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Ask the Expert: Why is Pre-Cutting Logs at the Factory So Important?

Follow along as Mark Elliott, Vice President at Coventry Log Homes, Inc., shares his expert insights to your top questions about designing and building your dream log home. Check back monthly for the latest installment. Sponsored by Coventry Log Homes, Inc.


Question: Why is Pre-Cutting Logs at the Factory So Important?


If you’ve done your homework, you know that each log home company follows building practices they believe lead to the best log homes. For example, debates rage over whether dead standing timbers or green logs are best, whether kiln-dried or air-dried logs create a higher quality home, and the list goes on. But there is one subject that is hard to contest when it comes to building a better log home — that pre-cutting the logs at the factory is a must.
“Pre-cutting is essential,” affirms Mark Elliott, Vice President of Coventry Log Homes. “How you approach the building process makes a huge difference in the quality of the final product.”
Here are three top reasons why pre-cutting the logs is important.
1) Pre-cutting ensures quality. When logs are cut on-site, the conditions are unpredictable (from weather to equipment to the crew’s skill level), making precision cuts difficult at best. To get a precise cut requires heavy-duty machinery simply not available on job sites. “The equipment necessary to cut these logs can weigh hundreds or even thousands of pounds,” explains Mark. “There is absolutely no way a builder on the job site can cut a log as precise and square as a factory.”
Improperly cut logs can lead to construction problems down the road — not to mention additional costs in time, labor and materials. Factory cutting the logs before they reach the job site means they will be cut to precision, so your home will fit together perfectly, creating an airtight shell.
Tip! Even if your log home company of choice touts pre-cut log packages, be sure to ask if any cuts happen on-site. Some companies claim to offer pre-cut logs but still do certain cuts on the job site, such as those on the gable ends.
2) Pre-cutting saves money. A log home is a significant investment, but there are ways to keep costs down. Choosing pre-cut logs is one of them. Because the logs will be ready for assembly when they arrive on site, homeowners can save on on-the-job labor costs.
For starters, there is no need for additional equipment, such as sawhorses and cutting saws, to be brought to the lot. Plus, this simplified construction process will reduce potentially costly cutting errors that can impact your bottom line and it can help speed up the building timeline.
“Rather than paying a contractor for doing that extra hands-on work of measuring, notching, and cutting, he can begin building right way,” says Mark.
In a nutshell, a simplified construction process will reduce labor time and costs, helping keep your bottom line in check
3) Pre-cutting is eco-friendly. Here’s why: pre-cutting allows for every inch of the log to be used to the utmost. During the drafting and design phase, the strategy for how each and every log will be used and cut is carefully considered, ensuring far less wood goes to waste.
Additionally, by readying logs in the factory, the shavings from the sawing and milling of the trees is able to be repurposed, often as bedding for animals or firewood. In fact, Mark reports that Coventry loads upwards of 20 cars per day with firewood. “Some people have even told us they can’t use anything else to heat their homes due to allergies,” he explains.
Besides helping out the local community, Coventry is able to heat their entire mill with the waste that comes from the logs. “When you cut in the factory, absolutely nothing is wasted,” says Mark. Turns out, pre-cutting is a win-win for the homeowner and Mother Nature.

Follow along! Check back here every month for a new installment of Ask the Expert, or learn more about Coventry Log Homes here.


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