What Is a Log Home Building System and Should I Use One?

Published on | Log Homes |Mountain Home Building Products

Some of the most common questions we here are, “What is a log home building system?” and “Should I use one?”

The answers aren’t very simple, as there are a lot of factors to consider. That’s why we’ve weighed strengths and weaknesses of a log home building system.

What Is a Log Home Building System?

A log home building system is an updated version of the traditional construction methods our ancestors used. It’s called a system because all materials have been tested for reliability and the project has passed many tests.

A log building system works differently than conventional home construction.

Usually, a house’s weight is distributed vertically on supporting pillars. However, a log home’s weight is supported horizontally, with log walls taking over the load of the house.

A log home building system is comprised of different components:

  • Horizontal surfaces are the load-bearing areas, and they come in different forms that shape the top and bottom of the log profile and provide structural stability.
  • Horizontal interface designs compensate for the natural changes wood goes through as it shrinks, swells and dries.
  • Wood: The type of the wood used is significant because different wood types react differently during the seasoning process.
  • The fastening system: Once the logs are stacked, you need to fasten them so they remain secure regardless of shrinkage and expansion over time.
  • Sealants: Once your log home has been erected and secured, you need to make it weathertight. Sealants protect your home against water and air infiltration and ensure it can withstand whatever Mother Nature throws at it. Some of the most common types of sealants are chinking, caulking, foam gaskets and adhesives.

Should I Use a Log Home Building System?

Now that you have the answer to the question “What is a log home building system?”, it’s time to determine if this meets your personal requirements.

Although a log home building system might seem like a time-saving option, it might cause you more harm than good in the long run.

The traditional method of building log homes is slow since it can take a lot of time to trim the wood to perfection. However, log home building systems don’t guarantee that the process is flawless. In fact, industrially trimming the wood reduces its ability to absorb and store heat. As a result, the wood is more exposed to the elements.

Another problem with log home building systems is that they are cut and peeled to uniform sizes by rotating them on a lathe. Although this technique makes the logs fit together more easily than than the traditional method, it affects the long-term stability of the wood.

By removing the imperfections, you are also removing the logs’ natural defense against rot. As a result, your beautiful log cabin becomes more vulnerable to decay, termites and other problems.