Do you ever wonder what goes into building the perfect log cabin home? There are lots of elements that come into play, such as finding the perfect antique structure, relocation, repairs, finding replacement pieces from other like-period structures, chinking, roofing, and more. Here’s a quick summary of our process:
Step 1: Country Mountain Homes has our eyes open on a daily basis for antique log cabins in need of TLC. When we talk to a future homeowner, we usually know right where to go to find the start of their dream cabin. We then locate the specific antique, hand-hewn cabin that fits the basic footprint of our client’s specific plan. (Most of the cabins we find and restore are from the 1700’s or 1800’s.)
Occasionally, our clients are lucky enough to have property that already offers an existing structure. In this case, we can quickly and easily start the restoration process.
Step 2: No matter whether the structure is near-site or a good distance off-site, the cabins are located and carefully inspected by our staff to evaluate their condition. We carefully remove any coverings, such as siding, paneling, or plaster, looking for any major damage or rot.
Step 3: Then, we draw a site map noting all windows, doors, and openings carefully cataloging each log and its location in the home. (It’s kind of like keeping track of puzzle pieces.) We use number tags to identify each log and its location, so the structure will go up exactly as it was originally built. So moving one cabin hundreds of miles to its new home is not a problem!
Step 4: The next order of business is to construct a footer on the new home site to hold the structure, and then install a new sub floor system. We prefer to place the cabin directly on the foundation to ensure longevity.
Step 5: Using the site map we created during disassembly, we reassemble the cabin back to its original state. As we progress upwards, we repair any damage with sound replacement material from other period structures that unfortunately didn’t fair as well and had to be “pieced out.” Some logs are repaired, spliced, or replaced depending on the severity of the damage and deterioration, but once identified and handled, they’re good as new.
Step 6: After the structure is erected, we modify the window and door openings to fit our client’s specifications. We then buck, or support, the openings with pressure treated framing.
Step 7: Next, we remove all signs of insects and accumulated dirt by axing and pressure washing. The pressure washing is important not only for aesthetic reasons, but it opens, or swells, the grain of the wood allowing us to apply a natural sprayed-on insect repellant helping to kill all the existing insects in the logs and preventing new infestations. The open, wet grain helps with insecticidal penetration.
Step 8: The original cabin is now up and ready for a roof. We will either reconstruct a traditional pole rafter or bring in a new, conventional, framed roof structure. We, then, finish with a metal roof.
Step 9: With the weight of the roof in place, the logs find their original “happy spot” and settle back into their original notches. At this point, we install structural blocking to help stabilize the logs in place. (This blocking is within the chinking joints and will not be seen in the finished structure.) We now install the windows, door jambs, and trim.
Step 10: Next, is the most important part of a cabin – chinking. Chinking must be installed correctly to allow for water and rain runoff, strength for longevity, and adequate space for insulation. The chinking process is started with reinforcement wire that is nailed directly to the upper and lower log within the chinking joint. This reinforcement wire is then covered with a masonry mixture of sand, Portland cement, lime, and fiberglass.
Step 11: The interior of the cabin is now ready to be finished off with modern conveniences – hardwood floors, custom kitchen cabinets, granite countertops, modern appliances, slate walk-in showers, and anything else to fulfill a homeowner’s dream cabin.
There you have it! Our process for putting together the perfect Country Mountain Dream Home!