Get a Beautiful Log Home… on a Budget

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For a motorcycle enthusiast, anyone can drive a motorcycle. But with a Harley-Davidson owner, it is a lifestyle. Log home living is very much the same. Everyone lives in a home. Living in a log home is a lifestyle. They are expensive and time consuming to maintain, they aren’t always the most energy efficient, and there is all that wood – in every room. Living in a log home is a commitment. There are many that want a log home but they just can’t afford the initial cost to even build one. Now there is another option, maybe an even better option.

The Look You Want at a Price You Can Afford

Modular construction for a new home allows for a lot of flexibility in design. One of the options is to create a modular log home. A modular log home is a built just like a conventional modular home in a factory. It will have the stability of a stick framed wall. It will also have the energy efficiency of the tight construction and the value that being built in a factory can offer.

A modular log home is created by placing a log siding on the exterior of the home. On the interior, the walls are typically covered with a tongue and groove siding or paneling. Rustic trim for window and door casing and base moulding is added. When the package is complete, both inside and out, the home will look identical to a typical log home. The only ones that will know it isn’t a true log cabin will be you and the people you let in on the secret.

There are various siding options but the most common is to create an 8” D log look. The log siding providers even offer butt & pass corners so that the modular log home offers even more of the details found in a true log home. All of this at a cost that is about 30% less than what you would pay for a true log home. One of the issues with log home financing is that log homes struggle to appraise for the purchase price making them hard to finance. The modular approach can put the dream of owning a log home within reach of almost everyone.

It Can Work for Him and Her

Over the years of building modular log homes for couples, there is a theme. It is usually the husband that wants the log home lifestyle and the wife is “going along” with it. Not all the time, but at least half the time. Usually, the conversation from the wife’s side focuses on the amount of wood in the home. It is on every wall, in every room, and it is just too much. With a conventional log home, the interior of all the exterior walls are the same log that is on the outside of the home.

When building a modular log home drywall is always applied and finished before the tongue and groove panels are applied to interior walls. This means that there is an option to just leave off the tongue and groove in specific rooms. This very often is a great compromise giving everyone what they want. The husband gets the log home, the rustic feel in the great room, and the overall experience he wants. The wife can have the brighter kitchen, bathrooms, and master bedroom because she has conventional painted walls.

RELATED: LOG HOMES VS. MODULAR LOG HOMES: INSULATION 101

Maintenance is an area where modular log homes can work for everyone. Typical log homes require regular staining and preserving. In addition, there is movement as the logs can settle, shrink, and expand over the seasons and over time. Modular log homes offer the stability of stick framed construction. In addition, many take advantage of using low or no maintenance products on the exterior of the home. This lets you have the look you want without the maintenance required on a typical log home.

The Energy Efficient Approach

Modular construction is very energy efficient. It is built in a factory to tight tolerances. The conventional stick framing is stable. It doesn’t move, shrink, and expand with the weather. This makes it energy efficient and not likely to develop air leaks over time. With 2×6 walls, a modular log home can have an R value of about R-21+.

Wood is actually a terrible insulator. Most wood has an average R value of about R-1.1 per inch. This means that a true 8” D log home has an R value of about R-9. While there are other measurements used to determine energy efficiency such as U-value, the building code specifies R value and its minimums. Some log homes, to meet local building code, are now having to add a stick framed wall on the interior of the walls to hold the additional required insulation. To keep the log look, a tongue and groove paneling is applied to the walls to keep the rustic feel. This adds a lot of expense to an already expensive home.

Making it Modular

For those that truly love the log home look it is a dream to own and live in one. For most, it will always be a dream because of the expense involved. Using modular construction can actually make the dream affordable for almost everyone. And it can do this with little compromise. Actually, modular can enhance the log home experience with design options that satisfy him and her.

Eliminating as much maintenance is a goal for everyone today. Who wants to be working on a log home when they should be enjoying living in it? A modular log home gives you the option to make use of many more low/no maintenance materials than its conventional counterpart. It is also just hard to beat the energy efficiency of a modular home. Add the log home look package and you have the winning combination of rustic beauty and great energy efficiency.

About the Author
Ken Semler

Ken Semler

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Hi, I am Ken Semler the founder of Express Modular. I am passionate about this industry, our company, and the products we provide. Modern modular construction provides the ability to deliver healthy, safe, and energy efficient living spaces. I am a licensed builder/contractor in almost every state and believe that modular homes are the best way to provide virtually unlimited design flexibility at the greatest value.

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