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Contemporary log home in the Laurentians.


Each log home project is unique, but it must be admitted that it is very common for the Harkins team to carry out projects on steep terrain, near a lake, or in the heart of a forest. This is why it is important for us to consider the location and implementation from the first stages of our discussions with our customers.

What is a successful implementation for us?

It is when the design and conception of your house, from its foundation, are adapted to the topography of your land, to its particularities, and the environmental considerations are taken into account from the get-go. For example, on a waterfront property, there is a good chance that the view will be a key element of the concept and it is possible that a basement is not possible. On a mountainside lot, the orientation towards the sun and the planning of a walk-out section are to be considered, as well as the adjustments required to prevent the wood from being too close to the ground…

Here are a few recommendations from our team to help you successfully set up your Scandinavian technique log home or your traditional carpentry property at the right location, and to get your project off to a good start.

1. Choose Your Lot Before Starting Your Plans

Since you will have to invest in the preparation of personalized plans in order to have a house that meets your needs and whose implementation will be successful, our specialists recommend that you select your lot and obtain the plan and the ground survey before starting your discussions with your dedicated architectural team member. Whether you decide to carry out your work by yourself or contract us to do the work, this step should not be neglected.

2. Identify the View You Like the Most on Your lot

Once you have chosen your piece of land, take the time to analyze the environment, the orientation of the sun but also the view. Building a new home means having a choice of openings so you can determine what you want to see, or not see, from the inside.

Does your land allow you to have a view of the horizon from the top of the mountain? The house can be built so that the common areas emphasize this landscape. Neighbors are nearby and you want maximum privacy? It is possible to limit the fenestration in this place by being strategic in the design of the building.
It is important to identify the ideal location while considering the specificities of the soil and the terrain, that’s for sure… but with the right knowledge and the right techniques, it’s a safe bet to say you should get a wow effect! Having a room with a view is a must!  Finally, we recommend maximizing south-facing windows as much as possible to enjoy the natural lights and benefit from solar energy in the winter. 

3. Find out About your Municipality’s Regulations and Environmental Standards

Each municipality has rules in place, and it is important that you consider municipal regulations. For example, there are margins to respect and distances between neighboring properties and buildings.  In some places, it is possible that your land includes flood zones, wetlands, or protection zones. You may have criteria to meet regarding the volume of the home, the materials to choose, or simply the authorized septic systems. Be sure to consider all of these aspects before deciding on the location of your home. Otherwise, you could get into serious trouble that will delay your project and cost you dearly.

4. Invest in an Environmentally Friendly and Durable Log or Timber Frame Foundation

Once the location is identified, it will of course be necessary to define which type of foundation will be the most suitable. In our opinion, a concrete foundation should be chosen. In concrete foundation options, there is insulating formwork or standard formwork.

Insulated formwork is slightly more expensive than standard formwork. It is an effective process from an insulation and airtightness point of view. The floors are comfortable, and the energy efficiency is stable. The quality of the finished product is maximized, which is very positive from a sustainable development point of view, and thanks to the insulating formwork, the product is very resistant to humidity, insects, and other elements that can normally degrade the concrete.  

Only problem: this type of formwork is often self-built, which may affect the quality, and the accuracy is variable.

To avoid any trouble, entrusting the construction of your base to an experienced formwork company will guarantee a quality foundation, made with precision. For a complex house, this option is the one we prefer.

5. Listen to Expert Advice

Once you have collected all the required information, make an appointment with people you trust, who have the expertise and experience required to prepare layout plans, and architectural plans and help you build the house of your dreams. By laying a solid foundation for your project (and your log or timber frame home), you will avoid costly mistakes.

Do not hesitate to contact Harkins to make an appointment and start your project.

As our architecture team works directly with the carpentry and log teams, we are able to continually improve our techniques and knowledge to ensure the successful implementation of your home. With experience, we have identified proven and robust concepts that ensure the robustness of your foundations, and an installation in harmony with nature.


Harkins specializes in the construction of log and post and beam (timberframe) homes.  Our family business offers you personalized experience, based on 30 years of expertise in the domain.  Harkins is a reference in the log home industry and also in timber structures.  Our homes can be delivered and installed anywhere in Canada and overseas.

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Contact us on our website or call us toll free at 1 (877) 688-3571