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May 21, 2015

How to design a low maintenance log home

No matter if you are building a new log home from scratch or already enjoy the cabin of your dreams, you’ll hear lots of talk about the importance of maintenance for ensuring your home stands the test of time. The three things that threaten log homes the most are sun, moisture and wood destroying organisms. Defending your home with large overhangs, porches, regular inspections and proper landscaping will go a long way toward preventing maintenance nightmares.

These tips and tricks for creating a low maintenance log home will help save a vast amount of time, money, and effort, leaving plenty of space to relax and enjoy your unique home.

  • Large overhangs or wraparound porches will shield your home from excess sun and rain and extend the life of the finish on your home tenfold. Log homes exposed to direct sunlight require refinishing at least every 3 years. With a porch or large overhand, it can be 15 years before you have to think about refinishing.
  • If you are choosing a location for building a log structure, avoid areas with high winds, such as on the edge of a canyon. You might have a great view, but the hostile environment will create a higher amount of maintenance issues. If you decide you just have to have that view, consult a log home professional so that they can make design changes that will allow for potential problems and protect your home.
  • Make sure you use a stain and sealer that is designed specifically for log homes. Logs are different than regular wood because they expand, contract, and don’t act like flat lumber. You may pay a little more for the stain, but you’ll have to apply it less often, it will protect your logs much better, and save you money in the long run by not having to replace damaged logs that weren’t protected from the elements.
  • Plan your garden and surroundings well by allowing for space around the home for ventilation. Woodpiles stacked against the side of the home, or bushes and trees that brush up against the logs will trap moisture, attract destructive insects and animals, and hide damage until it’s too late.
  • Check your irrigation system to make sure it’s not soaking the sides of your home, which will encourage rot to set in. Rot can cause more damage faster than termites can if the conditions are right.
  • To help prevent wood destroying organisms such as termites and fungi, make sure your logs are Borate treated. Termite and rot causing fungi are the main reasons for log replacement.
  • And finally, if you want to build the ultimate maintenance-free log home, check out the Montana-based company Everlogs, who produce log-like building materials that are actually made out of concrete. Even the hardiest of termites can’t munch their way through those!

For more details and a great checklist for log home care check out this article, “Superior Log Home Restoration & Care.” And if you have any questions for the log home specialists here at Prolog Restorations in California, we’re here for you at 877-477-6564 or via our contact page HERE.