Skip to main content

The Oak Leaf – August 2011

By August 1, 2011April 19th, 2024Newsletter

Welcome to the August 2011 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: Only two states have record highs no greater than 100 degrees. What are those two states?

Thinking about a spiral staircase? This one leads from the basement level up to the main level. Both steel and wood are available and can be perfect for some situations. You don’t want this to be the only way you move furniture into a room however.

Financing in today’s mortgage environment. New home construction financing is tricky these days. Low appraisals and larger down payments are very common. Prepare yourself and your financial profile for a smooth financing experience. The Log Home Council article gives 12 tips to help you make the most informed decisions.

Why can the cost per square foot vary so much, even in similar homes? One of our dealer/builders in the Springfield, IL area, Jeff Fore, recently shared with me some “turn key” prices he had been preparing for two customers. One customer wanted to build a Hideaway and one wanted to build a Dakota. They are similar in design, but the Dakota is about 300 square foot larger and has a large shed dormer on the second floor. The customers wanted similar finishes, did not have any significant site issues, and were both building on a walk out basement. The Hideaway was going to “Turn Key” for about $138 per square foot and the Dakota for about $125.50 per square foot. The bigger house was going to cost quite a bit less per square foot, even with the dormer. Why? It is all math. If you have a $10,000 fireplace, a $10,000 kitchen and a $6000 bathroom and a $10,000 porch and deck in an 1100 square foot home, those items alone cost $32.73 per square foot. The same items in a 1400 square foot home cost $25.72 per square foot. Space is actually the cheapest thing you build in a home. Both of the homes above were rectangular and have a simple roof line. Add corners and a complicated roof, and the cost goes up but the square footage does not. Again, the math makes the cost per square foot raise. This is a primary reason why some homes cost a lot more per square foot to build than others. It is all in the Math.

  • During construction, it is sometimes to your benefit to do the construction in a way that may seem out of sequence. In this case, they are framing the deck on the end of the home, a step that is usually at the end of construction. This deck will be used as a platform for building the gable end of the walk out basement however.

  • In this later shot, you can see the work that has progressed using the deck as a platform. A walk out basement can make it more difficult to reach some parts of the home, so the placement of this deck was very convenient!

Wash your air conditioner unit this summer! Did you know that you should hose out your air conditioner unit once a month? I learned the hard way. My air conditioning quit this past week. With the heat index over 100, this was a cause for concern. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it was an electrical problem. The probable cause was the dust built up in the fins (the thing that looks like a radiator) inside the outdoor unit. While it is running, hose it down and remove all the dust and debris. I could not believe everything that came out of mine!

This is one of the many detail construction samples that we have built for our construction seminars. This illustrates how our logs go around the subfloor plus how the electrical is ran through the logs and boxes cut into the logs. Come for a seminar or a visit to our model home center to see the engineering that is built into every Gastineau Log Home.

What is the difference between building a log home and a frame home? Obviously, the exterior walls are built differently! But probably the next biggest difference is how the electrical is installed. There is preplanning that is necessary for all the electrical that needs to be ran in the log walls themselves. It is not difficult, expensive or that time consuming. It is just something that needs to have some thought before you start laying your logs.

Construction Seminar Schedule for 2011:

September 10, 2011
October 22, 2011
Held at the GLH Model Home Center, I 70 Exit 144, 14 miles east of Columbia, MO. Call to register.

Answer to the Trivia Question:Alaska and Hawaii. (Bet you got Alaska but Hawaii was a surprise… I know it was for me!)

Quote of the Month: “”It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.” – Thomas Jefferson