The Log Home Neighborhood

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It was a cold, snowy morning in June...

Now that might sound like the opening line of a cheap novel and snow in June just doesn't compute, but that is exactly what I am looking at from my window. It has been snowing here in NW Montana for the past few hours and now it is starting to lay. Seriously, how many times have you fired up the woodstove in June?

My daughter called from Washington, DC yesterday complaining about the oppressive heat and humidity on her side of the world. I chuckled when I told her that I had a fire burning because it was quite chilly here. This morning, the temps dropped another 15 degrees and the rain changed to snow. This picture was taken 20 minutes ago and it is now snowing even harder.

Okay, so what does all this have to do with the topic of log homes? Absolutely nothing! However, if you must put up with snow in June, sitting in a log home with a warm fire can make you forget that you should be cutting the grass today... not shoveling the walk.

I don't know about you, but I'm starting to have trouble with this whole "Global Warming" thing!

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Comment by Jackie on June 30, 2008 at 11:41am
Tom H.--I can relate....We were at Easton, WA (just barely over the Cascades) in the middle of June, and got 10 inches of snow, which even for the mountains is unheard of around here. Do you have any pointers for Montana land? Ideally, that's where we'd like to plant in a year or so....
Comment by Michael McCarthy on June 12, 2008 at 11:54am
Heck, I'd move into Tom's shed. Looks nice in there!

Tom, would you mind sending me the first image of the shed's interior? I'd like to use it in Mailbox in Log Home Living, if it's OK with you...I think our readers would appreciate the image and your response to the poster about wood stoves. Thanks! Send it to my email address: Naturally, I'll give you credit.

Have a good one!

Comment by Neighborhood Host on June 12, 2008 at 11:39am
(Pauses while jealousy ensues.)
Comment by Tom Heatherington on June 12, 2008 at 10:58am
Oh and BTW... all the cabinets mounted on the walls were bought from a woman that was remodeling her kitchen. Great deals to be had in the local "Tradig Post" or from Craig's List. I bought these cabinets for less than 1/3rd. of what the wood might cost to make them.
Comment by Tom Heatherington on June 12, 2008 at 10:52am
Hey Jim:

Sure, I love talking about my garage… actually, I use it more as a shop as we have a 2-car attached garage with our home. Tell your wife to relax, a woodstove in the garage is as safe as one in your home if you install it according to code…. not too close to walls, etc. I know many people who use a woodstove to heat their garages - I've never heard of a problem.

I have no other heat for this building, so when I fire-up the stove it can take a while to get the temps tolerable, but after the stove's blower kicks in…. you can work in there in shirtsleeves when its 10 below. I park my truck in the garage during the winter and I operate the stove with the vehicle in the garage.

This building is 30'x30' with half-log siding and 12" corner log accents. The 2-stories have 10' ceilings and walls are 2x6's for extra strength. If I were to give only one piece of advice it would be to make it bigger! I thought 30'x30' would be adequate, but if I ever do this again, I'll bump the measurements by 10' - 20'. You just can't have enough room for toys and tools :-)

I also floored the 2nd. Story so we could use it for storage and use a heavy-duty pull-down folding ladder for access. As you know, log homes are not noted for their abundant storage areas, attics, closets, etc. Here's a couple pics of the inside...

Comment by Jim Merkle on June 12, 2008 at 9:59am
Would you be willing to share some details about your garage? The garage we left behind in upstate NY was 24x28, 12/12 roof, 10" lap siding, and looked a lot like yours. Our plan for North Idaho is 24x36, with the addition of a wood stove. My wife thinks operating a wood stove inside a garage with automobiles is not safe. Thanks for your help.
Comment by Tom Heatherington on June 10, 2008 at 8:12pm
Hey Host! You are correct, in fact... Montana holds the world record for the greatest temperature change in 24 hours. In just a day's time the temperature rose a whopping 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Now how does one dress for THAT?

For some other interesting Montana trivia such as, "In 1888 Helena (state capitol) had more millionaires per capital than any other city in the world." That statistic has changed a while back... See this blog post about Montana Facts.
Comment by Neighborhood Host on June 10, 2008 at 7:43pm
Random bit of trivia: Montana has the biggest range of temperatures (measured by Record High subtracted by Record Low). There's actually a 187 degree difference in the range, unless I'm reading this chart wrong.

Hey, I said it was random!
Comment by Tom Heatherington on June 10, 2008 at 7:05pm
MtnGal and Ted... glad our spring weather is offering you a brief respite from your temps. This really is 'unique'. You'll notice in the picture above - the garden hose lying on the sidewalk... I just cut the grass sunday (in shirt sleeves) and hadn't really cleaned up my mess. What's more... the snow has not stopped all day, grass is covered, but not lying on the streets yet. If the temps persist, we're supposed to get 1-3" by morning.

Ted, maybe this explains why our house does not even have A/C. Most homes up here don't but they ALL have woodstoves or working fireplaces :-)
Comment by Ted on June 10, 2008 at 5:56pm
Hey Tom, if you're trying to make the rest of us jealous, it's working. Like you I like a bit of the bite. I currently live in Sarasota, FL (just about 18 years) but why, I really can't tell you why. Except that I have a business here. I originally came from Westchester County in NY. Christmas was magnificent, roaring fire with friends and grog. Here at Christmas, the AC is chugging away, the outside temp. is 90 and the drink we are sharing with friends is iced tea ( your choice sweetened or unsweetened).


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