Log Home Construction Process
The Cedar Direct Log Home Building Stages
Should I act as the general contractor when building my log home?
There are many variables when considering buying and building your new cedar log home. Albeit, the first decision you must make is whether or not you will hire a general contractor, act as your own general contractor, and/or build all or some portions of the home yourself. There are many variables in the log home building process, and we will consequently talk about many of those in this article.
Cedar Direct offers a Construction Manual for those clients wishing to build their cedar log home themselves to assist them with the log home building process. In addition to the manual, our clients acting as an owner/builder will consequently have the opportunity to visit homes under construction to help them learn the construction process in various stages of building.
As a GC, your first step will be for you to obtain an Owner/Builder loan from the bank if financing is necessary. You can read more about those on the log home financing page.
Cedar Direct will be with you every step of the way if you decide to act as your own GC. The vast majority of our customers choose this route. Not only does it save you tens of thousands of dollars in the log home construction process, but you also have much more control over the entire building process. You can be your own GC and never need to lift a hammer.
CDLH will help you obtain subcontractor bids and provide references if requested. Most likely, you have never built your own home before. Therefore, Cedar Direct wants to help you through the construction process. You will become a member of the CDLH family and be glad you did.
The Log Home Building Process Explained
How is a log home constructed?
Building a cedar log home with Cedar Direct is as easy as 1,2,3. As mentioned previously, most of our customers act as their own general contractor. They typically don’t perform any work on the home themselves, but they coordinate the sub-contractors. Ultimately, this coordination saves our customers 10-20% of their log home construction costs.
Your first construction decision will be what type of foundation you will use on your cedar log home if any. Most customers choose to build a full foundation as they can later finish this square footage for a much lower price per square foot. Our log homes can be built on a slab, pilings, a crawl space, tradtional block walls, or a variety of poured concrete wall systems. This decision will depend on your location and lifestyle.
The subfloor includes a double band board to support the weight of the logs.
Log Wall Construction
The log wall is built 19 courses tall resulting in an 8’+ ceiling on the 1st floor.
Second Floor Construction
Exposed 2nd-floor joists are set, and interior load-bearing partition walls.
Roof System Installed
The exposed rafters and SIPs are installed waiting for shingle installation until later.
Porches & Decks Built
All of the decks are built with the exposed beam porch roof constructed now too.
Window & Door Installation
After windows & doors are installed, the roof shingles can be installed with gutters.
Log Home Building Process Galleries
Log Home Package Deliveries
Prior to the delivery of the log home package, most of our customers have the foundation installed and the subfloor constructed to begin the log home building process. 2″ X 10″ floor joists or floor trusses are typically used for the subfloor construction. A double band board is the main difference between a traditionally framed home’s subfloor and our log home’s subfloor. This is used to support the extra weight of the log wall system.
Before the delivery day, a Cedar Direct team member will consult with you and/or your builder about the requirements and your responsibilities, including the unloading of the trucks. Log home package deliveries usually only take a few hours, and a CDLH rep will be on-site to answer your questions.
Log Home Basement Systems & Subfloors
Our log wall construction system is unique in the log home industry. First of all, we ship lineal lengths of NWC logs. We do not believe in pre-cut logs. By the time the builder finds the specific log for each location, a fresh log can be cut. Also, with a pre-cut package, there can be NO CHANGES to the home. Sometimes you may need to move a window or door just a few inches, but once your pre-cut package is delivered, that becomes impossible.
We offer a butt & pass corner or a corner post corner at no additional charge. The butt & pass corner is slightly more rustic, while the corner post suits contemporary homes well. The choice is yours. Corner options can be seen on the log profile page.
Our log joinery system is what makes our packages outshine the competition. We use a 6″ hardwood dovetail spline to join each log to another log, a corner post, a window or door buck, or any other wooden material. This ensures a weather-tight seal that strengthens over time.
The single tongue & groove logs are stacked with caulking and foam gasket between each course. An 8″ hex lag bolt pulls each course together as they are placed every 18″ during the log wall construction.
2″ X 6″ framing lumber is cut to fit the rough opening sizes for all window and door buck framing. Those are also prepared for the hardwood dovetail spline to secure the logs to the buck material.
As each log is placed, an 1 1/2″ auger bit is used to drill for electrical boxes and outlets. This ensures no wires will be seen in your log home.
Log Home Wall Construction
Once the first-floor log walls are constructed, any load bearing framed walls should be built to support the exposed beam second-floor system. 4″ X 8″floor joists are placed with 2″ X 6″ Northern White Cedar tongue & groove nailed to the top.
Any electrical needed for overhead fixtures like ceiling fans or chandeliers will be considered now. Electrical wire will be placed between the joists and the tongue & groove to ensure the wires are completely concealed.
After the second floor is constructed, the exterior walls can be framed where needed for shed dormers, dog house dormers, and gable dormers.
Log Home Under Roof Construction
When the shed dormer walls are completed, the heavy timber roof system can be installed, starting with the ridge beam. The rafters are 4″ X 8″ and on 32″ centers. Most construction crews build the roof system without using a crane. After the roof rafters are placed, the 1″ X 4″ NWC tongue & groove is set, and the SIPs (structural insulated panels) are attached to the roof.
The shingles will not be installed yet as the windows and door must always be installed first to avoid window breakage. In this stage of the log home construction process, the decks and exposed beam, covered porch systems are built.
Now with the windows and doors installed, the shingles are placed on the roof. The gutters and final trim, including the fascia, are now installed. The home is considered weather-tight. The sub-contractors can now begin completing the remainder of the inside of the log home.
A typical 2,000-square-foot home can be built underroof in 4-6 weeks, on average. Many variables can change this, but most customers fall within this timeframe. Most homes this size take approximately 4-6 months from breaking ground to move-in, barring unforeseen circumstances.
According to the National Assoc. of Home Builders in an article titled, Why Log Homes Are Better Than Conventional Construction“In conventional construction, your home is exposed to the elements for far longer, which could lead to mold issues within the framing of the home, where it can thrive undetected for years.” Log homes are just better all the way around.
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