You’re considering constructing a log home, then.
Living in a log cabin is a terrific experience. They seem really cosy, warm, and natural, which is something you just don’t get in traditional homes.
Building a log home may make you feel more connected to nature and give you a great sense of success because of its rustic aspect and aesthetic attractiveness.
Although living in a log cabin has numerous advantages, you must be honest about the work involved in making one.
To assist you in determining whether this is the best option for you, we’ve put together this list of information you should be aware of before you start building.
The Real Price of Log Homes
Many people who desire large, vast log cabin homes don’t care about price; instead, they simply take their ideas to a designer who will design and build a home just for them.
But most of us just want to construct a straightforward cabin to live in. So let’s examine how much these cost in comparison to more conventional dwellings.
In addition to the land, site preparation, foundations, utility lines, permits, and labour charges, the average cost to build a log cabin kit is €35 per square foot.
To get the total cost of your cabin, it is advised that you multiply the cost of a log cabin kit by 2.6.
The ultimate price will be around €114,111, for instance, if the kit costs €41,111. Using this as an example, the average price per square foot for a 711 square foot log cabin at €41,111 is €58.
Depending on your DIY abilities and the cost of the logs, you might be able to build your own log home for much less money if you do it yourself.
In just one month, this person constructed a modest wood cottage, which cost about €511. Insulation and screws accounted for the majority of their expenditures.
They started from scratch and did everything themselves, including falling, debarking, and building the walls.
Although it might not endure as long as a typical log cabin because they didn’t employ the conventional notching techniques, it’s still not bad for a month’s worth of effort!
Visit our page on the breakdown of expenses involved in building a log cabin for a more precise estimate on how much it will cost to build a log cabin.
The log cabin in the above breakdown cost €25 per square foot.
This cottage was nevertheless constructed on a short budget, although being more practical; I would advise you to budget about €41 per square foot for a hand-built log cabin.
Let’s contrast these prices with what it often costs to construct a standard home. According to Timber Living, the average cost to build a new home is €315,372, which works out to €151 per square foot for a 2,111 square foot home, which is much higher.
Energy Efficiency of Logs Homes and Cabins
The R-value of a substance is a measure of how well it can withstand heat flow. The better the material is, the higher the R-value; the higher the R-value, the larger the insulating power.
According to the kind of tree species, logs have a wide variety of Rtherefore values.
For softwoods, they can be as low as 1.41 per inch and as high as 1.71 for hardwoods. As a result, we disregard the advantages of thermal mass. The R-Value of a 6-inch softwood log wall (without windows or doors) is little over 8.
This has an R-Value of roughly 14 when compared to a typical wood stud wall with insulation, sheathing, and wallboard.
You could believe that log structures are inferior to conventional ones. But logs have another advantage; they function as thermal batteries.
According to a University of Maine research, logs are essential for energy conservation. In order to maintain a constant temperature, they absorb heat during the day and release it at night.
The average household spends €1,911 on energy annually, according to the Log Homes Council. However, owners of log homes often claim that their energy costs for heating, cooling, hot water, and lighting are far lower than those of their neighbours.
A log and timber home may be constructed to be 15 to 21% more energy-efficient than a typical dwelling.
Members of the Log Homes Council construct more than 81% of the log homes constructed in the US. According to Rob Cantrell, 2117, President of the Log Homes Council, they adhere to strict protocols to guarantee that their log cabins don’t allow moisture or air intrusion and that they are energy-efficient.
There is a very good reason why log homes are still constructed in cold locations like the winters in Finland and Canada—logs are excellent natural insulators!
Despite the fact that logs are excellent natural insulators, don’t assume that your log cabin will be energy-efficient by default.
Several additional things also affect energy efficiency.
The ceiling and floor will let up to 71% of your heat escape. As a result, you must appropriately insulate these locations.
See remaining warm in your log cabin for further details on insulation, placement, and the impact these factors may have on your log house’s effectiveness.
Air leakage is another way that log houses may lose energy efficiency. Next, let’s look at this.
Log walls sag and contract
Even log houses constructed with kiln-dried wood are susceptible to some settling and shrinkage.
Because a live tree has a high moisture content and begins leaking water as soon as it is cut down, this is why logs shrink.
The moisture level of air-dried wood is still between 15 and 21%. The logs will continue to dry out until their equilibrium moisture content is reached (ECM). ECM occurs when the logs do not absorb or lose moisture as a result of their surroundings.
The walls of the logs will settle and shrink as moisture is drained from them, which will cause the logs to “check” or fracture.
To enable this movement, it is crucial to employ the right finishes, caulking, and sealants. Your log cabin may have air leakage and soon become energy inefficient if it is improperly sealed and the logs begin to decay.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that shrinking and settling are not issues; they are only a feature of dealing with logs.
When this does become an issue, it is because it is ignored and the incorrect materials are utilised, which prevent the logs from settling properly and limit their mobility.
Recognize that settling and shrinking are inevitable, and prepare accordingly. The majority of contemporary materials are adaptable, allowing the sealant to expand and stretch as the logs move while yet maintaining a tight seal.
Window Walls Cost a Lot of Money
Although you would assume that having a whole wall to take in the breathtaking view is among your top priorities for your log cabin, practical considerations might take precedence.
Although window walls can enlarge your space and let in more light, they can also be a significant cause of heat loss. This will raise your utility costs, which might end up costing a lot of money over time. It is feasible to retain high energy efficiency and still take in the vistas by strategically placing a few modest windows.
You will also be utilising the sun’s energy to its fullest by positioning the bulk of your building’s windows on the south side.
The sun will be low in the sky throughout the winter and will beam directly through your windows, heating and lighting your home. If your log cabin’s roof has a modest overhang, it will function as a shade and keep the heat out in the summer when the sun is higher in the sky.
Place the bulk of your windows on the north side of your log cabin if you live in a warmer environment where air conditioning is more important than heating.
Your log cabin will require continual upkeep, just like a typical house does. It won’t necessarily be harder or easier; it will just be different, I remark.
To keep maintenance expenditures to a minimal, you’ll need to examine your log cabin proactively.
Regular maintenance is far more efficient and cost-effective than sporadic repairs and adjustments. Your wood home will be less vulnerable to harm from UV rays, water, insects, and air with routine upkeep.
Consequently, how is a log cabin maintained?
Every year, you should do two inspections of your cabin: one in the spring and one in the fall. You should assess your cabin’s general condition, the caulking, and any signs of pests when performing this examination.
Once a year, you should wash your cabin to get rid of surface-level filth. Each three years, you should dye your cabin. Check out this page on Log Cabin Maintenance Costs for a comprehensive maintenance manual.
Log Home Location Picking
Consider the building site carefully before beginning construction on your log cabin.
What specifically you intend to build might vary greatly depending on the location of your construction.
Most localities have zoning and planning regulations that you must abide by. Obtaining approval to construct a log home could be challenging in some locations.
For instance, in England, it’s quite unusual that you’ll be granted permission to construct a log home in a neighbourhood devoid of like structures and new dwellings.
Find out what permissions and laws you need to follow by getting in touch with the appropriate local agency. You should look into any zoning restrictions, development limitations, future development plans, and other legal requirements.
Look at American Zoning Legislation and UK Planning Permission for details on the laws that apply specifically to building a log home.
There are various locations where there are lots of log cabins. If you are undecided about where to build your house, these places are a wonderful place to start.
You must take into account if a piece of property is appropriate for your log cabin once you have identified the location you want to construct in and have begun thinking about parcels of land.
Is it reachable? Have you have access to facilities and resources?
Read this article to learn more about locating your log cabin.
It’s critical to maintain realism while considering the many components of building a log home. By comprehending these elements, you may begin to make judgments concerning the logistical aspects of constructing a log cabin.
Remember, even if they are less expensive and more energy-efficient than the ordinary house, these advantages can rapidly become disadvantages if you don’t prepare for inescapable events like moving in and properly maintaining your home.
Prior to constructing a log house, make the most of your planning and preparation time by learning as much as you can.
Your construction will be more successful the more prepared you are.