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The Oak Leaf – September 2010

By September 1, 2010March 22nd, 2024Newsletter

Welcome to the September 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

Trivia Question: Humans and one other animal have identical fingerprints. What is this animal? (Answer at the end.)

Considerations for a walk out basement. Many people tell us they want a walk out basement. A walk out can make your lower level more enjoyable by adding light and ventilation from windows and easier access from doors. Both living space and garage areas can be found in walk out basements. You first need to consider how you plan to use this lower level space. This will help determine the number of doors and windows you will need. You also should think about the exterior covering of this exposed wall, which is usually built of either wood framing or of concrete. The owner of the home to the right used matching log siding on the exposed walk out wall. Rock may have been an alternate choice. The short retaining wall shown in the photo will keep a clean line between the front yard and the side yard.

In what climate zone are you going build?. If you are from one part of the country and building in another, you will discover that homes should not be built the same in different climate zones. Don’t take your “old” thinking to your “new” home! Not only do the heating and cooling requirements have to be considered, but also monthly temperature variation, annual precipitation, humidity, wind and soil conditions. If you don’t know the climate zone where you plan to build, you can find it at climate zones.

Plywood vs OSB What is the difference? Very little, which is why building codes use the phrase “wood structural panels” to describe the use of plywood or OSB. Codes treat both of them the same. (Note: many people confuse OSB with particle board but they are two very different products!) OSB is generally more square and has smaller dimensional differences which is one reason builders prefer OSB. If you would like to learn more, an easy to read article can be found at OSB vs Plywood.

“Lighting in a Log Home The lighting you choose can make a huge difference in both the appearance and the enjoyment you will find living in your home. Exposed beam floor systems like the one shown in the photo to the left create challenges. You can successfully meet the challenge in many different ways. This photo shows three different types of lights which attach to the beams in three different ways. The front light fixture simply attaches to the bottom of the beam. The swag fixture over the dining table also attaches to the bottom of the beam but the chain location can be moved anywhere you prefer. The last light fixture is a pendant and is attached to the side of the beam. Note that the style of the lights is the same for a continual “look” in this very large space. You can change the decorating style of light fixtures from one room to another, but try to keep similar designs within a space.

Do log homes have to be all wood inside or can there be drywall?

The answer is “Whichever you prefer!” Your new log home is custom built the way YOU want it so it is your choice. This photo shows drywall on all the interior frame walls as well as behind the kitchen cabinets, which is actually on a log wall. The homeowner could have left the logs exposed behind the exterior log wall. And they could have put wood on all the partition walls! That is the beauty of a custom log home. You can build it how you want it and how you think looks best. There are no rules!

Why you should buy a log home from a member of the Log Home Council.

Gastineau Log Homes is a founding member of the LHC. I have served two terms as President of the Council. I know that my membership has helped GLH create better log homes and has made it easier for log home owners to achieve their dream of living in a log home. In 1977 when GLH began, the construction of a log home as a permanent home was a very new concept. Not just to consumers, but also to builders, bankers, building inspectors, appraisers, insurance adjusters and anyone else in the housing industry! It has been the efforts by the Log Home Council throughout these years that have resolved those issues and convinced those folks that a log home is an excellent choice for a new home. Most of the LHC member companies are still owned by their original founding owners. We love providing beautiful log homes for you. I am proud to be one of this group and encourage you to choose one of us for your log home. When you buy a log home you are buying more than a truck load of logs. You are buying our knowledge, experience and ability to help you through the process. For more information on why you should choose a LHC member, go to Why the LHC?

Second Floor Dormer and Balcony: Do you have a great view? How about a dormer/balcony on the second floor to sit and enjoy that view? This photo is off a bedroom but it could be from a loft area. Imagine what you could see when you are 20 feet off the ground with no obstruction of the view!

2010 Upcoming Building Seminars at GLH:
September 25, 2010 and November 13, 2010

Anyone building in Texas? We just shipped a home to Texas and have two more homes going in the next two months. If you would like to see one, give us a call! 800-654-9253

Anyone building in southern Colorado? We have a home under construction in Park County.

How about other locations? We have homes going up around the US. Call us to see if there is one near you!

Most log home owners love animals as is evident in this dog shower put in a custom home!

Labor Day hours at GLH Model Home Center on I 70 in MO:

In case you are planning on stopping over the Labor Day holiday, we will be open our normal 9 – 5 on Saturday and 12 – 5 on Sunday. We will be closed on Monday, September 6. The GLH National Office in New Bloomfield will close at noon on Friday, September 3 and reopen at 8:00 AM on Tuesday September 7.

Answer to the Trivia Question: The koala has almost identical fingerprints to humans. This was not discovered until 1996. To read more about how this came about and other facts about these amazing animals click here.

Quote of the Month: “A bargain is something you can’t use at a price you can’t resist. ~Franklin P. Jones