Log Cabins, Minus Logs

logs photo
Photo by pjohnkeane

What makes a log cabin a log cabin? If you think it’s the logs, it might be time to think again. The world of log cabins is changing with the times to utilize materials that are more affordable, more efficient, and more environmentally conscious.

Cross-Laminated Timber

Relatively new on the log cabin scene is cross-laminated timber, known as CLT for short. Although it’s been used extensively in Europe over the last few decades, CLT is just starting to gain a foothold in American applications. In fact, the Utah Biomass Research Group, which works to reduce wood waste, recently received a grant from the US Forest Service to design Utah’s first public structure utilizing CLT.

So what makes this material so unique? To create CLT, waste wood is joined together using various methods to create larger “boards” pieced together from scraps. CLT can form walls up to fifteen inches thick and up to forty feet long, and structures made from the material are both stable and fire resistant. It is typically pieced together using metal or glue, but the Utah Biomass Research Group has created a system that utilizes wood-only joinery, like dove tails, to efficiently create CLT using only waste wood.

Although CLT is still new to the United States, it’s a material with promise. It can be used to build massive structures — up to twenty stories tall, in some cases — and is more cost effective than using traditional logs.

Steel Log Siding

CLT isn’t the only log replacement taking the building world by storm: Steel siding can give you the log cabin aesthetic with none of the logs! Forget about the maintenance that comes with a wooden building — steel siding requires minimal upkeep, is easy to install, and is durable and fire resistant. TruLog steel siding comes in four standard colors and one premium color to give a realistic, rustic log cabin look.

A traditional log cabin requires annual maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape. In fact, some estimates suggest that log cabin maintenance can cost thousands every month or two. Real wood requires protecting against UV damage, water damage, and even insects and rodents. But for TruLog siding, there is no maintenance required, and a quick rinse with a garden hose will keep it looking new.

And of course, TruLog steel siding is a fraction of the cost — to build a traditional log cabin, most people pay upwards of $30 per square foot of timber, whereas standard TruLog siding is under $5 per square foot. That means your materials costs could be reduced by over 80% by using steel log siding!

The log cabin is moving into the future! It’s time to have all the rustic beauty of a cozy log cabin with none of the trouble. Let TruLog siding help you fulfill your log cabin dreams. Contact us for a quote or ordering information.


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