Studying, Inventing and Expanding
Log Home Systems.
Log home systems all start with the basics of laying the logs horizontally and stacking them. Some manufacturers use rubberlike foam between the logs to help control infiltration. Others use a more durable (and in Rand Soellner’s opinion), more structurally sound, large saw-cut tongue and groove top and bottom joinery. This has the added benefit of resisting lateral movement and providing better infiltration control.
Log home jacks : a little known fact about log construction and design.
Some log home systems have a vertical threaded rod connected to the foundation and passing all the way up through bore holes in all of the layers of log wall, to structurally tie them together. Still, there have to be dozens of “jacks” around the base of the log home walls. These jacks are short sections of threaded rod welded to a top plate and a bottom plate. There are set nuts that are used to allow these jacks to go up and down, to account for the shrinking that occurs as logs lose their cellular moisture. This means that the log wall base trim cannot be secured to the log wall for several years, until all of the log wall settling can be accounted for with the jacks. A surveyor should be called in a couple of times a year for several years, with a laser transit, to insure that the jack adjustments are perfectly level. A log residence requires a great deal of attention to details like this. There is specialized maintenance involved with a log house. Anyone who doesn’t tell you about these things either doesn’t know, or doesn’t want you to know. Either way; find people who know what they are doing so that you have wise counsel so that you can make properly informed decisions.
To the left is a typical log jack used to help control settlement in a log house. This jack is manufactured by Nortek. The bottom plate is screwed to the foundation sill plate. The top plate is screwed to the bottom of the post or wall above. The lug nut has a bronze washer (also called a bearing) that helps break the friction of the load from above and permit the lug nut to be rotated, and therefore elevate the wall or post above, as it begins settling.
Rand Soellner Architect trademarked electrical outlets in tall wood wall bases. (C)Copyright 2002-2010 Rand Soellner, All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Log home architect creates specialized details for log systems.
Rand Soellner created a special log shape that needs to be milled by the fabricator that provides an excellent functional and aesthetic resolution of what the bottom exposed timber course needs to be to properly accommodate the above-mentioned jacks. Soellner’s detail also allows a tall, rectangular wall base to be installed that gives access to the jacks and several other critical utilities, like electricity and data communications, so that drilling tall solid timber walls for wiring and conduits is not necessary. Soellner’s detail provides for electrical and data outlets in the tall wall base, thereby eliminating the need for drilling the wall.
Due to the wall height shrinkage and settling mentioned above, the wood headers over doors and windows must be vertical slip joints, with compressible insulation over the windows and doors, with a few inches of space between the top of the windows and doors and the headers. This requires special care and finesse in a timber house.
Engage a log house specialist to be your architect; someone who knows these things. This is only a smattering of the knowledge required to properly design and administer the design and construction of a house that will be durable, have lower maintenance and be enjoyable. You may wish to check out this websites’s complete timber, post and beam and other related sections concerning similar design and construction systems for your consideration. Take a look to the right on this page (and all pages on this website) for the menus. Look under Project Index and when you get there, look for project types that interest you, such as subjects related to logs, timber frame, post and beam, custom design, mansions, small homes like cottages, and other choices.
Or, just give Rand Soellner a call so that he can begin designing your special residence for you and your family.
Contact for log home:
Rand Soellner Architect