Custom Log Home Design Service

Duncanwoods International Log & Timber Homes Inc. offers a custom log home design service that will take you all the way through the planning process up to the start of the construction of your new home. 

How to Make the Most of the Custom Design Service

There are many different ways for you to communicate your ideas, wishes, and dreams of the perfect home.You might have a sketch showing the rough layout of rooms with dimensions and the square footage of the home, or  just a concept drawn on a napkin. 

One of our clients even had a scrapbook filled with ideas from when she was a child. You can also choose a floor plan from our website or a concept you may have seen somewhere and then customize it to your liking.

Whatever stage you are at, the Duncanwoods International Log & Timber Homes Inc. design service will help you to achieve your goal. We take your ideas and develop a design that reflects your needs and lifestyle.

The layouts you will receive will be in both 2D and 3D. They will show the log/timber work and the elevations. Customizing your home doesn’t mean more money. Contact us to find out more!

R Value vs. Thermal Mass

One of the first questions we are asked by customers when they visit a model home is “What is the ‘R’ value of your logs?” However, the method by which the energy of logs is measured is ‘Thermal Mass’ and not ‘R’ Value. 

Here are a few references to help you  understand the differences:

  • R–value measures how well a building’s insulation can prevent the flow of heat into and out of the home. Having a higher R-value means you achieve a greater insulation performance, which means more savings on your next heating and cooling bill.
  • Thermal Mass is a material’s capacity to absorb, store, and slowly release heat over time.

Back in the early 1990s, the Log Home Council (LHC) set out to prove two things:

  1. Logs have a thermal mass because of their cellular structure, bulk, and thickness.
  2. This thermal mass provides significant energy saving benefits because it releases heat back into the house when temperatures drop.

The LHC’s first study compared heat loss through alog wall to a conventional framed wall. They found leakage occurred in the same places as a framed house, at the peak of cathedral ceilings, around window and door frames and at tops of walls. As a result, the conclusion was leakage was not due to the log walls.

The second study concluded that the thermal mass of log walls does significantly reduce energy use for heating in cold climates.

This means that after 13 years, the Nations Model Energy Code finally recognized the energy conservation benefits of thermal mass. This recognition was the goal of the LHC a part of the Building Systems Council of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Have questions? Contact us. We’re here to help.

Humidity in Your Log and Timber Home

You might not think about the humidity of your home, but it can affect you and your home. Feeling parched, a dry nose and itchy eyes are all side effects of dry air in your home. Other side effects include creaking hardwood floors in your new log home, and static electricity that makes loved ones and pets cringe.

The solution to these problems is simple. Use a humidifier to boost the humidity in your home. Increasing the relative humidity of your home by 10% is roughly equivalent to raising the room temperature by one degree.

Humidifier Options

What’s the best way to increase the humidity in a home? There are several options available ranging from a portable counter top humidifier to a whole house system. 

Here are some guidelines to help you decide which option is best for you:

  • Portable humidifiers: Have many advantages such as simple to operate, easy to install, counter top size or freestanding. The main disadvantage is the small area they cover. They also can be noisy.
  • Humidifier-air cleaners: Some manufacturers produce appliances that both purify and humidify. The filters and ultraviolet light bulbs have to be replaced periodically.
  • Whole-house systems: Your best option for a whole-house system is to have it installed by your HVAC contractor at the time of construction. Installing one at a later date can be costly. One of the main advantages is that they connect to your central water supply, so it refills automatically. They still require maintenance and should be checked periodically like any other appliances in the home.

No matter which system you choose, remember that humidity between 30-50% will provide the most comfort for your family and protection for your home.

Four Tips for Financing Your Log Home

One of the most important steps of building your new home is financing it. It also creates a lot of questions.

But, taking too long to find the right mortgage lender can cause delays and will be more costly in the end.

What’s Your Budget?

Most people are unsure about what their log home will cost. Your first step should be to talk to your log home dealer as soon as possible to establish an initial budget. 

Tips for Financing Your Log Home 

Here are some helpful tips to aid you in financing your new home.

  1. Shop for a loan before committing to a log home package. You should at least get pre-qualified before committing to your package.
  2. Choose a combination loan. You need two types of financing: a short-term construction loan and a permanent mortgage. By choosing a lender who will merge both loans, you will only have one closing cost. That saves you money!
  3. Make sure you check the terms of your construction loan. Financial institutions will typically allow a 12 month loan, while some will go to 18 months.
  4. Once you are pre-qualified and have ordered your home package, DON’T wait for the next call. You should follow through with the lender and establish what paperwork they need to avoid delays. Delays will end up costing you money.

Duncanwoods International Log & Timber Homes Inc. works closely with our customers to help them build the custom log home of their dreams. 

Have more questions? Contact us. We’re happy to help you find the answers.

Eight Tips for Planning Your Dream Log Home

Designing your dream log home often has many challenges, which is why most of us need a bit of guidance. Duncanwoods uses your specific requirements to help you create your future dream log home. Customized does not mean more money!

The Planning Process

Our design team will work with you to design your home and create the preliminary floor plans and elevations. 

After you’ve approved your preliminary plans, the next step is signing a formal purchase agreement, followed by the creation of the full construction drawings. Your payment for the preliminary plans will apply to the 10% deposit needed for full construction drawings.

Planning Your Log Home

You have many decisions to make during the planning phase of your log home. You should design your home to meet your lifestyle and personal requirements. Here are a few thingsto keep in mind.

  1. Do you have any hobbies that would need their own space?
  2. Are you planning on adding an attached garage or one that is connected by a covered breezeway? 
  3. Do you have enough space for the pantry and laundry?
  4. Do you want a mud room to throw off your dirty boots in the winter… or even to wash the dog?
  5. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?
  6. Do you have enough storage space in your new home?
  7. Do you want to separate the master bedroom from the guest bedrooms with a living/great room in between?
  8. Will your home still meet all your requirements as you get older?

Also, think about what you would add to improve your quality of life. Do you want this new house to be your retirement home? If so, think about eliminating stairs by building a single story home. If you need wheelchair accessibility, we will draw the plans to meet ADA compliance. Duncanwoods International Log & Timber Homes Inc. specializes in customizing your log home, whether it is developed from an existing plan or from your own ideas. 

If your budget is tight, focus on getting the outside of the house the way you want it and compromise on the inside furnishings. These are much cheaper and easier to upgrade at a later date.

Green Construction: A Guide to Building a Log Home

Green construction is rapidly gaining in popularity. Duncanwoods International Log & Timber Homes Inc. has the tools and skills to help you achieve your green building goals. Whether your goal is to save energy, create a healthy home environment, design an eco-friendly living environment, or all of the above, we can guide you through the green design and building options. We are committed to helping you at every step during the construction of your home. 

Choosing a log or timber frame home is the first step to green building. Duncanwood’s engineered log or timber frame homes already use timber from renewable sources. Our manufacturer specifically sources trees from sustainably managed forests. However, there is much more to green construction.

Green Building Goals

Start by identifying your green building goals. Duncanwoods will work with you to help define your goals and offer recommendations from home design to material selections and more, while keeping your budget in mind.

Design with Green Building in Mind

Once your goals have been defined, the next step is to design your log or timber frame home. We can provide recommendations for site placement, floor plans, window size and location, HVAC options, ceiling heights, lighting and much more.

Site Planning

Part of the design of your custom home is site planning. We can help you create a design that not only takes advantage of your site but keeps the surrounding environment in mind.

Develop an Energy Efficient Plan

A big part of green construction is energy efficiency. We can suggest options to help you maximize energy efficiency in your custom home, from positioning your home to take advantage of solar energy, to working with your contractor to select an energy efficient HVAC system, to choosing the right ENERGY STAR appliances. We’ll help you design an energy efficiency plan that fits in your budget. We will work with you and your builder to review eco-friendly building materials, waste disposal systems, lighting systems, indoor quality, water efficiency and much more.

Green Heating Options

Geothermal is the most energy and environmentally friendly system available today. This heating and cooling system transfers heat from the earth to maintain an even temperature in the home in winter or summer. Not only is it energy efficient, but it can also help you save on energy bills.

In floor radiant heat generates an even heat throughout the home and will not distribute dust like forced air thereby creating a more healthy environment. It can also lower heating costs in the long run.

What is the Difference Between Milled, Swedish Cope, Timber Frame, Handcrafted and Hybrid Homes?

During the planning phase of building your log home, you will have many important decisions to make. The most important one is what type of log home you are going to build. Here’s an overview of each different styles of log home and things to consider.

Milled Log Homes

Milled Log Homes are made from logs that have been put through a saw mill, lathe or planer to make them the desired shape or profile. The logs are cut to a uniform diameter, making them one of the most popular log home designs due to their consistency and uniformity.

Milled Log Home

Swedish Cope Homes

Swedish Cope Homes use a different style of milled log. Unlike milled logs, Swedish cope logs are still round. They have been coped at the bottom and milled to give it a uniform size.

Swedish Cope Home

Timber Frame Homes

Timber Frame Homes create a visually dramatic effect, which people often described as cathedral-like. The beauty and warmth of the wood is highlighted in the interior design. 

A timber frame home is built from large timber components that form the structure of the home. This means there is no need for interior load bearing walls. A timber frame home uses vertical posts and horizontal beams, which then connect to form the framework of the house.

Timber Frame Home

Handcrafted Log Homes

Handcrafted Log Homes are chosen for their more traditional, rustic look. Unlike milled and Swedish Cope log homes, each log is hand-peeled with a draw knife, hand scribed, chiseled and cut with chain saws to form a perfect fit to the log below. 

During the assembly, expert woodworkers ensure the log walls will remain tight throughout the natural seasoning and settling process. The logs are then inspected to ensure they meet strict quality standards. Once they are inspected, the logs are marked carefully according to the construction plan then disassembled and shipped directly to your location for reassembly. The final result is a traditional home with a natural, rustic look.

Handcrafted Log Home

Hybrid Homes

Hybrid Homes are becoming widely popular because they combine different styles. Typically a hybrid home has a stick-based structure with timber or logs elements, which are most commonly found in the living room.

Hybrid Home