How Long Until I Move into My Log Home?

Handcrafted Log Home in Snow

One of the most frequently asked questions is “How long will it be from when I start the process until I move into the log home?”

Here are a few steps that will give you some idea of the timeline involved.

Planning and Design

  • Initial communications, maybe at a log home show, followed by a visit to a model home; if this is not possible, then a call with the log home company to discuss your requirements (log profile, hybrid, timber frame, corner system, etc.)
  • Review the plans then ask for a cost estimate. This takes between 5-7 business days.
  • Initiate contract will get the preliminary drawings started, which will then take 4-6 weeks to complete.
  • In the meantime, plan job site visits, meet with contractors and arrange for the infrastructure (well if needed/road/septic, etc.)
  • Once you have reviewed and approved, your preliminary drawings go to construction drawings. (Note: this process will take longer if you request more changes/reviews.)
  • Approximately 6 weeks later you will receive your stamped/engineered plans.
  • You or your contractor then apply for building permits. Permits can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, depending on the County/State/Province of build.

This time-frame is typically around 4 months. This process gets you to the point where you are ready to start construction.


  • Excavating/footings/basement/sub-floor: allow 4-5 weeks.
  • Erecting the weather tight package: 10-12 weeks depending on size of home/crew/ weather, etc.
  • Completion of the interior utilities/drywall/trim/floor coverings: 3-4 months.

So, how long until I move in my log home? Altogether, the overall time-frame for the average build would be 8-10 months and could be more if your permits take more time than the average.

Take it step by step and it will all come together! Contact us with any questions or concerns. We’re here to help!

Merry Christmas

As the Christmas holiday season is upon us, we find ourselves reflecting on the past year and those of you who have helped us grow in a most significant way. We value our relationship and look forward to working with you on your new home project in the years to come. We wish you a Blessed Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year 2020.

Which Log Home Package is Right for You?

Log Home Package

A log home package includes the supplies and options to build a log home. But log home packages are not the same. Therefore, it’s important you compare apples to apples.

Consider these points to ponder when researching the right log home package for you.

Log Home Package Questions

  • Are the logs in the package pre-cut and pre-drilled, or just random length logs? Pre-cut log walls will save time during construction. However, if a company offers pre-cut, ask what that means. Corners only? Window/door openings ready for external trim? Electrical chase and boxes?
  • What size are the logs?
  • What species are the logs?
  • Is there a warranty for the logs themselves? For example, most companies will warranty their logs, and then the window and/or door manufacturer’s warranty covers the windows and doors.
  • Are the windows and external doors (French, sliders or entry door) included? If so, are they wood/clad, vinyl or fiberglass for the entry door?
  • What type of roof is included?
  • Does the package include soffit & fascia material/exterior trim for around the windows and doors?
  • Are the porches and decks on the rendering floor plans included or an option.
  • Ask if the 2nd floor system is included or an option.
  • Do they include all of the necessary fasteners, etc., to construct the package? For example, typically nails for nail guns are not included.
  • Is the material for all of the interior framed walls included?
  • Does the package include site-specific engineered plans or are they just engineered for the county of build? If not, you may need to go to a local engineer to get them drawn/approved for your building lot, which would naturally incur additional costs for you.
  • Do the plans include the foundation and sub-floor drafting and engineering (even if the company does not provide the material for this element of the build)?
  • What interior trim is included? Also, what about 1 x 6″ tongue and groove material for a cathedral ceiling?
Log Home Package

Have questions? Contact Footprint Log Homes for more information.

Fire Safety for Log and Timber Frame Homes

Fire Safety Log and Timber Frame Homes

Fire safety is a top concern during this time of year. These fire safety tips are applicable to all of us, no matter what kind of home we live in.

Fire Safety Log and Timber Frame Homes

Fire Safety Tips

  • Consider a metal roof instead of shingle.
  • Any skylights in the roof will help the fire escape if it starts in the house.
  • Install frost-free water spigots around the home so that you have a good water supply should you need it.
  • Keep vegetation at least 100 yards from the house to create a fire break.
  • Trim trees and remove dead ones–this is good forest management.
  • Check with your local fire department to see if they offer a management program.
  • If you store logs for your fireplace, keep the wood a good distance from the house. For example, do not stack wood on the side of the house or under the deck.
  • Make sure everyone knows the way out should a fire occur indoors and have a meeting place determined so that you can do a head count to make sure everyone is out.
  • If you have a second floor, have a fire ladder handy by an exit window should you need to leave that way. These are readily available at most local stores and come boxed.
  • Have an emergency kit ready to go with all the essentials in case you are displaced for any length of time. Include a change of clothing, toiletries, towels, medication, first aid kit, flashlight and a spare pair of shoes.
  • If you have pets, leave their crates accessible so that you can safely cage them if you have a little notice of evacuation.
  • Have a box ready to take important paperwork .
  • Know alternate safety routes from your property.
  • Relocate your precious photographs to a spot for easy pickup.
  • And lastly, make sure you change the batteries in your fire alarms regularly. A good time to do this is in the autumn when you change to daylight savings (if applicable).

While many of these tips are common sense, it never hurts to be reminded sometimes.

Hybrid home

The Hybrid home is becoming more and more popular and Footprint Log Homes has just delivered its first conventional stick frame home. It will have board and batten siding, with beautiful timbers both inside and  out. This home is  under construction and we will post more photos as it progresses.

This home is nestled in the trees in North Idaho
This beautiful Hammer truss with the black powder coated brackets will add dimension and character to the home

Footprint to Offer Stick Frame, Board & Batten, Timber Frame Accents and More

Handcrafted Log Homes

A Footprint Handcrafted or Hand Hewn log home, with its whole log construction, has a bold and striking appearance.

The sturdiness and sense of presence are unrivaled. Footprint Handcrafted log homes are built using carefully selected Canadian Douglas Fir logs. They are pre-assembled at the manufacturing facility, and then disassembled and shipped to locations around the world.

However, we know that the big log is not for everyone, so Footprint is diversifying! We are now working on offering regular stick frame construction. This can encompass ‘board and batten’ with Hardy plank siding, a combination of log, and regular construction and maybe Timber Frame accents both inside and out to give you the best of both worlds. We intend to offer all construction aspects for the residential home.

Check our web site for updates in the coming weeks.

Building a Log Home: How Long Does It Take?

When you are researching building a log home, one of the most frequently asked questions is “How long will it take from when I start the process until I move into the home?”

Here are a few steps that will give you some idea of the timeline involved in building a log home.


  • Initial communications may be at a log home show, followed by a visit to a model home; if this is not possible then a call with the log home dealer to discuss your requirements, log profile, corner system, etc.
  • Review the plans then ask for a cost estimate; this will take between 5-7 business days.
  • Initiate contract: this will get the preliminary drawings started, which will then take 4-6 weeks to complete.
  • In the meantime you should be planning job site visits, meeting with contractors and arranging for the infrastructure (like a well/road/septic, etc.)
  • Once you have reviewed and approved your preliminary drawings go to construction drawings (Note: this process will take longer if you request more changes/reviews)
  • Approximately 6 weeks later you will receive your stamped/engineered plans.
  • You or your contractor then apply for building permits. This can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months depending on the County/State/Province of build.

This process gets you to the point where you are ready to start construction. This time frame for planning is typically around 4 months on average.

Building a Log Home -- Ground Clearing
Ground Clearing


  • Excavating/footings/basement/subfloor: allow 4-5 weeks
  • Erecting the weather tight package: 10-12 weeks depending on size of home/crew/ weather, etc.
  • Completion of the interior – utilities/drywall/trim/floor coverings: 3-4 months.
  • The overall time frame for the average build would be 8-10 months and could be more if your permits take more time than the average.

Take it step by step and it will all come together!

The Completed Log Home, Ready to Move In
Finished Home, Move-In Ready

What You Need to Know about Humidity in Your Log & Timber Home

Do you wake up some mornings feeling parched, dry nose and itchy eyes? Are the hardwood floors in your new log home creaking and groaning like an old ship? Did static electricity make loved ones and pets cringe at the touch?

Culprit – Dry Air

Humidity in Your Log or Timber Home

Without enough moisture, both you and your home will suffer. Dry air is also a dollar-and-cents issue because adding water vapor to your home can also reduce your heating bills. The solution is simple enough though. It’s a matter of boosting the level of humidity inside your home. Increasing your relative humidity by 10% is roughly equivalent to raising the room temperature by one degree.

Years ago people would boil a kettle of water on the wood stove, this was low cost but not very effective, it only worked because the wood stove was in the center of the living area. Typically with today’s much larger log home the kettle on top of the wood stove is just totally inadequate.

Humidifier Types & Options

So, it’s clear that moist air is better for you. The question is what’s the best way to create it? Several options are available ranging from portable counter top humidifiers to whole house systems. Here are some guidelines to help you decide what’s best for you:

Firstly a humidifiers output is measured in gallons per 24 hr period:

  • Portable humidifiers – simple to operate, easy to install, counter top size or free standing. The main disadvantage is the small area they cover and they can be noisy.
  • Humidifier-air cleaners – Some manufacturers produce appliances that both purify and humidify, filters and ultra violet light bulbs have to be replaced periodically.
  • Whole house systems – By far the best way to go is to have it installed by your HVAC contractor at the time of construction. One of the main advantages is that they connect to your central water supply and so refills automatically. They still require maintenance and should be checked periodically like other appliances in the home.

Remember, you need to strike a balance between what’s good for your home and air quality and your budget. A humidity range of 30-50% will provide the greatest level of comfort for you and protection for you home.

Visit Footprint Log Homes in British Columbia

Visit Footprint Log Homes in Vernon, British Columbia

Visiting British Columbia? Want to get a firsthand look at the style and quality of the Footprint Log Homes product?

Now you can visit our Footprint Log Home dealer here in beautiful British Columbia!

Visit Footprint Log Homes in Vernon, British ColumbiaFeel free to book the Airbnb Guest Suite located on the property of the Mustang Log & Timber Homes model. We can schedule a tour of the mill that provides the logs and timber for Footprint Log Homes.

Plus, you can take the opportunity to tour the stunning Okanagan Valley while you are in the area!

Click on the link below for rates and availability.

Book the Mustang Log & Timber Homes Airbnb.

Small Log Cabin in the Woods Under Construction

This small cabin base based on the Bears Den.

At 756 Square feet this two story log cabin offers good separation of space with a large loft bedroom made possible by an optional shed dormer on the back of the house which includes a half bath. This could, of course, be reversed with the full bath in the loft and the half bath on the main floor.

How Custom Log Home Design Services Can Help You

Custom Log and Timber Homes

Custom Log Home DesignCustom Log Home Design Services from Footprint Log Homes will take you through the process of designing your home, so that you will be ready to start construction.

Making the Most of Custom Log Home Design Services

There are many different ways to communicate your ideas, wishes and dreams of the perfect home be it Log, Timber Frame, Swedish Cope or Hybrid (a mixture of different materials). Check out our Product Line to find the right one for you.

You may have a sketch showing the rough layout of rooms with dimensions and the square footage of the home. You may even just have a concept drawn on a napkin. One of our clients had a scrap book filled with ideas from when she was a child. You may choose to pick a floor plan from our web site or a concept you may have seen somewhere and then customize it to your liking.

Whatever stage you are at, the Footprint Log Homes design service will help you to achieve your goal.

You will receive views in both 2 and 3D of the log/timber work and the elevations. Customizing a home does not mean more money! Contact us to find out more.

Questions to Ask at a Log Home Show or When Touring a Model Home

Footprint Log and Timber Homes

A log home show is a great venue to see many different kinds of log homes all under one roof. Touring a model home is also a great opportunity to see what a log home looks and feels like. You may be eager to visualize your ideas in your home.

How do heating and cooling bills compare to a regular stick built home?

Log homes are naturally energy efficient, but an experienced company will be able to tell you how their logs and ceiling design will affect the temperature regulation of your log home.

What is the shrinkage allowance on your company’s log home?

Logs shrink as they age and lose moisture. Different companies may suggest that their logs shrink less than others because of various processes they put them through. The most important thing is that the company has put some thought into allowing your home to settle in ways that will not cause major structural damage or break a window or door.

How does a log home compare in the market place for re-sale?

A manufacturer may have a lot to say about this but remember that it’s all about your location! If you live in an area without many log or timber homes it will be difficult to compare sales and it may suggest that your pool of potential buyers is smaller. Many of the same re-sale issues that apply to stick homes apply also to log or timber homes; unusual designs may hurt you but excellent and consistent maintenance will always give your home a boost when and if it is time to sell.

What maintenance is required for a log home?

The sales person will give you a sense of the seasonal tasks to perform to make sure you home is standing up to the elements and will continue to do so.

How often will I have to re-stain the outside?

There is a difference between a full re-satin and a touch-up. Most likely you’ll only need to fully re-satin the logs after several years but more important than counting the years is knowing what logs look like when they need to be re-stained or when a simple touch-up will do.

Do I need to stain or treat the inside of the logs?

Most of the important treatment to your logs will be done on the outside but it is personal preference regarding the inside unless there is water or other damage done during construction. Remember, if you do stain the inside, make sure the stain is designed for INTERIOR use.

Will I need to chink my home?

This depends on the style log you choose. Typically a Swedish Cope or Hand Crafted log home will need to be chinked but other versions of the milled double tongue and groove logs do not. However, some home owners choose to chink their homes for the aesthetic look, even if it is not necessary.

What should I do about the ‘checks’ (cracks) in the logs?

Checks allow water to settle inside the wood, eventually causing the wood to rot. If the check is on the upper side of the log, fill it caulking to make it watertight again. The ones on the underside of the log are not as important as the water should run over. However, you may choose to do those also.

Now is the time to think about the long-term big picture. A log home is most likely the biggest investment you will make.

Contact us for more information about building a custom log or timber frame home.

Five Tips for Financing Your Log Home

Financing Your Log Home

Financing your log home is one of the most important parts of your research. While most people initially concentrate on choosing a log or timber frame manufacturer, the next most important step is how to fund their dream home.

What’s Your Budget?

Most of us have a budget irrespective of size. Therefore it is important right from the start to work with your log home dealer to establish an initial budget to build that home. Delays in choosing the right mortgage lender can cause the project to take much longer and in the end will drive up costs.

Tips on Financing Your Log Home

Here are some useful tips to guide you on financing your log home.

  1. Shop for a loan before committing to a log home package. At least get pre-qualified.
  2. Choose a combination loan. Basically you need two types of financing — a short-term construction loan and a permanent mortgage. By choosing a lender who will merge both, you only have one closing cost, saving you money!
  3. Check the terms of the construction loan. Typically financial institutions will allow a 12 month loan and others will go to 18 months.
  4. Will the lender allow ‘home owner builds’? If so there may be additional charges and/or time frames.
  5. Most importantly — Once you are pre-qualified and have ordered your home package DON’T just sit on the fence awaiting the next call. Follow through with the lender and establish what paperwork they need next to keep the ball rolling. Delays will cost you money.

Have more questions? Contact us. We’re happy to help you find the answers.

Don’t know where to start? Get our free guide with valuable information about building a custom log home and our most popular log home floor plans.

Footprint Log Homes works closely with our customers to help them build the custom log home of their dreams. 

What Do You Want from a Log Home Company?

Footprint Log and Timber Homes

What do I want in a Log Home CompanyWhat do you want from your log home company?

We believe a successful log or timber frame home project depends on two essential factors: a high quality product and outstanding customer service. You need both to achieve the home of your dreams.

Footprint Log Homes is a group of highly experienced professionals who have valuable experience in the log home industry. We focus on providing a high quality product. Along with excellent customer service, we have a winning combination.

The team at Footprint designs and engineers your home to meet your aesthetic and practical needs. We also deal with site-specific issues such as seismic conditions, snow loads, wind velocity, energy requirements, local building codes and much more.

“What would we want from a log home company?”

Quality, Advice and Guidance.

Have questions? We have answers. We also created a Log and Timber home brochure to guide you along the way!

Contact us for your free PDF copy of our building guide.

Log Cabin Under Construction

Cozy Log Cabin

This log cabin, using the Sportsman floor plan, makes the most of available space. At 840 sq. ft., this cabin floor plan incorporates a separate bedroom and full bath. The cleverly designed kitchen includes bar seating, plus a separate dining area. The second story loft can be used for many different purposes — from relaxing to socializing to providing additional sleeping space.

The logs for this cabin were erected in less than 2 days. Our ‘Country Cut’ milled log is fully pre-cut and pre-drilled for electrical and the electric boxes cut in which means a lot less work on the job site when erecting the logs.

This cabin was customized slightly from the Sportsman Cabin and once finished will provide many years of happy memories for the homeowner and family.

Contact us for more information about how you can build your own custom log cabin.

Log Home Tips for Heating & Cooling

Heating & Cooling Log Home

Log Home Heating & CoolingLooking for a log home? While logs are an excellent natural insulator, your home will need a little help to keep your home at the ideal temperature in both winter and summer.

Tips for Cooling a Log Home in the Summer

  • Ceiling fans are still a good option but it seems that summers are getting hotter and they don’t always have the desired effect, especially if your bedroom is in the loft. Heat rises! A window fan or air conditioner can be noisy!
  • Are you heating/cooling the whole house when you are only using one or two rooms? Think about a mini split ducted heating and cooling system rather than a whole house system.
  • Extend you roof line to protect the logs. This does two things, in the winter when the sun is lower in the sky, it allows the sun in to warm your room and in the summer when the sun is higher it helps to keep the sun at bay.
  • Ceiling fans in the loft if turned to reverse will bring the hot air down, thus cooling the air upstairs. This can work in reverse in the winter taking some of the warm air up.

Heating a Log Home in the Winter

  • A popular heating system is Radiant floor, as it heats evenly and does not blow air and dust around the house as with a forced air system.
  • Wood stove vs. fireplace. While a fireplace insert looks lovely it is not as efficient as the cosier (in my opinion) looking wood stove.
  • Windows and doors are common places for heat loss; make sure you have no air infiltration there.
  • Electric boxes on external walls are also areas that need to be sealed properly during construction.
  • Orient your house to take advantage of the sun in the winter.
  • Window screens are a necessity in the summer to keep bugs out but often darken the room to a degree; taking them out in the winter when we don’t often open the windows will let more light in during those grey days of winter. I would however recommend keeping a couple, in case you do need to open a window.

Cost Saving Tips

  • Are you wasting water waiting for the water to get hot before you can take a shower in the morning? On demand water heaters also known as tank less water heaters are gaining popularity with new home owners.
  • Geothermal energy is thermal energy generated and stored in the Earth. Geothermal can be expensive to install but will give a good return on your investment in the your energy bills in the years to come.

Geothermal Energy

Seven Tips for Planning Your Dream Log Home

Footprint Log and Timber Homes

Planning your log home -- the Seven Step ProcessWhen planning your log home, Footprint uses your specific requirements to create your future dream home. Customized does not mean more money!

When it comes to designing the perfect home, most of us need a little guidance. Footprint’s design service can help.

The Planning Process

Our design team will work with you to design your home through this phase of floor plan and elevations. Once we’re done, we roll it over into the formal purchase agreement. So, the deposit you paid for this service will become part of the 10% needed for full construction drawings.

Planning Your Log Home

There are many different ways to communicate your ideas, requirements and dreams of the perfect home, be it log, timber, post and beam or hybrid. A few points to ponder

Continue reading “Seven Tips for Planning Your Dream Log Home”

The History of the Log Home

oldest log home

oldest log home

The Log Home has a long history with the oldest log home said to date from the year 30 BC.

Here are a brief history and some interesting facts.

Historically, log cabin construction has its roots in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Although their origin is uncertain, the first log structures were probably being built in Northern Europe in the Bronze Age (about 3500 BC). The European log construction has undergone an evolutionary process from the crude small gable roof cabin of round logs with an opening in the roof to vent the smoke, to the more sophisticated squared logs with interlocking double notch joints with the timber extending out beyond the corners. Log saunas or bathhouses of this type are still to be found in rural Finland.

By stacking tree trunks one on top of another and overlapping the logs at the corners, people made the ‘Log Cabin’. They developed interlocking corners by notching the logs at the ends, resulting in strong structures that were easier to make weather-tight by inserting moss or other soft material into the joints. As the original coniferous forest extended over the coldest pasts of the world, there was a prime need to keep these cabins warm. The insulated properties of solid wood were a great advantage over a timber frame construction that was covered with animal skin, boards or shingles. Over the decades, increasingly complex joints were developed to ensure more weather tight joints between the logs but the profiles were still largely based on the round log.

Log construction was especially suited to Scandinavia, where straight tall tree trunks (Pine and Spruce) are readily available. With suitable tools, a log cabin could be erected from scratch by the family in a few days. As no chemical reaction was involved, such as hardening of mortar, a log cabin could be erected in any weather or season.

The earliest recorded North American log home was built by the Swedes who settled in Pennsylvania in 1638. Subsequently, log home building techniques were improved by German settlers. As the West was settled, log homes were erected all over as symbols of the frontier spirit. Along with the refugees produced by the War of Independence, the log home spread to Canada and there, the abundance of building materials and severe cold made them spread quickly to become scattered all over wooded areas.

Along with the industrialization of society in the 19th century, logs were, to a large extent, replaced by building materials which could be massed produced in sawmills, and towns took on a different appearance. However, log homes remain strongly associated with the North American identity and now they are undergoing a kind of revival in the form of country residences and mountain cabins.

Today, construction of modern log cabins and leisure homes is a fully developed industry.

Featured Floor Plan: Muir Woods. Click for details
Featured Floor Plan: Muir Woods
Click for details

Muir Woods
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Square Footage: 1,008

Thinking of retirement? The Muir Woods offers one level living with all the comforts of home packed in to 1008 sq. ft.

As with any of our plans, this is just a concept and we can customize to suit your needs.

Your Guide to Green Construction and Log Homes

Green Construction Log Homes

Your Guide to Going Green

Going GreenAs Green Construction is becoming more and more popular, Footprint Log Homes is committed to helping you achieve your Green Building goals. If that goal is to save energy, create a healthy home environment, be it Eco-friendly or all of the above, we can guide you through the Green design and building options to meet your individual requirements.

By selecting a log or timber frame home you are already on the path to Green building. Footprints engineered log or timber frame home already uses timbers from renewable sources with our manufacturer using trees from sustainably managed forests. However, Green design building has many more facets than just the logs.

Here are some of the elements we use when working with our clients to develop a Green building agenda:

Green Building Goals
We’ll work with you to help define your Green building goals and offer recommendations from home design to material selections and more, while keeping your budget in mind.

Design with Green Building in mind
It all starts with the design of your custom home. Incorporating your Green goals into your custom floor plan, we’ll offer recommendations for site placement, window size and location, HVAC options, ceiling heights, lighting and much more.

Site Planning
We’ll offer ideas to help you to create a design that not only takes advantage of your site but keeps the surrounding environment in mind through a detailed site plan.

Develop an Energy Efficient Plan
We’ll suggest options to help you create an energy efficient custom home, from positioning your home to take advantage of passive solar, working with your mechanical contractor to select an energy efficient HVAC system to selecting ENERGY STAR appliances. We’ll help you design and energy efficiency plans that fits. We will work with you and your builder to review Eco-friendly building materials, choices, building waste disposal methods, lighting systems, indoor quality, water efficiency and much more.

is the most energy and environmentally friendly system available today. this heating and cooling system uses the relatively constant temperature of the earth to maintain an even temperature in the home in winter or summer.

In Floor Radiant heat
generates an even heat throughout the home and will not distribute dust like forced air thereby creating a more healthy environment.

View the Tahoe floor plan

The Tahoe
is one of our more popular models. At 2,519 Sq. ft. with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathroom makes this an ideal family home.

Click on the house to view the floor plan on our site.

Milled, Swedish Cope, Timber Frame and Handcrafted Log Homes: What the Right Choice for You?

Footprint Log and Timber Homes
What is the difference between Milled Log, Swedish Cope, Timber Frame, and Hand Crafted homes? Here we will endeavor to make this a little clearer!

Milled Log Homes
…use logs that are cut by a machine to a uniform diameter. A milled log has been put through a saw mill, lathe or planer. these machines cut the logs into the desired shape or profile. When you look at a milled log home all the logs will be a uniform size and shape. Milled log homes are one of the most popular types of log homes because of the appeal of the logs’ uniformity and consistency.

Swedish Cope
…is also a milled log but is a full round log that has been coped at the bottom and milled to a uniform size as opposed to the Hand Crafted log that is tapered and crafted by hand.

Timber Frame Homes
…visually are very dramatic, often described as cathedral-like. the beauty and warmth of the wood is the key element of the interior design. A timber frame home is built from large timber components that form the structure of the home requiring no interior load bearing walls. A timber frame home is composed of vertical posts and horizontal beams. these beams then connect the posts to form the frame work of the house.

Hand Crafted Log Homes
…have a more traditional, rustic look. Each log is hand-peeled with a draw knife, hand scribed, chiseled and cut with chain saws to form a perfect fit to the log below. During the assemble at the manufacturing facility. The expert wood workers ensure the log walls will remain tight throughout the natural seasoning and settling process. The logs are inspected according to strict quality standards. the logs are marked carefully according to the construction plan then disassembled and shipped directly to your location for reassembly. the result is a natural rustic look that is very appealing to those interested in a very traditional home.

Lastly, the Hybrid home
…which is becoming more and more popular, can be a combination of styles. Typically this is a stick built structure with Timber or Log elements, particularly in the Great Room.

Have questions? Contact us! We’re happy to help.

How to Compare Different Log Home Packages

Footprint Log and Timber Homes

Comparing Apples to Apples

apples to orangesYou have been researching log and timber homes and maybe you have been to a log & timber home show and even attended the university; you now have all the information you need to make an educated decision on what style home you want, who will supply the package and when you plan to build your dream home…maybe! Hopefully you are not more confused than when you started on this journey! There is a lot of information to process before you can make that final decision.

Points to ponder when you are trying to decide between different Log or Timber home packages.

  • Is the log element of the package pre-cut or random length? Pre-cut log walls will save time during construction. If a company offers pre-cut, establish what that means – corners, window/door openings ready for external trim, electrical chases drilled through and boxes cut out.
  • What size and species are the logs? Footprint’s Douglas Fir 8″ double tongue and groove logs give greater contact than a 10″ Swedish cope log, which is important for energy.
  • Are the windows and external doors included, and if so, are the windows wood/clad or vinyl?
  • Is there a warranty against the logs themselves? Most companies will warranty the logs, then the window manufacturers warranty covers the windows and doors.
  • Does the package include soffit and fascia material/exterior trim for around the windows and doors?
  • Is the 2nd floor system included or an option?
  • Stairs – included or option?
  • Do they include all of the necessary fasteners etc. to construct the package? Typically nails for nail guns are not included.
  • Is the material for all of the interior framed walls included?
  • Does the package include ‘site specific’ engineered plans or are they just engineered for the State/Province of build? If so, this would mean going back to a local engineer to have them approved for your specific property, an additional cost to you!
  • Do the plans include the foundation and sub floor drafting, even if the company does not provide the materials for this?
  • Is the tongue and groove for the cathedral ceiling included or optional?
  • How are the logs joined on a long wall…spline, glue or dove tail joint?

We are committed to customer service before, during, and after your build.

Photo of log joint
Ask how the logs are joined

Click on the picture for a breakdown of our log package.
Click image for a breakdown of our log package

Tips for the Log Home Planning & Construction Process

Footprint Log and Timber Homes
If you are planning to build a log or timber frame home you will find that much of the work starts before construction ever begins. It is important to do your research beforehand to prevent problems and confusion down the road. We offer the following suggestions for prospective log or timber frame home owners.

The planning process assuming you already have your property

  • Do your homework so that when you decide on the company that will provide your log or timber frame home it is an educated decision based on sound research.
  • Initiate contact with each company; this should be followed up by a visit to their model home or show room to discuss your project in detail. If this is not possible this can be remedied with phone calls and emails.
  • After discussing options and reviewing plans ask for a free no-obligation quote. Typically you should have a quote within 10 business days.
  • Once you finalize the company that will provide your home package initiate contract actions. At this point you are beginning to plan site visits, meets with contractors and arrange for the infrastructure (Well, Road, and Septic)
  • Approximately 2 weeks after ordering the home you should receive the first set on preliminary drawings. At this point you will see your home scaled out on paper for the first time. Plans need to be reviewed and resubmited for changes (if needed). Remember,this is why you are building a custom home – to meet your specific needs/desires!
  • Approximately 2 weeks later, revised plans should be back for review. If you like what you see you will sign off to go to full construction/engineered drawings.( note: this process could take longer if you need more changes/revisions)
  • About 6 weeks later you will receive stamped/engineered plans. You and/or your builder will then apply for building permits.

This process will get you to the point in design where you are ready to start the construction of the home; this time-frame is typically around 4 months on an average. However, it can be much faster if you choose a standard plan that does not need much, if any, alteration. Obviously it can also take longer if your require several rounds of plan changes.

The construction process

Once your home package has been delivered the construction time-frame will depend on many issues. For our purpose of providing a simple estimate, lets use the typical purchase of a 2,000 sq. ft. log home built on a daylight (walkout) basement where the builder was hired to complete the home to a turnkey finish.

  • Excavation/footings/basement/sub floor: Allow 4-6 weeks
  • Typically construction of a non pre-cut weather-tight package takes between 10-12 weeks
  • With the Footprint 100% pre-cut log wall system the construction time-frame to complete the weather-tight shell is reduced to 6-8 weeks, depending on the size of the house thereby saving 2-4 weeks of construction costs.
  • Completion of the interior – utilities/drywall/trim/floor coverings, allow 3-4 months.
  • The overall time-frame for the average project is between 6-8 months.

None of these time estimates however, are set in stone. Each one depends on many factors such as weather conditions, size of crew, unforeseen obstacles etc. These are things that you and your builder must work through together.

Featured Floor Plan: McKinley
Click for details

Bedrooms: 4 + loft
Bathrooms: 3.5
Square Footage: 4,878

The 4,878 sq. ft. McKinley offers luxurious living on a grand scale. An open floor plan takes advantage of cathedral ceilings and expansive views.

The ground level includes a kitchen, open living area and separate master bedroom with en-suite bathroom. Optional decks extend the living space around the home.

The second floor offers loft space, plus two more bedrooms. An attached two-car garage also offers the option of a separate apartment on the second floor.

As with any of our plans, this is just a concept and we can customize to suit your needs.

Come and visit us at the Log and Timber Home Show in Denver, Colorado where we can discuss your plans for the home of your dreams.

September 29-Oct 1st at the Denver Mart
Booth number 127

Planning for Retirement in Your Dream Log Home

Sequoia Log Home
Sleeping in hammockThe majority of those who are considering a log home purchase typically do so with two thoughts in mind.. the ‘dream cabin in the woods’ and ‘retirement’. If retiring in your new home is the aim, then careful planning will make your life easier as you age.
So think ahead; below are few tips to follow:

Accessibility: Keep the structure close to the ground, limit the number of stairs and either build or make provisions in the design for approach ramps should wheelchair access becomes an issue.

Building design: Give serious consideration to building a single level home, eliminate stairs altogether and make hallway at least 4 ft wide (5′ is better) to enable a wheelchair to be turned around. Eliminate floor level changes and if you do plan any then ensure a change in floor covering in this area to assist when failing eyesight becomes a problem.

ADA Compliance: Plan the whole house with ADA features in mind, seek advise on this. Consider bathrooms and kitchen areas in particular.

Lighting: Provide more light than you currently think you need; ensure there are plenty of windows to bring in the natural light. This is particularly important for the long winter evenings. Install nightlights and adequate lighting at external entryways and make sure that the switches can be reached from a sitting position.

Heating: Choose wisely; whilst a wood stove may be your first choice for the looks and the comfort feeling, it may not be practical. You may not be able to collect/cut and haul the wood as you get older.

Emergencies: Install a back up generator that comes on automatically when there is a power outage. Plan for a security system for the ‘unwelcome visitors!!”

Maintenance: Keep things simple, single level structures not only have no stairs but are easier to maintain. Good quality wood windows, with a maintenance free exterior metal clad (Footprint includes Pella windows as standard in our package) double pane with low E glass for maximum heat retention. Consider composite decking material to reduce maintenance issues on decks and porches.

In our opinion a log or timber home is one of the most peaceful and attractive types of housing available.

Some of the above comments may seem to be daunting but with careful planning and design work and with our help your dream home will be more enjoyable and easier to care for in later years.

Contact us to find out more.

What’s Included in the Milled Log Home Package?

Log Home Package
Milled log home packages are one of the most popular options. However, the number one problem people have during their research is comparing “Apples to Apples.”
Here’s some guidance to help you choose the right milled log home package for you.

Our Footprint Milled Log Package

Our milled log package includes…

  • Design, drafting and site specific engineered plans to enable your builder to apply for your building permit.
  • Drafting of the foundation and sub floor (materials not included, these would be supplied by your builder of record)
  • Detailed log wall drawings to assist the builder with assembly.
  • Exterior pre-cut log wall system including all the hardware for assembly. Pre -cut walls include:
    • Corner system
    • Dove tail butt joints where needed
    • Window and door openings precut ready to recieve bucks, window/doors external trim
    • All log wall electrical chases and boxes pre cut and drilled.
  • Interior stud wall -2 x 4 or 2 x 6 as necessary
  • 2nd floor system – joists, sheeting etc.
  • Construction stairs
  • Roof system up to and including the sheeting (excludes metal/shingle)
  • Wood windows with aluminum exterior clad and all external doors. Garage door would not be included.
  • Exterior trim for windows/ exterior doors/ soffits and fascia.
  • Interior trim for vaulted ceiling if applicable or requested
  • Porches/decks if applicable
  • Construction manual and technical assistance for you or your builder.
  • Warranty of the log shell.

In addition to our milled log home package, we also offer Timber Frame, Handcrafted, Post and Beam, Swedish Cope and Hybrid home packages.

Contact us for more information.

How to Maintain Your Log Home

Footprint Milled Log Homes

Maintain Your Log Home Investment

It’s important to maintain your log home. It’s likely your biggest investment, so you need to protect it.
Let’s talk about what to maintain, when and how things need to be done.

Exterior Stain Protection

  • You spent a considerable sum of money on your dream home. So, don’t skimp on one of the most important areas — the exterior!
  • You can choose from numerous products on the market to protect the exterior of your home. But choose wisely. The top end of the product range will give you 3-5 years before you have to reapply a maintenance coat, depending on where you build and the weather exposure. However the least expensive product will cost you more in the end as you will be reapplying stain every couple of years.
  • Remember also that the stain is designed to protect against Ultra Violet (UV). Therefore, the lighter the color you choose, the less UV protection, and the more frequently you will reapply.

When to Reapply Stain

  • Why do it? UV rays are woods worst enemy. As stain ages it breaks down letting in the UV rays that penetrate and attack wood fibre and inviting water damage.
  • If your stain is intact it will help counter those effects. Fresh stain not only looks good but it is a relatively inexpensive way of protecting your investment.
  • The simple answer is to use a garden hose ( not a power washer) and hose down your logs 2 or 3 times a summer, this keeps them clean and relatively dust free, dust attracts the UV rays which in turn breaks down the stain. . When the water is applied if the droplets bead up much like polish on a car the ‘All is well’. If the water runs off then you know it is time to reapply your stain!

What to Do about Cracks in the Exterior Walls

  • If cracks are on the underside of the rounded profile of the log, you don’t need to do much from a maintenance standpoint. But you may wish to fill those for cosmetics.
  • If, however, they are on the upper side of the log, you’ll need to fill the cracks to stop water and dust infiltration.
  • Run a bead of ‘Log Builder’ (made by Sashco) into the crack to seal it from the elements. If the crack is really big, put in a strip of ‘Backer Rod’ (a round foam strip that you can find in most hardware stores) to take up most of the space, and then apply the log builder.
  • Here are a few product suggestions:
    • Sikkens Oil Based
    • Permachink Water Based
    • Sashco Water Based

By following these simple steps you will keep your home looking beautiful for years to come.

Contact us for more tips on the best ways to maintain your log home investment.

10 Tips to Maximize Your Log Home Budget

Footprint Log and Timber Homes
Your log home budget can go a lot farther, depending on the decisions you make when designing and building your custom log home.
You and Your Log Home Budget! 10 Handy Tips
  1. Building up instead of out reduces cost of concrete on a large foundation.
  2. Keep roof lines simple… fancy roofs cost money!
  3. Keep corners to a minimum… corners are costly to construct.
  4. Add a ‘Shed Dormer’ in the loft to gain more headroom thereby creating more usable square footage.
  5. Consider a log burning stove instead of a fireplace, the stove is more energy efficient.
  6. Consider the positioning of your home to take advantage of the sun in winter when the sun is lower in the sky.
  7. Use a laminate counter top instead of granite, carpet and tile instead of wood. Stainless steel appliances will add a big cost to your budget. These are things that can always be upgraded later.
  8. Milled double tongue and groove logs are more budget friendly than handcrafted, timber frame, Swedish cope or post and beam.
  9. Double hung windows are more cost effective than casement (wind out) windows.
  10. And lastly, your sweat equity is where you can really save the $$ – anything you can do, be it laying tiles, painting, staining the logs etc. will reduce your overall costs.

Footprint Log Homes works with log home dreamers on their budgets. Contact us to see how we can help you build your dream log home.

Benefits of Thermal Mass in Log and Timber Homes

Thermal Mass in Log and Timber Homes

One difference between log homes and traditional construction is the concept of thermal mass.

One of the first questions we are asked when customers visit a model home or our booth ant a Log Home Show is “What is the ‘R’ value of your logs?”! We then spend many minutes explaining that the method by which the energy of logs are measured is ‘Thermal Mass’ and not ‘R’ Value.

In this months newsletter we would like to share some of that and give you references so that you can delve deeper in to the subject.

R Value vs. Thermal Mass

  • ‘R’ – value measures a material’s resistance to the transfer of heat from one side to another. Logs have a relatively low resistance to heat transfer as they actually absorb and store heat in their cellular structure. Thus taking a longer period of time to transfer through the material.
  • Thermal Mass is a material’s capacity to absorb, store and slowly release heat over time.

Back in the early 90’s the Log Home Council (LHC) set out to prove two things.

  1. First, logs have a thermal mass because of their cellular structure , bulk and thickness.
  2. Second, this thermal mass provides significant energy saving benefits because it releases heat back into the house when temperatures drop.

The first study focused on heat loss through the log wall compacted to a conventional framed wall. The finding was that leakage occurred in the same places as a framed house, at the peak of cathedral ceilings, around window and door frames and at tops of walls. It concluded that the leakage was not due to the log walls.

The second study concluded that the thermal mass of log walls does significantly reduce energy use for heating in cold climates.

Therefore, after 13 years the Nations Model Energy Code finally recognized the energy conservation benefits of ‘Thermal Mass’. This recognition was the goal of the LHC a part of the Building Systems Council of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

British Columbia Products Used to Build Log Home in China

AAA Canadian Log Homes* is pleased to show a house designed, delivered, and constructed in Yuyao, China using entirely products from beautiful British Columbia. AAA’s Chinese partner on the project was Alex of Farrell Home Design Center, who together built this spectacular custom wood home.

The homeowner wanted the guest home on his estate to be built from natural wood products, high quality, articulately finished and reasonably priced. AAA Coordinated the entire project and designed the home using a combination of a machined log shell, handcrafted and specialty cut timbers. AAA sourced the rest of the products such as windows, door, hardware, HVAC system, and built in vacuum system from suppliers in B.C.

The owner has found the house conditions so comforting that he has chosen to move into his guest house and has strong testimonies that his health has improved significantly since (asthma improved and allergies reduced). AAA looks forward to working together with this team on a subdivision in the area where up to 50 homes have been preliminarily designed.

Yuyao, China Project: Virtual Tour and Project Plan

*AAA Canadian Log Homes does business as Footprint Log Homes in North America. The AAA brand is used in the Asia market. AAA Canadian Log Homes LogoFootprint Log Homes Logo