How to Build Log Houses

In building a Log House, you need the a strong foundation,following that you need to build the Sill Logs and lastly ensure the Logs are anti-termite treated.

A)Foundation

On hard ground where bedrock is close to the surface, buildings usually require only a minimum foundation.Good rock base is a foundation by itself and poor ground conditions such as muddy ares make poor ground conditions and the foudnation need to increased. There are many types of foundations such as Per Foundation ,Slab Foundation,Perimeter Foundation,Basement Foundation,Perimter Foundations,Footing Foundations etc.

The  Types of foundation used in a Log house:

1– Pier foundation:

Its the simplest and least expensive, where concrete or flat stones are mortared or laid dry.

2– Slab Foundation:

The Slab Foundation for a home plan is a simple kinds of foundation where a concrete slab is used as the foundation.Slab foundations are like a raft that floats in the water. It is also called Raft foundation. The rafts foundation keep the house float in a soft ground.

3- Perimeter Foundation for a house floor :

It is made from concrete, concrete blocks, or sometimes stones. Follow the architectural Floor Plan very closely with respects to the dimensions as this will cause the finishes to look tardy, if it is not correctly followed. The ceiling lines, the tiles finishes and the wall straightness will appear tardy if the dimensions of the Log House floor plans are not strictly followed.

4- Full Basement Foundation:

This is the most complicated type of foundation, Its made of poured reinforced concrete or concrete blocks.
 Note: Regardless what type of foundation is chosen a proper footing is needed to be placed slightly below the frost levels.

How to make the foundation for a log house?

Step One: Establish the Boundaries.

1-Establish the exact outside boundaries of your home using a 2”x2” stakes, nails & a rope.

2- Make one end of each stick sharp to be able to drive it into the ground easily.

3-After placing the sticks hammer a nail into the upper center of each stake

4-Once the stakes are placed in position use a rope and connect it to the nails on top of each stake

5-Once three stakes are connected you will able to outline an approximate 90 degree between two walls.

6-Make sure that the angle between the two walls is a perfect 90 degree angle using a triangle with proportions of 3:4:5

Step Two: Erect Batter Boards:

1- The batter board is made by driving 2″x4″ stakes into the ground in an L shape around the corners

2- Nail, a 1”x4’ or 1”x6” batter board, to the stakes to create a right angle and it have to be set back at least 4 feet from the outline stakes and the height is minimum 18″

3- Make sure all batter boards have been installed on all corners at the correct height.

4- Tie weight to builder’s string and drop them over the tops of the batter boards and drop a plumb bob where the two strings cross.

5-Make sure the plumb bob falls exactly on the nail head in the corner stakes this locates the outside boundary of your foundation.

6- Use the same method to locate the inside boundary but by deducting the width of the proposed foundation.

B)How to Build Log Houses– Perimeter Foundation & Full Basement Foundation

Perimeter Foundation:

  • It can be made of concrete, concrete blocks or concrete faced with stones.
  • If made of concrete it can be Single pour and Double Pour (footing and foundation).

Single Pour Footing/Foundation:

  • It’s not used as much as the separately poured footing and foundation.
  • However it simplifies the task and cut down on time.
  • Lay out the outside dimensions of the footings, the wall thickness and outside boundary of the wall on the batter boards using the house floor plan.
  • Then position the builder’s string to show the dimensions.
  • Excavate the footing and construct the forms.
  • Bring All Service pipes in below the footing and frost line before pouring the footing.
  • Make sure any low spots under the edge of the footing are filled with stones

Double Pour Footing/Foundation:

  • The footing is usually poured separately from the foundation.
  • If the soil is stable, the footing is poured directly in a trench dug without forms.
  • If the soil is less stable, forms must be constructed to hold the concrete in place.
  • The forms must be leveled by using the carpenter’s level and stones are used to fill up the holes around the form to keep the concrete from running out
  • If pouring without forms drive small wooden stakes into the soil at the bottom of the trench where their tops should be level with the height of the footing.
  • Pour the concrete and smooth more or less to the height of the stakes then pull the stakes out and fill the holes with concrete and smooth over.
  • Form a key in the footing to help hold the concrete foundation in place and it can be done by using a beveled 2”x4”. However in the tropical countries water stop is need to be added to prevent water seepage.
  • Reinforce the footing with two to three reinforcing bars spaced about 3”-4” off the bottom of the trench.
  • Make an inspection after the form for the footings are completed.

Pouring the Foundation for the House Plan:

  • After the footing has cured for 5-6 days the foundation can be formed.
  • Remove the footings forms and construct the form for the foundation.
  • Individual sections of forms should be nailed together from the outside.
  • Set up the outside forms first and level it by using the carpenter level and then do the same on the inside forms.
  • Higher and larger foundation walls should be poured slowly to allow the concrete enough time to set up.

Basement Foundation:

  • Basement foundation has the same fundamentals of the perimeter foundation however its has additional features such as:
    • Foundation drains.
    • Insulating the basement.
    • Basement floor.

Foundation Drain & Basement Insulation:

  • A drain should be placed around the foundation to help carry off excess water that collects at its base.
  • Put a 2” layer of gravel around the outside of the bottom edge of the footing.
  • Then put clay drainage tile or perforated plastic on top of this around the outside of the footing.
  • Throw from 2”-6” of gravel over the clay drainage to extend it up over the top edge of the footing by at least 2”.
  • If you need insulation for the basement, install 4” thick batts of rigid foam with moisture barrier below the concrete floor and on the gravel. It can be installed on the outside of the foundation wall as well.

Basement Foundation Floor:

  • Usually poured after the foundation forms are removed.
  • Before pouring the floor first position the drain as needed.
  • The floor drain should be ½” below the surface of the finished concrete floor.
  • Pouring basement floor should be done with a fast pace to prevent the concrete from setting up before you can get it all finished.

C.)How to Build Log Houses –Construction Lesson 1 (Sill Logs, Floor and Joints)

What are the Sill Logs?

Sill logs are the logs that rest directly on top of the foundation and its connected to it by the anchor bolts.

How to Choose Your Logs?

  • Just about any type of log can be used, as long as it’s relatively straight and it is around 8”-10” diameter.
  • It has only minor tapering no more than 2”. And the length for it is around 16 ft.
  • Conifers such as pine, fir, spruce and tamarack are preferred because these softwoods are workable, durable and relatively lightweight.
  • Hardwoods, particularly oak can also be used, though their sapwood is highly susceptible to infestation by borers and fungus.

Sill Logs:

  • After completing the foundation based on the house plan the work on the upper part of the house begins.
  • The first step in the house structure is to install the sill log on the floor plan
  • Note: this is an important part of the job because if the sills are not laid as mentioned in the house floor plan and if its not laid squarely and securely that might effect the whole structure.

Steps of Constructing the log house Sill Log.

  • If you don’t want a full basement, you must excavate the house plan dimension at least below the frost line, install footings and construct a wall up to 20 in. above grade level.
  • You must also install piers within the foundation walls as mentioned in the architecture plan to support the floor girder. Also, install anchor bolts along the top of the walls to attach the sill.
  • Begin floor construction by hewing or cutting flat the bottom of the sill logs.
  • Then make holes in the sill logs to fit in the anchor bolts and install sill sealer or a termite shield according to the local building code.
  • The corner joints are made by bottom notching the logs based on the house design.
  • Hew flat the top of the girder and install it over the support piers.
  • Join it to the sill with a mortise and tenon joint. Drive nails through the top of the tenon and into the mortise to complete the joint.

Steps of constructing the log house sill log and floor:

  • In a similar manner, hew or cut flat the top of the joists and install them between the girder and sill logs so they are flush with the top of the girder.
  • Install the sub flooring perpendicular to the direction of the joists. Now you’re ready to start on the walls as designed in the architecture plan.

Steps of constructing the log house wall joints:

  • Many different types of notches can be used to join the logs, but a good choice for the beginning log builder is the scribe, fit, round-notch method.
  • It features semicircular notches cut in the bottom of the logs to fit over adjacent logs. Also, a V-shaped groove is cut down the length of each log bottom so the entire length can sit flush on the log below.
  • Although this method is slower than others, the corner joints are self-draining-water running down the outside of the house hits the log tops and runs off, instead of being trapped in the notch.
  • The V-grooves also eliminate air drafts between the logs.
  • The joints between courses do not need chinking, so you can avoid one of the most chronic maintenance problems of log homes: repairing cracked chinking.

D.How to do Termite Treatment

Hello there this article will be discussing about the termites treatment which is one of the important aspects in construction. Termites are small, pale soft-bodied insects that lives in large colonies with several different castes, typically within a mound of cemented earth. Many kinds feed on wood and can be highly destructive to trees and timber While each termite species thrives in different climates and eats different types of food, all termites require four things to survive: food, moisture, shelter and optimal temperature. Unfortunately, all homes, regardless of their construction type, can provide these ideal conditions for termite infestation.

Before Construction

Treating termite before construction can help you defend against possible claims in the future. Where construction specification for several projects requires the protection for termite in their finishing’s. To help you in dealing with this problem this article will provide you with some tips that you must incorporate in your construction activities. Food and moisture resources around and inside home should be eliminated because termites are attracted towards moisture.

Where Are The Termites?

Termites are frequently living where there is a high concentration of moisture and dampness. In old houses these are frequent problems because they tend to live in obstructed or block water supply and sewerage pipes. Also there is evidence that inside wood products or decaying wood surfaces are high probability areas for a termite to live in where they end up actually eating wood and wooden products inside your house.

Pre Construction Chemical Treatment

Termite treatment in pre-construction stages includes few steps that must be done to ensure an area of termite-free construction.

Treating the soil before any slab placement with insecticides is the most common method of termite treatment. This will form a chemical barrier between ground slab and masonry that will prevent the insects to approach the building. The chemical treatment can be done as follow:

  • Before making the foundation the bottom and sides of excavation must be treated with chemical products.
  • make holes in the earth where slabs on grade will be built and fill them with chemical products.
  • Be sure to use chemicals where walls and floors intersect.
  • Treat the perimeter of the construction by making holes filled with chemicals all around the structure.
  • In pipe beddings fill an area with chemical products to secure the future of the piping.
  • Use specific anti-termite chemical to treat the portion of the buildings were wooden products such as cabinets, doors, among others, will be placed.

Post-construction termite treatment

We can’t be acting in the pre-construction chemical treatment all the time. Sometime termites are found after construction, so what can we do?

Start with an assessment of the entire area before starting any kind of treatment. A deep investigation will determine the extent of the damage, if any damage is found then determine the location of the termite, the access points to the structure and their spread in the area. The following tips should be kept in mind during chemical treatment.

  • As in the pre-construction process, make holes and filled them with chemicals, to create a barrier around the house.
  • Treat the floors and walls by drilling holes and filling them with chemicals. All walls or the vast majority of the walls have to be treated to ensure that no more spreading will continue.
  • Apply chemicals on all points of contacts of wood with the ground or with any part of the building.
  • The voids in masonry can be used with anti-termite treatment.
  • Change and replace wood products or furniture that have high impact and presence of termites, beyond any limit of reparation.

Precautionary measures

When all measurement are taken, perform these simple steps to ensure that your area keeps free of termites.

  1. Keep drains and gutters clean to avoid leakage Make sure that there are no blockage, filtration nor broken pipes with excess of moisture around them.
  1. Eliminate sources of moisture Do not leave unattended areas where there is a high concentration level of humidity. Clean those areas constantly to asure that it wont face the same problem again.
  1. Destroy termites Apply chemicals as soon as you detect areas where termites are being reunited to avoid the spreading of it.
  1. Remove Wood Products.Remove wood products that have had the presence of moisture or have been in contact with water for a long period of time.
  1. Eliminate the wood contact with the ground.Do not bury direct pieces of wood in the ground for any use to avoid the moisture from getting in it.
  1. Fill junctions or voids.If you notice some voids of open space between the building and the ground, act quickly and fill those areas to avoid termites getting in the house.

The Chemicals Used for the Treatment:

There are currently several general kinds of termite chemicals registered for soil treatment. All termite chemicals are effective for their intended purpose but the choice often boils down to toxicity and odour versus longevity and resistance to leaching. The water based termite chemicals do not contain solvents and are odourless. Some of the water based termite chemicals include Premis, Biflex Aqua and Termadore. The Premis is a chloro-nicotinyl type termite chemical and has a toxicity rating of S5. Premis termite chemical remains effective for atleast two years. The Biflex Aqua is a synthetic pyrethroid water based termite chemical with a toxicity rating of S6. Where its recomennded to do a re-treatment of termite treatment with Biflex Aqua after five years for maximum effectiveness. The Biflex Aqua gets binded very quickly and strongly to the soil particles and provides a best option where moisture movement in the soil is a factor.

Prepared and desinged  by: Architect Perumal Nagapushnam

Check out our log house designs :

Check out for some great and handsome architectural floor plan for Log house at:

http://www.sda-architect.com

The different Types of Architects and what they do?

key words: Project Architects,Resident Architects,Design Architects,Bungalow Architects,Shopping center specialist Architects,Interior designing,Hotels Architects Architects,Hospital Architects, Architect Arbitrator ,Commercial Office Architects,Architect Planners,Landscape Architects,Timber building Architects,Resident Architects. arkitek

There are many Types of Architects  listed below are some of them and what they do:
Many types of Architects are covered in these website such as Green Architect,Net Zero Energy Architect, Eco Green Architect.

Principal Architect

He is runs the Architectural company, he may be the founder, owner of the company

Project Architects

What does a Project Architects do?
The Project Architect  manages a team of Architectural office staff consisting of Resident Architects , Design Architects and a team of draftsman .He ensure the project is managed contractually ( contract administration. A Project Architect is  used for a large project  or he would be required to deal with many smaller projects.

He reports firstky to the Pricipal Architect of the comapny and he may report to the Owners of the building ( or a Project Management Team). He rports on the overall progress of works,manages changes that occurs which may arise from time to time ,manages the Program or any issues that may arrise at the site. He also manages a consultant teams of Civil & Structural Engineers, Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, Urban Town Planner, the Cost consultants( called the QS), and Landscape Architect, Interior Designers, Specialist Consultants such as –Acoustic consultants, Lighting consultants, Façade consultants and Green Sustainability, Net Zero Energy Consultants and Ecologist. The contractor or the builder reports to him on the progress regularly

Design Architects

What does a Design Architects do?
A Design Architect designs the building, by complying with the client’s design brief and local building code and  bye law requirements. He report to the Project Architect or to the Pricipal Architect. 

He submits the plans to the local authorities for approval and coordinating the approvals of the engineer’s plans to the local authorities as well. The design architect during the construction will ensure the design aspects of the building are attained and reviews the approvals of materials submitted by the Contractor and ensure it is compliant with the specifications of the contract.

Bungalow Architects

What does a Bungalow Architects do?
An Architect that specializes in designing of Bungalows as the design and construction of Bungalow is a rather confine to a very specialized area of work. The difficulty of putting up a Bungalow cannot be underestimated. He  meets the needs of the owner of homes both at a macro level and at a micro level of details. Every nook and corner of the bungalow is subjected to review by the house owner . This Architect ought to be rather knowledgeable about the details of material, construction and aesthetics of the buildings. He should be familiar with the different types of house plans,history of house architecture, the types of houses, large homes and small homes, timber materials , log houses, cottage houses, beach houses, 2 bed room houses, 3 bed room houses, duplex houses, southern living homes, Asian homes and Green Homes, modern house plans, Open house floor plans, Japanese house floor plans etc, It is varied form place to place and region to region. He  designs homes according to the need of the owner and it meeting with the local market value systems to maintain value of the homes.

Shopping CenterSpecialist Architects

What does a Shopping center specialist Architects do?
The shopping specialist architect , deasl with large shopping centers, hyper markets and supermarket. It might seem like a simple thing , which is not true otherwise; in fact a mistake  undertaken in the design of a shopping centers, may result in a gargantuan tragedy. It may resulting in a white elephant or a ghost shopping center. Therefore in selecting an Architect to design a shopping center one should evaluate his background of experiences in shopping centers designs. The strategies to capture the flow of traffic, direct the flow,captivating their interest,lighting levels and the latest trends in shopping is rather important for the success of the shopping center and creating a thriving shopping center.
The Architect will study the types of shops and how it will be laid out to create demand and reduce dead ends of circulation of traffic and is aware of the magic of working public traffic using anchor tenants.

Interior designing Architects

What does, a Interior designing Architects do?
An architect who is specialized in the interiors of the building and creates and transforms the interior spaces to a functional space or a space of beauty. The interior design should begin at the outset of design process making the spaces as an integral part of the building and not as a make over of the design as an after thought. There is a difference between an Interior designer and a interior decorator. A Interior decorator merely provides the make up of the building .

Hospital Architects

What does, a Hospital Architects do?
A Hospital architect deals with an area of specialization  with the internal planning of hospitals. These are medical and health requirements, which shall be complied. All aspects of the spaces are designed with the health of the patients in mind .For instances the lifts are specially  much slower that the conventional lifts it takes into consideration of patients with weak heart or high blood pressure who are susceptible to heart attacks. The rooms are designed for clean room conditions and the air will be designed for clean air to minimize the spread of air borne diseases.Room are subjected to view for quick recover.Planning of the services are necessary for Energy efficiency as Hospitals guzzles energy.

Hotel Architects

What does a Hotels Architects do?
Hotel Architects are specialist in designing the bed rooms, the commercial kitchen, ballrooms, restaurants, lounges, connectivity of service corridors to service lifts, loading, unloading area and the maintenance areas. There are many types of hotels. Some hotels that are  centered around golfing circuits, some are based on beaches fronts, some on ball rooms and seminars services and others dependent on visitors from the Air port or local retail centers etc .Operators of Hotels, such as Hilton  have their own manuals for designing hotels in keeping with their brands.Architect  design according Hotels Operator’s  guidelines stipulated in Operator’s manuals. This will  ensure the operations are efficient and profitable. All 5-6 star hotels will be designed with the Operators requirements at the outset. This will avoid design tragedies and mega failures in Hotels. If you need to know if Design matters, look around at Hotels that have failed in business other than  that “location matters”.

Commercial Office Architects

What does a Commercial Office Architects do?
The design of high rise office towers shall be designed with low maintenance free designs, efficient layout floor plans, high energy performance building, shaded well from the heating sun and conservation of heat during summer and cautiously with the safety of the end users during maintenance of building, design for easy management of the building. New concepts such as Net Zero Energy Building, which is our area of special focus.  Green and Sustainability concepts are introduced by certification bodies such as Living Challenge, LEEDS, Green Building Index,Green Marks etc.

Architect Arbitrator

What does a Architect Arbitrator do?
An architect that is familiar with the contractual relationship between the parties in the building industry and how the function and further more he is most familiar with the designing and the design process and the work that all parties are bound in the industry. And this makes him as a suitable candidate to arbiter the arguments that arise among the parties in the industry. In some countries where there is no Construction court, many lawyers and even Judges are not familiar with the terms of the contract, duties of the parties of the contract and the relationship between them and make the proceeding and the judgments to be miscarried. Therefore it is best to have architects who are legal based who are the best arbiter to conduct and make the best judgment in arbitration case.

Architect Planners

What does a Architect Planners do?
An Architect who is trained academically as an Architect and  as an Urban Town Planner.An architect is aware of what is happening within a building . Town Planner designs a collection of buildings in a Town or country settings. An Urban Planner designs the interrelationships between the buildings. He interconnects the buildings with open spaces, parks and garden etc. Building are designed by architect without any consideration to the buildings in the neighborhoods. It is said that building have to talk to each other and the design of park in relationship with the footpaths leading to one another is necessary to create an wonderful urban environment. Urban Town Planning fills in  these gaps and is a go in between Planning and Architects in urban areas.

Landscape Architects

What do Landscape Architects do?
A landscape architect, at a micro level, is one who designs the soft landscape (plants, lawns, shrubs etc) and the landscape (pavements, benches, footpaths, street lights bollard etc) .
At a macro level he may be a designer as a Town Planner. He may also design the country sides and be involved as Town and Country Planner does in Town and Country Planning.

Timber Building Architects

What does a Timber building Architects do?
An architect who is familiar with the architecture of  timber, the different type of timbers ,how to preserve timber, the art and crafting and beauty of timber . He has an appreciation of the fine timber quality, how to design rustically in some situation ,making a beauty out of the ruggedness of the house.He is a master of timber homes.

Resident Architects

What does a Resident Architects do?
Resident Architects are those who oversea the quality of materials used and overseas the workmanship,during the construction of the building. He will ensure where  standing supervision is required especially where concrete works are carried out.He is partly responsible for the works carried out by the contractor. He ensures the contractor uses materials , specified by the designer (Architects), He is engaged only during the construct of the works until the building is successfully handed over to the Owner of the building. The Owners of the building, may extend his engagement as A Residential Architect until the Building is certified fit for occupation (in some regions this is called the Certificate of Fitness in others it is called Certificate of Completion and Compliance.)
a) He should be able to study all drawings such as Architectural and Engineering . He identifies errors in drawings and missing details .He checks and conduct test on the material that is used by the contractor.There are times although the approved samples submitted are never used on the building during the construction by the contractor. The materials are short changed during the construction . This leaving the building with a massive maintenance problem ,during the life span of the building.
b) He may send the materials to the laboratory for testing to ensure compliance with the specifications.
c) He submits progress report to the building owner and the Principal Architect of the project. He reports the works is in progress and the no of workers at the site. He also report  the equipment used at the site.He reporst the weather conditions at the site.
d) He monitors the Health and Safety Manuals and enforces it at the site such as ensure the use of  Hard Hats, Safety boots, Safe erection of scaffolding , Safety cables, safety nets , safety platforms are in place, ensure no water-ponds are found at site to minimize the breeding of mosquitoes, healthy the living quarters for workers, the Electricity cables are elevated above the ground with proper switch outlets etc.
e) The Resident Architect endorses the correctness of the Contractor’s Progress report.

Prepared by Architect Perumal Nagapushnam, contact us