Written by Mercedes Hayes

As we start to research log homes, it quickly becomes apparent that there is much more variety than one would ever think. Not only do log homes come in all shapes and sizes, butrepparttar logs themselves come in as many variations as you can imagine. Once you decide onrepparttar 100044 look you want, you can start eliminating manufacturers that don't provide your system.

There are two categories of log homes: handcrafted and milled log homes. Initially, you may not realize what you are looking at, but there are some basic guidelines that will clarifyrepparttar 100045 differences. A handcrafted log home is just that;repparttar 100046 logs are peeled by hand, notched by hand, and in many cases, each log is scribed to fit exactly on top of another log. In many handcrafted homes,repparttar 100047 logs are stacked alternately, sorepparttar 100048 large end of a log is stacked on top ofrepparttar 100049 tapered end ofrepparttar 100050 log beneath. A milled log home will feature logs that are uniform in shape, andrepparttar 100051 logs will be cut to fit together, such as with a tongue-and-groove or Swedish cope, so that they stack easily and evenly. There is a big price difference between a handcrafted and a milled log home. This is mostly because ofrepparttar 100052 intense labor required to construct a handcrafted home, and because ofrepparttar 100053 larger diameter logs that are normally used. The vast majority of homes built today are milled log homes. 

If you see a log home with round logs and chinking, that is a first indication that this is could be a handcrafted log home. Chinking was historically a mortar-like material that filledrepparttar 100054 gaps betweenrepparttar 100055 logs. Modern science has created an acrylic compound that expands and contracts withrepparttar 100056 wood; it is applied as a wide white stripe. If a handcrafted log is not scribed, then chinking is a must becauserepparttar 100057 logs leave gaps along their length. Some people do use chinking as a design feature even when it's not necessary, though forrepparttar 100058 most part milled log homes are not chinked.  The characteristic corner of your log home will speak volumes torepparttar 100059 person who knows how to read it. The profile and joinery system ofrepparttar 100060 log will usually be reflected onrepparttar 100061 ends. For instance, on a handcrafted log home you'll seerepparttar 100062 different diameters ofrepparttar 100063 stacked logs. To stack them, these corners will be notched so that each log sits directly onrepparttar 100064 log below it (like a Lincoln Logs™ toy). A milled log that is saddle-notched will stackrepparttar 100065 same way (of course, every log will look exactlyrepparttar 100066 same). Because saddle-notched logs are staggered, course to course,repparttar 100067 log ends will be visible onrepparttar 100068 interior corners ofrepparttar 100069 house as well asrepparttar 100070 exterior. This gives a very rustic look. A butt-and-pass corner gives you an end where there is a space between every other log. This is because one log butts up againstrepparttar 100071 intersecting log, which runs past it. These logs are all laid onrepparttar 100072 same course, so that withrepparttar 100073 interior corners of your home,repparttar 100074 logs will come to a squared edge.

On milled logs, there are many joinery systems to choose from. Today,repparttar 100075 most popular joinery is called a "Swedish cope". This is where each log is scooped out to fit snugly onrepparttar 100076 curve ofrepparttar 100077 log beneath. It gives a very smooth and natural look. Another joinery system isrepparttar 100078 tongue-and-groove, or double tongue-and-groove depending onrepparttar 100079 manufacturer. The tongues are cut intorepparttar 100080 top ofrepparttar 100081 log and corresponding grooves atrepparttar 100082 bottom. These create a tight fit and stack easily. A more traditional, early American notch is calledrepparttar 100083 dove-tail, which is a mortise and tenon notch usually cut into squared timbers. There are many other corner systems available, but these arerepparttar 100084 most commonly used. 

The shape, or profile of your log is another feature which will help you decide what kind of package to purchase. Many people prefer a "D" log, which is round onrepparttar 100085 outside and flat onrepparttar 100086 inside. This gives you a horizontal wood-paneling look, and is easy to hang pictures on. Others prefer a round log, which is a little more rustic and presents many challenges - such as how to joinrepparttar 100087 logs torepparttar 100088 sheetrock. Squared timbers, which give a more Appalachian look torepparttar 100089 home, tend to be tall and fairly narrow, and are often grooved forrepparttar 100090 application of chinking.   The average milled log home will use pine logs in 6" and 8" diameters. You can also find them in 10" and 12" diameters. Anything larger than 15" will probably roll you over to a handcrafted home. Cedar logs are an upgrade, and can be found in 6", 8" and occasionally 10" diameters. Some manufacturers more rarely use oak, cypress, fir, hemlock, larch, poplar, spruce, and walnut. These rarer woods will be a price upgrade. Because ofrepparttar 100091 superior log care products onrepparttar 100092 market today that protect allrepparttar 100093 logs effectively,repparttar 100094 wood species largely becomes a matter of personal taste. The best rule of thumb when choosing log species is to stay with a wood that is native to your area. The logs will adapt torepparttar 100095 environment more comfortably.

Newcomers are continually amazed to discover thatrepparttar 100096 logs are their own insulation. To compare a stick-frame wall to a log wall by usingrepparttar 100097 "R-value" is not comparing "apples to apples". Logs have a lower "R-value" than insulated 2x4 walls. However, they work onrepparttar 100098 principal of thermal mass. Because ofrepparttar 100099 cellular structure of logs, they tend to absorbrepparttar 100100 heat and hold it longer than traditional walls. The logs will actually absorbrepparttar 100101 heat fromrepparttar 100102 interior ofrepparttar 100103 house (or fromrepparttar 100104 sun, if facing south), and whenrepparttar 100105 temperature drops at night,repparttar 100106 walls will generate that heat back intorepparttar 100107 house untilrepparttar 100108 temperatures equalize. They take longer to warm up, and stay warm much longer. Conversely, they stay cooler inrepparttar 100109 summertime. Some producers feature a half-log system, whererepparttar 100110 logs are attached outside-and-inside to 2x4 or 2x6 stick-frame walls. This addsrepparttar 100111 extra R-value of an insulated wall, along withrepparttar 100112 beauty ofrepparttar 100113 log, and also makes it easier to install electrical wiring. Ultimately, these systems are a bit more expensive than full-log, because ofrepparttar 100114 additional cost ofrepparttar 100115 lumber. But they do giverepparttar 100116 added ability to varyrepparttar 100117 interior of your house, so that some interior walls could be sheetrock, stone, or tongue-and-groove. In any case, many modern manufacturers userepparttar 100118 half-log system on their second floor, to compensate forrepparttar 100119 huge windows, which may displace so many logs thatrepparttar 100120 wall's integrity could be compromised. Also, becauserepparttar 100121 large windows settle at a different rate than logs,repparttar 100122 stick-framed second floor equalizesrepparttar 100123 overall settling. Withrepparttar 100124 best manufacturers, you won't be able to tell onrepparttar 100125 outside whererepparttar 100126 full logs end andrepparttar 100127 half logs begin.


Written by John Rocco


Forrepparttar past few weeks, I have been explaining how to repair a broken window pane in your home. But, what if you have dual pane windows? Isrepparttar 100043 processrepparttar 100044 same? Well, pretty much, except for a couple of variations. So, let's reviewrepparttar 100045 single pane repair process, and I will point outrepparttar 100046 differences regarding dual pane windows.

When we start talking about dual pane windows, one ofrepparttar 100047 first things that comes to mind is vinyl window frames instead of aluminum. When dealing with dual pane windows, you can have either aluminum or vinyl frames, depending onrepparttar 100048 yearrepparttar 100049 house was built. Dual pane glass got popular inrepparttar 100050 1980's, but vinyl frames didn't really catch on untilrepparttar 100051 1990's. So, if your house is less than 10 years old, chances are you have vinyl framed windows. In either case, I will discussrepparttar 100052 differences. Let's say you have a sliding aluminum frame window with dual pane glass. The procedure for removingrepparttar 100053 frame fromrepparttar 100054 opening andrepparttar 100055 glass fromrepparttar 100056 sash isrepparttar 100057 same as withrepparttar 100058 single pane windows. The differences are, first,repparttar 100059 glass goes intorepparttar 100060 frame about twice as far asrepparttar 100061 single pane window. The single pane window glass went 1/4" intorepparttar 100062 surrounding rubber. The dual pane usually goes 1/2" intorepparttar 100063 rubber. So, if both pieces of glass have been broken, you are going to have to order a new IGU (Insulated Glass Unit) fromrepparttar 100064 local glass shop. They are going to want to knowrepparttar 100065 width, height, overall thickness, and possiblyrepparttar 100066 individual glass thickness. The best way to getrepparttar 100067 dimensions is to measurerepparttar 100068 width and height from rubber to rubber, write those numbers down. Then, removerepparttar 100069 panel fromrepparttar 100070 opening and place it on a table like we did withrepparttar 100071 single pane window. Removerepparttar 100072 screws from opposite corners and pull ofrepparttar 100073 frame. You will be able to see how farrepparttar 100074 glass goes intorepparttar 100075 surrounding rubber. If it's 1/2", then you want to add 1" torepparttar 100076 width and height that you measured previously (1/2" times two sides= 1"). Then, measurerepparttar 100077 overall thickness ofrepparttar 100078 unit by removingrepparttar 100079 rubber fromrepparttar 100080 glass edge. Typically, this dimension is 1/2", but not always. There is a metal spacer that dividesrepparttar 100081 two panes of glass. Make a note ofrepparttar 100082 color so you can requestrepparttar 100083 same color inrepparttar 100084 new IGU. It's either going to be silver or bronze. If you want to getrepparttar 100085 same size spacer, you need to giverepparttar 100086 glass shoprepparttar 100087 thickness of each piece of glass inrepparttar 100088 IGU. Ifrepparttar 100089 old unit has 1/8" glass on both sides, andrepparttar 100090 overall thickness ofrepparttar 100091 unit is 1/2", then they will use a 1/4" spacer. Ifrepparttar 100092 glass is 3/32" on both sides, they will use a 5/16" spacer. If you don't care about matchingrepparttar 100093 spacer thickness, you can requestrepparttar 100094 thicker 1/8" glass, and they will automatically use a 1/4" spacer.

When you getrepparttar 100095 new IGU home,repparttar 100096 installation isrepparttar 100097 same asrepparttar 100098 single pane window. Now, what if only one side ofrepparttar 100099 IGU has been broken? Many timesrepparttar 100100 outer pane will break, butrepparttar 100101 inside pane is fine. You can order a whole new IGU like we just did, or, if you'rerepparttar 100102 adventurous type, you can order onlyrepparttar 100103 single pane of glass that was broken and replace it. I'm going to explain how to do it, then i'm going to tell yourepparttar 100104 things that can go wrong. After you haverepparttar 100105 window pane onrepparttar 100106 table withrepparttar 100107 surrounding frame removed, you will see a black rubber type substance aroundrepparttar 100108 edge whererepparttar 100109 spacer is applied. This is a butyl sealant, and you have to separaterepparttar 100110 broken glass from this butyl. The best way to do it is to take a utility knife with a new blade and break throughrepparttar 100111 butyl where it meetsrepparttar 100112 broken glass. Then, take a new hacksaw blade, and push it intorepparttar 100113 area where you sparatedrepparttar 100114 butyl fromrepparttar 100115 glass. You don't wantrepparttar 100116 hacksaw blade to be attached to a hacksaw. Using your hand, saw back and forth as you work your way aroundrepparttar 100117 edge ofrepparttar 100118 glass. This should allow you to removerepparttar 100119 glass. Once that's done, lay rags on top ofrepparttar 100120 good piece of glass to catch any debris, and scraperepparttar 100121 surface ofrepparttar 100122 spacer that will be contactingrepparttar 100123 new glass. Use a putty knife. Then, removerepparttar 100124 rags and debris. When you are ready to putrepparttar 100125 new glass on, cleanrepparttar 100126 inside ofrepparttar 100127 good piece of glass that you didn't remove. Remember, once you installrepparttar 100128 new glass, any debris or finger marks onrepparttar 100129 inside will be permanently sealed. So, clean it real good and check it from all angles. Dorepparttar 100130 same torepparttar 100131 side ofrepparttar 100132 new glass that will be going torepparttar 100133 inside ofrepparttar 100134 IGU. Then, run a thin bead of clear silicone aroundrepparttar 100135 entire perimeter ofrepparttar 100136 spacer. Set your new glass onrepparttar 100137 spacer and use finger pressure to adhererepparttar 100138 glass torepparttar 100139 silicone allrepparttar 100140 way around.Then, come in fromrepparttar 100141 side, and run silicone aroundrepparttar 100142 side whererepparttar 100143 glass and spacer meet. Coverrepparttar 100144 window opening with something for 24 hours. You do not want to touchrepparttar 100145 IGU for 24 hours. The silicone needs to cure. After 24 hours, you can assemblerepparttar 100146 unit and install it back intorepparttar 100147 opening.

Cont'd on page 2 ==>
ImproveHomeLife.com © 2005
Terms of Use