The Oak Leaf – December 2020
Welcome to the October 2020 issue of The Oak Leaf, written by Lynn Gastineau, President of GLH. For new readers, this is our monthly newsletter sent to those that have expressed an interest in Gastineau Log Homes. We use this as a way of communicating technical, design and industry information.
Saying Goodbye To The Year That Simply Cannot Be Described
Raise your hand if you are happy to say goodbye to 2020! It was certainly a year for the books. I keep reminding myself, my family, and my employees that we cannot change what has happened; we can only control how we react to it and what we do in the future. I think it’s safe to say that the world is ready to get back to some semblance of normal, so let’s look to 2021 with optimism, realism, and hope, and make choices that are good for our family and future. Cheers to 2021!
Trivia Question: What is the most watched Christmas movie in the US? (See the answer below.)
Top Questions of 2020
People ask us all kinds of questions about building in a log, post and beam or hybrid home. We thought we could share some with you and our response. There are no particular topics, just some common questions that you may have also.
How do you compare the kits offered by different log home companies?
I have been in the log home business for 43 years and I still find it difficult to compare log home packages! But to make it easier, we have developed a “kit comparison” spreadsheet that you can use to evaluate the materials included in different packages.
If you would like one, contact your sales assistant; they will be happy to email one to you. Or I would be happy to do a comparison for you. I know these comparisons can be difficult as there are different terms for similar items, but I have become somewhat of an “expert” over the years of looking at all the different packages and would be happy to help.
Remember that if a company does not include certain materials in their package, you will probably have to buy it somewhere else. The package with the highest price is not necessarily the most expensive package!
Why is it necessary to “vent” your roof?
No matter what type of home you build, proper roof ventilation is vital to a properly constructed roof system. If your roof is not vented, you can have a variety or problems.
First, it can cause your shingles to prematurely fail, and it will not be covered by the warranty.
Second, it can cause condensation in your roof causing water to “drip” off of the ceiling. (NOT a pleasant thought!)
Third, excessive moisture can cause your insulation to deteriorate, which lowers the R-value and makes your energy bills higher.
You can see why venting is very important, so be sure that your rafters, ridges, soffits and valleys are all vented so you can avoid these problems.
Where are the biggest sources of air infiltration in a log home and what does Gastineau Log Homes do to minimize this infiltration?
The five major sources of air infiltration in log homes are from:
4) Top of the log wall where the roof connects to the walls
5) Around the subfloor.
Gastineau Log Homes has engineered our homes to minimizes the infiltration by doing and/or providing the following construction materials and techniques:
1 and 2) The jambs used for all doors and windows are splined to fit the notches in the ends of the logs. This allows the windows to slide so spaces cannot develop between the log rows. And then a special sealant is used with the spline to seal off air and water.
Custom gaskets are also provided that are cut in the same profile as the exterior of the log. In other words, a “round” gasket material is used to seal off the concave surfaces created by a round log. This gasket is placed on the log wall behind the exterior trim for an additional seal.
In addition, we include high quality Quaker windows, with Low-E, argon filled glass, that are very energy efficient. And we provide all insulated exterior doors (wood exterior doors are not very energy efficient).
3) The method of construction and techniques used vary with different corner choices. However, the special closed seal foam is used in all butt type joints. Log Bond, the proprietary log sealant developed by Gastineau Log Homes for use between our logs, is also used between the corners. And last but not least, we provide caulking for all of the exterior joints.
4) It is very important that the rafters have full insulation where they meet the top of the log wall. This cavity is often overlooked when the roof is being insulated on the job site. This special concern is addressed in both our blueprints as well as our construction manual.
5) Gastineau Log Homes includes logs to encircle the sub-floor system in their standard packages. This provides a fully insulated wall around the sub-floor. If the logs are stacked on top of the sub-floor, you will have to insulate in between the floor joists with fiberglass insulation. The continual insulation provided by the logs is much better and eliminates the air infiltration that you would have around your floor joists. (It looks better, too!)
Is Oak more expensive than other woods?
Oak logs from Gastineau are less expensive than pine, cypress or cedar. How?? Because of the availability of oak in Missouri and the lower cost of this raw material. Also, our manufacturing process was designed to produce oak logs. We pass this cost savings along to you in our building material packages!
Do I have to use wood everywhere in my home?
Not unless you want to! Many of our customers use drywall on their partition (room dividing) walls so only the exterior log walls have exposed wood. And you can use either wood or drywall for ceilings. We even have customers use corrugated metal for their walls or ceilings! Our homes are custom built so that YOU can finish exactly as YOU want. There are no hard rules in log home construction saying you have to finish it in a certain way. Bring us your ideas and we can make it happen!
Do you have a question?
Send it to me and I will be happy to answer! Send your question to Sales@OakLogHome.com.
The GLH National Model Home Center on I-70 in central MO is back to normal business hours! Come walk through 3 of our homes Monday – Friday 8a-5p, Saturday 9a-5p, and Sunday 12a-5p. No appointment necessary. Click here for more, including directions.
2020 Construction Seminar Schedule:
Click here for information on our one day construction seminars.
At this time, we will not be having any additional construction seminars until 2021. If you need construction training, please contact us to schedule an individual training day.
Answer to the Trivia Question:
According to “HowTopWatch.com”, it is “Home Alone.” (My favorite is A Christmas Story. I just knew he was going to shoot his eye out!)
Quote of the Month:
― William Arthur Ward