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The Oak Leaf – September 2011

By September 1, 2011April 19th, 2024Newsletter

Welcome to the September 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: How thick is a #12 piece of rebar?

Here is a photo of one of our Log Cabin 2 Go Park Models after it was set and finished. This is a Weekend Memories with the optional porch and loft with dormer.

Plumbing – Copper or Plastic? What is best? What lasts? What are the potential hazards or future problems? These are some of the common questions people ask when considering the type of pipe to use when installing new plumbing. Many new home builders have switched to a PEX plumbing system in their new homes over the last 10 years. Although there are no long term studies to determine suitability and longevity, the building industry has taken the position that PEX is an improvement over Copper. Earlier generations of this product where prone to failure due to chemical interaction with Chlorine in water. Unlike copper plumbing, which is the traditional and mostly reliable standard for in home plumbing you find yourself either accepting the industry changes to PEX and or building a new home with Copper. Copper will cost you about ~$2K – $5K more per home depending upon size, baths, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. For information on Pex click here.

New construction tips – Think ahead and get it right! Here are some things you might want to consider when designing your new log home: 1) If you want hardwood flooring “down the road” and are building a two story home, put hardwood flooring at the foot of your stair case now. The correct step height will then be maintained for that first step when it is installed later. 2) Think about the size of your vehicles when choosing garage door sizes as well as the actual size of your garage. If you drive an F250 with a lift, a standard 9′ X 7′ garage door in a 22′ deep garage may not work! 3) If you have a utility room, consider adding a sink. Especially if you have dogs to bathe or live in the country where there is always something big that needs washed! 4) Salad sink in kitchen island. Having a 2nd sink in the Island helps during food prep and clean up. Don’t forget a 2nd sink disposal. 5) Refrigerator or Freezer Power Plug in Utility Room or Garage – This must be added during the Log Laying Stage. This is important because this line needs to be on its own protected circuit to prevent breaker trips on other outlets. 6) Flush Mounted Soffit Lights – These are so cool. Once you see them you will want them. They are located in an area that is protected from weather unlike lights that are mounted close to the foundation on the ground. 7) Automatic Lighting via door open & close switches – these are PERFECT for closets and pantries. These need to be installed at FRAME STATE when the home is being wired. Open the door and there is LIGHT, close and there is NO light! Perfect!!! 8) Flat Panel Screens – Cable and power drops in Bedrooms, Master Baths, Garage or any other “Special” location that will allow you to mount a Flat Screen without having unsightly power and cables running up your walls. Also consider if you want an outdoor monitor as plugs and video cables can be installed cheaply when building versus retrofitting. 9) Christmas Light Outlets – Installed under roofline in the Soffits. These convenience plugs are added at Frame Stage. For added convenience add an indoor on/off switch and MAKE SURE this outlet is on its own individual circuit breaker in your main breaker panel. 10) Shower Head in Master that is HIGH ENOUGH!!! – You’ll be glad you checked this one! 11) Outdoor Gas Line to Grille – If you have propane or natural gas, this is fabulous! (I did this myself, and it was wonderful!) 12) Outdoor Kitchen – Any outdoor plumbing and power drops for an outdoor kitchen should be added before Foundation is poured. 13) Extra Power Drops in Garage – These may include a speaker drop, video drop or extra outlets in construction benches. The Garage is a UTILITY ROOM so give it MORE UTILITY! Like to spend time in the Garage? Maybe these features will help!

  • This photo shows 6″ X 8″ Oak beams being used as collar ties.

  • This photo shows Oak Exposed Beam Trusses.

Five popular choices for roof construction. When building a cathedral ceiing, there are many different methods that can be used to ensure the structural integrity of the roof. (Which is of foremost importance!) Your personal preference, design, and budget all come into that decision.

This photo shows a glu- laminated ridge beam.

Above, to the right, and below, you can see five of our most popular choices. The 6 X 8 collar tie beams are the simplest and least expensive method. Although they cannot be used in every situation, they can be a viable choice most of the time. The Oak exposed beam trusses are very popular and featured in many of our homes. At about $1200 each, they are not prohibitively expensive. A laminated ridge beam can provide a cathedral with more of a clean, unobstructed look. The exposed truss and purlin roof system shown below features the most beams of the various roof systems. For that reason, it is at the higher end of the cost scale. This also looks better in homes that are of larger square footages. The scissor truss method of construction can be the lowest cost method for a cathedral ceiling when factoring in your labor costs. The bedroom below shows a drywall ceiling rather than the more typical wood ceiling. But this is YOUR custom log home, so you have this opportunity to build and design it in the way that best fits your taste, lifestyle and investment decision.

  • This is a roof sysstem using Oak purlins supported by Oak Exposed Beam Trusses.

  • This bedroom cathedral is created using scissor trusses. A dry wall ceiling was chosen.

Great product for your bathroom and showers!
 Good light and good ventilation is very important in your bathroom and shower. Combine both with the Broan Recessed Fan Light. There is even an optional humidity-sensing feature that automatically turns on and off. And according to Broan, “…it’s so quiet, you’ll barely know it’s running. Unless, of course, you happen to install it in the shower. Then the rapidly disappearing steam might tip you off.”

This is an expansion of our standard Exposed Beam Truss used on a porch at the end of a home being built in CO. Shows the flexibility of this type of design.

Construction Seminar Schedule for 2011:

September 10, 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:It is 1 1/2″. You tell how thick rebar is by each number equals 1/8″. For example, number 4 would be 1/2″ and #7 would be 7/8″.

Quote of the Month: “”A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it.” – George Moore