Log Cabin by anoldent https://www.flickr.com/photos/anoldent/576399961Many Americans have a romantic love of log cabins, but the associated costs make log cabins difficult to own. Anyone who is considering purchasing a log cabin–especially an older, historic cabin–must be aware of the downsides of log cabin ownership, in order to make an informed decision.

Sealing and Chinking Repair

  • Cost: $2 – $5 per square foot
  • Frequency of repair: Every 2-4 years

Wood that is exposed to the elements must be resealed periodically, to prevent the wood from sustaining damage from water and extreme temperatures. In addition, the mortar-like material between logs (known as chinking) must be periodically redone to repair any cracks that have appeared over time. The cost of resealing and repairing log cabin chinking can cost anywhere from $2-$5. For a typical 1,500 square foot home, the price tag for this type of log cabin maintenance may run anywhere from $3,000 to $7,500.

Homes that are not maintained properly may sustain damage. Wood that rots must be replaced when the resealing occurs, raising the cost even more.

Pest Control

  • Cost: hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on the infestation

When you imagine log cabins and pest problems, you probably think of termites. Unfortunately, termites are just the tip of the iceberg. Log cabins are vulnerable to a variety of insects that eat wood, including certain types of beetles, wood borers, carpenter ants and carpenter bees.

In addition, historic log cabins may have exposed cracks between logs where the chinking has crumbled or deteriorated. Through these cracks, any number of small animals (mice, squirrels, etc.) may gain access to the interior of the home. Annual–if not monthly–pest control is a necessity for proper log cabin maintenance.

Energy Inefficiency

  • Cost: hundreds or thousands of dollars, over time

With the chinking deteriorating between logs, cabins may hemorrhage heated air in winter and cool air in summer. In order to keep energy costs down, chinking repair may need to be conducted more often than every 2 years.

Insurance Rates

  • Cost: hundreds or thousands of dollars, over time

Log cabins located in high-risk fire areas may have higher insurance costs than homes made from less flammable material.

Possible Solutions

Proper maintenance is the only way to control the costs associated with log cabin ownership. Unfortunately, proper log cabin maintenance is itself prohibitively expensive. Many people who seek the look of a log home without the associated costs turn to TruLog siding. Maintenance free steel log siding gives homes the appearance of a log home, without the maintenance and costs. For more information about steel log siding, contact TruLog.

Sources:

http://www.livingwithbugs.com/log_home.html

http://www.theredheadriter.com/2011/12/log-cabin-and-log-home-pros-and-cons/

http://www.liveinlog.com/

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/garden/22logs.html

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