Archive for the ‘Log Home Construction’ Category

Roof Terminology

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

Your custom log or timber home is something you’ve been dreaming of for a long time. You’ve even researched just about everything, from the layout, to your flooring options, down to the bathroom hardware. But even the most thought out design would not be complete or protected without the right roof to cap it off. Today we are going to review some common roof terms that will help you in your search.

Common Roof Styles

Gable – A gable roof is a simple triangular roof design that consists of two sloping sides that come together at a ridge.

Advantage: The gable roof design is easy to construct and is often used in areas with high rain and snow loads because its sloping sides lend to easy run-off.

Disadvantage: Due to its simple construction, the gable roof can be more susceptible to damage from high winds.

Gable Roof

Hip – Unlike the gable roof, the hipped roof will slope down from a ridge point to the eaves on all sides of the home. It is a very French inspired roof design and can also be called a pyramid or pavilion roof.

Advantage: Hip roofs too are a great style for snow and rain run-off, while also allowing for large eaves on the home.

Disadvantage:Due to their generally shallow slopes, accessing them for maintenance or for additional interior roof space is often difficult.

Hipped Roof


Shed—Similar to the gable roof, the shed roof features a single sloping plane without ridges or valleys. This style is often thought of as a half-gable roof.

Advantage: Probably the easiest to construct, this roof is great for skylights, but can also protect the interior from excessive sunlight at certain times of day if necessary.

Disadvantage:Due to its simple design, it’s not as equipped for proper drainage like other styles.

Shed Roof


Gambrel – Often seen in barn-style designs, the gambrel roof breaks each sloping section of the roof into two parts—a shallow one closer to the eaves, and one that drops down steeply.

Advantage: Due to its bell shape, this style offers the maximum use of space under the roof.

Disadvantage:Because of the two-part planes of its design, the Gambrel roof is not ideal for the pressure of heavy snowfall.

Gambrel Roof Construction


Other Terminology

DormerA dormer is a window that projects vertically from a sloping roof plane. This feature usually has its own roof, which can vary in style itself—gable, shed, or eyebrow.

Eaves Eaves are located at the edges of a roof and usually project out from the body of the home to offer added protection from the elements.

Valleys A valley is the ‘V’ created where two sloping roof planes come together.

RidgesIn contrast to a valley, a ridge is generally located in the center of the roof or where two planes slope up and meet at a horizontal point.

Floor Plan Spotlight: The Buffalo Creek

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

8,067  Sq. Ft, 1,219 Sq. Ft. Garage, 1,100 Sq. Ft. Decks & Patios


Buffalo Creek, log home, mountain style design, handcrafted, western

PrecisionCraft’s newest design concept, The Buffalo Creek, combines authentic handcrafted log walls and heavy timber frame truss work to create a Western look and feel.

Designed for a stepped lot, the home flows with the natural slope of the land and places its main entrance and view capturing windows on the same side.

Master suite, log home floor plan, hybrid log and timber home, buffalo creek, floor plan, precisioncraft

The plan’s expanded master suite, located on the second floor, takes advantage of the view with personal access to a covered deck, with fireplace.

At over 8,000 square feet the Buffalo Creek also provides ample space for entertaining; the second floor has a large great room, gourmet kitchen and guest suite.  Downstairs there is a rec room, and two additional bedrooms.

Explore the floor plan at

PrecisionCraft Releases Infographic: ‘All About Log Homes’

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Got questions about log home maintenance or styles? We’ve just released a fun and informative infographic entitled, “All About Log Homes” that will help answer your basic questions!

Follow the link to see the full infographic:


Land Buying Checklist

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

When you purchase a piece of property, your decision of where and what lot should stem from more than its natural beauty and pristine views. By knowing the land’s history and the condition of its surrounding areas before you buy, you will have a more accurate depiction of what your budget and timeline for construction will be. Here are some things to consider when looking for that ideal piece of land to build your log or timber home upon.

Is the Land in Proximity to Necessary Services?

While mountain style homes and rugged locations often go hand-in-hand, it is good to be aware of where the closest amenities are. For instance, how far are the nearest police and fire stations? Will a grocery store be close by? How about a gas station? Even if your goal is to get away, it is still important to check how far away you will be from these services.

Are Utilities Accessible? 

Are there accessible utilities for your location? Is it in an area where public water, sewer, and electric are available or will you have to pull those sources to the site? Will you have to dig a well and septic system? The cost and effort expended to supply utilities to your site will vary depending on your location.  Before you purchase, you should check with the area’s utility providers so you can better understand and be prepared for what is involved.

Does the Land Have Road Access?

Does the property have a main road leading to it or will one have to be made? How far away are the major roadway systems? If there is no road to the site, you will have to consider not only how much it will cost to build a road, but how long it will take and also what the impact the site might be.

Is the Lot on Federal or State Lands?

Many couples building a log or timber retreat are often looking for a location where they can get away from it all. If you are looking for that undisturbed piece of property, look to see if your land falls under federal or state protected land rules. While these lands can have a pristine quality, they may also have rules that can affect how you will use the land. For instance, if you are looking at a waterfront property that is also a protected waterfowl habitat, you probably won’t be able to have a boat house or dock.

Do You Know What it Costs to Build in the Area?

Property costs don’t actually impact or reflect building costs, but your location does. In fact, the cost per square foot to build can vary from location to location. By checking into what it costs to build in your area, you can evaluate how much these costs will affect your project’s budget and timeline.

Are You Aware of All Codes and Covenants?

Many communities across North America have covenants or codes that put stipulations on what exactly you can do on your property. Design and construction factors like how high you can build your home and what trees can be cut down on your property can be determined by the area’s codes. It is important to be aware of all codes and covenants before your begin your project.

What are the Zoning and Density Requirements?

You may love the secluded value of your lot, but will it always be this way? By checking with the local building department you can research your area’s zoning and density requirements to see how nearby developments could affect your views, construction, and noise levels, now and in the future.

Would You be Building by a Fault or Floodplain?

Is that piece of property you are looking at located near a body of water or in an area that is known for earthquakes? Check to see if you fall within the area’s floodplain or fault zones. If your lot is within these zones, you will want to alert your designer so that they can make the necessary adaptions to your design before you begin construction.


It is your dream to build a mountain style home that will last for generations. By following this checklist, you can make a more educated decision on where you should build this home.

Designing Your Home to a Budget

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

What is your budget for your custom home?
When you answer this question what do you include?  Each stage of your project typically has its own price tag.  Stages include: the purchase of your land, improvements to the land (i.e. septic, roads, utilities), the design process, materials, construction, finishes and landscaping. Although you can attach a price to each stage, don’t get caught without a complete understanding of your total cost and a how each piece fits into that cost.

Land Purchase and Improvements
In almost any project, the cost of your land (and any site improvements that need to be made) is separate from everything else that will go into the production of your home. Unless you are getting your land and your home from a development, your custom home builder will not factor the cost of the land into any bids they provide.  Knowing that cost is separate, many ask the question “Should I buy my land before or after I have a design?.”  There are certainly advantages to buying land ahead of time, for instance, you can pay for the land and use that equity to help finance your building project.  Also if you invest in the land a few years prior to building, you may have more money to allocate to the home itself.  There are however some issues that can arise if you purchase before you have a design ready.  If the land you are looking at is in a difficult location to reach, you may have unexpected transportation costs.  If the land is steeply sloped or odd shaped, you may have to compromise your ideal layout for one that fits better on your property.

The Design Process
The most important stage in the creation of your custom wood home is the design process. It is during the design phase where you and your architect will set the size of your home, the complexity of the design, and the type of materials that will be used.  Each of these design aspects (size, complexity and materials) will have varying affects on your home’s final cost.  As an example, let’s say that Jim and Jill start the design process looking to build a 2,500 sq.ft. log and timber hybrid with lots of roof lines and gables and unique trusses.  Their architect takes all of their desires into account along with their complete budget for the completion of their home (or turnkey budget) and goes to work.  Through the course of the design process their architect is not only working on the design but looking at the costs along the way.  He gets in contact and recommends some changes to the design.  He tells them that the turnkey cost is going to be more than their budget and provides options for their project. If they want to stay on budget they will either need to reduce the size to about 2,100 sq.ft., remove some of the complexity in the roofline, or reduce some of the timber frame materials.  Jim and Jill talk about their options and decide to get rid of some of the size, which will also reduce the roof lines enough to get within their budget.  They now have a home design they love, at a price that they can afford to build.

A common mistake buyers of timber and log homes make is to key in on the price of a materials package, instead of looking at the complete price of an actual home.  Many log producers will quote the price of their package (which could include just the wood or all the materials to create a dry-in shell).  There is nothing wrong with that, however, if the package price is the only number you have to go by, it requires more work to determine exactly how much your completed home will cost.  The log and timber materials could be from 15% to 50% of the total cost of your custom home.  This is why it is very difficult to try and allocate a specific portion of your budget to the logs out of context.  It is better to use the amount of log and timber that works best for your design and your budget as a whole.  Always think in terms of your complete house, not just a log or timber shell cost.

The delivery and stack of your logs does not end in a completed house.  Someone will need to construct the rest of your home, including the electrical, plumbing, roof, masonry etc.  If you concentrated on the cost of your log or timber shell and did not leave enough money for the actual construction, you could be in trouble.  This all goes back to making sure that your architect prepared you and your design for this stage of the project.

Finishes and Landscaping
Will you have hardwood floors or carpet in your custom home?  Do you prefer a basic electric stove or something more sophisticated?  What kind of landscaping will need to be completed once your home is done? If your architect has done their job, you will have money set aside in your budget to cover the level of finishes (both interior and exterior) that you planned for during the design process.

Just remember, if you are always looking at the entire custom home building process, you can have more confidence in your ability to meet your budget goals each step of the way as well as overall.  It is absolutely imperative that you choose an architect / company who thinks and acts this way too.