The Log Homes Info

News and information about log homes and log cabins.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The flip side of nationwide publicity

On Sunday, I wrote about this new division of Original Log Cabin Homes that is called Log Homes For Us and is focusing on gay and lesbian log home markets. I just noticed an article by Laura Barron at WNCT-TV9. In the article Justin Porter, the head of Log Homes For Us tells bit about the flip side of the nationwide publicity that has come to their way after announcing the news.

They have gotten negative feedback locally, phone calls, e-mails and anonymous messages also some evangelists and pastors have said that their company might be hot now but hell is hotter. Talking about controversial response, and I thought that since Rocky Mount is on East Coast, it could be more open on what comes to the attitudes of people. However, mister Porter goes on and tells that they are currently working on a gay and lesbian log home community in Boone, North Carolina, which is close to Tennessee and Virginia statelines, and that they have no plans for such projects in the East.

I suppose that many gays and lesbians might actually further direct their business for Mr. Porter’s company to show support. I guess that ordering books are under heavy stress.

DEsign section launch

Now I have arranged the sections in to a more logical order, first comes sort of motivational information sources and then we start to get dirty with all the aspects of design, ultimately following the path of normal log home building process.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Log homes take us back to the roots

In WSAW online article, Designers Touch - Carrie Hutton writes a short snippet about log homes. Mostly non-informative for a person who has at least some interest or experiences of log homes. She writes how log homes are more and more used as primary residences and built with modern luxuries.

There are couple bit more interesting points in the article, made by Golden Eagle Log Homes Co-Owner Tod Parmeter. Tod says that normal log home customer has been planning the purchase for many years and for them, getting a log home is a move to downsize without giving up their space and amenities. He says that people want to return to their roots but don’t want to give up conveniences of modern housing. I second that notion. Tod surely knows his customers.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Free-form building style

Staff writer David Thompson wrote a nice article called “Touch of a master” in Williamsport Sun-Gazette. He wrote about Horace Hartshaw, who used to work with late Wharton Esherick, an artist that used “free-form” style to design and build structures.

In the free-form style, the shape of the wood largely dictates the appearance of the construction whether it is building or furniture etc. This building style always produces unique structures and is impossible to duplicate, as trees are always unique.

Horace Hartshaw continues his friend’s tradition by creating free-form items from wood and reveals that late into Esherick’s life, it was Hartshaw who actually constructed all the objects and Esherick just signed them.

Hartshaw’s background was in log homes and now he has combined some of his free-form skills to design and help to build a Mountainview Fellowship Church.

As a personal comment, I would like to add that, besides institutional buildings, the free-form style lives strong in rustic log homes that are very popular in the States. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find any pictures of this church, but I bet it looks very interesting. If you know a link to the church pictures, could you post it to comments?

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Log homes for gays and lesbians

News 14 Carolina ran an article about a log home dealership that is marketing log homes for homosexuals. Log Homes for Us is the name of the company that is located in Rocky Mount and founded by Justin Porter. He says that while working for a larger log homes company, he noticed that there is definitely a large market for selling homes to gays and lesbians.

He says that he has done some limited marketing and response has been unbelievable. Mr. Porter has plans to sell 300 to 400 homes a year and that would be sizeable one-sixth of overall sales of The Original Log Cabin Homes, a company in which Log Homes for Us functions as a division.

From my point of view this industry segment shouldn’t be that lucrative for companies that want to market for homosexuals. The product is ultimately the same for everybody, and unlike in travel industry, there is really no need to arrange some specific services to accommodate homosexuals’ needs.

I see the success of Mr. Porter coming from knowing his clients. He is probably more comfortable dealing with them and able to emphasize some lifestyle issues. Customers might prefer him to another salesman, who could have some personal issues with this kind of customers. After all, log home industry has strong label of supporting traditional family values and a salesperson who strongly believes into this value setting, might not be the best choice to service gays or lesbians.


All in all I doubt that this marks a beginning of log home companies or dealerships that are strictly focused on serving homosexuals. As a first entrepreneur to the market, Justin Porter is probably going to fare very well and I wish him all the best with his business – log homes have to break away from their present image if they are to gain more market share and in this, Mr. Porter is doing very valuable work.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Added one blog

Today I added one blog to the list. It is a wonderful piece of "blog work" and I just know that if you check it, you will love it. Here is the link for those of you who can't wait to get out of this site.

The Last Nail, a documentation of a home restoration project.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

First goal of The Log Homes Info reached

I keep on writing the content, but the advancement is very slow. I set a guideline for myself, in which my main log home categories will have four sub categories to start with. At the time of writing this post, as you can see, there are not many sub categories that have content, just those lonely “Search link” texts to show the place of coming categories. By the time I manage to get all of them filled, I estimate that it will be autumn already. It seems like a mountain, but I know that just have to keep on scaling, otherwise I will never finish it.

Now there is a reason for minimal celebration as I managed to meet my basic requirement on Resources category. In my blueprints I have many more subcategories to fill in there, but for now I will move along and let those resources to rest for a while, like a half a year or something, hah.

As the next move I am planning to cover design and planning, because both of these belong into the early stages of log home building. Better start from the bottom, in that way the content makes more sense. Essentially the Resources section was about inspiring and to some degree about educating. In Design section, I will move further to the education and factual information. As always, I am going to keep you posted.

Spring sun is shining brightly, hopefully you will also have a great day!

Log home discussion forums

Here I have chosen few log home discussion forums that should be your first stop if you are looking for personal opinions and advice from people who actually have first hand experience of log homes. Most of these forums require registering if you want to post, but reading is bit more relaxed. On the top are those log home forums that I consider to be better in the quality and quantity of the posts.

Log Home Builders Association could just be the most controversial log home forum that there is. As their guiding star, this association has very affordable and preferably self built log homes and they want to promote their agenda of simple and affordable log homes. This log home forum has large user base, plenty of topics and sometimes even heated discussion.

Log Home Owners group is the biggest discussion forum that is dedicated for log homes in Yahoo! Groups. Many of the group members have posted pictures of their log homes for everybody to see. This forum has several educating stories about different surprising situations that have come up before, during and after the log home building and purchasing process. This forum also has a website to support it so members are active and their numbers many.

Although Log Home Reports website has been around for quite some time, they just recently started a discussion forum, where readers can exchange ideas directly. I must admit that this forum is still rather quiet place, but given the usefulness of the main website, I am betting their forum will be popular and focus especially on experience sharing. Log Home Reports website has focused on collecting, rating and comparing experiences that people have on different log home companies.

This log home forum is very old school. The simple attitude is just oozing from the screen. The link that I provide, will take you to their main site where you can quickly locate the forum title. The forum itself is quite hard to follow, because the new posts are just stacked on the top, while old posts fall further down. This is not especially active log home forum, but it has been around for quite some time now. Keep the tradition alive.

This website has been around for some time now, so as their discussion forum, they have renewed the forum, so the graphical look and functionality are somewhat better now. You can find them ranking quite high in the search engines so owner’s web creation skills must also include search engine optimization. Forum itself is quite silent place and there are not many registered members. Discussion, however, has quality and forum spam is almost non-existent.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Personal websites about log homes

First of all, this section has personal websites that deal with log homes in one way or another. The purpose is to share the personal experiences that people have about log home living. If you have or know a personal website about log homes, please tell me and I will mention it here. UPDATED 04.04.2005.

There is definitely a big step to take, if people want to make a personal website. This can be seen in the scarcity of the personal sites that tell about log homes. I think that building up a website can such a painful operation that if one is able to create a website, there will be so little enthusiasm left for actual content production that every personal site is pit light on content. Anyhow, here are some personal websites that I have managed to locate.

This personal site looks nice and has lots of pictures of different stages of the log home building project. However, it does not have much information and feels slightly empty. Guess what, I saved the best for last. Williams log home site has lots of video clips. By watching the clips, you can get much better feeling of the different building stages of a log home. I myself watched quite a few...

Another nice website that tries to document things that happened during the planning and building of a log home. This personal website is well structured, but unfortunately updating has stopped. Latest pictures are from early 2003. Wonder what is going on with this project. This is a really good resource for a log home enthusiast, lots of links and good documentation.

This log home project has different focus. They explain some cool research methods that they used, while searching for suitable piece of land for their log home - satellite, aerial and topographical methods. Following phases in the process of building a log home are equally well documented. They have staggering amount of pictures from every building stage so you get a good "picture" on what is going on. This is a good reference to go through while you are planning your own log home project. All in all this is a lovely website for a lovely family.

This wilderness guide has dedicated part of his website for depicting the building process of a log home. The special feature here is that the log home is hand-built. You get to see many pictures of the building process. It looks so easy that it makes you want to try too.

This log home project has also been finished in year 2000, but maybe there are still some finalizing touches outside the house. Expect to see occasional updates about renovations and some small repairs. Best part of this log home site is that their building project has been divided into clear stages and explained very thoroughly. Also they offer very detailed chronological journal on the whole project that most certainly will give you an idea what kind of task the building a log home really is. This log home website also has forum and lots of photos and some video.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Blueprints are ready

I have my blueprints ready for this website. I have all the sections and topics planned ready. Now I have set up the basic division of the log homes info site and it sure looks empty. I have lot of writing and studying to do before this blog is what I want it to be. I guess there is no other way around it, just keep on typing day by day to reach the goal.

I have reserved the domain name, but I am not going to use it at this point, because of the sorry state of the content. There is not much sense to start promoting either that would just be waist of time and money. For the time being, I will concentrate on writing about various log home resources, later on I will move to more hard core log home information like building techniques.

Ok, now the article about log home blogs is done and online. Tomorrow I will write about personal websites. These two topics are very similar and the line between is hard to draw. In the end I might end up just merging them together under blogs or personal websites.

Blogs about log homes

On this page I list and introduce blogs that have something to do with log homes. I try to stick with quality blogs and especially those blogs about log homes, which are regularly updated. With some candidates, this is not possible, because the actual log home building or renovating project is already finished. In these cases I have just made the call based on written content, there is almost always something to learn from others’ experiences. These log home blogs are ranked according to my personal liking so the one that I like to follow the most is on the top. UPDATED 23.03.2005

This is an excellent blog that covers almost completely the whole long journey that it takes to have a log home – design, planning, organizing, contracts, budget, building and so on. Lots of surprises! Have to warn you people, while this is an excellent resource for aspiring log home builder (others too), there are just so many posts in this blog that it takes more than cup of tea to read it all through. However, it is well written and entertaining, so you will not notice how fast time is passing while reading it. I wish everybody would keep such a blog while building a log home, so that others could learn from it and the history of the log home would be preserved.

Newly started blog about log home construction project. This blog is associated with personal website that offers pictures of the project. Blog presents the thoughts of an owner-builder of a log home. The log home has been in the making since 2003 and already passed the foundation and frame building stages and therefore the aspects that are currently presented in the blog deal mostly with finishing the log home.

I have high hopes for this blog that is also a newcomer to the log home blogging arena. Intriguingly the writer is right in the beginning of his log home building project. Postings are far and wide, so it is difficult to say how it will turn out in the end. The posts that are currently online are informative and interesting to read. There are also many pictures about the serene and woody area where the log home will locate.

The Last Nail is wittily written documentation of a home restoration project. This couple has enviable life style – they buy houses, which are down on their luck, renovate them and after selling, they move on. Obviously hard life, but there lies the beauty of it, because you can read all about it in your own comfortable chair, while sipping coffee. This is a road movie, taking place in a construction blog and the main emphasis is on building the atmosphere. So what is it doing here among log home blogs? Because these people have heart, just like all log home owners do.

Mountain life and skiing in several related (you could say messy) blogs by Chatter Creek Mountain Lodges friends. This is a great blog to read, if you want to get the feeling of lodge living and skiing on the mountains. While this blog’s main emphasis is on the outdoors lifestyle and the actual log home building process is already finished, there still is a construction diary on their Vertebrae Logde construction project. Some wonderful pictures of log home living and skiing are included all over the blog. Those pictures are already worth to check out this blog.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Log home magazine reviews

This article reviews log home magazines from all over the world. This is the base article that will be updated from time to time. On the top of the page, I will put the magazine that I consider to be the best of those that I have gotten my hands on and following magazines in descending order.

At first, the selection for log home magazine interviews is – as you can see – very limited, because I live in Finland and don’t have easy access to most of the log homes publications and I hesitate to subscribe them, costs would be staggering! However, I am sure that this situation will improve over time and you will have more magazine reviews here. Coming up next, my first log home magazine review:

Country’s Best Log Homes is published F&W Publications Inc. Company is also running Timber Frame Shows. This log home magazine has average content, and the actual page count of useful articles is rather low. The magazine has five distinctive sections if I count in the ads. Actual sections include: presentations, columns, departments and services.

Presentations are stories about people and their log homes. Presented log homes are beautiful and provide lots of general design and decoration ideas for the reader. Usually these articles follow the story of the owners, why they chose a log home and how they got it. Rest of the article then describes this beautiful log home and offers some wonderful pictures on the side. There is no doubt about the purpose of these stories. They are like mini soap operas, which aspire people to start their own log home project or alternatively continue subscribing the Country’s Best Log Homes and living the dream through the articles.

Columns are food for the left side of the brain, a logical reason for buying this magazine. This is by far the most useful section of articles. Log home industry professionals mostly write these columns and that often guarantees some interesting insights from some specific field in construction industry. Every magazine has rather well balanced story topics so there is something for everybody.

Departments offer fixed content for example there is always a department for readers’ letters, an editorial, floor plans and events. These sections offer the same old log, just with different finish. Events keep on changing and there are always a new angle or current topic in log homes industry, which the editor can ponder. Here the line between ad and information starts to blur, every magazine has different floor plans and I am willing to bet that there could be some paid inclusion going on. Anyhow, it is all very informative and companies get some extra visibility, no harm in that.

Reader services are basically paid ads in forms of directory and index. To get this information, all we need to do is to get one of these magazines and that one take pretty much covers the content of every other log home magazine during the season. Country’s Best Log Homes naturally wants to include this section to every issue. This way they can get more advertising revenue and the reader might feel that package is bigger, but it is really not that necessary for every issue to have 30 something pages of directory styled ads. The big one-page ads are mingled with the content anyhow.

All in all, Country’s Best Log Homes is entertaining log home magazine that is bit light on information but heavy on lifestyle.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

I like log homes

Initially I liked log homes because of the loving feeling that I associated to log homes from early on. In Finland, log homes are traditionally built by the lake. It really is almost inevitable, because we have so many lakes and vast forests. Anyhow, I just recall all those wonderful, hot summer days by the lake and the cool refuge that log home offered. During winters, we seldom visited any log homes, just occasional check ups to see that everything is fine. Dark winter days made log homes look gloomy and spooky so there truly was strong emotion bonding that developed already as I was a child. Later my preference and liking to log homes has just increased, because all the new information has just enhanced my appreciation towards this ancient building technology. I hope that with these pages I am able to given at least a glimpse of that appreciation. This blog is to celebrate log homes.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The purpose of the log homes info blog

The purpose of this blog is to offer detailed information for people in a simple manner to make learning process as quick and painless as possible. The initial graphical outlay is now finished. There are still plenty of issues, which need to be corrected, but I will attend those matters over time. I will now start posting regularly and eventually I will construct a list of topics and articles and place them to the sideline for easy access. The log homes info will therefore have current issues feed that is very informal. Blog will also have a section for articles, which cover the fundamental information over various topic in the life cycle of a log home.

First post of the log homes info blog

This is simply the first post, nothing more. Starting the trip of thousand miles will start with a single step, therefore it is not necessary to make it a leap.