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The Oak Leaf – February 2012

By February 1, 2012April 26th, 2024Newsletter

Welcome to the February 2012 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 is causing one of the driest, warmest winters in history?

This is one of the cabins at Brown’s Hunting Ranch on the Missouri River in SD. If you like to hunt or fish, or even if you just want to experience staying in a log cabin, check out their website!

Gastineau Oak Log Homes in the News AGAIN! Two magazines and two websites have had stories on GLH in the past month. Missouri Life magazine’s newest issue includes an article on GLH and there is a beautiful picture of a gazebo that was built at one of our homes featured in Cabin Life magazine. You can find that photo below. Constructech Residential had a great article about all the technology that we have developed in the operations here at GLH and I was included in an article in featuring women in the construction industry.

How long will an Oak log home last? In last months Oak Leaf, I commented on the historical Oak log homes that are abundant. In just the past month, I have found two articles that support my comments and illustrate how amazingly durable and resistant Oak logs are for a structure. The most amazing can be found on page 88 or the March issue of Log Home Living magazine. It is the story of Oak logs used in a church in England that still stands, which was built in the year 845. Yes, that is not a typo. I did not mean 1845. There was an article in the January issue of Log Home Living magazine on pages 24 to 29 on a 160 year old hand hewn Oak log cabin that was moved to Montana to be rebuilt as the welcome center for a new 800 acre community. It was even rebuilt to meet LEED platinum certification! Remember, there were no preservatives used to maintain these logs over the years. I don’t mean to sound like a commercial, but the naturally resistant Oak logs are simply amazing.

This gazebo was featured in this months issue of Cabin Life magazine. The gazebo is built in North Carolina near Maggie Valley. It perfectly matches their Oak Gastineau Log Home!

How to Stake Out a Square Foundation or Log Home: Checking squareness of your foundation and/or your log home is a good quality control measure for any home. If the foundation is out of square, it is difficult (but not impossible) to build your home square. So how do you stake out your home square or check someone else’s work to see if it is square?

Remember high school geometry and you wondered when you would use that information? The answer is now! Remember the mathematical law that says the sum of the squares of the two sides of a right triangle is equal to the square of the hypotenuse (the diagonal.) Now is when you will use that information! (At least since your SAT test.)

Let’s say you are building a four corner home that is 30′ X 50′. If you just go out and stake it out using only those dimensions, I guarantee it will not be square.

Instead, first mark two corners of one of the 30′ sides. Now do the math. Add the square of the two sides of the foundation (30 X 30) + (50 X 50) = 3,400. Find the square root of 3400 (I use the calculator function key.) In this example it is 48.3985 or 58’3 23/32 which you can round to 58’3 3/4″. Using two steel tape measures, one attached to each of the two stakes, measure out 50′ on one tape and 58’3 3/4″ on the other. The intersection of these two distances is the point to put your third stake. Now repeat the process reversing the measurements on each tape and you will have our fourth point. Then check your distance between the third and fourth stake to be sure they are exactly 30′ apart.
As a final check, always have a double check system in place. When one person does it, another person checks it. It is easy for one person to make a mistake. It is much harder for two people to make the same mistake.

You can use this same technique to make sure your subfloor and/or log walls are square too.

  • So many times track lighting is the perfect solution for lighting in log homes but the “traditional” track lights just don’t match the decor. These are perfect and can be ordered on line!

  • Yep, those are twigs! Talk about an organic “green” light fixture! If you like the look of the antler chandeliers but are anti-hunting, this would be the dining room chandelier for your log home!

Did you know that GLH offers a log siding/post and beam construction as an alternative to our full log homes? The GLH Therma Log system is a conventionally framed exterior wall but has all the other features of a log home. Exposed beam floor systems, exposed beam trusses, Oak stairs and other features are included. On the inside of the exterior walls, you can choose to have drywall, log siding, wood decking or a combination of those finishes. You can even combine this system with solid log. The Ashton home featured on the right has full log on the main level and Therma Log on the second floor.

This is the rear view of the Ashton model.

Log Cabin 2 Go at Minneapolis Show in February: Come see a custom GLH LC2Go at the Lake Home and Cabin Show in Minneapolis, MN on Feb 10 to 12, 2012. The show is being held in the Minneapolis Convention Center. Call us at 800-654-9253 for more information. For a coupon worth $2 off admission visit the show website.

Log Cabin 2 Go at Ft Wayne, IN Show in March: Come see a custom GLH LC2Go at the Outdoor Lake Home and Cabin Show in Ft Wayne, IN on March 16 – 18, 2012. The show will be held at the Memorial Coliseum. For a $5 coupon off admission, or for more information, click Ft Wayne Show.

Construction Seminar Schedule for 2012:

Feb 18 April 14 May 19 July 14 Sept 15 Oct 13

The one day construction seminars are held at our model home center on I70 on the southwest outer road of Exit 144 in Central Missouri. Call to register!

See GLH at these log home shows:

Branson, MO at the Branson Convention Center – Feb 24 and 25 (not Sunday)
Nashville, TN at the Williamson County Ag Expo Park – March 2 to 4, 2012
Greater Philadelphia, PA Expo at Oaks – March 16 to 18, 2012
Oley Fair, Oley, PA on Sept 20 too 22 from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Open Houses:
Fleetwood, PA April 14, 2012 from 11;00 AM to 4:00 PM Contact Dennis and Colleen Gabel for more information at 610-790-7479 or email:

Fleetwood, PA October 20, 2012 from 11;00 AM to 4:00 PM Contact Dennis and Colleen Gabel for more information at 610-790-7479 or email:

Answer to the Trivia Question: The initial week of January was the driest in history. And more than 95 percent of the U.S. had below-average snow cover—the greatest such percentage ever recorded. The cause of this warm first half of winter is the most extreme configuration of the jet stream ever recorded. The jet stream was far north and fairly straight, and stayed that way for an unusually long time. That position allowed warm southern air to prevail over the entire U.S., and prevented cold fronts from descending from the north and clashing with warm fronts, creating large snow- and rainstorms. Conversely, December 2010 set record snowfalls in many parts of the U.S. At that time there were some of the lowest pressures ever observed, allowing the jet stream to move south and stay there. Arctic air descended, picked up moisture or interacted with warm fronts, and dropped snow. For more information, click weather info.

Quote of the Month: “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” – Albert Einstein (1879-1955)