FAQ

COMPANY

Harkins is a company specialized in the construction of high-end wood houses. Here’s an overview of our services: 

Yes. You can meet our team in person or virtually to discuss your needs, budget, and find out more about our projects. Since we manage numerous requests, it’s necessary to make an appointment with us for a consultation. Here are a few ways to contact us

  • Online: fill out the information request form and the short questionnaire about your log home project.
  • Phone: call us at 819-688-3571. Please take note of the questionnaire before calling.
  • Email: write to us at info@harkins.ca. Please include information about your project, such as the plan, budget, deadline, location, etc.

By making an appointment with a member of our team, you’ll be able to look at the current structures in construction on our site. We don’t have a model home for viewing, but we do have a round wood building and a traditional timber-frame building on site to give you an idea of the products.  

You can also take a look at our online portfolio:

  • Log home
  • Traditional timber frame house
  • Hybrid timber frame house 
  • Architectural services  

The answer to this question varies depending on the type of house you choose: 

  • Log home: We build the round wood structure on our site, located at 1460 Route 117 in Mont-Blanc in the Laurentians. Once the structure is complete, the pieces are numbered and dismantled, and then transported and reassembled on the foundation of the site chosen by our clients.  
  • Timber frame house (traditional carpentry): We prepare the solid wood frame in our workshop. If delivery is included in the contract, we deliver the frame and beams to the construction site of your secondary home or cottage. It’s the same process for hybrid timber frame structures. 
  • Our architectural services for log homes and traditional carpentry are offered by our team in our offices. This allows us to invest the time and energy needed for research and development in order to improve our techniques. 

If you’re a carpenter with experience in building log houses or traditional carpentry structures, send us an email with your CV and a cover letter at admin@harkins.ca. We are always on the lookout for qualified carpenters (CCQ), round wood carpenters, and traditional carpenters, as well as tradespersons with no trade cards to perform related tasks, such as planing, sanding, staining, site management, and more.

PLANNING — ROUND WOOD

We don’t have a catalogue of plans for log houses online. However, if you contact us, we can send you our book of plans for inspiration. Since we specialize in the construction of high-end wood houses, our clients want to build a unique house to fit their vision, their location, their needs, and their lifestyle.  

Each plan is specifically adapted to the location and the needs of our clients. As such, it isn’t possible to buy a pre-made plan and then find a contractor specialized in round wood construction. However, by working with our team, we can take an existing plan and adapt it to your needs.

Keep in mind that plan designing is an important first step of your project. We suggest that you invest the time and budget needed for this crucial step to guarantee the success of your round wood construction project.

It really depends on what you want! We suggest that you budget approximately 1-2% of the overall budget or between $2 and $5 per square foot. The budget will be adjusted depending on the complexity of the project.

This is difficult to answer since each project is unique. The budget will vary depending on your needs. For the round wood structure, you should budget between $100 and $500 per square foot. If you want a turnkey project (self-build or with a general contractor), you should budget between $300 and $500 per square foot.

Here are a few factors that will affect the overall cost: 

  • Total area of the house
  • Details of the structure
  • Method of project management (self-build, contractor, partnership)
  • Delivery site
  • Client’s choice of materials
  • Types of interior and exterior finishes
  • Price of wood
  • And more

The houses our team of specialized craftspeople usually build have a minimum size of plus or minus 25 feet by 25 feet. 

Harkins is known for delivering high-end, secondary, wood homes, whose quality exceeds industry standards. 

We don’t do mini log house projects since we prefer to concentrate our efforts and resources on what sets us apart. 

Harkins will always take charge of installing the round wood structure for a log home or log cottage to guarantee the quality of the product from start to finish. If you wish to do the foundation, roof, and finishing touches yourself, it’s possible to buy just the round wood structure that we can install on your foundation. This way, you can proceed with the project yourself or hire a general contractor of your choice.

You can check out this blog that explains in detail the construction steps. Here are the key points: 

  • Obtaining all the necessary permits from the municipality
  • Preparing the foundation and floor
  • Submitting the electrical plan 2 weeks before delivery to determine the placement of the electrical boxes
  • Preparing the site and road to accommodate a 25-tonne mobile crane (minimum) and a 46-foot trailer truck

PLANNING – SOLID WOOD CARPENTRY

We don’t have a catalogue of plans for log houses online. However, if you contact us, we can send you our book of plans for inspiration. Since we specialize in the construction of high-end wood houses, our clients want to build a unique house to fit their vision, their location, their needs, and their lifestyle. 

No. Each plan is unique and personalized to the specific project. There are numerous considerations and often the plan is tailored depending on various details, such as sun orientation, preferences, location, view, and more.

The price can vary enormously. You should budget a minimum of $350 per square foot. That said, there are numerous factors that can increase the cost. This estimate applies for 2022, but it may vary from year to year.

A completely traditional timber-frame construction includes the post and beam structure for all exterior walls, as well as a complete solid wood roof structure. This type of construction requires a lot of structural support. 

A hybrid timber-frame construction allows for solid wood components to be incorporated in specific areas of the house. In this case, solid wood can have a structural or decorative role. Usually, we incorporate solid wood in common living spaces like the living room or dining room. For example, putting a cathedral ceiling in a living room with timber frame trusses adds character to the room.  

The term “hybrid” is used because the structural elements are made of solid wood and a conventional structure, such as 2”x6” studs.

In general, there are five steps to follow when building a timber-frame house:

  1. Preliminary plan to discuss ideas
  2. Cost estimate to give you an idea of what your project could cost
  3. Detailed plan to launch the project
  4. Finale quote and contract to sign
  5. Payments made in a few instalments

No. We’re specialized in timber frames. We’ll build the structure and then close up the outer envelope and finish it. For the remaining aspects, we can recommend professionals for a self-build project or general contractors for a turnkey project.

Yes. Over the years we’ve built numerous timber frames. You can check a few of them out for inspiration in our online portfolio.

Yes. We can make custom gazebos. Contact us and we can draw up a plan for your dream gazebo.

We primarily use white pine that grows here in the Laurentians where we’re located. Some other types of wood we use include: Douglas Fir, Red Cedar, and Alaskan Cypress.  

Yes. We can make these types of structures. However, each project is analyzed independently, and our team will let you know if we’re able to undertake such a project as many factors may come into play.

Of course! However, keep in mind that adding solid wood elements is an art. A careful review of the project will be necessary before moving forward. Our experts will be able to guide you in order to give your home some character. 

We usually do the first coat of stain in our workshop. We recommend applying a second coat on site to ensure the best quality. However, the client (or their painter) is responsible for applying the second coat once the structure is erected on the foundation.  

As a general rule, most clients opt for a flat sanded finish or “brute resaw” as it works for any type of structure. We can also do a gouge finish or a brushed finish.

ROUND WOOD TECHNIQUES

We mainly use white pine for our log homes. It’s very important to us that we use white pine from sustainably developed and harvested forests and that the timber is within a 200 km radius of our site.

The Scandinavian technique is differentiated by the meticulous work of the wood craftspeople. The bark is removed from the wood and then sanded, both steps by hand. Then the wood is adjusted with a double level compass. With great care and precision, the logs are traced and cut. This allows the pieces to fit perfectly into each other. This results in a very tight joint and optimal insulation. Our team’s expertise and the techniques used make all the difference.

Without a doubt, our team excels at building log homes. That said, we have other talents as we’re also specialized in the design and construction of timber frame houses

A traditional Scandinavian is built with logs crossing at the corner junctions. 

A Scandinavian with posts is built in log sections with posts in the corners and at each door and window. This technique prevents the possibility of the structure settling.

Our houses meet the energy standards of the building code. Calculations are based on the total envelope of the house.  

 

We use logs with an average diameter of 15 inches, and we install a double P-Gasket between the logs when reassembling the structure. Additionally, we put in energy-efficient windows. The roof is insulated at R-50, and the thermal bridges are covered.

An external firm conducted airtightness tests and confirmed that our log constructions perform according to Novoclimat standards in terms of air tightness.

ROUND WOOD MAINTENANCE

The staining of your house should be done in accordance to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Usually, staining is done every five years, but it’s important to follow the recommendations based on the product used.

Opt for a stain with an antifungal protection, and make sure to read the instructions carefully before applying the product in question.

No minimum annual maintenance is required. However, we do recommend removing any pollen or dust with some unpressurized water.

Yes. It’s a normal reaction with wood. That said, there’s no cause for concern, as this cracking doesn’t affect the integrity of the wood, nor its insulation and energy efficiency.

What we commonly refer to as “settling” refers to a natural characteristic of round wood that you should expect in a Scandinavian log home. As wood dries, its diameter shrinks. This means that the total height of a round wood wall, at 9’6”, will decrease by approximately 2 to 3 inches. 

An experienced log home builder will take this settling into consideration when choosing the diameter of the logs to ensure impermeability. They’ll use techniques such as over scribing and shouldering. Adjustable jacks will also be needed for columns and other key locations depending on the design of the house. The installation of doors, windows, and interior divisions should be planned accordingly.  

However, there’s no need to wait until the settling is complete before doing any interior finishing work. 

Apart from the jacks that will need to be adjusted twice a year during the first five years, and if the house is designed in accordance with the rules of the art, all other components will follow the movement of the logs. Such movement will ensure the aesthetics and impermeability of the structure.

A log home that’s been designed and built in accordance with the rules of the art and that’s been properly maintained can last several decades and even centuries. The beauty of log homes is that their design has existed for hundreds of years. They’re timeless and have withstood many storms, severe weather, and hurricanes.

The design of a log home does have a significant effect on maintenance. Wood is sensitive to water and ultraviolet rays. Therefore, it’s important to treat the wood with protective products. Some time and money will need to be invested. It’s important to protect the wood! Our architectural team takes two important elements into consideration when designing a log cottage or house:

  • A cornice, with a four-foot perimeter (also called an overhang), will protect the logs from the rain and sun. It’s practical and it adds a bit of personality to your home.  
  • A high foundation, lined with stone, ensures there’s a significant distance between the ground and the wood. This is an effective way to prevent moisture and the premature aging of the logs. It’s best that round wood be approximately two feet from the ground.

DELIVERY

We deliver our cottages and houses all over Quebec and Ontario. We can also deliver anywhere in Canada, including the Maritimes. 

Our site is located in Mont-Tremblant. Transportation costs are calculated by our partners based on the distance, the complexity of the house installation, and the volume of the material being moved. We can provide you with an estimated budget, but the actual delivery cost will be charged based on the actual time required. For an average house located approximately 100 kilometres from our site, budget approximately $2,500 to $3,500.

We’re proud to deliver our log homes around the world. We have delivered and erected Harkins houses in Morocco and Palestine. However, we don’t currently deliver to the European Union due to the complexities of exportation.

It’s possible to deliver our houses almost anywhere. Our team of experts will go on site to plan for delivery. However, we’re sometimes required to ask an excavator to widen tight turns or entrances. In complicated cases, we may ask that your excavator team be present to help with the delivery. 

The time frame varies from one season to the next. We have a fully equipped building site and a covered workshop that allows our teams to work sheltered from bad weather for over 10 months in the year. This helps us build even more log homes and cottages. In general, it takes between 12 and 18 months from the design to the delivery of our pieces. Contact us to know our current turnaround time. 

MANAGEMENT

Harkins doesn’t act as a general contractor for your projects. Contact us to discuss some potential options for managing your project (self-build or with a general contractor). We can help answer all your questions.

We don’t do turnkey projects. However, we have a network of partners and collaborators that allow us to help you all throughout your project. Contact us to discuss some of the options available to you.

Our team will be happy to work with your contractor. We’ll work as a team with the professionals of your choice.