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.

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.

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.

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 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.