Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Handcrafted log homes vs. Milled log homes

This title usually gets a lot of attention from log home builders because each of us is sure that our way is the best way. The truth is that “the best way” depends entirely on what the future homeowners are looking for.

At Sitka Log Homes our specialty is handcrafted log homes, meaning, we can only explain handcrafted log homes to you. We have displayed at many log home shows where other companies have displayed their manufactured/milled log homes beside us and there is no denying that there is a huge difference to the look of each log home. Ultimately though, it is up to the customer to decide which look they prefer.

Basically, a manufactured log home consists of logs that have been milled to uniform size and profile.

Here is a brief account of what to goes into the making of a handcrafted log home.

First, the bark is hand peeled off of each log with a tool known as a draw-knife.

The average log is 30 to 35 feet long and weighs about 700lb. There are generally about 60 or 70 of these logs in an average home.

Each log is scribed to the log beneath it by using a scribe tool which resembles a large compass, like the ones found in our high school geometry kits.

A pencil mark draws the contour of the log below it onto the one above which is then cut precisely along that line so that it will fit snugly against the log it lies on top of.
A chain saw is used to cut along the line on an angle.
The same is done on both sides of the log so that when both lines are cut you end up with a V groove through the lateral length of each log.
A chisel is also used to tidy the line and ensure accuracy.
The corners are scribed and cut similarly. The corner method we use is called the a saddle notch.
Doors and windows are cut according to each home’s blueprints.
Roof components are generally pre-built on the ground and then erected on the house to ensure a proper fit.
At this point the home is sanded with buffing pads before each log is numbered tagged and then the log home is loaded piece by piece onto a truck for transportation to the home owners lot, where a Sitka Log Homes rep will meet it and assist with the re-erection.
From start to finish, a 1,000 – 1,500 square foot log home generally takes about 10 weeks to complete at our construction yard before it is transported to the home owners site.