does a log home cost?
the wiring go in?
How is the
of foundation can I build on?
of roofs do log homes have?
pre-assemble these kits at the factory?
termites and decay?
there two kits?
log homes catch on fire easily?
Will I be
able to get a mortgage and insurance on
my log home?
of Insulation/R-Factor/Energy Rating Do
I Get With A Log Home?
Big/Small Can I Build A Log Home?
How Can I
Save Money (Or Make Money)?
Can I use
a tin roof, my own plans, build on a
wood foundation, get my logs kiln dried?
I buy a Cedar home?
Glossary Of Terms
How much does a log
This is a little like
asking how much a car costs - new, used;
Yugo or Mercedes. There are a hundred of
variables, many of which will be
determined by the contractor's costs and
customer's choices (hardwood floors
would cost much more than an inexpensive
brand of carpet).
Some suggestions on how
to approach this question are as
follows: A local contractor regularly
charges a turn-key price. Divide that
price by the square footage of the house
to get a price per square foot (such as
$75/square foot). If you use this as a
pricing guide, it is ONLY a rough
estimate for a house using only basic
materials. Square footage pricing will
vary greatly with the size of the house.
A 600 square foot home has a higher
price to build per square foot than a
3,000 square foot home, using similar
materials. The type of material used
inside, such as kitchen cabinets,
flooring, etc., can cause amazing price
variance in the same house.
How does the wiring go
As the exterior walls go
up, the second, or occasionally the
third log, depending on the profile, is
notched before it is put into place. The
builder then drills through the log and
sub flooring. The wires are run there.
Switches are similarly done and drilled
over the door openings where there is
sufficient room to run the wire (see
construction video). The interior walls
are partition walls and are wired like
any other home.
How is the plumbing?
Plumbing is run through the interior
walls which are framed. This is done the
same as conventionally framed homes.
Bathrooms with joists below are the
exception. There are several ways to
proceed with over joist bathrooms. Most
often the joists are not used in the
first floor area, or a raised floor
issued in the second floor bathroom.
What kind of foundation
can I build on?
The same as any other
kind of house - basement, concrete slab,
crawl space, etc.
What kind of roofs do
log homes have?
As far as roof coverings
(shingles, tin roof, concrete shingles,
etc.), it would be the same as any other
home. Our roof system, however, is a
double roof system that is strong and
more attractive than most others. It
utilizes the exposed rafters and the
tongue and groove as a first roof
structure that is supporting. The second
part includes sleeper rafters, Bat
(pink) insulation and sheathing as a
second roof structure. The two combined
are extremely strong and energy
Do you pre-assemble
these kits at the factory?
Our homes are milled.
There are basically two types of log
homes; milled and handcrafted. Colonial
Structures' logs are milled which means
that they are planed smooth and are all
the same diameter. That means that all
of the logs that fit in the "A" section
on your blueprints are identical and do
not need to be pre-assembled (large
expense). Handcrafted log homes have
random diameters and need to be
pre-assembled and labeled to insure that
the house "kit" will work.
What about termites and
Cedar is naturally
resistant to termites and decay.
Colonial Structures is proud to offer a
LIFETIME warranty on our logs
against structural problems due to
termites and decay (see warranty). Cedar
does have what is called pencil rot. The
tubes, which are usually pencil size,
and are where water has run in the
living cedar tree and gotten soft and
appears to be rotted. The condition will
Do these logs shrink?
As far as shrinkage,
cedar has the smallest shrink factor of
all wood species used to build log
homes. It is a natural product, however,
and will settle somewhat. The customer
may also be referring to the "strength"
and how sturdy the house will be. A
Colonial Structures Cedar Log Home is
incredibly strong due to the post and
beam style of construction. The
uprights, normally at the corners and
beside doors and windows, support the
weight of the house, not the logs. The
logs help prevent lateral movement. Post
and beam construction is represented in
90% of our homes, the other 10% being a
mixture of butt and pass, dove-tail and
Swedish cope. Post and beam, however, is
our niche and makes our homes stronger
and unique. In this type of
construction, each log is toe nailed
into the uprights on either end so that
it will not move. The tongue and groove
on the log, along with the foam gasket
and caulking will prevent air
infiltration around the logs. There is
no need to allow for shrinkage, because
the uprights bear the weight of the
Why are there two kits?
This may originally be a
point of confusion for a customer that
can be turned into a large positive. The
"Pre-Cut Log Kit" contains milled items,
which must be purchased from Colonial
Structures (log home supplier). The "Weathertight
Kit" contains additional materials
required to finish the shell of the
home. (Refer to the "What Comes In a
Kit" link and become familiar with it.)
The Weathertight Kit materials can be
purchased through Colonial Structures,
or through a local lumber yard,
whichever is more efficient (considering
time and money) for the customer. Many
log home companies require that the
customer purchase all materials from
them, which may not be in the customer's
best interest. When comparing different
companies' kits, remember that not
everyone has the same materials in their
package. Some customers see a "log kit"
price that is lower than ours and think
it is a great deal for the entire house.
Make sure that they are comparing apples
to apples. Many companies have kits that
only include the logs, nothing else. If
that is all the customer wants, we will
be glad to give a price on logs only.
Please Note: There is a
lot of additional materials needed to
finish the house. Most customers
understand that there are no windows in
the "Pre-Cut Log Kit" and will gradually
see that there are many other items such
as 2x4's, joists, sub-flooring, and
other things that they must have.
Frequently, kits do not include exposed
wood rafter and joists. The easiest way
to compare prices is to get a written
quote from the other COMPANIES showing
what is offered. Colonial Structures
offers one of the most all inclusive,
high quality packages on the market.
Do cedar log homes
catch on fire easily?
While cedar is a wood
product imagine trying to start a fire
with no kindling and only large logs. It
is very difficult! The same is true with
a log home. Also, there are no
"chimneys" in the exterior walls between
the 2x6's, as there would be in a framed
house. Therefore, the fire does not have
an avenue to spread. Most log home fires
are relegated to a single area, like a
kitchen grease fire that burns some of
the logs. The good news is, by using
post and beam construction, if the logs
are burned, they are replaced more
easily than in other log homes because
the logs themselves are not load
Will I be able to get a
mortgage and insurance on my log home?
Years ago, banks were
slower to loan on log homes because the
modern log industry was unknown to them,
and some customers remember hearing
this. Today, banks are fighting for the
business as the industry grows. Refer to
the lending information LINK in this
What Kind of
Insulation/R-Factor/Energy Rating Do I Get
With A Log Home?
Cedar has the highest
insulating qualities of any wood; nearly
twice that of the highest rated pine
log. Also, the National Bureau of
Standards has issued a report, which
determined that log homes are up to 30%
more energy efficient than a framed
house due to the high thermal mass of
wood. In the winter, the wood absorbs
heat on the inside of the house and
radiates it back into the room when the
temperature drops. So, a cedar log home
is a great energy efficient choice.
Also, in most states, log homes get the
highest energy efficiency rating given
by the power company. Check with your
local power company to see if they have
such a program.
How Big/Small Can I
Build A Log Home?
From a dog house to a
dream house - we can do it all! Our
largest structures include an 18,000
square foot Catholic Church in Maryland
and condominium units ranging from
20,000 square feet. If you can dream it,
we can build it! Find out what the
customer's reason for asking this is and
use it to your advantage.
How Can I Save Money
(Or Make Money)?
The best way for a
customer to save money when building
their log home is to act as their own
general contractor. A contractor will
charge the customer 10-20% to do his
job. In a log home, a large portion of
the work is done when the shell goes up
(if lending is a problem, contact
Waterfield Financial. They may also
negotiate with the builder to do some of
their own work.
Can I use a tin roof,
my own plans, build on a wood foundation,
get my logs kiln dried?
The answer to 95% of the "Can I"
questions will be YES!
Please Note: As for kiln drying,
we do it to keep the moisture content of
the log down. The logs will check, or
crack heavily during the process. Kiln
drying is intended to remove moisture
from wood and cedar has less moisture
because the cells are filled with air.
Thus, kiln drying is an expense, but
needful process. Also, Colonial
Structures air dries it's logs to 18%
moisture content or below before
Why should I buy a
Cedar is generally
considered the finest wood for log
homes. Even magazines who have 90% of
their ads coming from pine companies
will hint at that fact. Some
characteristics that make cedar sell are
No termites or decay
Highest insulating qualities
Least shrinkage, checking or
twisting of all woods.
These points coupled
with the post and beam style of
construction that Colonial Structures is
famous for, makes our cedar log homes
one of the finest and highest quality
homes on the market.
Glossary of Terms
Turn-Key - A
completely finished house, under roof,
foundation to carpet.
Rough In - Only
the shell of the house is constructed.
The main parts of the shell are the log
walls, roof system and interior
Partition Walls -
The framed walls (usually with 2x4's) on
the interior of the house, separating
one room from the other.
Rafters - The
exposed wood timbers that run across the
inside roof line in a cathedral ceiling
of a Colonial Structures, Inc. home
(frequently backed by tongue and groove
Joists - The
exposed wood timbers that make up the
support system between the first and
second floors of a Colonial Structures,
Inc. home (frequently backed by tongue
and groove boards).
Sleeper Rafters -
The second supporting portion of the
roof in a Colonial Structures, Inc.
home. Usually 2x10's that lie on their
ends above the tongue and groove,
backing the ceiling rafters.
Checking - The
cracks that form in the wood. Any large
wood piece is a natural product and will
tend to check. Cedar only show a small
amount of checking compared to all wood
Sheeting or Sheathing
- Large rectangular boards that cover
flooring or roofing.
Milled - Logs are
milled to the same profile. This insures
uniformity of construction, offering a
stronger more weathertight home.
Logs that vary in diameter and profile.
They tend to be more expensive and less
efficient than milled