There is a special group of people that dream of one day owning a log home. Perhaps they’re urbanites with romantic ideas of retiring in the countryside in a log house. Others might have fond memories of their childhood and family vacations in log cabins that they want to relive. Despite their aesthetic beauty, timber homes aren’t without flaws. There are a number of potential problems with log homes that you might experience as a homeowner, ranging from care needs to future issues reselling.
4 Problems With Log Homes
Even if you have dreams of owning a log home, there are a few factors to consider.
1. Wood Has Many Natural Enemies
Although hardwood is surprisingly durable when cared for properly, log home exteriors still have weaknesses.
Wood, being a very organic material, is more apt to fall prey to insect and general pest (i.e. woodpecker) damage. Carpenter ants, termites, and even carpenter bees find wood to be an attractive home. As insects work their way in, other critters can wreak havoc on your exterior trying to get to them. Woodpeckers are a classic example and one that can accomplish severe damage rather quickly. Rodent pests can also look to your logs as a cozy place to live.
Weather conditions can also wear down logs. Wind, for example, can exacerbate aging and lead to cracking. Harsh sunlight (UV exposure) can also fade logs and dry the wood enough that it begins to become brittle. But perhaps the most damaging element is moisture.
Moisture is the biggest enemy of a log home. Whether from rain, snow, or even plants growing close to your home, water and moisture can lead to serious problems. Fungus, mold, and algae can all grow on wood and will gradually break down your walls. Scraping off growth can help, but once your layer of sealant is broken there is no easy way of repairing moisture damage in logs.
2. Log Homes Require Considerable Care
Wood siding requires the most maintenance and log homes naturally follow suit. Log home maintenance involves regular cleaning and perhaps a good deep clean on occasion like most siding. However, you will also need to restain and reseal your log home on a regular basis, which can be quite a time-intensive job. Additionally, log homes with any type of chinking will gradually need to be repaired and touched up as the chinking material ages or crumbles. You should also consider that if damage does occur, from an accident or neglect, the process of repairing a log home isn’t as simple as just placing in a new panel of siding.
Average annual maintenance costs of caring for a 2,000 sq ft log home is roughly $1,350 or upwards of $3k biennially. This accounts for basic care needs and doesn’t include a total rechinking project or major repairs that you may occur, especially if you purchase an older log home.
3. Timber Homes are Liabilities in High-Risk Fire Zones
(Photo credit: South Cheatham Advocate)
An evolving climate and a recent surge in wildfires over the last few years has many homeowners rightfully concerned about their homes. The exterior of your house is really the only defense against a fire and wood is obviously not an ideal option when faced with flames. Logs are perhaps only better than vinyl, and that isn’t saying too much.
Aside from the personal risks of a log home in the path of a wildfire, you should also consider that your home may very likely come with higher insurance costs that modern homes. Some insurance companies see log homes to be more of a risk and you’ll be expected to pay a higher price. This is especially true if you’re in a rural region where the fire department can’t quickly reach.
4. Reselling Your Log Homes Isn’t Always Easy
Even if you don’t plan on selling your home, it isn’t a bad idea to keep the idea that occasionally life changes prompt you to make such a choice. Although you might find a real log home to be charming, it doesn’t necessarily mean others will.
If you live in a rural area where log homes are quite common you might not have an issue. But if your neighborhood and surrounding area are mostly modern homes your realtor could be faced with quite a task to find a buyer. Under these circumstances, it isn’t uncommon to have to lower your price below value in order to sell your home.
Real timber homes are a big commitment to potential land buyers who may not want to deal with the necessary care.
A Solution to Log Home Problems
There is a way that you can still get a beautiful log home without all of the problems that come with timber. The solution is to clad your home in TruLog steel siding.
This steel timber alternative realistically mimics the log cabin look and comes in six color options. By using TruLog you won’t need to worry about insect or pest damage to your exterior, extreme weather, and you’ll have the peace of mind knowing your home is clad in the most fire-resistant siding material in the event of a wildfire. You’ll spend more time enjoying your home than taking care of it and in the event you decide to sell your home one day, chances are you’ll discover buyers to find TruLog to be more appealing than real logs.
There is no doubt that a well-designed, real log house is a beauty to behold and for many will remain the ultimate dream home. However, not every log home lover is prepared to or even wants to deal with the high-maintenance needs and potential risks of timber. Thankfully the option of TruLog steel siding is available for those that want the look of logs, without all of the possible issues.