What Building a Custom Log Cabin is REALLY Like

Hey it's Brock here with Rock Hill Farms And for me having a log home especially One that I built myself has always been A dream but I'm standing here with Mike Who's actually done that and he's going To give us a little bit of feedback on His experience going through it things Maybe you might want to know or think About before building one so I guess First how long has this been here what's The square footage just some basic Information we're on our 27th year of Living in the home we had like I said we Built it 27 years ago Uh it's 20 just a little over 2 400 Square feet uh we're using eight inch Yellow pine logs Uh it's kind of one of those deals where I'd say it's a love hate relationship With a log home uh love it obviously but It's it is a lot of work so as far as Yeah your UV protector and the things You know you know solid solid Woods you Got to be careful you got to worry about Your termites and you know infestation Of bugs and things of that nature and And moisture but uh so let's go back to Building it do you think just first cost Wise do you how how do you think it Compared at that time cost wise to Building a traditional home at that time Actually we went quite a bit larger Square footage because we could do it Cheaper by doing the logs now the key

Thing is we didn't buy a kitten log home This was this was we found the floor Plan and then we ordered logs in So it saved us that way to also because Back in the day when we built this uh I You could buy and you still can't today Buy a kitted log home or what they call Log home kit and it is quite a bit more Expensive that way yeah and again say The larger the logs the more price the The higher the price goes up so not Doing it from a kit just required you to Do a lot more planning about how many Logs you would need and length and stuff Like that but it saved you a lot of Money it did in the long run yes so how Did you Acquire these logs like um As far as how did you determine a Species and a size and and All the information you needed to buy What you needed for this right we did a Lot of research uh magazines uh we did Some traveling uh around there Believe It or Not There was quite a few around The four state area within 100 miles I'll say uh that that actually had log Homes and it had and that built log Homes and we even talked to a few people That actually sold kitten log homes and And found the gentleman actually in Neosho Missouri that had built this very Similar log home and sold what they Called Yellowstone log homes because

They come out of the this came out of The national forest and uh we went and Decided to go with him price wise it was Very reasonable and the fact that within It give us the flexibility so this is What we want so we could buy the logs to Fit the floor plan that we wanted Instead have to be tied to buying a kit That was already pre-planned now do you Know much about the types of logs Normally used for log home is using pine Really common in some areas yeah you'll See I I see a lot more people around Here locally are using Cedar Logs now Here locally but probably not a lot of Hardwood I wonder if that's cost or Actually the pine holds up better or I Don't know I don't know that for a fact I do know that uh you know some of the Some of the people that I talked to Prior to building ours that they put Jacks in them because Jacks were around The windows and the doors because of the The temperature change and our humidity That you know if you didn't have Jacks To to adjust your windows would hang up Your doors would hang up well we we went A different route with buying these logs These came out of the force they had had A burn and National Forest you have they Have to stand for a certain length of Time before they can be harvested so so These came out of out of the national Forest after a Bernard went through so

Pretty much the moisture content on the Log was very very very little Soul so then you purchase the logs that Would be needed to build this home then What's the next step I know you hired a Company to actually build it now did They the the logs come with the cutouts In you know to accept the end log and Everything or did yeah that when when we Uh decided on our floor plan we went Back to Yellowstone log home give them The floor plan so they could have an Idea how many Corner Notch logs we would Have so so they Corner lost a certain Amount of logs and then our contractor Had to had to cut them to be able to Compensate to make sure we had enough Corner Notch locks Okay so then as far as actually building It that company came in and built it and Then My biggest question the thing I don't Understand is how you air seal it and Kind of treat it and protect it from the Elements and obviously you don't want Any rain in your house right right yeah They it these are Swedish Coke cut logs Uh you know you have options of of and For someone who doesn't know like myself That means that it's just cupped on the Underside to fit the other log right Right you can buy they they also make Them that are double tongue and groove Uh I was a little bit concerned about

The double tongue and groove the fact That because cause of wind and and Rain Infiltration that if it was to blow in And then where if it did get inside the Tongue and group where is it going to go You know with the Swedish Coke cut you Got you got gravity that's already Helping you because there's no place Really for it to pool so so we uh they Run what's called a caulking it's called A stackers it was the brand that we used And and start and there's foam strips Weather stripping that goes between each Log with the the Spikes that we drove through them were About 18 inches long and we put them About every four feet So and then as far as once that was done Then the exterior the logs had to be Protected so we went with the the Sickens brand as the choice that we used At the time and at the at that time it Was a three-point process you had to do Was what's called a cetol one which had The pigment and you chose what color you Wanted to basically stain the logs at That time so we went this natural color So this has so it was like entire log The entire exterior had to be done it Was one of those same with it being Pigmented at that time you couldn't Spray it so every log you become very Intimate with when you're in a log home And you go that route so so I had to do

Entire the entire house with a two coat Process the sea tall one with the brush Once it was done that I had to come back Over it with a ctol 2 3 which was your UV protector and sealant since that time Sickens has now come out with a log home That's a one process it has the color UV Protector and everything and and your Your south and west facing walls With UV protector probably need to be Done every other year and then the Entire house done every four years and So there's unquestionably more upkeep Because you're not painting your house Every other year so You have a basic minimum of you're going To treat this that often but then is There any other maintenance I think you Just have to be conscientious and really Pay attention and look for maybe a log That's rotting or air infiltration in Your house or just pay attention Absolutely yep you just need to you know Just do a walk around and again like you Said about air infiltration you know Believe it or not you'll see cracks in These logs but very few go all the way Through and they just go halfway or a Quarter way in and then they'll stop but Anytime you stack a log and and any of Your cracks that are on the say on the Upper from the center line or this of The log on to the upper side if it's Exposed then they do make what they call

Backer rods it's foam that you can put In there and then you caulk over that That way water is not sitting in that Crack for exactly so we're going to go Look at actually a bad spot that had to Be repaired but first I had some Questions about Energy Efficiency so This is Eight inch logs yes and Compared to a six inch timber frame Exterior wall with an r19 insulation What is your understanding of the Energy Efficiency you know as far as heating And cooling your home how's that going To compare right that's one thing that They told us when with an eight inch log The it has the same as a R20 on Insulation factor and another thing that Was kind of interesting is we our our Insurance companies that when we built It you know we went to them hey we're Going to build a log home they kind of Scratched their head because they really Know how to insure it but the thing was Is it's kind of like a log like we've Been cutting wood today you know you Throw a Log on the Fire it isn't it Doesn't burn up like that it takes a While in case God forbid there was a Fire it does take a while that you know That it's as far as ensuring it we Finally got it insured through State Farm and insured it just like if it was A stick built home

And just it's hard to compare because no Two houses are the same but just your Opinion do you think it's energy Efficient wise cost wise about the same Better or worse than the same size stick Bill we're a total electric house and I've got friends that's got actually Smaller less lesser square footage with Stick built home their electric bills Are higher than ours we're heating we Heat this with a heat pump Total Electric home I did put gas logs in on My fireplace well I do have a backup on Uh with propane but they're on a uh Thermostat and they run very little so It's been very very efficient it Honestly probably cost me more in the Winter time to warm it than it does in The summertime to keep it cool because Once the logs are cool they stay cool Once you warm them up they stay warm but But you know a heat pump's not always The most efficient thing in the Wintertime anyhow but our electric bills Have been being a total electric home Has been very very reasonable Well let's go take a look at that bad Spot that you've had to repair so we've Got a spot right here that just looks a Little bit off color to me I thought That that was still the log but that's Actually a repair and so did you just Kind of walking by that you noticed that There was kind of a soft or a rotten

Spot there well actually at one time That's where our dryer exhaust vent was And 26 years of the dryer exhaust right There and the moisture I started getting This I know it was a soft spot around it So I pulled the dryer vent out moved it Down to where it's at a exhaust on or an Opening on our foundation And uh they have a multiple products but The product I use is called liquid wood And it's a two-part epoxy and a hardener And uh you can use it so I just cleaned It out and puttied that in and then once It's putted you can paint it stain it You can mix wood chip in it to get it Whatever color you want uh smooth it Once it's set takes up 24 hours to set Up and once it's set up then it's 100 Waterproof you can sand it you can drill It you know it's so in 27 years how many Spots have you had to do that two two so Really not bad considering that after Doing it you probably not that big of a Deal right as far as I'm fixing it or no It really wasn't I mean you know my Heart sunk when I you know I first noted Oh my gosh I have log rot but you know Then you you get on the internet you Find out anybody that's in the log home Hey you're good it's just something you Deal with and once I got it cleaned out Read the instructions on how to do it And it was it was done in two days and Completely set up so and on the inside

Your house you see these same logs it's Not covered by sheetrock or anything It's it's log home on the inside too Yeah all external walls or log inside And out yeah and then and these are Round logs you can buy d-log so it's Around on the outside flat on the inside If I was going to build another log home I would do a d log because one thing That we didn't realize is on the inside The top half of that log is a dust Collector and so with the D log they're A lot easier to vacuum and and keep Clean but so uh We were thought we were done and Realized we really didn't talk about the House wiring you can't run traditional Wiring around the exterior of your house So how do you solve the the electrical Problems right so we do have a few Outside porch lights so as we were Stacking the logs we drilled the holes And ran the wire through them for the App for exterior lighting but as far as All exterior walls are solid log the the Only Outlets we have we didn't want to Drill everything and run wiring because God forbid we got something have an Issue how are we going to access the Wiring so all of our Outlets are on the Exterior on the floor And then we did again the outside porch Lights they have the wiring run through The logs but we went with we got every

Bit of 36 inches of crawl space I can Just pretty much walk on my knees under The entire house we did go twice the Width on the foundation to support the Weight of the logs because we are logs Two-story we're logs all the way to the Top instead of most of your traditional Local logs you see solid logs to the Second to the top level and then they Stick built and put put log siding but We didn't do that we went logs all the Way to the top so so it is something to Be aware of and you have to accommodate For it but it doesn't feel like that big Of an inconvenience to you absolutely Not I mean once you it was nothing to Get used to having the outlets on the Floor it's no big deal all of our water Lines are running under the house we do Have our internal wall logs or internal Walls our stick built All external again is the log so we'd Have you know you have your traditional Outlets on our internal walls but as far As the room walls the everything else on The outside we have outlets in the floor And it's not been a problem so do you Have any other advice we haven't covered If someone's considering building a log Home something you think you might want Them to know or just advice or Yeah I would think I would think long And hard I mean is like I said earlier It's kind of a love-hate relationship we

Love the home but there's a lot of work To it I mean if you've got a you know I've take usually uh about every other Year I spend a week of vacation I'm Going okay I've got to wash the logs the Logs have to be clean because they Collect dust and dirt on the outside and You can't you don't want to put your UV Protector over the top of that so you've Got to come in and I I maybe I'm I'm an Extreme I guess but when you think about This is your home and you don't want to Deal with any kind of rot I know every Inch of this house top to bottom every Long because I've washed every one of Them by hand you can use a power washer And a lot of people do and I have done That but I still feel like my concern is What am I missing on a log and do I have An area that that maybe needs some TLC And I don't want to get up get away from Me so so I I again I go to the extreme And I wash them down by hand and and now That with technology and the things They've got out today the UV protector Is super easy to put on you know it's Not like you have to trim anything same When you're painting you just get on There and and you don't even have to Have the highest dollar brush you just Make sure you cover every inch of the Log and you can go you can go right Along but again It is upkeep unlike a a stick built you

Know brick home You've got to understand that you can't Ignore it you've got to take care of Just like any home but a log home Definitely you need to make sure your Watershed's good you don't have any Areas it's pooling water that's got to Be able to to dry out So all right hey well I think this could Potentially be helpful to people I Really appreciate you taking time to go Over it with us yeah thank you bro Thanks a lot I appreciate you guys Taking time to watch the video I'll put Links on the screen to more of our Videos and I'll see you next time