Archive for the ‘Log House Design’ Category

Oct 22 2008

Fitting the log siding to the log house

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log-siding-first-section.JPG Having given the siding a week to acclimatise to the heated house, we can now start to fit it. It is 2″ thick, and our skirting is about 4 inches tall, so we pack out the bottom (first) piece of siding with some 4 x 2 reduced to 3.5″ which also sets the siding so that it is at the correct hieght to the logs on the walls and therefore looks like it is part of the log wall.

The house has several 7″ square posts supporting the roof through the floors and one of these just falls in the wrong place for the siding, which cannot be slid into position because of the post protruding in th adjacent side wall close to the corner.

log-siding-post-issue.JPG So we have to cut the siding lenghts slightly short and will have to fit a trim to cover this up later when all the siding has been fitted.

This particular stud wall has siding on both sides so we have to come up with a clever way around things to avoid showing any fixings on the log.

log-siding-on-second-side.JPG So we fix battens to the back of the siding, lift the siding in place and then screw through the battens to fix the siding to the studs. As each piece of siding is put in place, sound insulation is dropped in place to fill the gap as we go along.

Oct 17 2008

Extra window work continues

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window-now-routered.JPG We have a few dry days to get the extra window work finished off. The jigs we used to guide the router on the main doors and windows have to be modified because the return on the wall is quite small and the dovetails get in the way as well.

Here we have finished the routering for the architraves and header and just need to give the routered surfaces some protection treament before fitting. We will also put plenty of silicon to help seal the log to architrave and header faces.

Oct 17 2008

Leaks in the log house

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wall-leaking-7th-october-2008.JPG Ho Hum, we have some heavy driving rain the other day and found damp patches on the inside of some of the logs. Looking on the outside it looks as if there are cracks that extend along some of the logs for a considerable lenght, and in some places go all the way through the log. This cracking or “checking” is normal as the logs dry out. We experienced similar problems with water penetration in our earlier log house, and it sometimes needs and exact combination of rain and wind direction for the pesky crack to be found and the water to be pushed through it. So it really is a one or two day a year issue, but much better to discover it now, while we can fix it.

We contacted the North American log house supplier and they will be sending us a repair proceedure they recommend to deal with this.

Oct 15 2008

An Extra Window in the log house

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window-cutting-out.JPG Adjacent to the two full height sliding glass doors our original house design had a full depth window on the return wall. The North American log house supplier was not happy to combine this with the two sliding glass doors to provide a truly panoramic view, but wanted to put a dovetail corner between the full height window and the sliding glass doors.

By the time the log kit arrived, the technician who helped with the build had told the production department responsible for machining the logs to leave the window opening out. He strongly advised we should leave the full height window out because there was considerable chance of the remaining short logs cracking.

So we decided to compromise and put in a half height window (similar in height to the other windows in the house) and make it narrower, so that less material was taken out and the remaining log ends were a bit longer. We also, because of timing, were able to leave doing this until the house had settled down for 6 months during the build, so was hopefull a lot more stable and less likely to start any cracking.

window-cutting-out-inside.JPG Having cut the outline on the outside and the inside, more material is cut away until the log in the opening can be removed. There was also a tensioning stud going through the opening that we had to cut through and then “re-install” as a top stud and a bottom stud.

window-cutting-out-complete.JPG Now we are ready to modify our routering templates to work in such a small space to be able to route out the surrounds for the architrave and header. To add this window takes about 4 man days!

Oct 7 2008

Balcony beam end plates and foaming

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balcony-beam-end-plate.JPG To make sure no moisture can get past the steels where they stick out of the house, we have cut back into the logs and put plenty of silicon around, before fitting these ply end plates.

 balcony-beam-end-plate-in-position-8th-sept.JPG These were given two coats of yatch varnish before installation and then sealed again with silicon. Then from the back we put closed cell can foam to fill up the hole in the log.

balcony-beam-minus-two.JPG We had to make sure that it filled around the steel beam everywhere to avoid any pockets where moisture could build up.

balcony-beam-insulation-five.JPG Then a few days after that we filled from the top so that the first two feet of steel inside the house lives in a bed of foam. We hope this will do the trick.

Oct 5 2008

Balcony steelwork on the log house

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Against the advice of the North American log house suppliers, we decided to make the balconies for the three bedrooms with steel, rather than wood supports.

balcony-steelwork.JPG We were strongly warned that this would result in condensation in the house which would seep into the ceilings etc. With the underfloor heating which goes over the steels we don’t think this will be a problem but we have done a lot of work to make sure no water can get in.

The steels coming through the log wall are 152 x 152mm “I” section or 6″ square in old money. They were pre drilled for the fixings that will be needed for the Western Red Cedar that will go on the top and for the underside, and then sent off for galvanising.

Once they came back, 6″ square holes were cut out through the logs and then the steels slid into position. Then everything was measured up so that the sub frames shown above could be made and fitted.

Sep 12 2008

Log house wall settlement

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wall-settlement-gap-and-adjusters.JPG Here is something which is very important with log houses constructed in this style. Because the logs used for the external walls will “Settle” down with time, but the internal stud walls will be relatively stable, you have to engineer in space between the floor joist system and the internal walls and have method to adjust the floor joists down as the external logs settle. Our floor joists fix to this central beam which sits on posts with adjusters.

Coving has to be made up (a bit like skirting boards) to cover the settlement gap. More about this over the next few weeks. 

Aug 12 2008

Slotting log walls

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wall-slot-for-siding.JPG Whilst the errection of the external log walls is pretty straight forward, the internal marriage of the stud work walls to the log walls is poorly detailed by the log house suppliers. Where we have decided to use log “siding” (2″ thick slices of log which look like a full 8″ log but are fixed like monster sized “tongue and groove” to the stud framework) in order to get a good seal between adjoining rooms we are cutting a 2″ slot so that the siding does not leave a cheek shaped hole between each log. The devil as they say is in the detail.

Aug 9 2008

Wiring in sockets into the log house wall

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wall-electrics-sockets-chopping.JPG It seems like a long time ago we were using a monster drill to create conduit routes for wiring in the log walls. Now it’s time to find all those routes and chop out recesses for sockets for light switches and 13amp sockets, pull the cable and leave it ready for the “second fix” when they will be fitted.

May 18 2008

Log House Window fitting round two

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window-header.JPG Now the window headers go in. We have made the angle on the ends the same as the corner dovetails and made the header deeper than the original test window set up. On the bigger windows if we had not done this the headers would have looked a bit mean.