Creating a country castle | Living the Country Life
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Creating a country castle

A log home might be the perfect fit for your rural property. Here are tips on planning and construction.
  • Solid comfort

    For many landowners, especially those in wooded settings, a log home is the perfect example of solid comfort and ruggedness. Jim and Mary Joan Cleary chose a log home for their Poconos, Pennsylvania, property. "I felt it aesthetically blended more into the countryside and the ground that I had purchased," says Jim Cleary. "It just fit better."<P>

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: May 29, 2012
    Tags: Homes, Buildings
  • Choosing a builder

    The Clearys worked with Estemerwalt Log Homes in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Company president Kurt Propst says anywhere you can build a typical home, you can build a log home, but it fits best in a rugged or mountainous area. Propst says his prospective buyers do their homework. "Most customers educate us on what they want," he says. "They'll bring in 20 different log homes and floor plans. They do that part of the work for us."

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: May 29, 2012
    Tags: Homes, Buildings
  • Larger than life

    Propst and his employees sit down with customers to discuss what elements they want in their dwelling. They draw potential layouts, make recommendations, and create a floor plan. Jim wanted to use 12-inch logs. The designers showed him what was possible and adapted the design to fit. "If you want to create a larger-than-life impression, use larger logs," he says.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: May 29, 2012
    Tags: Homes, Buildings
  • Choose your wood

    Eastern white pine is the most popular log in these homes, followed by western red cedar. To adhere the logs, contractors use log builder's caulk. The logs are double-tongued and grooved, so the top of the log has two tongues and the bottom has two grooves to receive it. The logs are put together with a gasket on top of both tongues to prevent air from getting in. Two types of lag bolts also work cohesively to tighten all the logs together.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: May 29, 2012
    Tags: Homes, Buildings
  • Open layout

    The layout of a log home tends to be more open than other houses. Generally you won't find a flat drywall ceiling; vaulted ceilings with intricate timberwork are more typical. The great room of their house is Jim's favorite because it combines stone, cherry floors, and logs in a rustic manner.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: May 29, 2012
    Tags: Homes, Buildings
  • Little upkeep

    A log home tends to be extremely durable. "It's as strong a house as you can possibly imagine," says Propst. The Clearys were surprised by how little they needed to do on their log home. "We've always owned older homes," says Jim. "I've lived in a 200-year-old farmhouse, so we were constantly updating, painting, and doing this and that. But with this house, there is little maintenance."

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: May 29, 2012
    Tags: Homes, Buildings
  • Low maintenance

    A log home needs to be stained on the outside every five years, says Propst. Inside, the wood has two coats of polyurethane when the house is built, but there's no maintenance after that.
    Contrary to popular belief, insects are no more of a problem for a log home than other houses. To fend off common insects, stains have repellents built right into them.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: May 29, 2012
    Tags: Homes, Buildings
  • Fire fears

    Fires are not an increased risk for log homes. "Logs have higher burn-through rates than either drywall or a fire-safe door," Propst says.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: May 29, 2012
    Tags: Homes, Buildings
  • Get ready to build!

    Contractors can have the exterior of a log home up in a week, says Propst. The interior takes four months or longer. The Clearys' home took a year to finish, with the slowest aspect being mechanical installations.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: May 29, 2012
    Tags: Homes, Buildings
  • Do your research

    "Building a home is a significant investment, so feel comfortable with the people you work with," says Propst. Log home prices can vary widely, so it's important to do your research.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: May 29, 2012
    Tags: Homes, Buildings
  • The right tools

    If you are planning to do the construction work yourself, have a myriad of the typical tools, especially a 16-inch circular saw. Propst says it's a great machine to own and will be more than helpful in the building process.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: May 29, 2012
    Tags: Homes, Buildings
  • Learn more

    A log home provides you the opportunity to live a country life, no matter where you are.
    For more information, visit <a href="http://www.estemerwalt.com" target="new">estemerwalt.com</a>.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: May 29, 2012
    Tags: Homes, Buildings

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