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The Oak Leaf – October 2011

By October 1, 2011April 26th, 2024Newsletter

Welcome to the October 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: Was the hard hat invented for the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge or Hoover Dam?

I know I have been including a lot of construction photos in the Oak Leaf in the past few months. We have a lot of projects under construction and people send me these great pictures that I want to share with you! Email me at and let me know if you prefer to see construction photos or finished home photos! This home is our Lauderdale design. It is a very functional one story floor plan. Put it on a full basement and you have a lot of square footage.

Gastineau Oak Log Homes in China! This month, I will be traveling to China with a group from MO including Jay Nixon, our Governor. During that trip, we will sign an agreement with a Chinese developer to import our Oak log homes into China and the purchase of their first model home.

Planning a Deck Do you know the difference between a deck and a porch? A porch has a roof; a deck doesn’t. Because the size of a deck is not limited by the constraints of a roof, there are different things to consider when planning your deck. First, you should decide the main purpose of your deck. Are you wanting someplace to sit and drink coffee in the morning or is the primary purpose for outdoor dining? Maybe you need two decks if you would like to do both! Or maybe it is for a hot tub. The function of the deck determines location, size and how you will access the deck. Let’s go through these:

Location: If your primary function is going to be for dining, you will want the location close to the kitchen. At the same time, you should consider the direction of the sun. You probably don’t want the deck on the west side of your home because of the summer heat at dinner time. If you wlll use the deck more in the morning, you may want the deck on the east side to enjoy the morning sun. If you plan to have a hot tub on the deck, you want access to a bathroom or changing area. Also, you will probably want it in a more private location if you have neighbors. Another consideration is if the deck will extend over your walk out basement. The deck can block light from entering into those windows. You have to decide if this is a problem for you or not.

Size: Most decks are built in two foot increments because lumber is in those lengths. Deck floor joists over 12′ are probably going to require an additional girder beam (and therefore more support posts underneath) which can add to your costs. You should think about what you will be putting on the deck to decide how big it needs to be plus the shape of the deck.

Exits off the Deck: Will you need stairs off the deck? How long will those stairs be into the yard? (You don’t want to have to mow around them!) Will you be going from the deck to another place outside like a patio or outdoor building?

Utilities: Check where your outside faucets and receptacles will be on the exterior of your home in relation to the deck. Electric plugs are great on the deck for plugging in a crock pot or electric rotisserie on your grill. Water access is important if you plan on having any plants. If you are going to have a hot tub, you will need the required electrical wiring and shut off boxes. Some hot tubs will require additional structural engineering to support the weight, also.

Another consideration is where your utilities enter your home under ground. You don’t want to put the deck over this location in case there is a problem later and they have to be dug up! And last but not least, windows of your home: One thing you don’t want is casement windows cranking open into your deck space. Use double hung windows that raise up and down.

Consider some of these things when you plan your deck and when people ask you (after you move into your new log home!) “What would you change if you had it to do all over?” You can say “Nothing!”

This is a custom home being built near Sedalia MO. The rear of the home has a similar gable with glass and porch. A side porch connects them too.

Window Treatments in a Log Home A lot of log home owners don’t use any window treatments. They want to bring the outdoors in and the colors of the trees and surrounding landscape just blend into the natural wood walls. But what are some other ideas? How about building a wood valance out of birch bark and arranging twigs in a geometric pattern? Are your tastes even more rustic? How about hanging an antler on one corner of the window and drape an animal skin to the side of the window? Does that sound like too much for you? How about window treatments in neutral tones like unbleached muslin, raw cotton or mosquito netting? Or maybe consider something with real contrast. I have black curtain panels in my bedroom. Oak walls, olive green bedding, rubbed bronze lighting and black panels really look great together. I have seen red window treatments in a log home that were fabulous. How about blankets made into window treatments? Your hardware should be natural looking too. Natural wood or rubbed bronze or bamboo or twigs look fantastic. (Watching your pennies? Go cut some tree branches!) Finials come in all kinds of natural shapes too. And if you can’t get enough wood, why not try plantation shutters?

These gauzy window panels are hung so that they do not cover any of the window or glass door. They add a whimsical, soft feel to the master suite.

  • A fireplace can be done is so many different ways depending on your floor plan and your decorating theme. This is a see-through adobe fireplace in a Chaparral plan in New Mexico. The fireplace serves as a room divider as well as a primary focus element in the room.

  • This more traditional rock fireplace flanks the wall of the living room of the Lakeview plan. The native stone is from the area. A walnut mantle can highlight important family heirlooms or seasonal decorations.

Great product for basement floors or if you are building on a slab foundation! DRIcore® is a subfloor with a patented moisture barrier that keeps your family warm and dry. The simple, do-it-yourself solution insulates your basement, protecting furniture, flooring and electronics from potential damage. DRIcore® also promotes indoor air quality by allowing your concrete to breathe, reducing the potential for mould and mildew.

DRIcore® is fast and easy to install and is ideal for carpet, laminate, engineered hardwood, tile and vinyl.

Want to learn more? Go to DRIcore

See Gastineau Log Homes at the Dallas Log Home Show! October 14, 15 and 16, 2011 at the Irving Convention Center. Call for information 800-654-9253.

Construction Seminar Schedule for 2011:

Last seminar of 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: Neither. Actually its inventor, Edward W. Bullard, introduced the original “Hard-Boiled hat” in 1919. While working for the E.D. Bullard Company, established in San Francisco in 1898, the son of the founder began working on a helmet that could protect miners. Among the many hazards in the mines were injuries to the head. Bullard’s experience with the doughboy helmet as a soldier during World War I inspired young Bullard to fabricate a hard hat similar in shape to the helmet. The original hard hat was manufactured out of steamed layers of glued canvas painted black. A suspension device was built into the hard hat for comfort and protection. According to the Bullard Company, now based in Cynthiana, Kentucky, the patented “Hard-Boiled Hat” was the first industrial head protection sold commercially in the world.
The Six Companies constructing Hoover Dam first required all its workers to wear hard hats by November 1931. While the hard hat had been invented more then a decade before construction began on Hoover Dam, in all probability it was the first major public works project in the United States requiring use of a hard hat. The Bullard Company asserts that the first official “Hard Hat Area’ was the Golden Gate Bridge project in San Francisco in January of 1933.

Quote of the Month: “Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; argument is an exchange of ignorance.” – Robert Quillen