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Thread: Is my builder trying to sell me a log?

  1. #1

    Is my builder trying to sell me a log?

    Hello everyone,


    Im am looking at building a log home in eastern canada. I have been in contact with a local builder that makes beautiful homes at a reasonable price. Everything was going smooth until I asked about the r value. The logs are milled and 8" thick. He quoted the r value at >20 and stated that the walls are 30% more efficient than stick frame construction.

    Im a mech engineer by trade and while this isnt my area of expertise, something doesnt smell right. The highest I can get the calculation for an 8 inch white pine log is around 11 and change.

    Is this guy out to lunch or is it possible to get an 8" log to comply with current NBCC standards? looking for some info from builers/buildees in the know

  2. #2
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    Most of us on this forum are building with larger than 8" logs. Mine are 12" to 28" and, though I know nothing about R factors, I can tell you that I need no AC in 105 degree heat and my propane stove rarely gets over half throttle in freezing weather. The guy who started this LHBA thing, Skip Ellsworth, used to say that you will never be too hot or too cold in a properly built log home.

    The question is, are 8" logs enough to be a properly built log home in that eastern Canadian climate? I don't know but there are a bunch of nerdy engineer types who are chomping at the bit to type out their calculations and figures on this one. Most of them are moderately knowledgeable and trustworthy.



    PS... Ever consider building your own log home with your own hands? This is the place.
    Every time I have strayed from the teachings of Skip Ellsworth it has cost me money.

  3. #3
    LHBA Member Shark's Avatar
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    8" logs are pretty small...
    Completed #1 - Sold #1.....#2 about to start
    http://jandjloghome.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
    LHBA Member rckclmbr428's Avatar
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    They are relying in the thermal mass properties of the log to compensate for the lack of r value. Most wood has r values of 1.5 R =1" of wood.
    www.WileyLogHomes.com
    "Hand Crafted Traditions"

  5. #5
    LHBA Member mudflap's Avatar
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    PS... Ever consider building your own log home with your own hands? This is the place.
    try not to infect too many folks, Okay, LHN?......


    I bet that log builder guy is going to tell you that he has some kinda insulating foam that gives you more r-value. It's false. I read the Canadian study myself- sure the foam adds r-value, but only where it is used (at the joint). The rest of the log still retains its normal 1.5 / 1" value.

    But the secret is: R-values aren't accurate in the real world, and this has been known since the 1970's. Thermal mass is more accurate measurement of efficiency. But your building dept will take a lot of convincing. better to go with huge logs and just bypass their requirements altogether.
    Last edited by mudflap; 04-02-2019 at 06:30 AM.
    --
    "cutting trees is more important than thinking about cutting trees or planning to cut trees." ~ F. David Stanley

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  6. #6
    LHBA Member
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    Do you plan to cover the logs on the inside? You may get stuck with having to strip insulate and sheetrock the inside if you get an inspector that is a stickler for the codes

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