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I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion on random length log kits. I've been focusing on pre-cut kits but I'm begining to wonder if the random length kits would be something I'd be interested in. I'll be assembling the home myself so I know that it will add to my work load but if there is a substantial savings it may be worth the extra work. Has anyone built a random length kit?  

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Comment by kent ifland on April 4, 2011 at 11:15am
We did ours with random length. Besides cost, one of the main reasons was because many of the kits we looked at tried to use up all their short pieces and it was really annoying to me to see a butt joint between a window and a corner, when the window was only 4' from the corner. I used autocad to design my own stacking diagram and was able to control the number and location of butt joints. We found that 80% of our package fit into the standard random length package for the mill we were dealing with. The other 20% were longer logs or had a notch in the middle or something else special. The random length package included a certain number of precut notches. About the only issue I ran into was self induced. When you are cutting the doorand window openings a chainsaw, even with a new chain, will not cut clear through a 1/2" lag bolt. :)
Comment by WHISPERING PINES LOG HOMES, INC. on March 23, 2011 at 11:58am
We do both. I would check to make sure the companies are not giving you mixed species logs, and that they are thoroughly dried. With random length logs there is a cost benefit, but pre- cut it is very nice to have the corner systems factory notched into the logs and some as with our company will try to minimize the lengths and splices/butt-end matches with a pre-cut system, our pre-cut system will even cut the logs to the rough opening of your windows and doors to minimize the on-site time and cutting of those. We ship nationwide! Wishing you good luck! Jacob, Whispering Pines Log Homes
Comment by Bob Mack on March 21, 2011 at 7:44am

my 2 cents?

On a precut kit you have to dig thru the package to find the next log.

On random length you grab whats on top.

They are logs.

Comment by Dave and Julie Christiansen on March 11, 2011 at 10:45pm
Hi Mike:  Julie and I used random length logs when building our home.  It worked out great for us.  Also I used an electric $50.00 trimlite chainsaw to cut all my logs.  It was light, easy to use, and did a great job.  My cuts even turned out straight.  As an added protection I drilled a 3/8" hole between log buts into the log below and then pumped in silicon 1st followed by a 3/8" dowel.  This profived extra protection against air infiltration.  My supplier was Yellowstone Log Homes, and my dealer did a great job in figuring how many logs I would need.  Dave
Comment by Log Home Outlet Inc. on March 10, 2011 at 12:22pm



There are advantages and disadvantages to both pre cut and random length.  You can visit my website at for more information.  Feel free to give me a call as well. 208-542-2772


Comment by lee cornelius on March 4, 2011 at 4:42pm


Being a log home builder I have put up a lot of homes using random length logs. The advantage using random lengths is number 1 the cost difference and number 2 you can make changes in the field with no problem. If you are stacking and you see that you will want to move a window or door opening you can do it with no problem. If you use a pre-cut kit you are kind of stuck with what is delivered.

Comment by Randy Esposito on February 20, 2011 at 12:00pm


Steve is right plus there is more.  If you are going with a log that requires splices you will have to route the splice into each end, plus you will have to do the corner cuts on each log end plus route out the tongues so it fits correctly. Plus you have to be able to cut the log gable ends at the correct pitch.


Plus the bucks will need to be routed and you will need to rip down and make your own splines. While it may seem that the random length package may be a good price dont' forget there are a number of items that go into a package.

You have log screws ($130 a box), gaskets, splines, log seal ($18 a tube), door/window bucks and if you are getting a heavy timber roof system you'll have to get that material, cut it to length, etc.


I think when you factor in the extras and time involved you will find that there is not much savings in the end.

Comment by Steve Hall on February 19, 2011 at 9:41pm


It all depends on if you have the right equipment to cut the logs smoothly.  I am a building consultant for Tennessee Log Homes and they sell pre-cut or random length.  The homes I build we usually get random length because we save some money, but we have a big enough circular saw to cut them smoothly.  If you are planning on cutting them with a chainsaw I would not recommend it.



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