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The Oak Leaf – August 2010

By August 1, 2010March 22nd, 2024Newsletter

Welcome to the August 2010 issue of The Oak Leaf! For new readers, this is a monthly newsletter that is sent by e-mail to those that have expressed an interest in Gastineau Log Homes. We use this as a way of communicating technical, design and industry information. For more information, check out our web site at

Trivia Question: What famous singer died on August 16, 1977? (Answer at the end.)

Ever heard of an HRV or ERV? Nope, it is not a new dreaded disease! It stands for heat and energy recovery ventilators. These units intercept return airflow from your furnace and capture its heat. That heat is transferred to the incoming fresh (or supply) air – which is brought in through the HRV/ERV unit – before it reaches the furnace. This reduces the energy needed by the furnace to bring incoming air up to the temperature set on the thermostat. Also, because it is the source for fresh air into the house, it provides a balanced, controlled and measured flow of fresh air into the house. A filtration system blocks airborne pollutants too! The National Green Building Standard awards extra points for the use of this technology, also.

Six workers drown in a vat of tomato sauce. Ok, this has absolutely nothing to do with building a home, but it was so crazy I had to pass it on. Apparently it is true…. Workers Drown in Tomato Sauce

John Burns’ Analysis on the housing cycle: John Burns is a very respected economic expert on the housing industry. Below is his recent email. If you are not sure now is a good time to build a new home, this might answer some questions. Here is what he says and a link to his web site:

This custom Oak log home was built in Jackson Hole, WY. Why would someone choose to ship Oak logs from Missouri all the way to Wyoming? Find out by clicking to read “Why Oak”.

“The Beginning of the Recovery

In March 2008, we rolled out an educational video on housing cycles that ended with, “Remember that every down cycle is the beginning of the next up cycle.” We talked about the 3 factors that needed to be in place. Here they are, with comments on where we are today:

Demand – Job Growth is coming back slowly and renters are slowly figuring out that this is the best home buying opportunity of a lifetime

Supply – New construction is at an all-time low, and will likely stay low until the bank REO selling subsides and private builders can find capital

Investment – Mortgage rates and home prices have fallen dramatically, to create the best consumer affordability in 30+/- years.

We are at Stage 1 (The Bottom) and heading into Stage 2 (The Beginning). While we think Stage 2 will last longer than usual, we want to point out that the downside of investing in housing right now is about as low as you will ever see.”

John Burns Web Site

This is a Oak full log park model. Only Gastineau offers this distinctive cabin. For more photos click below.

LC2Go units for motel rentals

We have a new floor plan available that turns one Log Cabin 2 Go unit into two sleeping units. These would be great for motels, hunting camps or anyplace where you want energy efficient, private yet homey rooms. These could be customized also, of course to include kitchenettes, bunk beds, etc. If you would like a copy of the floor plan email us at For more information on our Log Cabin 2 Go units, go to Log Cabin 2 Go

LC2Go heading to Yahk, BC, Canada this month

In August we will have a gorgeous Oak cabin heading to Canada. Park models in Canada can be larger than in the US so it is 2’ longer. It also has a fireplace, prismatic dormer, wine fridge, and lots of other options. I hope I get to visit sometime!

How interest rates affect mortgage payments:

Mortgage interest rates are still at very favorable levels, but rates are sensitive to market forces and can change quickly. There’s no indication that rates will suddenly surge upward, but even a slight rate increase can push monthly payments to the point that a buyer might miss out on their first choice for a new home.

Prospective homebuyers also should be aware that lenders are looking more closely at borrowers today than in recent years. To ensure that the process goes smoothly, you should consider pre-qualifying for a mortgage and having financing in place before shopping for a new home.

How much does the change in interest rate affect the monthly principal and interest payment for a 30 year fixed rate $150,000 mortgage?

4.% interest $716.12 monthly payment

4.5% interest $760.03 monthly payment

5.% interest $805.23 monthly payment

5.5% interest $851.68 monthly payment

6.% interest $899.33 monthly payment

6.5% interest $948.10 monthly payment

7.% interest $997.95 monthly payment

Would you like to use our budget calculator to estimate the amount of mortgage that you would qualify for based on your personal situation? This is an Excel download that is completely confidential. Ballpark Budget Calculator

Open House in Hague, New York on Saturday August 14, 2010
Hague, New York is located on Lake George in upstate New York. A customized Shamrock plan will be open for tours. The open house will be from 10 to 5 on Saturday, August 14th. For directions or more information, call Diane or Gary Martino at 518-543-6607.

The living room of the Shamrock is open and airy. The loft above looks down into the living room. Click to see the floor plan.

2010 Upcoming Building Seminars at GLH:
September 25, 2010 and November 13, 2010

This is one of many Gastineau Oak log homes built in Japan.

Labor Day hours at GLH Model Home Center on I 70 in MO:

In case you are planning on stopping over the Labor Day holiday, we will be open our normal 9 – 5 on Saturday and 12 – 5 on Sunday. We will be closed on Monday, September 6. The GLH National Office in New Bloomfield will close at noon on Friday, September 3 and reopen at 8:00 AM on Tuesday September 7.

Answer to the Trivia Question: Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977 in the bathroom at Graceland. After being found on the bathroom floor, Elvis was rushed to the hospital where he was officially pronounced dead. The coroner recorded the cause of death as cardiac arrhythmia. While true in the strictest sense (cardiac arrhythmia basically means that the heart was beating irregularly and in this case, finally stopped), the attending physicians deliberately omitted the fact that what had apparently caused Elvis’ heart to beat irregularly and then stop was an overdose of prescription drugs. These drugs included codeine, Valium, morphine, and Demorol, to name a few. After this information was revealed, Vernon Presley, Elvis’ father, had the complete autopsy report sealed. It will remain sealed until 2027, fifty years after The King’s death. Elvis’ body is buried at Graceland. – courtesy of

Quote of the Month: “Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.” ~John Ed Pearce