Have you ever driven by Harkins log home worksite in Mont Tremblant? Each spring, passersby are stunned to see the shipments of massive logs lined up across the site.
Some stop in to ask us questions. And when time allows, our team members are thrilled to offer guided tours of the site, breaking down the transformation of a white pine, from the moment it’s cut to the moment it becomes part of a breathtaking home.
Each manufacturer and log home artisan has their own unique technique, their secrets, which make their style and craft stand out. As it’s not always possible to welcome you to our worksite, allow us to share with you some of the key steps in our production cycle, many of which take place right here on the worksite.
Here are the seven steps to building a Scandinavian log house:
1. Choosing the right logs
Our wood cabins are primarily built with white pine logs, selected with great care. Here are some of the characteristics of a quality log:
– Sans vrille excessive
– Healthy wood (free of disease or degradation)
– Défilement régulier
– 12 to 18 inches in diameter, according to the client specifications
– From forests and suppliers that are respectful of the environment
2. Log debarking and planing
Once the pine has been selected, the logs are delivered to our worksite to be prepped. Each piece is debarked and hand-planed by one of our artisans, who will ensure to treat the pieces with care and respect. Thus, the natural beauty of the wood is respected and a unique creation is sure to follow.
3. Adjustment of the logs
Once the cleaning and preparation has been completed, the logs are adjusted with incredible precision. The technique is at once simple and complex, and consists of using a log scribe to replicate the topography of the bottom log, on the top log, with great exactitude. This step requires minutia, precision and patience. It ensures the creation of tight seals, which is essential to the longevity of log cabins. In the corners, shoulders are made to allow for natural shifts in the wood all while preserving a perfect seal.
4. Sculpture and on site assembly
Once the artisan has completed their work, each pine log is sculpted, piece by piece, by hand, with the utmost of care. Using a variety of tools, from chainsaws to utility knives used with expert technique, the expert builds the home from scratch. Not one screw is used to create the walls. Each element of the log wall must be perfectly crafted! So, the walls are built from scratch on site to ensure the finished product is crafted with precision. Each piece is numbered and catalogued.
In order to improve the seal and insulation of your future log house, a groove is added to the centre of each log to allow for the addition of insulation during the final reassembly of the home, at its permanent location. This insulation serves as a soft and waterproof seal. No further fixing system or additional insulation required!
6. Disassembly and transportation
Once the structure is completed, it is taken down piece by piece, making it easily transportable by truck to its final destination (or by train or boat depending on the location of the project !). Special care is taken to ensure the safe transportation of the structure. The logs are handled with jacking screws to keep each piece intact.
Once the final site is ready for the log house structure, the team makes their way to the site to seat each piece onto the foundation with the utmost of care. The walls are then insulated, assembled and adjusted. The other pieces follow: roof, windows and doors, interior partition, general finishings… It’s incredible to see the patience and accuracy required to build any log home, whether it be a simple cabin or the most luxurious of homes.
Over time, the logs will dry out naturally, forming a permanent seal.