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The Log Home Construction Breakdown

The entire log home construction process for a modest log home ranges from four to six months, but it can run a year or more for large or complex designs.

Factors that affect construction time include season, weather, availability of labor and the level of experience of the builder and subcontractors.


log home construction building

The typical construction sequence involves the following steps:

1. Clearing & excavating

  • Cut or grade entrance road or driveway
  • Install culverts as needed
  • Clear building site and material storage area
  • Remove trees as needed
  • Remove topsoil and store for reuse
  • Excavate basement, haul or store soil
  • Install septic tank and drain field

2. Pouring footings

  • Stake foundation corners (surveyor may do this as part of plot plan)
  • Install batter boards and layout lines
  • Locate, stake and dig footings and pier pads
  • Arrange footing inspection
  • Pour concrete for footings

3. Installing foundation

  • Lay out foundation on footings
  • Install concrete forms for poured wall
  • Set concrete block for foundation
  • Install permanent wood foundation
  • Install waterproofing, parging or insulation board
  • Install drain tile around footings

4. Termite inspection

  • Treat soil around foundation

5. Installing subfloor

  • Install termite shield if included
  • Install caulking and insulation
  • Install, square and level sill plate
  • Install posts, girder, rim and floor joists
  • Install headers, trimmers and bridging
  • Install subfloor material

6. Backfilling & rough grading

  • Backfill around foundation
  • Rough grade slope for drainage
  • Trench or excavate garage foundation, porch and deck piers

7. Preparing for your log package

  • Confirm exact delivery time and unloading equipment requirements
  • Confirm payment terms for materials and delivery
  • Arrange certified checks if required
  • Prepare material storage area
  • Prepare access road
  • Assemble equipment to unload logs

8. Unloading & material storage

  • Unload materials, stack and store per instructions
  • Check materials against shipping manifest
  • Record damage and shortages as instructed

9. Erecting the log package

  • Choose to erect your log home yourself or contract with a professional

10. Using technical assistance

  • Construction manuals
  • Video and slide presentations
  • Onsite technical assistance
  • Telephone technical assistance
  • Other assistance

11. Installing the first course

  • The specific procedure for installing the first log course will depend on the building system used. Consult your construction manual for detailed instructions.
  • Lay out house by transferring floor plan to subfloor; mark locations for outlets and switches on the subfloor
  • Review plans, dimensions and materials before proceeding
  • Install starter strip, caulking, etc.
  • Install first course of logs, per instructions
  • Install door bucks, per instructions

12. Providing for electrical and plumbing systems

  • Refer to construction manual for how to make provisions for installing mechanical systems. Generally, you will drill holes through logs to reach outlet and switch heights unless the holes are predrilled by your log company.

13. Stacking log walls

Many methods exist for erecting log walls. Consult your construction manual for specific details. Consider: • Insulation, caulking, foam gasket installation • Butt joints and the use of spline materials • Fastening methods and devices • Cutting and notching for corners, if required

14. Installing doors & windows

Specific installation procedures depend on the manufacturer and type of units. Your construction manual should provide details. Considerations include: • Installation of window bucks including attachment methods to allow for settlement • Settlement allowances • Creating weathertight seals between walls, bucks and jambs • Keeping bucks square and plumb • Caulking, insulating and flashing

15. Completing the first-floor log walls

  • Leveling top course, preparing for the second floor system
  • Header requirements and maintaining a level window line
  • Methods of handling logs over your head

16. Installing second floor systems

Log home companies use a variety of second-floor systems. Consult your manual for details. Some guidelines: • Notching log walls to accommodate floor joists • Installing center girders andsupport posts • Installing dimensional, square or round beam floor joists • Installing second-floor flooring • Preparing for second-floor plumbing • Second-floor HVAC requirements • Installing headers, trimmers and stairs • Methods of handling settlement

17. Installing second-story log walls

  • Determine your need for scaffolding and hoisting equipment
  • Safety requirements for working on the second floor

18. Installing gables

Log-home companies offer a variety of gable systems. Follow your construction manual. Topics to consider: • Installing solid log gable ends, precut or uncut • Installing framed and sheathed gable ends • Building around gable end windows • Maintaining plumb walls at gable ends • Special bracing requirements

19. Installing roof systems

Roof systems vary greatly among log-home companies, and most offer several options. Consult your construction manual. Make sure builders and subcontractors follow the manual. Options include: • Installing conventional roof system • Installing a roof truss system • Installing round log or square beam rafter systems • Collar ties, purlins, king posts, ridge beams, etc. • Roof sheathing

20. Installing porches & dormers

  • Installation methods vary; consult your construction manual.

21. Completing log home package

On completion of the log package, the remainder of work to complete the home is generally similar to a conventionally framed home. Consult your construction manual to see if there are any special requirements.

22. Installing interior partitions

Interior partition framing is similar to conventional frame construction. The only deviations occur when the log-home company includes settlement spaces in interior partitions. • Connecting partition walls to exterior log walls • Installing framing for kitchens, baths • Framing requirements for fireplaces and chimneys

23. Installing fireplaces and chimneys

  • Installing stone, block and brick work
  • Installing masonry or metal fire boxes
  • Installing chimney cap, mantel, hearth

24. Installing roofing

  • Installing roofing felt
  • Installing flashing
  • Installing shingles, metal, shakes, tile or slate

25. Installing electrical service

Installing electrical service in a log home is similar to conventional construction. Considerations include: • Installing temporary service • Installing wiring, outlet boxes, fixture boxes, switches, connectors, service panel, circuit breaker • Installing light fixtures • Hooking up appliances • Installing heating and A/C • Installing special wiring for computers, home theater, security

26. Installing plumbing system

The plumbing system in a log home is similar to conventional construction. Variations are explained in the construction manual. Basic considerations include installing the: • Main water supply line • Main sewer line • Water and drain-pipes and vents • Fixtures and faucets • Special equipment such as water softeners, sump pumps, pressure relief valves

27. Installing heating & air-conditioning equipment

Log homes use the same kinds of HVAC equipment as conventional homes.

28. Installing interior wall & ceiling coverings

  • Gypsum wallboard
  • Metal corner bead, tape, joint compound
  • Tongue-and-groove paneling

29. Installing exterior finish and trim

  • Window and door trim
  • Fascia, frieze and rake boards
  • Soffit and porch ceilings
  • Porch posts, if required
  • Gable louvers and soffit vents
  • Garage doors
  • Additional flashing
  • Gable siding

30. Installing gutters, downspouts & splash blocks

31. Installing concrete floors, walks & drives

  • Vapor and vegetation barriers
  • Crushed stone
  • Reinforcing wire or rods
  • Forms and screens
  • Expansion joints

32. Installing interior finish & trim

  • Underlayment and flooring
  • Interior doors and hardware
  • Interior window and door trim
  • Baseboard and shoe molding
  • Wall molding and chair rail
  • Cabinets and countertops
  • Vanities and bath hardware
  • Closet shelves and rods
  • Stair treads, railings and balusters
  • Mirrors and medicine cabinets
  • Tubs and shower doors
  • Drapery rods

33. Painting, sealing

  • Apply interior paint, wood finish
  • Apply exterior finishes and preservatives

34. Installing floor coverings

  • Wood flooring
  • Resilient flooring
  • Ceramic tile and slate
  • Carpeting and padding

35. Move into your finished log home!

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