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Thread: Just Bought a new (to me) log home, have some questions...

  1. #1

    Just Bought a new (to me) log home, have some questions...

    Hi All,

    My wife an I just moved into a log home in Southwestern British Columbia. We sort of fell into this as it was the only place we could find in the community in which we were looking to live. We had never really considered living in a log home and so, as you might imagine, we don't know the first thing about them.

    So, now that we've gotten settled in, we are trying to prioritize and schedule projects for next spring.

    What we know:

    The house was built in 1982
    The logs are hemlock
    The previous (not original) owner does not seem to have done any exterior maintenance
    The roof needs to be replaced ASAP (which will be next spring in these parts)
    The existing overhang is too small

    For now I want to focus on questions related to exterior log sealing and protection:

    1) how does one know if logs are too far gone to just reseal (i.e. how do you know if logs need to be cob blasted or similarly resurfaced)?
    2) why is there no exterior chinking on this building (the interior chinking seems well done)?
    3) It appears that the (seemingly) insufficient overhang does not seem to be causing too many issues? Will it be worth the cost (and loss of interior sun light) to extend the overhang when we reroof?

    in general my proprieties are ensuring a long life for the building at a minimal cost, aesthetic considerations are secondary.

    Thanks in advance for your time and input (and, if we've made a terrible investment, please be nice there is no going back now)

    for reference:

    Here is an image of the most protected log as an example of what I guess I want the building to look like:
    Here are some of the worst case logs:


    Here is the overhang and lack of exterior chinking:


    Interior chinking:

  2. #2
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moe_Wilensky View Post
    Hi All,

    My wife an I just moved into a log home in Southwestern British Columbia. We sort of fell into this as it was the only place we could find in the community in which we were looking to live. We had never really considered living in a log home and so, as you might imagine, we don't know the first thing about them.

    So, now that we've gotten settled in, we are trying to prioritize and schedule projects for next spring.

    What we know:

    The house was built in 1982
    The logs are hemlock
    The previous (not original) owner does not seem to have done any exterior maintenance
    The roof needs to be replaced ASAP (which will be next spring in these parts)
    The existing overhang is too small

    For now I want to focus on questions related to exterior log sealing and protection:

    1) how does one know if logs are too far gone to just reseal (i.e. how do you know if logs need to be cob blasted or similarly resurfaced)?
    2) why is there no exterior chinking on this building (the interior chinking seems well done)?
    3) It appears that the (seemingly) insufficient overhang does not seem to be causing too many issues? Will it be worth the cost (and loss of interior sun light) to extend the overhang when we reroof?

    in general my proprieties are ensuring a long life for the building at a minimal cost, aesthetic considerations are secondary.

    Thanks in advance for your time and input (and, if we've made a terrible investment, please be nice there is no going back now)

    for reference:

    Here is an image of the most protected log as an example of what I guess I want the building to look like:
    Here are some of the worst case logs:


    Here is the overhang and lack of exterior chinking:


    Interior chinking:
    Moe AND Wilensky!

    I have always been a Ron Smith. I would kill for either one of your names and you, you lucky dog, you got both of them in consecutive order!

    The log house is a mess and you made a terrible mistake buying it. But now you are stuck with it and you'll probably love it and be just fine in the long run.

    It is made of real logs and is not a kit. They are nice looking logs. I assume you got a fair deal because it needs a roof, and I assume you are committed to doing the new roof right.

    Spend some real money and find a way to get some 2' or 3' overhangs, and then you will be protecting whatever maintenance you have to do to turn this into an 80 year (or more) house.

    My place has 3' eaves and over 7' on the table ends. Depending on how structurally sound your roof is, this may be major or minor. If it were me I would trade shady overhangs for well lit windows any day.

    This style of log building is called chinkless. The logs fit so tightly together that they need no chinking. Problem is that as they twist and turn, like wall logs do, they open up gaps that let the breeze blow through.

    Your interior chinking looks so nice because it is only a few years old. If it were me, I would not chink the outside to let any moisture in there evaporate.

    You will want to poke around with an icepick on any of your logs that have had weather. Report back with photos.

    I'm no stain expert, but I know you will want to know what kind of stain is on it now.

    Roof and real overhangs first. You be fine.



    PS... How old are you two. If you are as old as I am, you might want to leave it like it is and slowly die as the house dies.

    Maybe not.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a XL using Tapatalk
    Last edited by loghousenut; 11-29-2020 at 06:40 PM.
    Every time I have strayed from the teachings of Skip Ellsworth it has cost me money.

  3. #3
    LHBA Member rreidnauer's Avatar
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    All the photos of logs still look just fine. If nothing is soft, you're in good shape.
    Chinking inside isn't supposed to be there, so that explains why it's not outside as well. I'm guessing there may have been a little draftiness I side, so they chinked it.
    As for reroofing, if you want to extend overhangs, you can probably do so relatively inexpensively by just scabbing on extensions to the existing rafters/trusses, and plywood the new area. Just be sure to have enough of the new wood go up under the existing roof, so the new overhangs will support snow load. Looks like your walls are fairing well, so I don't think that you'd need crazy big overhangs. Splash back from the ground is the biggest problem with water hitting the logs, and why the bottom logs are the first to get rot. If you do a decent job of mitigating splash back, over half the battle is already won.

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    Rod Reidnauer
    Class of Apr. 9-10, 2005
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