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Thread: Building in Phoenix area?

  1. #1

    Building in Phoenix area?

    Hi all! I came across an article on the internet about log homes and somehow found my way to the LHBA website about a week ago. I've just been enjoying reading nearly every article and forum post that I can (on page 17 of the forums currently!). I proposed the idea of building our own log cabin to my fiancee after we get married (wedding is May 2016) and she loved the idea instantly which was just great. Her reaction couldn't have been better. We plan on taking the first class that is available to us after we are married (she's finishing school and we live apart so the February 2016 class just isn't feasible).

    My question is about constructing one of these log cabins in the Phoenix, AZ area, more specifically it would be in the east valley near Mesa, Apache Junction, Gilbert, etc. for anyone who is familiar with the area. If you don't know, this area of Arizona typically sees temps of 100+ (sometimes 110+ in the Summer) from about mid May to mid September. The start and end date of the heat varies but June through August you are pretty much guaranteed 100 degrees. I wanted to find the opinions of the many experts on this forum.

    Just a few of my questions:
    Would the heat affect the logs in any way?
    What about cooling the house in the Summer? Do you think it'd be more difficult or easier than a traditional stick built home? I recently came across a topic in my reading of the forums that suggested this website's method http://www.mb-soft.com/solar/intake.html Thoughts on this?
    Have you heard of anyone else building in the Phoenix area or a hot desert climate before? I had found only one other topic about building on the west side of Phoenix in Tonopah but no resolution was ever posted in that topic and I figure it doesn't hurt to get another topic about building in the desert for other prospective builders.


    Just as a quick background, but we want to build here as this is where my parents and 6 of my 8 siblings live, and another of them wants to move out here. The fiancee's family lives about 4.5 hours away in Southern California. I've been driving out to see here every 2-3 weeks for about a year now and so the drive to see her family isn't too bad and we've agreed for the time being to settle in this area after we're married.

    Thank so much in advance for all your help! From my reading over the past week, I can tell that this is a great community with a wealth of knowledge and my fiancee and I can't wait to get married, take the class, buy our own land, and begin this process together!

  2. #2
    LHBA Member rocklock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by channtheman View Post
    Would the heat affect the logs in any way?
    What about cooling the house in the Summer?
    Do you think it'd be more difficult or easier than a traditional stick built home?
    My wife and both of my boys were born in Tucson. I am familiar with the area...
    Heat on logs. Yes, they will dry much faster mostly because of the lack of humidity. But there are many adobes that have logs supporting their roofs. So the timbers (or logs) will last a very long time.
    .
    Getting logs. Just go right up the hill and there are more fire killed logs than you can shake a stick at.

    Cooling during the summer. Much like an adobe, a log home will be cooler than a conventional home because of thermal mass. I don't know if I would have a swamp cooler... It is very possible to get more information about natural cooling when you look at adobes... Don't get me started, I was going to build one about 20 years ago... I do have (sort of) a thermal chimney in my Washington home.

    Stick built homes will always be easier IMHO. But log homes will last much longer and be worth much more...cooler and more comfortable too.
    Dave
    --> The unaimed arrow never misses....
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  3. #3
    Thanks for your reply, Dave.

    Good to know I shouldn't experience any issues other than drying out faster, and also that there are a bunch of fire killed logs available. What area "up the hill" are you referring to specifically? I know I don't need to know this information yet and will learn more in the class, but it's fun to run ideas in my head until that time comes.

    I have a lot of research to do on the cooling method I want to use someday but that can come later. I'm more or less just thinking about many ideas in my head and getting excited about this project.

  4. #4
    LHBA Member
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    Bo built in AZ and just recently finished. Then he sold his Gradall to another member (sorry, amigo -- I forgot which one), also in AZ. If you time it right, you might be able to buy the Gradall when he's done. :-)

    By the way, you really should see Bo's house, the size of the logs, especially. Come to think of it, somebody ought to put those photos in the Student Home Gallery.

  5. #5
    LHBA Member BoFuller's Avatar
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    Welcome to LHBA. I lived on the East end of Mesa for several years (Crismon), and then Scottsdale for a couple years, and now we're in West Mesa (Dobson). I built 200 miles NW, up by Seligman. Never considered building in the Valley because I wanted a place to get away from the crowds. Shouldn't be much of a problem though. Yavapai County is the worst, as too many yuppies moved to Prescott from CA. Control freaks. Phoenix/Mesa/Maricopa County has more normal people in the building department.

    A friend of mine who came up and helped me for a year lives in Mesa. If you want to come up and see my place sometime, just message me.

    I sold my telehandler to Codeman, who is building in Winslow. I wasn't in a hurry to part with it but he needed it pretty bad. Maybe he'll be done when you start.

    I have a ton of photos in my build thread (AZ Ranch) but you probably can't get to it until you take the class.

  6. #6
    My parents live off Crismon now and I live off Higley. My fiancee and I have continued to discuss land and we've considered purchasing land farther away from the city but we're just not sure yet. Fortunately, we have the time to wait for the next class and save money before we ever make a decision. Lots can and will change from now until we are ready to purchase. I'd love to see your place sometime, Bo! Perhaps after we are married my wife and I could see it together.

  7. #7
    LHBA Member edkemper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donjuedo View Post
    By the way, you really should see Bo's house, the size of the logs, especially. Come to think of it, somebody ought to put those photos in the Student Home Gallery.
    Pending approval of his BI as we speak.
    edkemper

    Class: Valentine's Day weekend 2009

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  8. #8
    Bo, can you post a link to your AZ Ranch Build Thread? Merry Christmas!

  9. #9
    LHBA Member rreidnauer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edkemper View Post
    Pending approval of his BI as we speak.
    Ha! Awesome!

    Guess he has to submit three view drawings of every photo to be taken, as well as a ultraviolet light exposer report should he choose to use flash photography. Wonder if the permit fees are charged by the photograph?
    All my bad forum habits I learned from LHN

    Rod Reidnauer
    Class of Apr. 9-10, 2005
    Thinking outside the vinyl sided box

  10. #10
    LHBA Member BoFuller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PresterJohn View Post
    Bo, can you post a link to your AZ Ranch Build Thread? Merry Christmas!
    I don't have a license to do that.

    In other words, I don't know how.
    I guess you search AZ Ranch.

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