What is Log Construction – A comprehensive Guide

Log construction is building a structure from logs not mended into lumber. Log buildings can be made by stacking logs horizontally and connecting their ends with notches. Although this construction’s origins are unknown, it is believed to date back to Northern Europe in the Bronze Age. Europeans arrived in America in the 17th and 18th centuries. They used their knowledge of log construction to build shelters. Log cabins symbolized humble beginnings in American politics during the 19th century. Seven U.S. presidents were born in log homes. Log construction has been used throughout history for buildings and structures such as homes, churches, and schools. This rustic style of architecture is often found in rural areas. Log construction is used in both elaborate and simple homes. It can also be found in cabins made from handcrafted or milled logs with different styles.

Log homes and cabins are typically made from wood species common in the area where they are being built. These species are often used to build log homes and houses: Cypress, Douglas Fir. The diameter of logs can vary from 8 to 10 inches, depending on the type of log used.

Types of Log Construction

There are two types of logs for constructing a log cabin or home: milled or handcrafted. Handcrafted logs are made from wood, and the bark is removed by water peeling or using a draw knife. The records used in the building can be either green or air-dried. They aren’t uniform in size or shape. They can be stacked or fitted together. The profile of milled logs is consistent in size and shape. End consumers can choose from a shaped, full-round, square, or coped record. These logs are made from wood, then shipped to a mill. These logs are available in various sizes, including green, air-dried, and kiln-dried.

In the log construction industry, there are two additional types of logs: dry “dead standing” trees and cants. The lower-grade dry “dead standing” tree logs, made from dead trees and kiln dried, are a lower quality product. Trees can die from any number of causes, including fire, disease, insects, or natural causes. Tree disease can affect the fibers and the structural capabilities of the wood. Larvae will hatch if you don’t properly treat insect infestations with kiln drying. Insects and diseases can be spread to trees by the burning of wood. The bark acts as a moisture barrier, and wood decay naturally begins if it doesn’t burn. Dead trees’ grain also starts to twist and crack. Cants are an intermediate product in log construction. Cants are made from dimensional timber. The mill shapes the square wood into an oval shape, removing the minimum. This product is similar to dimensional lumber used for fence posts. It will bow, twist, and warp. This happens because the timbers’ natural growth rings are destroyed when cut. These products may need to be better and could cause maintenance and repair problems.

Method of Building Logs

There are many methods for building logs. Some can be done using handcrafted logs, others with milled logs. The Scandinavian full-scribe or chinless method uses scribed or milled logs that are notched at corners and glued together to reduce chinking. Chinking can be used to fill in gaps between rows of records. Flat-on-flat, or stacked, logs are flattened on the top and bottom. Then they are stacked with butty-and-pass corners. To align and seal the wall against external elements, the tongue and groove method uses a milled groove and tongue connection between stacked logs. The tight-pinned process uses stacked logs that have not been milled or notched and fastened vertically with steel pins. Each method creates a unique style for a log cabin or home. They each have different corner styles and fastening methods.

When interlocking logs are at the ends, three corner styles are used. When done correctly, saddle-notched corners provide a very strong and structurally stable seal. Butt and pass corners, which are the most unstable, allow rain and snow to accumulate on the extended flat surface. This eventually leads to wood decay. Dovetail corners, which are tightly interlocking corners, have aesthetic appeal. Other styles of corners are different.

There will be differences between manufacturers depending on the type of log. Codes and standards for wood construction define the requirements for different types of fasteners. Log homes and cabins require pins to align records, manage settlement, and resist lateral loads. There are many types of fasteners available, including spikes, through bolts (lag screws), through bolts, threaded log-home screws, drift pins, wood dowels, and threaded log-home screws. Log homes and cabins are made from wood as the primary material. The timber used in log construction attracts termites, carpenter bugs, and wood-boring insects, much like traditionally framed homes. If these insects are not controlled, they can pose a danger. Prevention is the best way to manage them. It is important to take appropriate steps during construction and design to minimize moisture and keep insects away. These include creating a barrier to prevent or detect activity, keeping logs separated by grade, and treating the soil with a wood preservative before construction. Chemically treating soil during construction or installing bait stations; applying finishes and coats to deter activity and maintaining a distance from the home’s outer edge and vegetation. Eliminating any insect activity within the cabin or log home’s lifetime is important. It is important to contact a professional pest control company.


A finish should be applied to protect and improve the appearance of a newly built log home or cabin. You can choose from either a penetrating oil-based stain or a film-forming water-based. Sharp products are more natural and easier to maintain. These products can contain repellents to protect the wood from water or a semi-transparent stain to protect wood against UV exposure. Film-forming paints conceal natural wood and require more effort to refinish. Both finishes need to be adequately prepared. You should pay attention to each log’s moisture content and end grain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *