Skip to main content

The Oak Leaf – May 2012

By May 1, 2012May 3rd, 2024Newsletter

Welcome to the May 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 SMA?

This is the front of the Ashton. This home is constructed of full logs on the first floor and our Therma-Log siding over 2 X 6 frame walls on the second floor. The second floor could be built of full log if you prefer.

Want a log home as a second home but can’t swing it financially? Have you heard of the “shared home” concept? No, I don’t mean a time share! What I mean is for several people to go together to build a home that they can all use at different times of the year. Typically this is done with either family members or very good friends! All parties share in the cost of construction as well as taxes and utilities. There is a story in the Log Cabin Homes July issue about three families that have been sharing their vacation log home since 1990! And they still like each other!

How do you properly size a heating a cooling system? Most people (and some HVAC contractors) think “the bigger the better.” This is not true. If your system is too big it will cost more to install and more to operate. For example, a 3-ton geothermal heat pump will cost about $6000 more than a 2-ton system. To properly size a system a scientific and mathematical step by step method is used called a Manual-J load calculation. This is done with a computer with industry approved software. (Some codes require it also.) All components of the home are put into the program. It then determines the British Thermal Units (BTU’s) needed to heat and cool your home. Ask to see the load requirement calculations before agreeing to purchase an HVAC system. It’s also important that the HVAC installer size the duct work to deliver the required BTU’s to each room. The computer program results will indicate how many BTU’s are needed in each room.

Placement of your home on your property for solar gain. Here’s a news flash…the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Here’s another… the sun is higher in the summer sky and lower in the winter sky. So what does that have to do with a passive-design house? Everything. This simple lesson of nature literally sets the foundation for a well-designed solar home. You can use overhangs and trees to block the sun’s heat in summer. In the winter, when you want the benefit of the sun’s warmth, the sun’s rays shine below the overhangs and the leaves are gone from the trees. For more information, go to this excellent article on passive solar.

A Log Cabin 2 Go park model is a great way to have an inexpensive log cabin get-away! They arrive with a complete kitchen and bathroom. Hook up to utilities, move in some furniture, and enjoy!

  • These two pictures show two different things. First, two choices for dormer and gable siding. The photo on the left has Smart Match siding on both. This siding is cut to match whatever log profile (shape) you have chosen for your log home. There is a gabled or doghouse dormer on the back as compared to the shed dormer in the next picture.

  • This home shows Reverse Board and Batten on the gables and dormer. This is a shed dormer which runs the entire length of the home providing the maximum amount of space on the second floor.

Heating pad for your cauk or paint? Working with caulk or paint in cold weather can be difficult. So how about a warming device for temperature sensitive products? The warmers include wraps for 1 gallon cans and 2 and 5 gallon pails. Each uses a flexible heat-reflecting shield encased in a heavy-duty nylong canvas wrapper and plugs into a regular outlet. Check it out at caulk warmer.

This is the view from the second story loft area of a custom design home that looks down into a family room/sun room space. You look through the gable of glass to the spacious rear porch area and back yard.

  • Did you notice that there are no curtains? One of my favorite things about living in the country is that you can leave your windows open so you can see more of Mother Nature!

  • This is the balcony off the second floor bedroom of the Caroline. This has an amazing view of the Osage River here in MO.

Construction Seminar Schedule for 2012:

May 19 July 14 Sept 22 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:

Oley Fair, Oley, PA on Sept 20 too 22 from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Open Houses:
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: SMA stands for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Ever heard of it? Bet most of you have not, even though it is the #1 genetic disease killer of children under the age of 2 in the US! You may have seen a blog on national news recently about a baby with a Bucket List because she has SMA. If not, check it out at Avery’s Blog.
As of right now, her blog had 4.4 million hits since it began April 9th. Why am I talking about this here? Avery’s Mommy is my daughters best friend and I was at Avery’s birth 11/11/11. I had never heard of SMA before Avery; most people have not heard of it. Her blog has educated many people about testing for this genetic disease. Avery passed away on Monday but her inspiration continues. A very exciting gene therapy needs funding and as a result of Avery’s story, an anonymous donor has offered to MATCH any donations made in Avery’s name. For more information, go to Sophia’s Cure. All donations are tax deductible. Also, to all women out there, talk to your OB/GYN and ask them to start recommending SMA testing for their patients. If your son or daughter is planning to have a baby, have them tested first. It does not matter if there is a family history; it takes both parents carrying the gene. The testing is simple and is covered by most insurance. Thank you for allowing me to crusade for this very personal cause in this newsletter.

Quote of the Month: “I’d rather be over the hill than under it.” – George Burns (1896 – 1996)