILDING PAGE FOR SOME MORE IDEAS!
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Mountain Construction are North Carolina Builders that specialize in New Home Construction. We also can provide Remodeling services, and are happy to work with you on your next Log Cabin. We are premier International dealers for Hearthstone Homes and North Carolina Timber Frame Builders. We invite you to take a look through our site to see some examples of our work.
To find out how we can help you build or remodel your home CONTACT US.