Designing Your Log Home: Tips To Keep You Out of Trouble

Nearly every log home is a custom design, whether you are altering a stock plan or starting from scratch. By their very nature, custom floor plans open up a high number of untested challenges – especially if you’re working on designing the house yourself. With almost all log home manufacturers, an in-house architect will take your design and turn it into a set of drawings that conform to their construction. Your home will be structurally sound. However, don’t necessarily expect them to point out every inconvenience or snafu in your design. This is a hands-on business, and in the end, your house design is on you… and you are going to need to live with this. Here are a few pointers I can suggest to make your design more efficient.

MECHANICALS

Open floor plans will be the essence of the log home. They make a house feel more significant, and keep from feeling isolated the cook. But for those who get a second floor you want to think about how you are going to get the plumbing, the electrical and the ductwork (both supply and return) to the upstairs rooms. You won’t use the exterior walls, and that means you need to create walls downstairs that is enough to fit of the mechanicals. You’ll need ductwork if you use heating. Many systems use high-pressure ductwork considerably smaller therefore if you’re pressed for space there are different possibilities. However, the solution is to think ahead. If you’re tempted to use an inside full-log wall (or not at all), you might be sacrificing an opportunity to secure more ductwork upstairs.

PLUMBING

The smartest floor plans are the ones that try to keep the bathrooms together (either straight or one directly over the other) and also the tiniest runs on the plumbing. This can’t always be achieved, but when setting the upstairs toilet, try and line it up—this way the pipes doesn’t need to snake all around the place.

CLOSETS

I’d venture to guess that log houses are often short on closet space. I know my home is. To start with, it would be a waste. Why hide your lovely logs? And because we try to maintain the square footage down to a minimum, it seems a crime to waste precious space on cabinets. There’s more than 1 reason to add them. Do we look to accumulate more things as we age, but by law, in many states, the closet determines whether an area is a bedroom or an office? This could affect the resale (or refinancing) of your house. Here is a suggestion: place two closets to the wall separating two rooms. Try and incorporate a coat closet close to your front door.

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WINDOWS

you can not have too many windows at a log home As I am confident you’ve already read many times. The entry of a window close to the summit lets in more light In case you’ve got a large empty wall; it adds personality. Some people today add windows along either side of a shed dormer. I needed to move the roofline to increase the size of my bedroom window because by code it had to be 6′ square for egress. In almost any upstairs bedroom you’ll want your chimney to be big enough to climb out in the event of a fire. Also, remember that the quantity of air circulation will decrease to your upstairs. In my home, I added an awning (a little hinged window) to the bottom of the stationery windows in my dormers. This helped allow air in, but even so, the chambers could be stuffy. A ceiling fan helps, but I may want to bring a skylight.

KITCHEN VENT

Among the choices, we made concerned to vent the stove hood. You are going to have an exciting mystery if you do not want your cooker to be in an exterior wall. Are you going to run the duct between the floor joists? Will the run be so long you’ll need to add another enthusiast? Then we had to cut a hole, although I moved my stove into the outside wall and gave in. Horrors! How can you hide that? My builder constructed a little cedar box round the pit, and we were lucky enough to have a porch roof underneath so that you can not view it. However, had I thought of it, and this nasty vent is on the front of the home, I may have moved the kitchen.

There are a few things we did not think of. I did not give any thought to the ugly electric panel. I knew we would have a board and yards, but I did not know of where they were going. What I didn’t realize was that by code, we could not set the panel in the crawl space. The dynamic group has been set up in one of our rooms since we do not have a garage. Isn’t that beautiful? Another drawback of the crawl space: you might have to buy a horizontal-mount furnace, and you’ll need a water heater that is short if that’s where it’s going. We had to put in a purification program Since our water quality was poor. This 54″ unit must be mounted vertical, and also our crawl space is 48″ tall. We had to punch a hole to make space for the device.

GUTTERS

You want to get the water away from the log house at all costs. There can be challenges; we have a home with a vaulted ceiling. The roof comes to a deep elbow on the corners that create a stunning rain chute. As it dumps onto your deck, this is not always wonderful! Because of the conclusion does not generate an angle where to hang out a downspout and also of that V projects far out of the walls. On one corner myself met and on the deck side, we had to divert the water to the pergola we built from the house and ran a gutter.

OVERHANGS

You need to have a 1′ foot and a 2′ overhang. This overhang needs to be taken into account when designing your roof. Make sure you are not creating a water trap or a snow trap if you have angles. There are. You might have to raise a bit to a part of the roof to make a clearance.

DOOR SWINGS

This can be one of the errors you’ll be able to create and not grab until late. Think of what your door is covering when opened all the way. Can it be covering another door? Will two doors bang together? If you’re in a space, will it open all of the roads? We didn’t consider the door swing until the pipes have been already hooked up when we installed bathroom vanity. The door cleared the pride by one entire inch; it could have been worse. You can compensate for swinging the other way (before it is already hung, or your hinges are going to be on the wrong side). Or get a smaller vanity.

ELECTRICAL

The plumbing and electric design won’t come out of the log house drawings. The manufacturer is not about where you set your outlets concerned. When the plans are firmed up, the time will come for one to sit with the electrician and mark precisely where you would like your sockets, switches and light fixtures. Anybody will tell you to put in more than you need, although local code will establish the space between devices you will likely use them. Even if you don’t need it, put your cable and phone into every area; it is so much simpler and more economical to do it upfront. Remember that you can not ever have a lot of lights in a log house. Plan ahead for all those fixtures – the ones in the ceiling. They will not be pretty to add later on.

DEAD SPACE

If you are constructing a large log home, you’ve got so much space it doesn’t matter. However, for the majority of the remainder of us, every inch counts. Some approaches might maximize your floor area. First of all, you might not need halls? Some space-saving designs, so they all open into a little church, arrange the rooms. I prefer none. Also, consider that every cupboard door creates dead space. If it is possible to arrange your floor plan so that cupboard door swings into a place that’s already dead (for example, another cupboard doorway or a foyer), you might open up space a little. Is it true that your loft serves a function or is it an open hallway from room to room? Can you put a piece of furniture?

Hopefully, I’ve helped a tiny bit. I learned many of these tips the hard way, and I am sure there are more I have not bumped into yet. In the end, there is a custom home one giant learning curve.

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