It’s not the choice of real estate for everyone, but a log home has serious appeal to a lot. For one, it can be the perfect retreat from the urban bustle. If you like privacy, getting a log home out in the wilderness can be a perfect way of getting just that. But that doesn’t mean that it’s perfect. No home is without its advantages and disadvantages. Nor do they lack their certain considerations that need to be made. Below, we’re going to explore a lot of aspects of log homes. What work needs to go into them, what hazards they have and what myths surround them. Hopefully, you’ll find yourself educated enough at the end to make a choice as to whether a log home’s right for you.
Building a new log home of your own has a lot of considerations to be made for it. Buying land and permits are one thing. They can take a lot of time and money to get through, too. Then there’s sourcing the materials. Once upon a time you could cut those logs from wherever you like, but that’s not necessarily the legal choice any more. Nowadays, you need to rely on one of the companies that specialise in selling logs. If you’re not building it yourself, you should be careful in looking at the builders you offer the job, too. If they don’t have experience building a log home before, you should keep looking if you don’t want a faulty product at the end.
Of course, you don’t necessarily have to build your very own home, either. There are a lot of old log homes scattered throughout the place and you might just find an older one in your area that looks exactly like the kind you want. Don’t jump at it just yet, however. We’re used to houses that are ‘fixer-uppers’, but log homes can suffer from serious problems that put them out of the realms of possibility altogether. This includes things like widespread rot. Before you move into any home, make sure you look inside for signs of rot and damp. If it’s reached inside, you may be looking at a write-off. Newer style log homes are a lot less likely to have these problems, of course.
Then, when you have your very own log home, it’s going to be your responsibility to keep it from suffering that kind of rot and damp. Maintaining a log home isn’t something that needs to be done as often as you think. You should seal the weaknesses and common entry points for water every year. But the bigger jobs are usually done at the building and less often after. This includes using chinking supplied by sites like http://www.weatherall.com/chinking/. Make sure whatever chinking or caulking you use is compatible with wood finishes, too. If you’re cleaning the walls of the home, ensure they’re specifically for finished wood logs. Wash them from the bottom up and rinse from the top down. It might not need a lot of maintenance, but failing to do it can result in serious structural problems.
Log homes aren’t necessarily the easiest to sell as real estate. This is because, as you probably know, they have something of a niche market. Not everyone wants to live out in a log cabin, after all. But those who do realise they’re paying for a niche product. If you take good care of it, they’ll be willing to pay more than you might imagine. But that’s only if you take care to keep its value and perhaps even add a little while it’s yours. You can do this in all manner of ways. Location’s important, but the right amenities can add lots of value. Things like hot tubs and fireplaces are great for adding value.
Every home has its chances of pests. However, with a log home, that risk might be more common than you think. Particularly in poorly finished homes, creatures like termites are likely to look at your home like a big buffet. Using wood chips at the base of the home or outside will similarly attract thousands of these pests which you don’t want. Treating your wood with borate will bake the moisture content out of the wood. http://www.loghome.com/warding-off-log-home-pests/ states this eliminates its value as food. It also kills any creatures that might be living in the logs. As the wood dries and settles, keep an eye out for any cracks in the wood. These make perfect homes for insects, as well, so they need to be sealed up fast.
Insuring any home is hugely important. After all, it’s a big part of where your finances are going for years to come. Even if you buy it outright, you don’t want a disaster to render all that money lost. The same goes for log home just as it would for any other home. Except you may find the insurance on a log home comes with a few extra considerations. For example, insuring it from fire may end up costing more. This is because it’s treated as higher risk when it comes to fire. This may be a big of a mistake on the insurance companies (as we’ll cover later). However, it’s worth considering and looking at the insurance options of your log home more closely than usual.
Hazards and myths
Log homes definitely come with their fair share of hazards. For example, we’ve already talked some about pests and rot (which we’ll cover more next). However, there are also plenty of myths about the hazards of owning a log home. One of the most prevalent is the idea that It’s a fire hazard. However, most log homes are treated with flame retardant. Even besides that fact, this assumption defies logic. Anyone who has built a fire knows that trying to use big fires is a big mistake. They catch fire a lot slower than smaller wood. So long as your home is cleared of surrounding tinder, it’s usually actually at less risk that conventional homes.
However, one hazard that is no myth is that of rot. Water is by far the biggest cause of damage, immediate and long term, to wood homes. Caulking and chinking when the house first goes up, as well as maintaining those weak points, will help. Seal the gaps of the home to stop water seeping in. You can also protect it better from the elements by using stronger materials, like metal roofing. This lessens the risk of water coming in through the top. Make sure that gutters and eaves extend well beyond the home’s walls. Water dripping along the wall proves a risk, so if you have enough space to keep your walls dry you should be fine.
We don’t just want to cover which risks your home may or may not have, of course. Besides the fact that you’ll be living far from the fuss of a bigger city, log homes have other benefits. The biggest one is, perhaps, how energy efficient they are. As with all aspects of making a good log home, it depends on how well it has been finished. If there are gaps in the sealing and weaknesses allowing free-flow, energy efficiency suffers. Otherwise, however, log homes actually tend to let out and let in less heat. Tightly packed logs that are sealed need no more insulation. They can actually prove better than their contemporary cousins. Not only does this mean that log homes are the greener choice, but they can also be cheaper, considering the average energy bill.
Getting the right documentation
Getting the records for just about any home is hugely important. For one, it’s your proof of purchase in a lot of situations. But besides that, it also gives you a real idea of what the history of a home is. In a log home, this is particularly important. Make sure you get a look at the house records before you buy it. You want to ensure that the house has a history of being bought and lived in frequently. Even if a home looks good, these records can tell you when they’ve been abandoned. A house that hasn’t been maintained suffers more risk from that pesky rot, so it may be more work to own in the end.
Log homes certainly have their benefits. Besides giving you the perfect chance to live in that idyllic natural spot you’ve been dreaming of. They’re also potentially cheaper, more environmentally friendly and even less likely to go up in flames. But they have their risks, too. Moisture and rot prove significant risks if they’re allowed to run rampant. All the same, with the right maintenance or finish on a new building, you can negate these risks. Overall, a log home doesn’t take a lot more work than the average home. Just get used to sustaining it and spotting those opportunities for rot and rooting them out. Then you can live in your ideal nature-surrounded home with no problem.