Keep a High Pro­file

The size and shape of the logs play a big part in your home’s look and func­tion. Here’s how to nav­i­gate your log pro­file and cor­ner style op­tions.

Log Home Living - - 2018 ANNUAL BUYER'S GUIDE -

Un­der­stand­ing the char­ac­ter­is­tics of wood species is a great start, but it’s only the be­gin­ning. Now it’s time to de­cide how to shape this raw ma­te­rial into an ac­tual build­ing ma­te­rial.

First you need to choose whether you want the look of a milled or hand­crafted home. The pri­mary dif­fer­ences here are the size and uni­for­mity of the logs (for a side by side com­par­i­son, see “By Hand or By Ma­chine,” p. 36) and the tech­nique used to pre­pare them.

Hand­crafted logs are pre­pared as the name im­plies: Peo­ple — not ma­chines — strip, shape and cut the tim­bers un­til they are suit­able for log home con­struc­tion ac- cord­ing to your plans. The shape of the logs is usu­ally very or­ganic and un­even, giv­ing a home a dis­tinc­tive look.

Milled logs are run through an au­to­mated de-barker, then a com­put­er­ized sawmill that shapes and cuts each tim­ber to a pre­cise, uni­form di­am­e­ter and “pro­file.” If you are opt­ing for the milled-log va­ri­ety of log home, choos­ing a pro­file is your next step af­ter choos­ing species.

Pro­files and join­ery meth­ods will sig­nif­i­cantly im­pact how your home looks, both in­side and out. (See Log Pro­files and In­ter­face Styles, p. 32, for ex­am­ples.) This also in­cludes how they in­ter­sect at the cor­ners. In ad­di­tion to per­sonal pref­er­ence, the re­gion where your home will re­side may in­flu- ence your de­ci­sion. For ex­am­ple, log homes boast­ing a square pro­file with dove­tailed cor­ners are preva­lent in the South­east­ern United States and Ap­palachia. Round-on-round and Swedish-cope pro­files with butt-and-pass or sad­dle-notch cor­ners are highly pop­u­lar in the Rock­ies. But don’t feel pi­geon­holed into re­gional pref­er­ences. Log pro­files and cor­ner sys­tems will per­form well in just about any cli­mate — and you may want your log home to stand out from the crowd.

With an idea of what you want your log home to ul­ti­mately look like in terms of species, pro­file and cor­ner sys­tem, it’s time to start think­ing about how in­clu­sive you want it to be. It’s time to con­sider log pack­ages.

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