Milled Log Homes vs. Hand Crafted

Milled Log Homes vs. Hand Crafted

“Which style is best suited for you?”

So, you are interested in building your “Dream Log Home”, but where do you start? There are so many different styles available in the Log Home industry today, that it could be confusing to the average consumer to decide which style of construction would be best for them. Today I am going to narrow down the choices for you, and talk about the two main genres in Log Home construction…Milled Log Homes vs. Hand Crafted…

To start, let me explain the differences between a Milled Log Home and a Hand Crafted Log Home. While both will appear to be similar in style and construction, there are many differences that will set them apart as far as looks, how they are designed, and how they are produced. Both start with the same wood species, in our case, dead standing Lodge Pole Pine and Engelman Spruce. We use these western whitewoods because they are selectively harvested for their uniform straightness, low moisture content at harvest, and their durability, able to withstand all that Mother Nature can throw at them. But this is where the differences end. Raw timber used in Hand Crafted homes is just that, as the logs come into our facility they will be hand peeled, and these peeled logs will be used as is, retaining their natural taper from butt end to tip. Milled Log Homes use cants, logs that have been sawn into four sided blanks that can be fed into the mill lathe system that removes all excess material, producing a consistent diameter log from tip to butt, every log being uniform in size and shape.

IMG_2777Milled Log Homes, for the most part, are the most widely produced homes on the market today. They appeal to the average buyer because they are the “best bang for the buck,” meaning they can be designed and produced with a budget in mind. Standard plans are available for our milled homes, which puts a fixed price on the log package, and each standard plan can be tailored to the wants and needs of the buyer. Milled homes are also available in custom plans, either designed by us or by an architect, thus creating their own custom design that can be built using our system. Because we are able to produce our Milled homes on precision machinery, we do not have to pre-assemble these homes here at our facility, which cuts our labor costs, which in turn allows us to offer our Milled homes at prices attractive to the average consumer. The final product is a tight fitting, uniform structure that will stand the test of time, with minimal shrinkage and balanced look that our clients are looking for in their log home project.

Hand Crafted Log Homes are the pinnacle of Log Home construction, and are almost always custom designed by architects for the consumer who wants only the best. Hand Crafting, as an art form, finds its roots in the early settlers, who harvested trees local to their build sites, and crafted their homes using only hand tools at their disposal. Over time the tools have changed, but the method of construction hasn’t, and today the hand crafters are creating these works of art one notch at a time, hand fitting each log carefully into some of the finest homes in the modern day. Each log is hand selected for straightness and taper, each notch is hand scribed, and then hand cut to exact tolerances. It is a very time consuming process, and labor costs are a major factor in the price differences between a milled and a hand craft project. Also, hand crafted homes are usually very detailed, and it takes all the knowledge of the artisan to make sure all elements of the build will work together in harmony, which means fitting and re-fitting pieces until a perfect fit is achieved . Most hand crafted homes will require chinking, a thick band of elastic like material between the log courses that repels natures elements, and provides insulation to the structure. Each hand craft home is built and assembled right here in our facility, from plate logs right up to the roof system, each notch scribed and cut by hand. It is a slower process, but each joint needs to be perfect for our discerning buyers. Once the entire log structure is complete, each log is tagged, noting its location in the home, disassembled , and then shipped to the build site, where it is erected on its permanent foundation.

There is a lot of that goes into a hand craft home, but the outcome is a one off, custom log home, that is truly a work of art to be admired by all…

Check back next week, as we dive deeper into Milled Log Homes, and why they are NOT all created equal….