If you’ve decided to act on your dream of owning a log home, and want to buy a classic home that’s been around a while, it’s important to look beyond the dream and beneath the surface to know if it’s the right choice for you. A professional home inspector is always a good idea, and you should always try to find one with experience in log homes. Not all inspectors have the experience needed for examining log structures, and it takes someone with this type of expertise to recognize problems and recommend the correct way to address them.
If you’re shopping for your dream log home, and considering purchasing an older structure that has caught your eye, here is a checklist of things you should know (and your inspector should thoroughly check out).
- Cracks in the logs are very common and you shouldn’t have to worry about them unless they are very large. Make a note of larger ones and ask a log home professional for an inspection if they worry you.
- When walking around the outside of the home pay attention to the roofline and the trim. Check all decks and roof overhangs for signs of mildew, white powder, droppings or other damage from invasive insects such as termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees and powder post beetles. Sagging or uneven rooflines should be checked out by a log home professional.
- Check that the foundation is sound, without any large cracks.
- When checking the exterior, look for any places where wood is in contact with the soil. This can attract termites and be a spot where water damage is more likely to occur.
- Check to see if trees have overgrown the roof of the home. Overhanging trees can cause leaks in the roof and costly water damage, mold and rot problems.
- Look for gaps or light between logs, in the corners and where the roof sits on top of the log wall.
- Look for spots on the ends of logs or along the exterior where the log is discolored and might have rot. Using a screwdriver or pocketknife, if you can plunge it in without resistance, it would appear that you’ve got wood rot.
- When inspecting the interior of the home, always open and close as many windows and doors as you can. Logs can shrink over time, and log homes settle, creating a situation where doors and windows may not fit properly anymore, causing water and air leaks at the very least.
- Check for water marks on interior walls. Leaks will leave noticeable marks on the wood long after they’ve dried out.
- Give chinking and caulk inside and out a visual inspection and note any areas that are missing, damaged or discolored.
Log homes can last for generations if they have been properly maintained and cared for. If you are looking at log homes, be sure to start with this checklist then enlist the help of a trained and experienced log home professional before deciding on investing in that log home or cabin you’ve been eyeing for your future.
Prolog Restorations is a family-owned business dedicated to preserving and maintaining log homes and structures. For the last 30 years, we’ve been the go-to resource for professional log home construction, restoration, inspection and maintenance services throughout California.
We provide unsurpassed experience, superior craftsmanship and extensive knowledge for building and preserving log homes and structures. We are a state licensed contractor with 30 years of experience, are professionally certified, bonded, and insured and our work is 100% satisfaction guaranteed! Call us at 877-477-6564 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help.