For many, the idea of searching for log homes for sale is both exciting and a bit intimidating. After all, log homes are quite different than your common wood frame homes. Moreover, the log cabin that our European ancestors built has evolved a lot into a much greater design; the log home. They are a great alternative to modern housing and provide a full breadth of design options that cannot be found in urban areas. We have come a long way from log cabin living and with some log homes having several thousand square feet in size, they are truly something to behold. So let’s improve our knowledge on the subject and make searching log homes for sale a much better experience!
Revisiting an Old Design
Most people think that a log cabin and a log home are one and the same, but they couldn’t be more wrong. If they looked at a log cabin compared to a modern log home they would quickly realize that the only thing these two structures have in common is they are built out of wood. That is where the similarities end.
Log houses are built to the highest building codes, which means they are for all intents and purposes just as modern as the home you are in. But they have additional benefits that modern homes cannot provide, namely the durability to stand the test of time. If these country homes are properly maintained it can easily last many generations.
Although you may come across log style homes in suburban areas, they are better suited to large tracts of land in a rural setting. With their natural appearance they can actually enhance a scenic vista. Having a log home in the suburbs is pleasing to the eye, but for the ultimate log home living experience you really do want to have a larger plot of land in the countryside. Planning how much land is another important aspect log home living.
Log Homes: Fusion of Rustic and Contemporary
The modern log home is truly a fusion of rustic charm coupled with contemporary accents that gives you all the creature comforts of modern life while still holding on the charm of yesteryear. There is a romantic simplicity that only log home living can provide, which is a big reason why the number of these properties being constructed is on the rise.
Perhaps it is being able to sit down and read a book while a log is burning in the fire place or it is waking up in the morning to birds singing as you step outside on the balcony overlooking the lake. Living in a log home has a lot to offer.
Who Invests in Log Homes for Sale?
While the demographics on log home owners have changed considerably in the last 10 years, the majority are in the 35+ age category. Generally buyers are upwardly mobile professionals who are looking to enjoy life at a more laid-back pace without having to compromise on comfort or conveniences.
If the groups had to be broken down, they would consist of younger families who want to take their kids away for the weekend or the summer, members of the Baby Boomer generation that are getting ready to retire and want to enjoy life on their terms. Though, interestingly, the younger generations are starting to build into the log home market.
Along with the comforts that these homes offer, and the enticing country lifestyle, there is a sense of nostalgia that the log home offers. The Baby Boomer generation grew up with television shows where many of the hero’s lived in large ranch homes built of logs (think Bonanza). With these homes, the Baby Boomer can relive their childhood memories. Moreover, Boomers who are well-established want to get back to more traditional settings which is what living the country lifestyle in a log home affords.
And then, Condos and lofts are often rumored as the appeal to the millennial generation, however, these days, that’s not entirely true. Younger generations are in many ways growing more attracted to the country life for its lifestyles around recreation, health and wealth, space to live and to have families. Emerging industries such as the tech sector are fueling many opportunities to live and work from smaller places. As a result, more and more young generations may be heading toward this unique and rewarding lifestyle.
Aren’t Log Homes Rustic and Simple?
Unlike the spartan lifestyle that is associated with a log cabin, today’s log homes for sale have everything that a traditionally built house offers; from simple to the luxury log homes. There are no structural limitations to accommodating all the latest amenities that you’d expect in an upscale home such as expansive chef’s kitchens, spa bathrooms for each bedroom and specially designed movie rooms.
What truly sets log homes apart though is the ambiance imparted by the wood as well as the dramatic, timbered vaulted spaces that are often used in their design. Huge “great rooms” complete with magnificent stone fireplaces and walls of windows to soak up the views are rarely found in traditional houses, but are common features of these homes.
Taking full advantage of the natural beauty is also a hallmark of these properties. The natural vistas are a great backdrop when entertaining family, friends or business associates. Log homes serve as a great way to conduct both personal and business meetings. With their great rooms, upscale amenities and unmatched outdoor space, there is no such thing as roughing it with today’s log homes.
All Logs are Not the Same
Something that impacts both the interior and exterior look of the building is how the logs are cut. The bulk of the logs used in constructing these homes are milled. This means they are cut to a uniform size and fit perfectly together.
For a more customized look, some homes are built with logs that are prepared and cut by hand rather than being milled to a uniform shape and size. This approach takes longer, but, it gives the home a truly unique look and feel. Wood types vary as well and include white pine, douglas fir and western red cedar as common examples.
The styles of logs can vary. It includes full scribe, round log post and beam, timber frame, hand hewn and round log chinked. Much of the beauty of these homes results from the way logs can have many different shapes! Moreover, as a result of these shapes, the logs have different ways of connecting to each other and this leads to different architectural expressions!
How Much Does it Cost to Custom Build?
Whether or not you are looking for log homes for sale or interesting in building from scratch, having rough ideas on building cost is good knowledge. The cost to build a log home varies and nowadays is actually very competitive to what you would pay for a conventional home. Cost variables include the type of wood being used and log styles.
In general, 225 per square foot can still get you a nice log home; however, this number could rise depending on the types of wood, log styles, home systems and appliances etc. As previously mentioned, log styles vary but so do its costs. For instance, a full scribe log will be more labor intensive than the round log chinked. And then, the white pine is generally less costly than Douglas fir and Western Red Cedar.
At the heart of these country homes are the shell work. The shell work often consists of all the main structures including things like stairways. This may represent about 30 to 40 percent of costs.
Next, you need to consider the costs around location. Interestingly, log houses can have very attractive land prices even within some of the most beautiful lakefront, ranch lands or mountainous settings. In contrast, this type of land generally gets pricey when it is within resorts.
Moreover, if you’re buying undeveloped land you’ll need to factor in costs for basic utilities. Electric lines, wells and septic systems can all be installed, they just need to be added to the overall price tag. But then, depending on how you setup your property, you could also take advantage of more independent systems like solar power, geothermal heating and so on; another perk of country homes.
Smart house technologies can also help make homes less reliant on traditional services and as such with heat and even natural lighting benefits. Today and in the future, it will have a big impact on home efficiency and living costs.
Maintaining Your Log Home
Just like any home, owning a log home involves a certain amount of maintenance. Moisture control is one of the most important topics.
Because all woods are hydroscopic, you’ll want to take measures to control the interaction of wood and water. While you won’t have to pay for paint, you will be a need to re-stain all of the logs periodically. The cost of this staining is usually based on the total square footage of the property.
In addition to staining, simply maintaining roof over hangs, gutters, down spouts and ground level drains can take care of this. Aside from these preventive maintenance measures, the logs should last much longer than a lifetime, so future generations can enjoy the log home.
Easy on the Environment
Logs are a greener alternative when compared to other types of building materials. Wood has natural thermal properties that store the heat from the sun throughout the day and slowly releases it in the evening.
Since the log home will usually have high ceilings, the ambient air that is warmed by the wood will rise up and keep the building warm which drives down the amount of energy needed to keep the house warm. Less energy used is great news for the environment.
The vast majority of log home builders are firm believers in reforestation so they will ensure that every log they harvest is replaced with a new sapling. By following this responsible use of forestry resources, you can feel good knowing you are doing your part for the environment.
Living a More Balanced Life
Something that will become clear once transitioning into the life of a log homeowner is how your priorities change. When living in an urban setting you become inured to the vast amounts of noise, pollution and distractions that can increase stress levels and affect your overall quality of life. Not only will you be suffering from the stress of living in the city but your children will too.
By picking up and moving into your very own log home, you can start to relax and live life the way it was intended. Every morning you will be able to wake up with your family and enjoy the simpler things. Along with having a more balanced life, you will be creating some long lasting memories with your children. Instead of being tethered to a smart device all the time, the children will be able to head outside to explore nature as well. As with Organic architecture, a growing design trend, the idea is to promote a harmony between human habitation and the natural world.
There is nothing quite like going for a swim in the lake near your home or going for a hike in the mountains. Given the risks that are linked to living in a stressful environment, you owe it to yourself and your children to experience life in a log house. The only thing you have to lose is stress.
Purchasing a log home can be one of the best decisions you ever make, you just need to have a clear understanding of what you want from the property and everything else should go into place. One thing is certain, you will never look at log homes the same way again.
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