Written by Mercedes Hayes

Continued from page 1

Once you've chosen what kind of log you want, you will discover that manufacturers each specialize in their own unique fastening system. Almost all manufacturers use double-sided foam tape between log courses. Some companies use lag screws, threaded bolts, or spikes to add integrity torepparttar walls; others use fancy spring-loaded through bolts that compressrepparttar 100044 logs. Once again,repparttar 100045 choice becomes a personal preference.

It would save a lot of work forrepparttar 100046 buyer to get a "turnkey" price onrepparttar 100047 logs,repparttar 100048 lumber,repparttar 100049 windows and doors, andrepparttar 100050 roof - what is commonly known as a "weathered-in shell". However, this complete system only makes sense if you are local torepparttar 100051 manufacturer; otherwise, you'll be spending thousands of dollars to ship ordinary lumber acrossrepparttar 100052 country. After all, there is no difference between a roof used on an ordinary house and a roof used on a log home. You chooserepparttar 100053 kind of roof you want, but it'll come fromrepparttar 100054 same manufacturer. The same goes forrepparttar 100055 floors,repparttar 100056 doors,repparttar 100057 kitchen, andrepparttar 100058 heating system. Windows can be a little tricky; you'll have to find a manufacturer that is willing to make a extended window-sill (or jamb) to accommodaterepparttar 100059 thickness ofrepparttar 100060 logs. Most major window companies are able to do this.

Remember that log homes are completely custom. No log home company will offer you a choice of kitchens or bathrooms like a development builder. You will have to shop for these yourself, andrepparttar 100061 possibilities are limitless. Your builder may make some decisions for you, but you will be better served to pick your own flooring, light fixtures, faucets and even door knobs. Most manufacturers do not want to have anything to do withrepparttar 100062 foundation; that is not their business. You can use any kind of foundation you want, but you'll need to contact a local contractor to do that job, or have your builder do so.

Almost all log home manufacturers have an in-house architect who will configure your plan to fit their own particular system. Unless you have a lot of money to burn, don't hire an outside architect to design your house, becauserepparttar 100063 manufacturer will have to reworkrepparttar 100064 plans anyway. If you want a quick start,repparttar 100065 manufacturer will have a set of stock plans for you to choose from, and alter to fit your needs. Or you can design your home from scratch, and give them a rough set of drawings from which they will devise a set of building plans. This service is usually offered at no extra charge; there may be an up-front fee that is credited towardrepparttar 100066 final cost ofrepparttar 100067 package.

Log homes are not maintenance-free - nor are they overwhelmingly laborious. Althoughrepparttar 100068 products on today's market do a fantastic job of protectingrepparttar 100069 logs from sun, rain and insects, they do need to be re-applied ever three to five years depending onrepparttar 100070 wall exposure. This "maintenance coat" is much easier to apply thanrepparttar 100071 original coats of stain, and no, you don't have to strip offrepparttar 100072 old coat first. So it's not as bad as it sounds! However, you must inspectrepparttar 100073 logs at least once a year for excessive cracking (or checking) - especially whenrepparttar 100074 check opens upward, creating a water trap. These need to be caulked onrepparttar 100075 exterior walls. Also, do everything in your power to direct rainwater away fromrepparttar 100076 house; if you have an overflowing gutter, deal with it at once. A damp log attracts rot and insects.

Expect your milled log home to take anywhere from 4 to 8 months to construct, depending on your weather,repparttar 100077 availability ofrepparttar 100078 crew (are they sharing your job with others atrepparttar 100079 same time?) and your planning. The most important thing you have to plan for is protectingrepparttar 100080 logs andrepparttar 100081 lumber fromrepparttar 100082 elements. Set aside a large space (preferably covered with gravel) exclusively forrepparttar 100083 logs; you don't want them sitting inrepparttar 100084 mud. Cover your gravel with a tarp, and bring extra tarps forrepparttar 100085 logs. The logs are going to get scattered asrepparttar 100086 crew picks through them, and they're going to get stepped on and tossed around. They're going to get rained on, and you'll be amazed how quicklyrepparttar 100087 logs weather. You'll have to immediately removerepparttar 100088 plastic wrapping whenrepparttar 100089 logs are delivered, or they'll get covered with mildew. The tarps will dorepparttar 100090 job. If your windows get delivered withrepparttar 100091 log package, you'd be best served to rent an enclosed trailer to store them in (FRAGILE isrepparttar 100092 operative word).

But I'm getting ahead of myself. As you may have gathered, people who build log homes tend to be more hands-on than with other kinds of construction. Log home customers are usually very well informed byrepparttar 100093 time they break ground - and they need to be! Cost overruns are often caused by unforeseen difficulties, and since your house is a one-of-a-kind, you're in for quite a challenge. Luckily,repparttar 100094 industry has matured quite a bit, and you are no longer completely on your own.

Mercedes Hayes is a Hiawatha Log Home dealer and also a Realtor in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She designed her own log home which was featured in the 2004 Floor Plan Guide of Log Home Living magazine. You can learn more about log homes by visiting www.JerseyLogHomes.com.


Written by John Rocco

Continued from page 1

There are a couple of things that can go wrong. The first one is leaving marks onrepparttar inside portion ofrepparttar 100043 glass. Once you sealrepparttar 100044 glass, you cannot clean what's betweenrepparttar 100045 panes. The other thing involves condensation betweenrepparttar 100046 panes. If you have evenrepparttar 100047 slightest break inrepparttar 100048 silicone seal aroundrepparttar 100049 glass, chances are you will begin to see moisture form as soon asrepparttar 100050 nights get cold andrepparttar 100051 days get warm. You are going to have to decide if you are confident enough in your ability to dorepparttar 100052 job right, or if it's better to payrepparttar 100053 extra money to have it done for you. Just because you pay someone to do it, doesn't mean you still won't encounterrepparttar 100054 same problems. The difference is, they have to guarantee their IGU for a minimum of 1 year. I have received many units overrepparttar 100055 years that had marks in betweenrepparttar 100056 glass. The beauty of it isrepparttar 100057 manufacturer can't dispute it, because there's no way anyone else could have done it except them.

OK, what ifrepparttar 100058 window frames are vinyl instead of aluminum? Well,repparttar 100059 main difference isrepparttar 100060 glass in a vinyl window no longer hasrepparttar 100061 rubber gasket aroundrepparttar 100062 edge. You don't removerepparttar 100063 opposite corner screws and separaterepparttar 100064 frame fromrepparttar 100065 glass. What they do is put either silicone or a two sided tape onrepparttar 100066 lip ofrepparttar 100067 frame whererepparttar 100068 glass rests. That's what holdsrepparttar 100069 glass inrepparttar 100070 frame, then they apply a snap in stop on all four sides ofrepparttar 100071 glass. So, you have to removerepparttar 100072 stops first, then turn overrepparttar 100073 panel and breakrepparttar 100074 seal holdingrepparttar 100075 glass torepparttar 100076 frame using a utility knife. Wear gloves during this procedure. If only one side ofrepparttar 100077 IGU is broken, don't even think about repairing justrepparttar 100078 one side. You will never get that IGU out ofrepparttar 100079 frame without breakingrepparttar 100080 other piece of glass inrepparttar 100081 process. But, onrepparttar 100082 positive side, you can removerepparttar 100083 stops without takingrepparttar 100084 panel out if it's a slider. You can then measurerepparttar 100085 dimensions ofrepparttar 100086 glass, and orderrepparttar 100087 new IGU. That way you eliminate any need to temporarily cover up your window. The same is true forrepparttar 100088 stationary portion of a slider, or a picture window. Before you installrepparttar 100089 new IGU, be sure and cleanrepparttar 100090 lip that hadrepparttar 100091 tape or silicone, and apply either silicone or tape. Either will work.

You will discover that replacing an IGU in an aluminum frame window is a whole lot easier than a vinyl window. But, in either case, you can do it yourself and save a few bucks.

John Rocco has been installing replacement windows since 1978. To learn more, visit How To Install Windows

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