Western Red Cedar Post and Beam Homes

Sue | February 19th, 2012 - 1:00 pm

One of our specialties is Western Red Cedar Post and Beam Homes. For this style the logs are left round. The bark is hand peeled away with draw knives. Then each log is custom cut to fit into the log shell. With Post and Beam construction the main idea is to have very open spaces. Stacked logs provide solid log walls. But the most open and airy style is the post and beam construction.

post and beam cottage

If you think back with me to the massive cathedrals of Europe, the origins of post and beam come to life. Great pride was taken in construction of the churches. Whole whole towns were single story dwellings, the local cathedral would rise to tower over the town, as if to cover it. Expert craftsman and artisans of all types spend decades creating some of the most unique and lovely of all buildings.

And so with Post and Beam homes great care and craftsmanship go into each one.

Now let’s explore the various wood species.

Wood Species

For small post and beam homes, such as this, Western Red Cedar can be used for the entire superstructure of the home. The fluted flared end of this log leaves no question this is a western red cedar log. The reddish hearts of the logs is also telltale of red cedar. The flares are used on the based of the support posts, on the head of header beams, and sometimes within the trusses themselves.

western red cedar flared log

Western Red Cedar is a soft wood and has lots of taper from one end to the other. The combination of these qualities limits the clear span this species is able to cover.

Douglas Fir is an extremely dense wood with much less taper from one end to the other. Some larger post and beam homes are built from Douglas Fir. The wide clear spans and handmade trusses can be accomplished with this wood species.

For large post and beam homes Western Red Cedar can be incorporated. The most common usage is for character posts. This log, and many like it, were used for the support posts of covered porches on a large log home in Colorado. To gain the flared bottoms part of the root system of the tree was harvested intact. These flared character posts can be used for porches, within a prow wall, as support posts inside the home, and for stair railing posts.

hand peeled red cedar logs

All of our Round Post and Beam homes use the old world style joinery of mortise and tenon, dovetails, etc. Metal plating is also used at times. The best homes are built with all of the handwork. This is one of several king trusses that we assembled with metal plating and exposed bolts and this was the style the owners desired.

log trusses with metal plating

So if you desire one of the most unique styles of homes then be sure to consider a Western Red Cedar Post and Beam Home. They are truly works of art that are extremely attractive.

**Round Post and Beam homes are similar to our Heavy Timber Construction except Heavy Timbers are square in profile.

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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