Handcrafted log homes are becoming increasingly popular to those who not only love log homes, but specifically to those who prefer that the logs used to build their log home kits retain their natural size, shape and beauty. Handcrafted log homes are distinguished from manufactured through the use of whole round logs that are placed in the hands of skilled artisans, who have spent years perfecting their ability to cut, fit, scribe and notch each individually chosen log. By contrast, manufactured houses use logs that are cut, or planed to a specific standard size and shape where the goal is to control uniformity. Each log is a duplicate of the next. Due to this mechanical process, few of the true characteristics of the log remains, and each home built becomes a carbon copy of the next. With a handcrafted home, no two homes are ever the same.
It takes longer to build handcrafted log homes due to the intense labour and skill involved. Handcrafters take great pride in their ability to cut and fit logs. Required is a significant understanding of all the properties and characteristics of wood in relation to their application to log homes. The log home builder must be able to handpick logs carefully for length, straightness and minimal taper. This can be a time consuming endeavor. It is also imperative that the owner of the log home company spend time in the construction yard on a regular basis, in order to constantly maintain quality.
100 Mile House, B.C. Canada has been called the “log building capital” of the world, due to the large number of handcrafted companies in the area. A direct result of this is many highly skilled log builders who are understandably competitive and proud of their work. Handcrafted log home companies tend to be much smaller operations than manufactured log home companies and prefer to avoid mass production of their buildings, as this directly affects quality.
Construction methods involve the use of hand-held tools to de-bark, cut and shape each log. Bark is peeled by hand in order to preserve the natural color, beauty and form that can be found in the first layer of wood. Some of the tools utilized are chain saws, chippers, and sanders that are power assisted, as well as the hand tools used by knowledgeable woodworkers for centuries, such as broad ax, adze, chisels and draw knives.
As the logs in a handcrafted log home are much larger in dimension than that found in milled homes, walls require fewer courses or rounds. Walls therefore tend to be more massive in appearance, giving the home a magnificent presence.