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   ...we’ve had our share of questions from clients over the years too!  Here are some of the most-often asked questions that we get . We think the answers can really help you out if you are considering a hand-crafted log home.

Is a log home more expensive than a conventional home?

     Yes, a well-built, handcrafted log home is more expensive than a conventional stud frame home.  Also, many log homes have features not found in today’s housing such as rock fireplaces, hardwood floors and reproduction hardware.  A typical log shell will range in cost from $40 (US) to $60 (US) per square foot and a “good rule of thumb” for a well appointed turn-key project is 3 times the cost of the shell.

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Is a log home energy efficient?

     Basically, wood is a good insulator.  It has an R-value of approximately 1.25 per inch, depending upon the species.  A log with an average diameter of 14” would therefore have an R-value of approximately 17.5.

     A solid log also has a high thermal mass value. This means that a log wall will retain heat and radiate it back into the home.  It is this heat retaining thermal mass characteristic that makes log homes “energy-efficient."  (National Bureau of Standards TME Experiments-1983).

     The most important factor regarding the energy efficiency of a log home has to do with the tightness of the structure. Although poorly built log homes may initially be tight, serious drafts can develop if the builder has not allowed for shrinkage of the logs.

     At Tobique Log Homes we use a shrink-fit notch and incorporate other design features to accommodate the settling of the log walls which is critical at doors, windows and partitions.

     Our research, experience and satisfied customers are proof of the effectiveness of our methods.

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What’s included in my home package?

     (1)  We will work with your plans, develop a full set of plans from “scratch”, with your concepts and ideas or we can present plans from successful past projects. Our computer assisted drafting and engineering service is “in-house” so we can “go back to the drawing board” as many times as necessary, to get it right.

     (2)  Log Home “shells” are the specialty at Tobique. The log structure is completely assembled at our location in New Brunswick, Canada.  Windows and door openings are crafted, log walls are insulated and wiring routes are pre-drilled.  The logs are numbered and catalogued after which they are disassembled and directly loaded onto highway trailers for transportation to your building site, where we do a complete re-assembly.

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How much will delivery and set up cost?

     There are several variables affecting delivery and set up costs and these are normally built into our fixed price to you.  Assuming reasonable access to your building site, the major variables will be transportation distance and the size of the project. Typically re-assembly requires two to five days.

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Is there any warranty?

     We work with all clients on a personal basis and make every attempt to “get it right the first time”. However, we believe that our customers are our best advertising so rest assured that Tobique Log Homes Ltd. will cover any defects in material and workmanship for which we are responsible.

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What type of log is available for my home?

     The species we most commonly work with are eastern white pine and red spruce  which are native to eastern Canada.  However, west coat Douglas fir, western red cedar and “standing dead pine” are also good choices for log homes and we maintain contact with brokers in the west for these species.  They are readily shipped to us by rail.

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Does Tobique Log Homes Ltd. have any references?

     Here’s what James and Beverly Deveau of Beechwood, New Brunswick have to say about our homes. “Bev and I had Garth build from our plans. We knew what we wanted and he built our shell exactly as we planned.  I’ve done all the finish work in our home, so the planning for the logs had to be just right. Garth kept us well informed and did things just as we expected.”

     Jack White and Margaret Philpott from Stephenville, Newfoundland wrote:  “It’s truly a beautiful home!  Many an evening before leaving for work we walk near the embankment and look back at it, surrounded by trees and admire it. We feel it has a confidence and sense of pride that says look at me, I’m special. Thanks for everything!”

     B.C. Adams, 4652 Lakewood Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76135 “Building a log home had been my dream for many years.  I finally had this dream come true. Rarely have I had something built that I was completely satisfied with but having Garth Farquhar to build my log home completely satisfied my dream.

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What type of notch is used?

     We most often use a shrink-to-fit saddle notch and a shallow cove lateral but we have experience with other notches, as well.

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Are the logs treated with any preservatives?

     Yes, in the southern United States we sometimes treat logs with a Borax solution if the house is likely to be exposed to excessive moisture.

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Do the logs shrink?

     Yes, we allow 3/4 of an inch per foot of log wall for settling, however, normally settling is some what less at 3/8”-1/2” per foot of wall.

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Are the logs kiln dried? No. Are the logs air-dried? Not really.

     If we air dried the logs for a year or two, the moisture content would be reduced to approximately 16%. At this stage only 1/2 of the shrinkage has occurred, so we would still have to allow for significant settling.  Also, by this time the logs would be seriously discolored and randomly checked. When using green wood we are able to control checking by putting a stress relief cut in the top of each log.  After a log house has been heated for one winter, 75% of the shrinkage takes place.  The remaining shrinkage occurs over the next two or three year period.

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How long will a log home last?

     In northern Europe there are log homes that are several hundred years old. That doesn’t mean that all log homes will last a hundred years or even ten years if the wood is not kept dry.  A good foundation and a large roof overhang are required. We allow 36 inches of overhang at the eaves and six feet on the gables, however, good eaves trough is essential.

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Can I build on a slab?

     Yes, as long as the base log is at least 18 inches off the ground.

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Do you build log gable ends?

     Yes, however, the dynamic of shrinkage in the triangular gable sections varies from the top to bottom log in the “triangle”. This differential often causes serious gapping in the log work.  The gaps are either chinked or caulked.
     A good alternative to log gables can be a stud frame finished in rough sawn lumber with the wane left on for an “extreme” rustic appearance.

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Can you do walls that are flat on the inside?

     Yes, if we use dovetail notches. The walls can be flat on the inside and round on the outside or any combination. We can do full-scribed dovetail or dovetail chinkers.  Dovetail chinkers are very popular in the South. The cost is about the same as conventional notching.

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