When planning to build a log home, you want to put care into every step of the project, from developing the layout of each room to determining what features will fit in a customer’s budget. However, one of the most important considerations entails choosing the right building materials for the home.
You’ll want to consider the type of wood carefully in order to ensure that materials are available in the sizes necessary for a log home as well as to ensure that the exposed wood will hold up against the harshness of the outdoors for years after construction.
Log homes tend to require large beams, and some wood species are difficult to source in large sizes; log homes are built exposing large quantities of wood, so it will be critical to select a wood species which can resist constant insect attacks as well as the never ending wear and tear of rain, ice, wind and sun.
For constructing the frame of a building, Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga Menziesii) exceeds qualifications of durability against the outdoor elements. Since the trees grow to excessive size quickly, this wood is easy to find in the exceptional lengths necessary for beams and posts in log home construction.
The straight grain gives an orange color to the wood, also finishing well for a refined but rustic appearance. While not on the level of some other woods like cedar, Douglas Fir will provide some level of insulation against cold winters with its thick, solid planks.
In addition to home frames, Douglas Fir stands as a popular choice for flooring as well as siding. J Gibson McIlvain lumber company sources this wood from the Pacific Northwest as well as western Canada, focusing on coastal wood, which grows to larger sizes, resulting in more availability.
Another wood option for log home construction is White Oak (Quercus Alba), which also comes in readily available long sizes and has a consistent grain, which is especially attractive when finished. This wood is exceptionally dense and hard, allowing for firm construction but also adding to the difficulty of the building process. Its density also allows for the use of less stain to finish the wood.
However, oak does resist decay well and repels insects that would harm the wood. In any home with a high concentration of wood as is found with a log home, potential danger stands for termites and other insects to destroy the structure from the inside out. Of course, other measures, such as treating the ground in the vicinity of the home, will help to further guard against termites.
Beyond the frame of the building, you’ll need to consider the materials necessary for constructing elements within the house, such as flooring and doorways. To ensure that every part of the house looks consistent, you’ll want to make sure that the wood used shares similar grains and coloration.
Working with your supplier will allow you to compare the types of wood available, the sizes in stock, and the care taken to ensure that the timber will be in the best possible quality for your project. J. Gibson McIlvain sources high grade timber in large quantities and lengths up to 40 feet, keeping ready stock available to ship straight to your location. You can browse through further descriptions of Douglas Fir, White Oak, and other timbers on our website as you plan for log home construction.
J. Gibson McIlvain Company
Since 1798, when Hugh McIlvain established a lumber business near Philadelphia, the McIlvain family has been immersed in the premium import and domestic lumber industry. With its headquarters located just outside of Baltimore, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company (www.mcilvain.com) is one of the largest U.S. importers of exotic woods.
As an active supporter of sustainable lumber practices, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company has provided fine lumber for notable projects throughout the world, including the White House, Capitol building, Supreme Court, and the Smithsonian museums.
Contact a representative at J. Gibson McIlvain today by calling toll free (800) 638-9100.