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The style and location of your home can affect stain longevity and the amount of maintenance required for your logs.

Eaves,porches, proper drainage and the position of your home on the lot all come into play.

Experts recommend a bare minimum of 24" eaves (36" or more is ideal), wrap around porches which are at least 10' deep and a foundatin that provides at least 12" to 18" of space betwwen the first course of logs and the ground.

These elements will help diminish the amount of sun exposure and moisture your home receives.

Situating your home is the right location on your lot is key, you want to minimize exposure to soil, moisture and sunlight.

Position your house in a clearing, if possible, to keep it away from insects and to allow it to "breathe."

This will allow your home the proper air circulation and light to ward off fungi and excessive moisture.

South-facing and west-facing sides of your home will require more care - be sure to check these areas each spring and fall for stain maintenance.

Just things to remember!


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Comment by ChinkerBob on January 24, 2009 at 11:37pm
I just re-read my entry and didn't make it clear that the long house had its 100+ yard long front wall aimed towards the south. For some reason i didn't get the 15 minutes I usually get to change my post, so this addendum will have to do.
Comment by ChinkerBob on January 24, 2009 at 11:34pm
I'm not an expert either, but I've seen houses that could have been oriented North/South instead oriented to the south because someone thought it was a better idea, when it was just exposing huge amounts of log wall to prolonged sunlight.

I worked on a 32,000 sq ft log house that was over 100 yards long, oriented East/West. With few porches and lots of windows, it soaked up heat when it really didn't need to (It was in the south). Two doors had no porches at all, and got so hot on a warm day that you could burn your hand touching the inside of them.

It was a house with a lot of design errors, but ever since working on it, and after seeing a few others that had similar if smaller problems, I give orientation a lot of thought when I look at a house, especially one with weathering problems.

Its not a matter of being right or wrong so much as having a good reason to make the choices you have to make, and understanding the trade-offs that you are accepting.
Comment by Glenn V on January 24, 2009 at 11:07pm
I am not an expert on this but from what I read I would prefer a lot of south facing wall for thermal heat gain in the winter in my area. A good overhang will help prevent some of the heat gain in the summer months. But with that you probably would have to restain a little more often unless of course if your in a warm climate that you don't want thermal heat gain. I have read that on a 20 degree day the top side of a round log in the sun can get 130 degrees to which heats logs so they will help heat the house making an 8" log with an R value of 9 - 11 closer to R 19. I guess its a flip the coin - restain more often, better thermal heat gain. After thinking about this maybe Bob's way may be less expense if you consider the cost of restaining sooner compared to heat gain savings in the winter although saving energy is more environmentally correct. I haven't ever read a study of the same log house facing north / south and one facing east / west comparing the heating costs so you could compare that with the cost of restaining. And of course it would depend on how large a home it is as to how much heating costs are and how much area for thermal gain and staining and lots of other factors including the costs of fuel and efficiency of the heating system, going from geo thermal to oil fired boiler as well as the prevailing wind direction. I had seen studies of stick built in magazines and they suggest more south wall with windows in colder climates and more of a square home in the warmer south.Of course there are a lot of other factors to consider also. Kind of interesting thinking about this.
Comment by ChinkerBob on January 24, 2009 at 9:42pm
Good info. I'll add a couple of things.

Kelly's suggestion that you allow 12-18" from the ground to the logs is generic, and may vary a bit. I would never go lower if I could help it, but there are places where higher is even better. Drive around the area you are planning to build in and look at existing houses. Many are not all that well maintained and have a skirt of dirt or mud where the rainwater has splashed up on them. If that dirt goes higher than 18", your house should sit higher too.

If you can design your house with minimal south facing walls, running the length of if north and south, the area you have to maintain the most will be smaller. Yes the west wall will still take a beating, but usually it isn't quite as bad as what the south wall gets. There are of course other considerations that may trump this idea, such as the need to orient a roof for solar panels or something, but at least consider that when building.

As Kelly mentioned you don't want to have your house too deep in the woods, surrounded closely by trees, because its harder for the air to circulate around. However, a few strategically placed trees giving shade to your house but not blocking the air can really help. This works even better with trees that loose their leaves in winter, letting sunlight hit your house when you need it.

Do what you can to avoid a north slope, especially in the northern part of the country. I've worked on several that literally never get sunlight in the darkest part of autumn and winter. Those places take a lot of fuel to heat when its cold. It is also hard for moisture to dry up around the house, which can lead to water problems on the logs. Sometimes you get the best prices on property that is undesirable like that, but do take the lack of sunlight into consideration.

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