Of all our homes, the Western Red Cedar log homes are the most luxurious. The combination of the rose colored wood, the huge log sizes and lengths, and the hand craftsmanship makes each and every home a luxury log home.
When you are planning to build a log home like this, quality is the main focus. Choosing a wood that compliments that is just a natural addition. Western Red Cedar can be used for milled log home, but the maximum beauty for most owners is discovered in the handcrafted log style with the flared ends.
Cedar flared ends are not part of the white cedar. The Western Red Cedar is the possessor of the taller tree heights and wider bases. White cedar is primarily only used for milled log homes, as the natural log lengths are much shorter than the red cedar. The Western Red Cedar grows to heights of 230 feet with trunk widths of up to 13 feet in diameter. For handcrafted log homes red cedar logs are usually about 12 to 16 inches in diameter with flared ends of about 25 to 30 inches. Massive diameter Western Red Cedar can reach diameters of 75 inches or more.
While massive diameters of log lengths and butt ends is impressive, I believe the logs need to be sized to the home they will become part of. If a log home is 900 square feet, you might not want to go over about 20 inches on the flared butt ends. If the home is 2500 square feet the mean log diameter could be increased to 16 or 18 inches with the flared ends reaching 30 inches or so.
For a really large Western Red Cedar log home or Western Red Cedar Post and Beam home larger diameter can be very attractive. If the home is say over 8,000 or 10,000 square feet then the log ends of up to 75 inches would be a nice touch.
The log cabins on our website make people stop and say, “WOW! Your log homes are so impressive!” When we have a log home under construction we have so many people stop by and want to tour the house and meet us. The handcrafted logs just beg for people to run their hands over them. The smooth surface texture combined with the over all draw knife pattern is a paradox which and only be understood through touching it.
In addition to being beautiful, Western Red Cedar log homes are so much better protected against insects, rot, mold, and mildew. Each log has the natural cedar oils which naturally preserve the logs without the use of harsh chemicals. The logs should also be stained with a high quality sealant on the inside and outside. The interior usually only needs the initial treatment during the building stage. The exterior will need attention more often.
For log home care we recommend an oil based stain that allows the logs to breathe. From our experience Sikkens is not a good product for handcrafted logs. Something like American Building Restoration Products X -100 exterior log home sealant is a better choice. The oil based stain penetrates deeply into the log surfaces and provides a good seal. We have used water based exterior sealants before. They are usually more labor intensive to apply as more coats are required, and sometimes they give more color to the logs instead of bringing out the natural grain of the wood. Less expensive sealants almost provide a plastic coating over the log. This can damage the log as it does not allow it to breathe. Even 30 year old logs are still expanding and contracting with weather and season changes.
When we are shipping to destinations like Europe the building codes require very thick logs. The logs must be either high temperature kiln dried or Western Red Cedar. A milled log home could be built there, but to meet the required R-values the inside of the walls have to be framed in, insulation applied, and then log sided to match (in some areas). So choosing to go with a Western Red Cedar Handcrafted log home is the best.
Many owners who are seeking a luxury log home see that as a small price to pay to get the Red Cedar they desire. Western Red Cedar log homes are the King of the chessboard of log homes. The craftsmanship, huge log sizes, and flared characteristics make every home an original.