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Choosing Your Log Home Style

Image of examples of log home design styles

If you are planning to build your dream log home in the near future, you may be wondering which Style is best, not just from a design perspective, but also from a cost perspective. There are many different styles to choose from. Let’s start with the more common styles and then we will show you a few alternatives.

Scandanavian Full-Scribe, also known as Swedish Cope

In our full-scribe homes, each individual wall log is hand scribed along its entire length to fit the one below. This creates a tight lateral fit that becomes tighter with age and settling, thus eliminating the need for chinking. We install a hidden gasket on each side of the lateral to ensure a complete seal during the initial settling process. Our construction techniques are designed to take this settling into account, however, settling will require special consideration when finishing the home. For example, interior walls need to be built with future settling in mind. Our team will be happy to work with you to explain or demonstrate the different framing methods that can be used to account for this. 

Upkeep: Full-scribe log homes do require periodic re-application of stain in order to keep the logs looking their best and lasting lifetimes. 

Chink Style- Round Log

Our handcrafted chink style log homes are built with Saddle notch corners and sealed with chinking. As the most iconic log home style, this type of construction is perfect to implement our superior non-settling system (optional). With this system, the stacked log walls do not settle, allowing for simple framing and easier finish construction. Modern synthetic chinking will last for many years with proper installation. 

Upkeep: Typically, the chinking will need to be touched up after the initial log shrinkage, but then it will last a lifetime. Routine reapplication of stain will be required.

Appalachian Style - Square Log

Traditionally found in the mountains of the eastern United States, this style has gained significant traction throughout the country. The flat sides of the square logs make hanging pictures, cabinets, etc, simpler while retaining the warm, rustic feel of a log home. This style is built with dovetail corners and is available with all the same surfacing options as our standard timbers. As with all timber projects, checking can be minimized by using FOHC (Free of Heart Center) timbers, or boxed-heart may be used for deeper checking and a more rustic look. This design style pairs well with timber trusses and roof system, or with round log accents.  Our non-settling construction can be used with the Appalachian Dovetail style as well. 

Upkeep: The chinking will need to be touched up after the initial log shrinkage, but then it will last a lifetime. Routine reapplication of stain will be required.

Post & Beam - Round Log or Timber Frame

Post & beam style homes have a classic “old-world” feeling. Traditional timber frame construction has been used to create magnificent buildings for centuries, ranging from cathedrals to stables. While squared timbers have a more refined look, round logs create a more rustic, informal style. The construction methods vary depending on the project from full mortise & tenon, to basic joinery or steel hardware. The post & beam style mixes well with modern rustic architectural styles. We incorporate certain elements of this style into many of our homes as an accent, or to blend the transition from framing to full log.

Upkeep: Ongoing maintenance will include re-application of stain every three to five years.

Handcrafted Log Siding

Sometimes a log home is out of the question. But you don’t need to have a full log house to enjoy the same rustic atmosphere. For the look of an authentic log home we offer hand-crafted Log Siding. We can put together a siding package for you with either “Pacman” or full stacked corners in any style. You can also add just the corner posts with siding of your choice for a clean, simple look. This is available in either round or square log type with any of our standard surface textures. Use Caribou Creek’s log siding on the interior or exterior to create the perfect environment. Sometimes even a single accent wall can make a powerful impact. 

Upkeep: Regular re-staining will be required.

Which Log Home Style is Most Affordable?

The most common question we are asked is what is the most affordable build style? If we compared these style variations with a simple log cabin floor plan, such as the White River, we would find that full-scribe and chink style are very close in cost and are the most affordable of all of the options. The added labor to craft lateral notches in the full-scribe style makes Swedish Cope the more expensive of the two; however, what the chink-style saves in the log package ends up being spent in the chinking. Because of this the costs end up being quite similar.

Surprisingly, the Appalachian Dovetail style of log homes is actually more expensive than homes with round logs. A common misconception is that since the square logs are easier to build with it would be less labor intensive. However, when looking at building a handcrafted log home, square logs start as round and are crafted down to squares by hand which essentially adds to the overall cost.

The costliness of post & beam will vary greatly depending on the floor plan and design, because some people may use post & beam just as an accent to a traditionally framed house or use it as a full construction model. When using post & beam for full construction the cost can be less than a full log house.

Handcrafted log siding can be a more affordable option when used with a corner post model. However, if a homeowner wants log siding with stacked corners the cost is actually greater than all other build styles.

These log home design styles are just one variable that impacts the cost of a log cabin home. Other factors such as floor plan layout, log ends, and whether or not the home will have interior log walls or accents such as a log staircase. For more explanation on how log kits vary in price watch this video. The best way to get a more realistic cost analysis on your dream home is to schedule a free consultation call with one of our experienced log home associates.

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Choosing Your Log Home Style


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