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The Difference Between Machine-Milled and Handcrafted Log Homes

A quick guide on the difference between machine-milled and handcrafted log homes. Find out which building process works for you!

 Example of a milled home. Photo by Epic Foto Group.


Machine-Milled Option

  1. Cut to a uniform shape and size.

  2. A beveled edge or tongue-and-groove can be used to interlock logs. Swedish coping is also an option.

  3. They’re typically stripped of their bark for consistent grain and color.

  4. Corner lengths are uniformly cut for a precise fit and tidy appearance.

  5. Chinking is often unnecessary but can be used for aesthetics.


See also How to Choose the Right Log Home Builder


 Example of a handcrafted home. Photo by Joseph Hilliard.


Handcrafted Option

  1. Logs are irregularly shaped and vary in size and diameter.

  2. Each log is cut to conform to the one beneath it.

  3. You can typically see marks from the adze and drawknives the craftsmen use.

  4. Corner lengths are usually not uniform.

  5. Sealant or chinking adheres the logs to each other and seals gaps to make the home weather-tight.


Half-Log Option

There is yet another choice for log home construction: half logs. At its core, a half-log home is traditionally framed from dimensional lumber, sheathed and covered in half-log siding. The half logs also can be applied inside to give a full-log look, or drywall can be hung indoors if an abundance of interior wood isn’t your thing.


See also 3 Approaches to Safeguard Your Log Home

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