If you, like us, love the enveloping, soothing atmosphere that wood brings, and you’re planning to begin construction on a Scandinavian log home, the following content will definitely be useful to you. It could mean the difference between falling in love with your next home or falling into an endless cycle of upkeep! Never underestimate the importance of adapting the design to the materials that will be used, as this will help to minimize the time you’ll spend maintaining your log home!
SO, HERE ARE A FEW STEPS TO HELP IN THE DESIGN PROCESS:
Find your inspiration:
Flip through magazines and websites (log homes for sale, designs, plans) and gather your favourites in one easy to find place. Take note of what you like and what comes up most often. While you’re at it, take a look at some of our creations!
Draw sketches of a log home:
Base them off of photos of what you like, if you’re feeling confident… No need to be a master artist… make drafts, drawings on grid paper to help you with the dimensions. Or, photocopy photos of the homes you like and cut out your favourite elements to create a collage!
Create a list of your must-haves
And do the same exercise with the person you’re starting this project with, if you’re not alone. This will lead to some interesting discussions, that’s for sure. If you can agree on what’s most important to you all before meeting your designer or technologist, you’ll save a ton of time.
Choose your lot
Your choice of lot will greatly influence the conception of your log home. The design will have to be done with the land’s topography in mind. For example, to maximize solar power, playing around with the topography, the structure’s orientation in relation to a focal point like a lake or a mountain, etc…
You’ll find even more content on this process in our blog: Log homes – how to start your project
HERE ARE SOME EXTRA THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND DURING THE CONCEPTION STAGE:
Protecting your log home from the elements is essential!
Exposure to the sun’s rays and to rain are two elements which will affect your log home over time if not properly protected. You may opt for the repeated application of protectants (against rain or UV rays), but given the time and financial investments required to perform this upkeep, we recommend that you opt for smart design elements that will reduce the frequency of these treatments, all while maximizing the lifespan of your home.
To make that happen, we design all of our log houses with an overhang (also known as a ledge) of at least 4 feet around. No logs should be exposed to rain. In addition to being practical, this architectural element adds a warm, inviting touch to the home.
Next, we’ll make sure to build high foundations, covered in stones. The visual effect is striking, but what’s most important is the distance created between the ground and the wood–a distance which will protect against moisture and the premature ageing of your home.
Finally, if you’re the upstairs balcony type, know that this addition requires a bit of love… but above all, a sheet or a membrane to prevent water from coming into contact with the wood. If not done, the logs left exposed to moisture (on the exterior) will be affected over time.
Joint planning is very important!
In building our Scandinavian log homes, we don’t use any screws or nails. It’s the way the logs interlock that keeps the structure solid. This technique has the strength to withstand major floods and earthquakes…
In order to ensure even load bearing and a sturdy, durable structure, the maximum length between the corners of each log must be respected. In working with our architecture technologist, you will learn a lot about the use of these structures in the creation of interior walls or exterior corners.
Among the constraints related to the joints, know that there is a minimum distance to be kept between a corner and the opening of a door or window, and that there is a minimum wall length required between two openings. These points are very important at a structural level. It’s all about knowing how to use them to create a home that is not only strong, but welcoming.
Wood is a living material!
Following the construction of a log home, there will be shrinkage in the diameter of the logs, causing the structure to descend (by about 3 inches). We design and build the structure with this movement and its effects in mind, allowing us to ensure the structure remains sealed with no further work required. The elements we consider in this process include the doors and windows, the interior walls, columns and fireplaces.
Our team has the expertise necessary to construct and finish these elements, and we carry out this work according to the rules of the art so that we can guarantee your home will stand the test of time. Calling in the experts is essential, you won’t regret it.