Designing   your   Dream  Log  Cabin 



                           Designing your Home  Structurally

   I heard Dad  once  say   “that guy  is  real  good  at spending  someone else’s  money”  that’s not us.




     Roofs  on log Homes and Cabins : this is where we spend  most of the money, both labor and material, we need to spend time  and better understanding this. This is where a home could double or triple in cost.. It certainly will cost more in  mountainous, heavy snow loading,  harsh horizontal rain, blowing weather and cold winters compared to low  lander  city vile.  I’ll start designing   frugal, budget minded seeking  a less expensive project. That means fast construction, inexpensive insulation. You decide on the roofing choice,  asphalt shingles is less expensive, important to know...when looking at you completed home  roof it’s what we see first without realizing it. You want it to look great ?         We call it “Curb Appeal”

Trusses: Standard one level Cabins and homes,  Fastest, Cheapest. Pre –Built, lightweight, strong and easy. Works great if time is importance, energy efficient because they are flat ceiling as heat rises and you have no height ! Two men and set a roof in one day and may even have it sheeted with Wafer board ... I recommend CDX Plywood, any snow load available. uses the inexpensive Pink Panther fiberglass stuff.

 Rafter 2x10 : If you want a two level of loft this is the lest expensive way to go.  You will need a ridge beam strong enough to hold snow load and what is called Dead Load ( the weight of the Building materials) call me with the particulars and I can tell close to the size you can figure.  Rafters at 24” centers, heavy snow  may require a purlin ( horizontal support Beam midway from ridge to lower wall).. Maybe two?

TJI :  “Truss Joist Corp” prefabricated out scrap wood,  mixed  with glue, has solid wood  for top and  better  grade for bottom , advantage is length.  Some what pricy, contractors love them because they are easy to get,  and handle, light, 2 times what a 2x10 costs . Bad side is ...sideways they break, burn easy, and the cost of accessories Blocking, matching solid beams. hangers, nails and the extras needed to strengthen  them  have killer prices. Builders talk home owners into them because there fast and they don't have to pay for them. Were best used in commercial construction.

Truss  Scissor : Standard one level Cabins and homes,  Fastest, a little more pricey than regular truss. Pre –Built, lightweight, strong and easy. Works great if time is importance,  uses the inexpensive Pink Panther fiberglass stuff.

 Sawed Rough Cut Beams :   I use 5x10 x 12 and 14’ for floor joists on loft floors at 4’ centers.  and 3x10 for door and window  buck. And roof rafters are custom call out because of spans and snow loads 6x12” x 20 foot  is largest to go unless you have a larger budget. I call out doug fir .

 Bean Hangers :  We buy bulk  made  5” x10”  hangers to save money. 25.00 each  any other  sizes you need cost allot more, there painted black  take special spikes. Painted black. Seal when you get them with more black or clear. Because if the get wet they stain the beam and decking, staining  cant be removed.

 tongue & Groove Decking : Structurally strong and span up to 10’ beam to beam.

   I  go 4’ beam centers on floors and roof beams. Less expensive with sawed beams, round hand hewn is labor extensive. It 2x6x12’ lengths. True 5 1/4”  is more exact after milling...twice. When used as flooring glue and nail 3/8” particle board on top to keep dust/ dirt from getting into the groves it doubles the strength and it  sound proofs.

Rough cut beams  rafters :   come from the saw mill. I use mostly 5x10 for floor joist beams, because we cut a tree 10 x10 and split it.  I have mass amounts of beam hangers made to save money that fit the special 5” beam. Lumber yards don't sell them. I sometimes  use 6 x and hangers for roof all at 4’ centers. Structural will have to call out the specs. Circled Sawed !!

Ridge beams rough cut : can be cut  but were limited to tree size  6 x12 x 22 foot is best  I promise, any thing larger we have to get in Oregon. Many years ago we did allot of 6x16 but were running out of trees I use allot of glu-lam for the ridge in heavy snow conditions. Glue lam beams are  5  1/8” wide and  6  3/4” wide  custom order will get you a  8  3/4” wide and depth( thickness)  up to16”

Stud walls, Electrical & Pluming : 2x4 x 96”  ad top and bottom plates,  is the cheapest, wall heights near 8’6” on a 7” log wall. We design all the electrical  and pluming  to be hidden in stud walls, a pain to put them on a log wall and then sheet rock over a log wall that cost you 10.00 a sq. ft. with 1.00 a ft sheetrock. There is some outlets and switches that have to go in log walls.

Steel Plates  :  we make them custom , here is what they look like. Dimensions have to match beams. And engineering will specify call bolt size, wood  species

Wiring in logs walls : There is some outlets and switches that have to go in log walls. I can usually wire the outlets in a log home log in about 2 hours, code differs 7’ to 11’ centers on log walls. I figure  one between windows . Door switches run the wire  in the logs down into the floor  for power,  then for inside run the wire in interior partitions, up in ceiling  hide wire behind beams or in floor ? You will have to be creative and ask us how we have done it before.

 Garages : Off to the side of Attach ?

 Bay Windows : Let us design these with you , there tricky and need experience to make them right. Plan them 24” deep 8’ of less wide. Right is interior of 7” log bay.  Roof Is  2”x6” decking .

Vaulted Ceilings : most beautifully seen ceilings are  but the best ones are the most costly, so lets look into it so you can budget. Least expensive is the sawed beam and 2x6 decking, beam hangers, may have to mix with large glu-lams. Again 4’ centers.

Round logs milled  and hand peeled are pricey because of crane time, and hand fitting so its true-level-strait so the decking lays tight and strait. Now  you need insulation and another roof to nail roofing to.  $$$  Yu can also go 2x rafter and sheeting then use 1x6 T&G paneling (right) pink panther insulation.

Decks & Porches : use concrete when ever its possible, same cost as wood with no maintenance,  no fire hazard, stack and chop wood on !  Wood if you must use doug fir and no spaces, and joists on 24” centers, it all shrinks and the nails pop up but you get them out with snow shovel.  Roofs... 2x rafters, 24” centers doug fir rafters (right)  is cheapest with bearing beam 6”x12” posts at 10-12 ft. next is 3x10 beam with 2x6 T&G decking( far left). Log if you like hand scribe or milled $$

  Siding vs : Log Gables : Log actually cost less in the long run, why ? Because you have to stop log construction frame a wall stand it up, setup scaffolding, sheet it,  paper it, install siding, go in side insulation, sheetrock, tape, sand prime and paint...or 

      You can just continual logs ?  No scaffolding outside.

February  8,  2014      Page 2 of 4



Window trim and siding mistake

Full log cables