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Reader Home Tour: A Handcrafted Log Home in Alberta, Canada

Long-time reader Albert Barrass, now 80, hand-built his 3,100-square-foot log home 35 years ago. Amongst the moose and elk in Yellowhead County, Alberta, Canada, he spent three years peeling, scribing and notching logs for the place that would house his family of five. Here’s what he has to say about building, and loving, his log home.

Written by Griffin Suber
Photos: Albert Barass
Albert Barrass: I was born and raised in a log home, and I went to school in a log building, I guess that’s where it comes from. I sawed all the lumber — big ol’ virgin spruce — and made everything that went in the house, myself. The hardest part was splitting all the shakes and putting the roof on. There are over 3,000 shakes on the house! My knees still ache when I look at that roof.
My favorite part of my home is the temperature. It stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The difference is only about five degrees all year. The big logs make for better insulation. I got a boiler off of an old steam tractor and I used that to heat the water, then I circulated the water through the boiler house around and under the big house.
I tell people, the best thing about the house is, when I walk through the door, it’s mine.

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