What Type of Wood Best Suits Log Home Construction?
A lot has been written about the specific species of wood that work best for construction of log homes. If you are planning to construct a log cabin, take time to know more about the pros and cons of some common wood species.
One of the wood species usually used for log cabin construction is spruce. Spruce is extensively used in interiors in British Columbia where most log houses come from. Spruce often grows straight and just a bit of taper which makes it a great option of log construction.
But, it is very common for this particular type of wood to grow with spiral grain. The spiral grain logs must never be used in home construction because doing so might cause some disastrous results. Just like pine, spruce is moderately strong with moderate shrinkage during the process of seasoning. Similar to pine, this also provides low decay and insect resistance. The spruce logs have the tendency to require more maintenance as compared to other wood species, particularly Western Red Cedar and Douglas fir.
Lodge Pole Pine
Without a doubt, the lodge pole pine is among the most widely and commonly used species of wood for log wall construction. This is straight with low tape because of slow growth as the result of dry climate where this is found. This is also moderately strong with low to moderate shrinkage during the process of seasoning. This wood specie provides just moderate to low decay and bug resistance so great care is required to ensure that these logs will be treated for decay and insects.
This is a wonderful option for log shell construction because this has low tape and grows straight, and is extremely strong. Similar to spruce, however, Douglas fir also grows with spiral grain. These logs are strong and suitable for purlins and beams. This has moderate shrinkage as well as moderate to high resistance to decay and insects. Log homes made from Douglas fir also look more uniformed compared to others due to low taper.
Western Red Cedar
Western Red Cedar or WRC is mostly considered as the best option for log home construction. These quality logs have low moisture content and low to moderate taper. The WRC logs tend to shrink the least compared to all wood species during the process of seasoning. WRC is straight grained most of the time and provides high natural decay and insect resistance. This is also moderately strong, making it perfect for log wall construction. This is also the sole specie growing with butt flares which are getting more and more popular in today’s log houses. These flares provide the customer the chance to make their house unique and add a touch of handcrafted and more rustic look which sets it apart from cookie-cutter style of log houses found in a lot of areas.
When choosing the best logs for the construction of your home, make sure you research about the available wood types in your area.