Features for Big Log Homes to Keep the WOW Feel

Sue | July 24th, 2013 - 6:43 am

There are certain features in a log home that probably drew you to them in the first place. These characteristics apply whether you are building a small log cabin or big log homes. Log homes have a WOW factor that no other style of construction can replicate. These features also help to increase the resale value of your log home.  Without them some log homes end up reselling for the same as a standard conventionally built houses. So take a minute and weigh each against how you envision your new log home.

Big Log Home Feature #1 Cathedral Ceilings

If you walk into a new log home the first thing you expect is a souring ceiling above you. The cabin may look attractive from the outside, but if the owners opted to place standard flat bottom trusses over the entire home, the logs somehow loose their luster. The vaulted ceilings have become a feature most log home owners do not want to do without over the last 20 years.

log trusses

Big Log Home Feature #2 Log Roof System

There are a few different ways to build a cathedral ceiling in a log home. Some owners choose to use scissor trusses or a glue-lam ridge beam and no other exposed wood. With scissor trusses you gain a few feet of lift to the great room, but it is a far cry from the steep cathedral ceilings of most log homes. With a glue-lam beam you obtain the same pitch in the inside of the house as the exterior, but still the open space above makes it feel like something is missing. That something is the log roof system. At a bare minimum we encourage customers to at least go with a large log ridge beam. More commonly we will have a ridge beam and matching purloins on each side. The build up of the roof is either done behind the scenes within the roof or it is done exposed. So adding some extra purloins overall do not cost that much more.

When a loft is removed from a plan or if the span of the great room is very wide, a log king truss may need to be added. Really I think adding a log or timber truss to a home is one of the biggest additions to your WOW factor. A log truss usually costs around $2,500 to $3,000 so it is not a big investment to add a whole lot of charm… even when it is not needed structurally.

Big Log Home Feature #3 Tongue and Groove Wood Ceilings

OK, so you are going to go with the cathedral ceiling with some exposed timber roofing. That is a great step. But there is one more ingredient that you don’t want to overlook– 1×6 pine tongue and groove for the ceilings. When you add drywall to a cathedral ceiling something seems like it is missing. Our very first log home had drywall ceilings with scissor trusses. The log walls were a nice 8 inch double round log with saddle notched corners. But when you came inside the log home feel was somewhat lost through the ceilings. So don’t let your pocket book rule your entire build. Just because finishing with drywall on the ceilings is less expensive consider carefully if that is the best choice for you. Well YOU (or your spouse) be satisfied with it?

log home roof system, cowboy log homes

Big Log Home Feature #4 Hardwood Flooring

Carpeting certainly has a place in log log cabins. But I recommend going with hardwood flooring in the great room. Again, that log home feel with all wood surrounding you transforms a home from nice to WOW. A good place for carpeting is a finished basement and the bedrooms.

Big Log Home Feature #5 Dark Stain for Logs

I will never understand why so many big cabin homes built 20 + years ago were stained with a dark stain. Part of the beauty of a log home is seeing the rich grain of the wood. The logs themselves start out a light color. So why stain them dark? Thankfully today we have a much better selection of wood stains than were available in the past. It is important to carefully consider the color stain before you apply it. Logs can always be made darker, but it is very hard to impossible to lighten them up after dark stain is applied. It is best to select a small area of the home that will not be visible (like behind kitchen cabinets or on a closet wall) and stain the logs first. Apply as many coats as the stain recommends. Let is sit for a few days. Then look at it closely. Is the stain what you want or is it darker, lighter, or a slightly different shade than you had in mind.

When it comes time to build your new big log home be careful not to let the pocketbook have the final rule. Weigh out carefully each feature and be sure that you will be satisfied with your choice. The charm, allure, and WOW that drew you to luxury log homes in the first place shouldn’t be overlooked.

Cowboy Log Homes




Any projected costs, cost estimates, material costs, and estimated construction/ building costs, are only the opinion of Cowboy Log Homes and are drawn from our experience. Every home is custom tailored to meet our individual client's wants and desires. The construction of a log or timber home is based on two primary costs: material provided by the log home company and construction costs contracted with Cowboy Log Homes as the builder or another builder of the customer's choice. Final costs are obtained and contracted with each respectively. Cowboy Log Homes is simply the "glue" that helps bring these two together to provide a final culmination of a customer's project. * Please note photos and elevations may differ some from accompanying floor plans.
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