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

How Long Does It Take to Build a Log Home?

Once you’ve decided a log home is the right choice, you should plan a realistic timeline for making that dream come true. Here’s an overview of the average time it takes for planning and construction.

Planning Time

Planning starts after you’ve completed your initial research and picked the right log home dealer to work with. You’ve also purchased the land at this point, so you’re ready to design your home.

We recommend visiting a model log home before starting the design phase of your home. If that’s not possible, work closely with your log home dealer to discuss your design, including log profile, corner system, timber frame elements or a hybrid building system.

  1. Once you receive the plans from your dealer, look them over and ask what the estimated cost is. This will most likely take between 5-7 business days.
  2. Once you sign a contract, the dealer will get started on the preliminary drawings. This will most likely take 4-6 weeks to complete.
  3. While the dealer is working on the preliminary drawings, you should plan construction site visits, meet with possible contractors, and make plans to put in infrastructure if needed (well, septic, road etc.)
  4. Once you receive, review and approve your preliminary drawings, they become construction drawings. This process could take longer if you request more changes to the preliminary drawings.
  5. After you approve your drawings, you will receive your stamped/ engineered plans. This process will most likely take 6 weeks.
  6. Then when you receive your engineered plans, either you or your contractor will apply for your building permits. Building permits can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months to receive depending on the state, country, or province you are building in.

It takes about 4 months to get to this point. Now you’re ready to start construction.

Construction Time

  1.  When construction starts, expect excavating, footings, basement, and subfloor to take 4-5 weeks.
  2. Completing the weathertight package will take approximately 10-12 weeks depending on the size of the crew, home, weather conditions, etc.
  3. The interior (utilities, drywall, trim, floor coverings) will take about 4-5 months.

So, When Can I Move In?

The average construction time for a log home is 8-10 months. The total time is determined by how long it takes you to get your permits.

Questions? Contact us. We’re here to help!

About us!

There are 2 essential factors to keep in mind when building a new house, be it Log, Timber or Hybrid.

  1. A high quality product
  2. Outstanding customer service

You need both of these to successfully achieve the home of your dreams.

Duncanwoods and Footprint Log Homes is comprised of a group of highly experienced professionals who have valuable experience in the home industry and are focused on providing a high quality product product. This along with excellent customer service and you have a winning combination.

Our team not only designs and engineers your home to meet your aesthetic and practical needs but also deals with site-specific issues such as seismic conditions, snow loads, wind velocity, energy requirements, local building codes and much more.

Question? What would we want from a company?

Answer! Quality, Advice and Guidance !Guidance



This is a flat/flat  milled log with dove tail corners and timber accents, it will have cedar shake and rock on the front of the house.



This hand crafted log home with an attached garage is nearing completion. It is in a beautiful setting and will be a wonderful forever home for this family.




This cabin is the milled D log with saddle notch corners nearing completion.. It is the Bears Den and you can find the it on our floor plans page.

Merry Christmas

Christmas bells

Now the Christmas holiday season is upon us we find ourselves reflecting on the past year and those of you who have helped us to grow in a most significant way. We value our relationship and look forward to working with you on your new home project in the years to come. We wish you a Blessed Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year 2020.

Ron and Pam 


A log home package includes the supplies and options to build a log home. But log home packages are not all the same. Therefore, it’s important you compare apples to apples.

Consider these points to ponder when researching the right log home package for you.

Log Home Package Questions

  • Are the logs in the package pre-cut and pre-drilled, or just random length logs? Pre-cut log walls will save time during construction. However, if a company offers pre-cut, ask what that means. Corners only? Window/door openings ready for external trim? Electrical chase and boxes?
  • What size are the logs?
  • What species are the logs?
  • Is there a warranty for the logs themselves? For example, most companies will warranty their logs, and then the window and/or door manufacturer’s warranty covers the windows and doors.
  • Are the windows and external doors (French, sliders or entry door) included? If so, are they wood/clad, vinyl or fiberglass for the entry door?
  • What type of roof is included?
  • Does the package include soffit & fascia material/exterior trim for around the windows and doors?
  • Are the porches and decks on the rendering floor plans included or an option.
  • Ask if the 2nd floor system is included or an option.
  • Do they include all of the necessary fasteners, etc., to construct the package? For example, typically nails for nail guns are not included.
  • Is the material for all of the interior framed walls included?
  • Does the package include site-specific engineered plans or are they just engineered for the county of build? If not, you may need to go to a local engineer to get them drawn/approved for your building lot, which would naturally incur additional costs for you.
  • Do the plans include the foundation and sub-floor drafting and engineering (even if the company does not provide the material for this element of the build)?
  • What interior trim is included? Also, what about 1 x 6″ tongue and groove material for a cathedral ceiling?

For more information about our home package call us on 208-689-3395 or email info@duncanwoodslogtimberhomes.com

apples and orangesMake sure you are not comparing Apples to Oranges

Fire safety


With all the hot weather in the county over the past few years I thought this would be a good topic to cover. These tips are specific to all of us no matter what kind of home we live in.

  • Consider the type of roof material you use.
  • Skylights in the roof will help the fire escape if it starts in the house.
  • Frost free water spigots around the home so that you have a good water supply should you need it.
  • Keep vegetation at least 100 yards from the house to create a fire break
  • Trim tree and remove dead ones, this is good forest management. Check with your local fire department to see if they offer a management program.
  • If you store logs for your fireplace keep the wood at a good distance from the house, for example do not stack on the side of the house or under the deck.
  • Make sure everyone knows the way out should a fire occur indoors and have a meeting place determined so that you can do a ‘head count’ to make sure everyone is out safely.
  • If you have a second floor have a fire ladder handy by an exit window should you need to leave that way. These are readily available at most local stores and come boxed.51a-WcWpZdL[1]
  • Have an emergency kit ready to go with all the essentials in case you are displaced for any length of time.
    • Change of clothing/Toiletries/Towels/Medication/First aid kit/flashlight and a spare pair of shoes!
  • If you have pets, leave their crates handy so that you can safely cage them if you have a little notice of evacuation.
  • Have a box ready to take important paperwork and precious photographs.
  • Lastly, make sure you change the batteries in your fire alarms regularly, A good time to do this is in the Fall when you change to daylight savings.

You may say that this is all common sense but it never hurts to be reminded sometimes.

New Hybrid Home

The Hybrid home is becoming more and more popular, and Duncanwoods has just delivered its first conventional stick frame home with board and batten siding and a lot of beautiful timbers both inside and out. The Hammer truss with black powder coated brackets in the great room add both dimension and character. This home is still under construction and we will post more pictures as it progresses.


Your Budget

budget 2Who does not have a budget in mind when it comes to building their dream home?

Here are 10 handy tips to help you stay within that budget!

  1. Building up instead of out reduces cost of concrete on a large foundation.
  2. Keep roof lines simple – fancy roofs cost money.
  3. Keep corners to minimum – corners are costly to construct.
  4. Add a ‘Shed Dormer’ in the loft to gain more headroom thereby creating more useable square footage.
  5. Consider a log burning stove instead of a fireplace, the stove is more energy efficient.
  6. Consider the positioning of your home to take advantage of the sun in winter when the sun is lower in the sky.
  7. Use laminate counter top instead of granite, carpet instead of wood floors. Stainless steel appliances will add a big cost to your budget. These are things that can always be upgraded at a later date.
  8. Milled double tongue and groove logs are more budget friendly than Handcrafted, Timber Frame or Swedish Cope.
  9. Double hung windows are more cost effective than Casement (wind out) windows
  10. Your Sweat Equity is where you can really save $$- anything you can do be it laying tiles, painting staining the logs etc. will reduce your overall costs.

Finally and most importantly, if you are financing your project make sure you are pre-approved by your financial institution for the budget you have in mind.