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Log houses, technologies and advantages

Log homes are exceptional because of the eco-friendly construction materials used in the building process. No other material can match natural logs. The atmosphere inside this type of house is extraordinary. The feeling of comfort, coziness and warmness that is created by the log structures is unmatched. It is felt as soon as You enter the house. Log homes are not only cosy, warm and beautiful to look at. The climate in this type of home is also very special. No man-made material can replicate the climate, which is created by the natural log walls. People suffering from asthma will easily confirm this. The secret behind this is the unique ability of the log – “breathing”. It means that there is no need for additional ventilation system in the house, the walls will “do” all the job better than any technology created. Because of the natural and effective micro ventilation of the house You will never have to suffer from bad odors (like the smell of nicotine) for a long time. Even after a big party or a cooking accident at home the air will soon be fresh like the one You enjoy when taking a stroll in the middle of the forest! More than that, the log homes do not tend to collect the static energy so level of dust in this type of houses is considerably lower. Logs, however, collect heat and that is why log homes tend to get warm very fast, but cool down rather slowly. So there will be enough heat in winter and in summer You will feel a pleasant coolness in Your log home. The similar balancing effect is felt with the level of humidity in this type of home. Logs tend to gather any surplus of humidity and “give it back” when the air in the house becomes to dry. The inner side of log wall maintains similar temperature like the air inside the house so the moisture doesn’t condense. That means that even if temperature in the log home will be lower than in other type of homes, the air won’t be as cold because of the lower levels of humidity in the air. The effects of humidity are better understood if we would compare the weather somewhere on the coast of the sea with the one somewhere in the mainland. Even if the air temperature would be exactly the same and there wouldn’t be any wind on both places, You would still feel colder on the coast of the sea. That is because of the higher levels of humidity in the air. So even though log homes tend to have lower temperature inside and the thermal resistance is lower than standard value (It is 1,5 R-value for a square meter for a 20-22 cm diameter logs. Standard value is 3.86 for a square meter.) the ability of the natural logs to collect heat and balance the levels of humidity compensates all that.

The natural log itself has a unique energy, which is good for a man. Ancient people knew that. It is no coincidence that the tree had very special place in ancient pagan beliefs in various countries. Some even used parts of trees to heal themselves from various diseases. Nowadays, in the age of modern medicine, nobody uses bark of a tree to heal a headache, toothache or some other malaise, but not even a modern scientist will deny that the energy of the trees is special. A simple stroll in a forest or hugging a tree has a soothing, calming effect on people and even doctors recommend that in various medical journals and books. Human beings are a part of nature so it is extremely important to surround ourselves with as many natural things as possible. It is known that even sawn trees, logs retain almost all features and energies. Different trees have different kind of features. Some of them absorbs negative energy, some radiates positive one. For example, pine tree is known for its radiant positive energy. It makes You feel better, more optimistic. Spruce, on the other hand, tends to absorb negative energy. So if You feel angry, annoyed or just sad, spruce will absorb Your negative energies and helps You to restore balance. So if You dream about cosy, warm, modern and all natural house, log house is just what You are looking for!

Wood is used as construction material from the ancient times. Probably it happened when people decided that it is too damp to live in caves and clay huts turned out to be too primitive. There was no lack of trees at those times; it was relatively easy to prepare wood for construction, so it became a natural choice not only in house building. It became irreplaceable in almost all spheres of human life. It is said, that timber is a perfect building material, created by God himself for peoples home. Log homes have long history, rich and various building traditions. Different nations created their own techniques. Log homes became most popular in Scandinavian countries, Russia and other Eastern European countries. Much later, Swedish colonists brought their knowledge and experience of log house building to North America. It is not hard to understand why these regions became leaders in log house building. The best material for log house construction comes from conifer, which had grown in severe climate zones. Logs from cold climate zones have the biggest density and therefore are best suited for house building. Specially prepared logs are placed on top of each other. Corners of the logs laid are crossed. There are many types of corner joints. The most popular are:

  • Russian
  • Scandinavian
  • “Dovetail” joint

No matter how precisely logs are laid, there will still be a little gaps left. These gaps are filled with insulating materials. These materials can be artificial or natural. If the gaps are filled properly the log home will be just as warm as any other type of house. If needed, additional heating can be arranged in a log house. One of the most popular methods of additional heating for inner wall is creating an air space of couple centimeters. Also it is essential to use logs of the proper diameter. For example, for a living house the logs should be at least 20 cm diameter or more. The logs of the smaller diameter can be used for summerhouses, bathhouses etc. Of course, the logs of proper diameter selected for Your house does not necessarily mean that the house built out of them will be warm if the gaps left in the walls will be too wide or logs will have different moisture content. So, building a log home is not an easy task and it should be left to the professionals. Moisture content of the logs should not exceed 18-20 percent. The best season to prepare logs for a house building is winter. During that period the moisture content reaches it’s lowest; there is no danger of fungus or wood pests.

Nowadays we live in a highly unnatural environment. Pollution reached unprecedented levels and we are constantly surrounded by unhealthy materials, even the food we are usually eating is not healthy or natural. It is no surprise that so many people suffer from all kinds of allergies. Scientists claim, that in the future the rise of allergic diseases will not slow down if we will not make changes in our way of life. Human beings are part of nature and not even a greatest man-made material is going to replace natural things, fabrics, food etc. Because of natural building materials used, the log house is a perfect choice for these people who value nature and their health! Slowly, people are beginning to understand how important healthy living environment is. By choosing a log house You choose not only the things mentioned before, You also help to reduce levels of pollution and help to fight global warming as forests are renewable source of energy. The building process of a log house uses much less chemicals and other harmful materials.

The other advantage is a unique look of a log house. It will immediately attract attention of Your guests and passers by. Through time log houses evolved from simple and primitive log cabins of the past to a modern house with all the things necessary for a man of the 21st century. Centuries-old traditions, natural building materials mixed with modern technology creates an amazing result!

In Western Europe and North America log homes are prestigious houses, chosen by modern people, who value natural things. Situation was quite different in Lithuania. Here it was considered a peasant’s home. As a consequence it was much cheaper than in the countries of Western Europe or North America. But this attitude is changing fast and many Lithuanians begin to understand the value of a natural, well-built log house.

There are three types of log homes:

  • handcrafted
  • machine-profiled
  • combined

The main advantage of handcrafted log house is its unique look. You won’t find two houses that would look the same! It is because every log used is different, unrepeatable. Naturally, the price of this type of log house is higher, because it takes quite a long time to adjust logs to each other so they would fit perfectly and wouldn’t leave any wide gaps. Machine-profiled logs, on the other hand, have identical measurements so it is much easier and less time-consuming to build a house from them. Machine-profiled logs can be round or rectangular. Round machine-profiled logs are good because of their efficient use of materials. The loss of wood is minimal and therefore the building process is cheaper. JCB “Almedas” specializes in building houses from this type of logs.

A log house is very durable. But it is natural, that it also requires Your attention once in awhile. If the house will be taken care of properly it will be the asset of Your family for generations. Humidity is not an enemy of log house, but You should avoid constant exposure to moisture without any ventilation present. This could really damage Your log house. There are a lot of products that will prevent any negative effects on Your house. It is extremely important to choose proper chemicals for the maintenance of the inner walls. It is not a wise thing to save money here. Cheap chemicals can be harmful for Your health and they can damage the natural qualities of Your log house.

If You do not like the look of natural log wall, it is not a problem. The interior of a log house can be decorated with wallpapers, tiles or any other materials just like in any other type of house.

One of the unique features of a log house is its process of settling. Usually it settles 10-15 centimeters a year. This process continues up to 2 years. It is impossible to avoid this and the settling of logs must be taken into account when building a house. Any mistakes made can have devastating results. That is why it is necessary to hire specialists who have plenty of log house building experience. They will know exactly how to solve any problems that the settling of a house may cause. The whole structure of a log house must be dynamic. Also it is advisable that the roof would be made as heavy as possible. It will provide bigger pressure and thus will help speed the settling of a house.

The structure of a log house doesn’t weight very much so it does not require expensive foundation as other types of houses, especially if You choose not to have a basement. If You do, however, the hydro isolation will become a very important issue as the bottom of log walls will be exposed to a constant moisture. There are so many peculiarities of log house building that it is impossible to write them all down. Do not hesitate to contact us and we will answer whatever question You might have! Our knowledge and experience are Yours!