- Type of logs for felling
- Choosing or creating a project at home
- Selection of material for a log house
- Choice of wood species
- Defect detection of material
- Control of the size of logs and technological slots
- Cutting type
- Paw cut (no residue)
- Cutting into the bowl (with the remainder)
- Installation of a log house
What you need to know when ordering a log house or sauna; how, without being a specialist, to control the quality of the log house; what are the nuances, secrets and features when choosing, manufacturing and assembling log cabins – you will find answers to these and other questions in the article.
A wooden house is among all the alternatives, one of the best options for a permanent home. The most reliable wooden houses, the warmest and time-tested ones, are log houses. Today on the market of construction organizations there are a huge number of proposals for their manufacture and assembly. Therefore, each person, not possessing any construction skills, can come to such an organization, poke a finger at the project they like and, after a certain period, get a finished house. However, a large number of proposals determines a large number of unscrupulous performers. What do you need to know when choosing a log house for a house, so as not to fall for such “would-be builders”? There are a number of nuances that determine both the quality of the log house and its final cost..
Type of logs for felling
Currently, log houses are made of two types of logs: uncylinded and rounded.
Non-cylindrical logs.In fact, it is just a tree trunk, freed from knots and bark (debarked). Partial cutting of a log is possible. The main distinguishing feature of such logs is the preservation of natural tapering, that is, the difference between the diameters of the opposite ends of the log..
- since the outer dense layer is preserved, uncylinded logs are more resistant to aggressive environmental influences, that is, they are more durable. In addition, they are less likely to crack;
- have less thermal conductivity, that is, houses made of such logs are warmer;
- natural color and texture;
- cheaper, as they do not undergo complex technological processing.
- longer in preparation for laying a log house, since crowns from such logs are made by hand and require individual adjustment to each other, in addition, the inability to achieve an ideal fit leads to the need for reinforced insulation of the seams between the crowns;
- take longer to shrink.
Rounded.The logs pass through a special machine, in which they are given one diameter along the entire length. Further, in the factory, all the necessary grooves are made by machines. Thus, individual crowns are perfectly matched to each other..
- individual crowns are faster to manufacture;
- it is easier to assemble a finished frame from rounded logs;
- due to the factory adjustment of individual crowns, the log house needs less insulation of the seams;
- due to the uniform diameter of the logs, the finished log house looks neater.
- a house made of rounded logs needs additional treatment with bioprotective compounds;
- high price.
What kind of logs to make a blockhouse, everyone needs to decide independently. The debate about which is better began with the advent of rounded logs and continues to this day. The factory conditions for the manufacture of crowns for a log house actually minimize possible flaws during production. However, there are several nuances here that you need to know and take into account if you decide to buy a blockhouse made of rounded logs. The same nuances are true for houses made of uncylinded logs..
Choosing or creating a project at home
The construction of any home begins with the selection or creation of a project. What criteria are primarily taken into account in the project? This, of course, is the size of the future house and the number of storeys. The lengths of the walls determine the area of one floor, which, multiplied by the number of floors, will give the total area of the house, and the height of the walls will determine the dimensions of the ceilings. Knowing some of the nuances of building wooden houses, you can optimally select these criteria and, at the same time, not overpay.
When choosing a project, it should be borne in mind that the standard length of lumber is 6 m. This also applies to logs. At such a length, the slope is the smallest, which gives a minimum of waste when manufacturing a rounded log, and the construction of a log house from such noncylinded logs is the most technologically advanced. Thus, when planning a house with dimensions that are multiples of 3 m, that is, 3, 6, 9, 12 m, etc., you can save good money on lumber, since other sizes will lead to overspending of material.
Further. The design feature of the log house is that the floor logs are cut between the first and second crowns. The ceiling beams are similar – between the penultimate and last crowns. Therefore, the actual height of the ceilings will be equal to the height of the frame of one floor minus two diameters of the crowns and minus 5–10% for shrinkage. This is necessary to know when calculating the required amount of material to ensure the required ceiling height.
The next nuance will be the inner walls. If you are planning a house with several floors, then you should not forget that your interfloor floors will be wooden. To prevent the floor from walking underfoot, it is necessary to build retaining walls or retaining beams with pillars. The greatest length of a floor log, which rests on the supporting structures with two ends and does not play underfoot, is 3.5 m.Thus, when constructing a load-bearing inner wall, the width of the room cannot be more than 3.5 m. To save on material for such a wall and, if desired, it is possible to partially bypass the 3.5 m limitation by building a retaining beam under the logs, which rests on the ends on the outer walls, and along its length on retaining posts. It makes sense to do the same step between the pillars no more than 3.5-4 m.
If necessary, the construction of interior partitions, such a structure will be the basis for them. Lightweight construction, not a wall of logs – this also saves on material.
Another nuance that should be taken into account when designing is gables. Which to choose, log or boardwalk? Perhaps, if the pediment covers an unheated attic, then it can be sewn up with boards. If you plan to make a residential attic, then there is no point in building a wall of boards, insulating and finishing – the operations are not cheap, and the final appearance of the house will be spoiled. A log cabin in this case will be preferable.
Selection of material for a log house
So, we decided on the type of logs, we chose the project. What’s next? Then we order a log house. And here, if you want the log house to stand for more than one decade, you need to choose the right material. Again, knowing some of the specific nuances of the selection of material for a log house, you can protect yourself from unscrupulous or illiterate manufacturers.
Choice of wood species
For the manufacture of log houses, mainly coniferous wood is used. These are pine, spruce, larch, cedar, fir, etc. In addition, in some cases, aspen is used. Log houses of baths are made of it, and some elements of log cabins of residential buildings.
Due to its uniform density, sufficient evenness along the entire length and low price, the main material for log cabins is pine. Spruce is less commonly used, as it is more prone to decay. In places of increased exposure to moisture – this is the first and under-rafter crowns and window beams – it is advisable to use wood that is not afraid of water – larch or aspen. There will be nothing wrong with making a log house entirely from larch, except for its very high cost. Aspen is not suitable for a residential building, since it is not warm enough.
In order to control the selection of wood for the future log house, you need to know what a particular type of wood looks like. Pine is a yellowish wood with a pronounced textured pattern. Spruce – similar to pine, only much whiter and less dense. Larch is an orange wood with a bright pattern. Aspen is white-gray, with practically no pronounced structure. Knowing this, it is easy to ensure that in the right places the manufacturer uses the most suitable wood for this..
Defect detection of material
The timber used for the manufacture of a log house must be free of visible and invisible defects. Visible ones are easily recognized by simple inspection. The invisible ones can be partially identified by the sound made by the log when tapped with the butt of an ax or a small sledgehammer. The sound should be sonorous, high-pitched, clear and practically the same along the entire length.
There is one more question that cannot be ignored in this section – winter forest – how important it is. A winter forest is a forest harvested in winter, that is, during a period when sap does not flow in the tree trunk. Due to the low natural humidity, such wood not only dries faster, cracks less and dries less, but also, due to the winter harvesting period, is initially less affected by bacteria and parasites. Winter forest is usually more expensive. Distinguishing it from another is quite difficult. Alternatively, if the inspection takes place in the summer, then look at a fresh cut. If the tree is harvested in winter, then the wood on the cut should be practically dry. True, this may be last year’s forest, but then the view of the log will be different – a dull color and a shabby trunk will indicate that most likely this is not a winter forest, but a year or more that has lain. All this is true in relation to the material for a log house from non-cylindrical logs. Rounded in the process of processing go through all the necessary procedures for drying, and the cylinder itself, together with the outer layer of wood, removes all possible parasites.
Control of the size of logs and technological slots
It should be understood that not only the strength of the house, but also its ability to keep warm depends on the thickness of the walls. The required wall thickness is determined by the climate of the area in which the house will be used. In log cabins, when calculating the thickness, it is necessary to take into account two parameters: the diameter of the log (in the thinnest part, if it is not cylindrical) and the width of the bowl selected in the log for joining the crowns. So, the bowl should be about 2/3 of the diameter of the log. In climates with winter temperatures up to -20 ° C, the bowl must be made at least 10 cm.At temperatures up to -30 ° C – 20 cm, -40 ° C – 30 cm. Moreover, no matter what, the diameter of the log should not be less than 20 cm.
If a blockhouse is planned from uncylinded logs, it is necessary to pay attention to the process of manufacturing individual crowns. Today, many craftsmen choose grooves using a chainsaw, and not an ax, as before. What is the end result? The correct groove must be part of a circle that repeats the section circle of the previous crown.
In this case, the sealing material completely fills the entire space between the crowns. The seam is tight and warm.
If you use a chainsaw, then two cuts will never give this result. As a result, you get the following picture:
The logs will only touch each other at the edges of the grooves. The rest of the space is emptiness. Each seam of such a log house is a cold bridge. There is only one way out – to fill the empty space with insulation – either to caulk it hard, or, drilling holes, with foam.
You can only control how your log house is made when the log house is not assembled. To hide this unpleasant moment for you, unscrupulous builders from visible ends do everything as it should, but in the middle … Thus, if you heard the sound of a chainsaw at a construction site, this is an occasion to think about the advisability of cooperation with such a manufacturer. Although, in fairness, it’s worth saying that a chainsaw isn’t always out of place. It can be of great help in a number of operations. Therefore, only constant monitoring of the technological process and periodic measurements can significantly protect you from buying a low-quality log house.
There are two types of cutting crowns in the corners – in the paw and in the bowl..
Paw cut (no residue)
Suitable for summer buildings and baths, as the corners in houses with such log cabins are much colder than in houses with log cabins in a bowl. In addition, the strength of such a frame is also significantly lower. When logs are warped in the process of natural shrinkage, the crowns at the corners, not being securely fastened, may diverge, which will create additional gaps. The only advantage of such a log house is the low price, since the log is fully used.
Cutting into the bowl (with the remainder)
The corners of such a log house are much warmer and stronger. If you plan to live in the house permanently, then it is advisable to make a log house in this way.
Installation of a log house
Log cabins from rounded logs are always first made in the factory, and only after that the finished log house is assembled from them on the spot. The interval between manufacturing and assembly should be as short as possible, otherwise, the more time passes, the greater the likelihood of warping of the crowns that are not fastened to each other and, as a result, curved and crevice walls.
By the way, an unconditional sign of a high level of a manufacturer of a log house from rounded logs is vacuum packaging for the period from manufacturing to assembly. It will preserve the original moisture content of the material, which will provide the crowns with a perfect fit to each other..
As for log cabins made of uncylinded logs, there are two possible options:
- production and assembly directly on site;
- fabrication, transportation and subsequent assembly on site.
What’s better? If you manage to find a master who agrees to the first option, then it will be much better..
You buy the required amount of wood and bring it to the construction site. If the foundation of the house is ready, then the blockhouse is assembled directly on it as the crowns are made. The rows are immediately laid with sealing material. If there is no foundation, then you can assemble a log house on temporary retaining pillars, followed by the construction of a foundation under it.
What do you get in this case. Firstly, cost savings due to transportation of the finished log house. Secondly, assembling the blockhouse immediately and permanently in place without additional disassembly / assemblies, you will get a better final result.
In conclusion, it is necessary to consider the materials used for warming / sealing the joints between the crowns. Moss has always been considered an ideal material for its characteristics. It is environmentally friendly, hypoallergenic, parasite-free and absolutely free (unless, of course, you harvest it yourself). The main disadvantage of using moss when assembling a log house is a high fire hazard. Dry moss blazes like gunpowder. Moreover, it is absolutely impossible to process it with any fire-fighting materials. In this sense, tow is a more advantageous material. For rounded logs, a jute strip is well suited. It is not advisable to use it to compact a frame made of uncylinded logs. The fact is that such log cabins, after assembly and shrinkage, need careful caulking. And this is much easier to do using looser materials, that is, moss or linseed tow.
Currently, the popularity of sealing joints with non-traditional materials – sealants, polyurethane cords, etc. is gaining popularity. Whether to use them or not is up to you. Is it just worth building an eco-friendly wooden house and spoiling it, at the same time, with various chemistry?
So, knowing just a few nuances of the selection of material and manufacturing and assembly technologies, you can easily make sure that your log house turns out to be of high quality, warm and reliable.