The Log Home Neighborhood

An online log home community for log home enthusiasts.

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  • Sarasota, Fl
  • United States
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Joe's Groups

Joe's Discussions

Which direction?
6 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Joe Sep 3, 2010.

Detecting air leaks, a tool.
1 Reply

Started this discussion. Last reply by Lee & Sondra Kraley Aug 9, 2010.

Our visit to East TN log home plants.
6 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Michael Boomgarden Apr 29, 2011.


Joe's Page

Profile Information

Tell us about yourself:
My wife and I are originally from Detroit where are businesses are located but we live full time in Sarasota, Fl. I am a mechanical engineer and amateur wood worker but my wife is the brains in the operation who loves to cook. We are looking to possibly relocate to East TN on a lake. Charlie in the picture hasn't realized you can't build a log home from a palm tree.
Are you lucky enough to be living in a log home?
No - but thinking about it.

Joe's Blog

Solar electric cost calculator

The following is a web site that allows you to calculate the cost of putting in solar power for a given % drop in your electric bill as a function of your zip code. I can't vouch for the accuracy of its findings but in running it for my home it seemed pretty accurate from what I have read. Right now solar power seems to cost about 4 times more per kilowatt to produce then the power line. We pay a little over $.10 per KW in Florida. Some solar panel company out West claims to have made a…


Posted on April 18, 2010 at 12:26pm

Attended the March, 2010, Log and Timber Show in Orlando, Fl

My wife and I attended the show on Saturday after delaying from going Friday. I think we would have needed a canoe to get there on Friday due to the storm that hit. The show itself was much smaller then in the past but that was to be expected due to the economy. All the top builders were there and very friendly in their nicely laidout booths. They were all quite busy as might have been expected from the problems on Friday.

We spent a lot of time with one builder that we were…


Posted on March 14, 2010 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

Log home bloggers - Internet virus Warning from Joe in Sarasota

February 6th, 2010
Friends, a Virus will appear but called "Vista Antivirus Pro 2010 Alert"
This is a serious virus that has surfaced recently. You will be surfing the web and all of a sudden a "anti virus" program will start to download at lightening speed. If you can react fast enough, do an immediate shut down using your "mechanical" computer button to stop the download. If it completes the download you are still ok as long as you DO NOT follow any of its…

Posted on March 6, 2010 at 2:36pm — 2 Comments

HGTV Log home special

To all:
Apparently this Sunday, Oct 25th, at 8 pm, HGTV will have a one hour special on log homes. I don't know if this will be a repeat but Blue Ridge Modular Log Homes sent me an email announcing this.


Posted on October 23, 2009 at 8:30pm — 4 Comments

Chinese Drywall, another problem

Just in case some of you up in the mountains haven't heard about this, there is a major problem with drywall imported from China. It was made using chemicals that are now causing outgassing of sulphur fumes which is making people sick especially here in Florida. It has also caused metal within the walls to turn black including wiring, brackets and heating and A/C ducts. They know that enough was imported since 2006 to build 40,000 homes and they have only accounted for a few 1000. The… Continue

Posted on March 27, 2009 at 3:00pm

Comment Wall (12 comments)

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At 11:39am on April 28, 2018, mss dd said…

Good day,
I picked interest on you after going through your short profile and demand it necessary to write you immediately. I have something very vital to disclose to you, but I found it difficult to express myself here, since it's a public site.Could you please get back to me on( for the full details.

Have a nice day.
Mrs.Dankwa Perious.

At 2:07pm on February 29, 2012, James W. Harbin said…

Hi Joe, Go to Katahdincedarloghomes and learn about the difference Cedar makes. In 25 years I have built with many species and I have learned plenty about logs. When selecting a company to supply your materials you will find all the information you need to make an informed decision. The log home industry has come a long way since I started and continues to develop. Good Luck, Jim and Pam Katahdin Cedar Log Homes

At 7:53pm on September 11, 2009, Greg Beck said…
Hi Joe, Greg Beck Here. I was getting ready to try and join my 6 x 6 post beams, which will be supported by my post on my wrap around porch . Once the post and beams are in I can start my trusses that will allow me to cover my entire porch with roofs I figured I would just center the posts directly under the center of the shiplap joint and run a huge lag bolt down through the joint and into the post to help with high winds once its all done with trusses and a roof. Thought u might like to know what I was doing, you seem to have good advise. Thanks a bunch Joe ! Greg In MO.
At 7:58pm on March 30, 2009, Lake Stone Cabinetry Knobs said…
I'm sorry you took offense to my comments. They were meant as a compliment to you. I guess I misread you. Take care.
At 7:57pm on September 3, 2008, Shelley Martinez said…
Hi Joe,
Haven't visited any establishments in Elmira - but now I may have to!! So you visit Lynnette's funtime website too? She has great info - I will need to give her a plug. I have a link for her on my log cabin blog.
At 2:59pm on August 31, 2008, Ted said…
Thanks for the heads up Joe. Can you send the other members name to me so I can find out what the problem was/is. I wont use your name

At 9:35pm on August 18, 2008, Shelley Martinez said…
Joe - is it possible Larry's Bar was renamed? We are actually in Waters w/ a Gaylord Address. The snowmobile trail starts right around the corner from us! Right on Old 27 is the Keg Bar and the Stampede Saloon (our personal favorite - best buffalo wings, live music and the nicest owners in the world!) This past winter was probably the best for snowmobilers in a long time! Thank you for your kind comments on my blog! :-)
At 6:25pm on August 18, 2008, Shelley Martinez said…
Joe - hello from a fellow Michigander! We live in Dearborn and recently built our vacation log home in Northern Michigan. My husband and I have thought about in the future when we retire and build our "permanent" log home - about areas such as TN, N. Carolina and Montana. What made you choose TN?
All the best with your plans!
P.S. Cute dog!
At 3:48pm on August 13, 2008, Ted said…
It's really interesting ... you and I are running into some of the same problems. For example, proximity to health care was and to some extent still is one of our concerns. We have found a major medical center about (the magic numbers) 15 minutes from our property. That's good but what happens in an emergency. Here in Sarasota we can usually get help in about 10 minutes (although the wait in the emergency room can be 4 hours). I'm not sure a helicopter would help if time was of the essence. Even more important to us is trying to find a good doctor that we are comfortable with. I haven't solved that one yet.

We did buy property in a community that is "somewhat" deed restricted. It's not a planned community per say but there is an association that controls the kind of homes that come into the development. No trailers or mobile homes or using your property for camping or commercial purposes.
But, to us, the best thing about the association is that there is a group that we can make a connection with and something to be involved with. It's a way to make instant "friends".

I know exactly what a Telleco model is now that you have described it for me. Actually, we were interested in the design you are talking about until we changed our own layout objectives. We too found that furniture placement was difficult. We were not crazy about the prow front but that is personal preference. By the way, I assume that you are still looking for a piece of property close to water, how is that exercise coming?

Talking about slopes and everyones definition of a slope, I describe my property, which is pie shaped and the wide part of the pie is where the house will go, as being just a slight slope, as you continue down towards the point of the pie (about 250 feet) it gets steeper but still walkable ( another 300 feet) and the last 50 to 75 feet are too steep for any practical use. I wanted to attach a few pictures but couldn't figure out how to do it.

I think septic approvals have to meet the same criteria in TN and NC. We have a 3 bedroom septic approval but are planning to have a loft area where we can put up more people if necessary. We also plan to finish part of the under house basement into living quarters. By law this cannot be called a bedroom but rather a game room or second family room or some other nonsense like that. The septic guys know what you are planning to do and the septic tank sizes are planned accordingly. In my part of NC you have to have a primary field and then a secondary overflow field.

Yes, we are going to use square logs with dove tail ends and a space between logs to do chinking. This chinking thing is still another consideration but I'll get into that at some future time. Everyone has an opinion about kiln drying vs. air drying too . After reading all the arguments for each I think it's 6 of 1 ... Perhaps there is a slight edge to kiln drying because of the moisture control factor. But keep in mind that our ancestors didn't have kilns and some of these houses are still around after 200 years. Maybe the kind of wood you use is important but I don't know enough about that to have an opinion.

Your comment about atrium ceilings goes back to what I said in my last email, you might have to design a Florida log home. I live in a 2000 square foot town house. I have 2 floors and in all honesty have never had a problem with noise passing from one room to the next. If my current house were made of logs it would resemble the house we want to build.

Talk with you soon.

At 11:41am on August 12, 2008, Joe said…
I will give you a call but for other bloggers following this, your thoughts are well founded. Going from "city" surroundings to the woods is a major decision especially when you are going into the "bible belt" of TN. Everything has its plus's and minus. I have timed traveling here in Sarasota and have found it takes about 15 minutes to get to grocery store and 20 minutes to get to Home Depo. TN is just about the same although greater distances. I noticed in TN they talk in terms of time to something while in FL we talk in terms of miles. My biggest concern is the time for medical help to a well equiped hospital. I know in TN you can sign up for an air ambulance service to get you to Knoxville quickly. This all becomes important when deciding where to put that log home as we aren't as young as we used to be. This is another reason that we would like to be in a planned community with year round neighbors. The Watts Bar lake area tends to more this way.

The Telleco model is essentially offered by most log home builders. From the top it looks like a + sign or more often a T. Typically with a big peaked window wall in the middle on the view side usually using dormers on either side. Many offer the "prow" window in this center section which sticks out like the bow of a ship. This improves the view when in the family room but drives the cost up as the basement underneath must be the same to support this "prow". It also presents problems with furniture inside.

The garage underneath is by far the cheapest solution to the garage problem and takes advantage of a huge space that is wasted unless you want 5-6 bedrooms. The stairs is the big negative but your solution is good. A side note is that in TN. septic code is based on bedrooms not bathrooms. I see houses advertised with a permit for 3 bedrooms yet the house has 5. Somebody is going to pay a lot of money for frequent pumpouts of the tank.

You previously mentioned the building sites with the steep slopes. Some I have looked at you need to be a mountain goat. The view is great but the owners have literally put in a tram system to get down to the dock versus the stair case from hell. The driveways are actually scary on some of these houses and would be impossible to climb in snow or if covered with wet leaves in the fall. The slope certainly make it easy to put in a walk out basement and in many cases the foundation is easy to build if you don't hit TN rock. I have also learned that the "flat" lot normally means your lakefront leaves you in the winter as the water is normally shallow too. The problems of paradise.

I agree with your use of flat logs which is referred to as a Genesis log by several of the suppliers. Log home owners have told me that the round log inside is a big dust trap and I also suspect it cuts down on reflective light which I'm trying to avoid. I am also convinced that the kiln dried log is the only way to go to minimize the settling issue and help solve the bug problem.

As you know, in Fl the rage is the atrium family room with 20+ feet ceiling heights. I spent 6 weeks in a house like this and the noise level was terrible in the house. When in the upstairs bedrooms you could hear everything in the family room. I don't know if the log walls help to cure this but things such as using rugs on the second floor in the bedrooms and solid wood doors with good seals on the bottom might along with the insulated inside walls. My wife always complains that I blast the surround system so this is on my check list.

More later.


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