Adding on to Your Log Home

Log Home Living - - BRANCHING OUT - by Suzanna Lo­gan

There may come a day when your cur­rent home starts to feel a lit­tle tight at the seams. You want more space, but you re­ally love where you live and you don’t want to move — you just need a lit­tle more el­bow room. Ex­pand­ing your cur­rent home could be the an­swer, and though a log home is a lit­tle tricky when it comes to ad­di­tions, it’s to­tally doable. Whether you’re fac­ing a ma­jor ren­o­va­tion or cre­at­ing a small ad­di­tion, here’s some need-to-know info about con­nect­ing new logs to an ex­ist­ing house.

1 CUT­TING INTO A LOAD-BEAR­ING

wall (ex­te­rior log walls are al­most al­ways load bear­ing) to merge your ad­di­tion re­quires ex­pert ad­vice. A builder, ar­chi­tect or struc­tural en­gi­neer can help you de­ter­mine if your pro­posed ad­di­tion is struc­turally sound and will mesh prop­erly with your ex­ist­ing log home. Your lo­cal build­ing depart­ment will help en­sure you have the cor­rect per­mits in place and that your plans meet the code re­quire­ments for your area.

2 A LOG AD­DI­TION CAN CRE­ATE

is­sues when added to an ex­ist­ing log home that has al­ready un­der­gone shrink­ing and set­tling. Con­sider us­ing SIPs or con­ven­tional fram­ing over­laid with log sid­ing to avoid set­tle­ment is­sues be­tween old, sea­soned logs and new.

3 IF A SOLID LOG AD­DI­TION IS A

must, at­tach logs to posts placed in be­tween the old and new struc­ture to ad­dress set­tling and help cre­ate a more air- and wa­ter-tight shell. A weather-tight union re­quires skilled car­pen­ters with ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with logs.

4 DIF­FER­ENCES IN AP­PEAR­ANCE

be­tween old and new logs can call un­wanted at­ten­tion to a new struc­ture. To keep the look seam­less, place trim wher­ever the two sets of logs meet to min­i­mize color dis­tinc­tions.

5 ADDING A LOFT TO A VAULTED

room is an easy way to gain ex­tra us­able square footage with­out cut­ting into a sin­gle wall, but it will re­quire ad­di­tional struc­tural pro­vi­sions. Again, talk to a builder, ar­chi­tect or en­gi­neer to de­ter­mine the proper size of the joists and the size and place­ment of ad­di­tional sup­ports.

The most important con­sid­er­a­tion when build­ing an ad­di­tion is to de­sign it so that it meshes with the orig­i­nal build­ing and looks like it has al­ways been there.

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