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The Oak Leaf – December 2010

By December 1, 2010March 27th, 2024Newsletter

Welcome to the December 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

The Oak cabinets match the Oak walls perfectly. Virtually all paint or decorating colors will look beautiful with an Oak backdrop.

Trivia Question: In the song “Twelve Days of Christmas” how many gifts are there altogether over the span of the twelve days?

Price Increase for 2011: Gastineau Log Homes will be having a price increase effective on Feb 1, 2011. Contact your dealer or sales representative to discuss how you can avoid this price increase on your log home!

Did you know we have a Lay a Way Plan? It allows you to lock in today’s pricing for delivery anytime through 2013! Lay A Way.

What is the best type of foundation to use? Slab foundations are more simple, they can be cheaper and they are quicker to install. The best decision between slab and a crawlspace or basement depends on the slope of the building site, the cost of concrete, the soil conditions of the building site, and the type of heating and cooling system desired. Let me take these one at a time.
Building site: A slab has to be level. If the building site is on a hill, or has a slope, it will require a lot of “fill” to level the floor. This can be expensive and a crawlspace or basement may be a better choice.
Cost of concrete: A slab will require more concrete. If it is expensive or if it is difficult to obtain, a crawlspace may be a better choice.
Soil conditions: If the building site has a lot of rock below the surface, a slab may be a better choice because you may have to blast out the rock to put in a crawlspace or basement. Slab foundations are more common in warmer climates. They are also common in locales with expansive clay soils. It is important for the ground to have proper soil compaction prior to pouring a slab foundation so that cracking or settling will be minimized.

Heating and cooling system desired: A slab foundation is excellent for radiant floor heat systems. If you do not need air conditioning for the summer heat, this is an excellent system. Slabs do not work well for a HVAC system that requires ductwork for dispersing heated or cooled air because it is hard to put the ductwork into the slab before the home is actually constructed.

Other considerations: It is very difficult to make changes later after the home is built if you use a slab foundation. This is because all of the plumbing and electrical is actually inside the concrete. To change it, you have to remove the thick concrete.

Do you understand the difference between a crawlspace and basement? A basement and a crawl space are basically the same, except a crawlspace has a shorter wall.
For a crawlspace, a footing needs to be poured and short foundation walls are built to support the home. Some crawl spaces are only 16 to 18 inches of clearance between the bottom of the floor joists and the soil. Other crawl spaces are tall enough to crouch in. (Usually the building site determines the height.) Crawl spaces are a slight money saving option. Little time is saved during construction when a crawl space is selected in lieu of a full height foundation.

Crawl space foundations do allow you to install plumbing and heating utilities so that they are accessible. The floor system over and the foundation walls inside of the crawl space almost always need to be insulated.

Here is a website that shows a cross sections of slab and basement foundations: foundations

A loft can be a perfect place for a Christmas tree. It can be visible from your main level while not taking up floor space in your living room. Or maybe you just want to use it for tree #2!

“A modular home that looks like a log home? Gastineau Log Homes is teaming up with Contempri Homes to offer a modular home with our Therma-Log Siding A home showcasing this partnership will be featured in the Spring 2011 St Louis Home Show March 3 – 6 in the Dome. The Therma-Log siding has full log corners which means that it looks just like a log home on the outside while allowing for a conventional interior. Gastineau has chosen to partner with Con-Tempri Homes because of their reputation, quality construction and focus on custom design.

Inadequate clearances are a common mistake that can compromise the functionality and furnishability of spaces inside the home. Architect Jerry Gloss with Knudson Gloss Architecture in Boulder, Colo., suggests some rules of thumb: Do you know, for example, how wide a utility room should be for today’s washers and dryers? To see sizing tips, go to Do You Measure UP? The design staff at GLH can assist you with these types of issues through the design stage of preparing your blueprints.

Space under the stairs can be very handy! Not only does the puppy have a bed in this home, but the Welcoming Bear lives there too!

Let your imagination go when decorating your railings. Try some simple garland, lights, ornaments or even a bear or two!

This rock fireplace was built with stones from the property. The Oak mantle was a log left after construction of the home. And I think Santa has actually been seen coming through that firebox!

Did you know that the Oak is our national tree? People voted for one of 21 candidate trees but the clear choice was the Oak. It was then passed by Congress and signed by President Bush. Would you like to know why? Read about your national tree, the Oak tree.

2011 Upcoming Building Seminars at GLH:

Check out our website for the dates for the 2011 seminars.Master Calendar


The great room of this home has an open kitchen, dining and living room. The tall cathedral ceiling features exposed beam trusses. Sliding doors on both sides of the fireplace lead onto a spacious deck while the French doors off the rear of the dining area lead to a screened in porch, complete with hot tub! Overlooking the private lake, of course…

Trying to sell your home? You have probably read all the basics: 1) Price it to sell. 2) Declutter everything 3) Fix anything that is broken or needs repaired. But there is another critical component. You need a GOOD realtor! Your realtor should be organized and always in easy reach. They will collect and keep an aggressive track record of potential prospects.
But their main function is to match a potential buyer who has a special interest in the features you are offering in your home. Property features may be a three car garage or proximity to a school or park. Or perhaps a swimming pool or master bedroom on the main floor. These are the features the realtor should be trying to sell. So don’t settle for the first realtor you encounter. Find a good one. Make sure they will emphasize the features of your home. And stay on top of your realtor. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, suggest ideas or get updates on a regular basis. If they don’t cooperate, get a different realtor.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Wonderful New Year goes out to each and every one of you from all of us at Gastineau Log Homes!

Answer to the Trivia Question: One way to interpret the lyrics of this song is that on each new day, all the gifts are given. This makes the total number of gifts given (counting 12 partridges, 22 turtle doves…) equal to 364, one fewer than the number of days in a year. There are 376 gifts if you count the pear tree as a separate gift from the partridge that resides in it. Of the 364 total items, 184 of them are birds.

Quote of the Month: “It’s never paid to bet against America. We come through things, but its not always a smooth ride. ” – Warren Buffett