Log cabins and log homes have a long and romantic history. The style and looks are beloved by many, and a lot of homeowners wanting to adopt that rustic style for themselves consider either buying or building a log cabin of their own.
Log Home Disadvantages
But true log homes aren’t exactly the same as other frame-built houses. They have unique properties that while beautiful and with many positive attributes, also come with some serious downsides as well. Anyone wanting a log home simply for the look and style may want to consider the disadvantages involved, as well as how to get the look of a log home without these issues.
1. Insects and Pests
Log homes are notorious for being afflicted by insects, rodents, and pests. The logs themselves can become home to termites and carpenter ants, and any swelling or shrinking of the logs can easily make cracks large enough for mice, bats, and other rodents to enter.
While it’s true that these issues can affect other homes as well, log homes have a higher incidence rate of infestations. Treatments are available, but as a homeowner, you would need to stay constantly aware and vigilant to ensure that your home remains pest-free.
2. Zoning Laws
Did you know that you may not be able to build a log home anywhere you’d like to? Some towns and communities have zoning laws that preclude the building of log homes in specific areas.
This may mean that in order to build a home, you need to move out of your preferred town or area. Many people eventually end up building their log homes in significantly more rural areas, simply because the zoning laws aren’t as strict in these areas. This is fine for those that want their log home situated in a more remote area, but those that want a more modern log home located in their preferred district may discover that they don’t have that option.
3. Fire and Insurance Costs
Log homes often have higher insurance rates than other homes. Part of this is the way that they’re built, as well as the location. If you choose to build a log home, and are restricted to more rural areas, your insurance rates will rise. If you build a log home in an area that’s prone to wildfires, you will also have higher insurance rates because of the increased fire risk that a log home poses.
Even if you do manage to build your log home in a well-populated community with little wildfire risk, you may find that your insurance still goes up if you choose to heat the home with wood stoves and fireplaces. Because log homes tend to be finished with wood inside and out, the fire risk is higher and therefore most insurance companies will automatically raise your rates.
Log homes require a great deal of maintenance, not only to look their best, but also to remain structurally sound in some cases. It’s common for the logs to settle or swell with time, as well as to darken and develop a patina with age.
To maintain your log home, you may need to seal gaps, consult a structural engineer on settling issues, or frequently powerwash and treat the exterior. This can add up to a lot of time and money that may not be worth the hassle to owners who simply wanted the look of a cabin.
5. Limited Availability
If you’re considering buying a log cabin, you will have significantly fewer options available than a traditionally built home. For this reason, you will likely have to build your own, with all of the headaches and extra work that it entails. In addition, while log homes have changed over the years, with more options available than ever before, you are still going to be limited in terms of size and layout of your new home.
If you happen to find a layout that works for you, that’s great, but that isn’t always going to be the case for each prospective owner.
Log Home Alternative
For anyone that really loves the look of a log home, but for whom these disadvantages pose serious problems, there is another option. Log-look steel siding can be added to existing homes to give them the look of a log home but without these issues.
Steel siding is highly durable, low maintenance, and attractive. Log-look siding comes in 7 different colors, which don’t peel or chip. Steel is fire-resistant, so it won’t raise your insurance costs, and you can install it on any home, in any area, so you don’t need to move out to a rural area in order to get the style of home you want.
Log- look steel siding solves all of the issues that true log homes face, and it’s far more affordable than building a new log home would be.
Get the Look Without the Issues
With log look steel siding, you can get the best of both worlds; an attractive, stylish home that resembles a log cabin, but without any of the maintenance or drawbacks. Consider log-look steel siding for your home to take advantage of everything it has to offer today.