When you first think of building a log or timber home, maintenance might not be something you think of until later on. You want it to stand the test of time, so knowing that there are choices to be made now, aside from what stain to use, can help to protect your home for later. Here are some things for you and your architect to consider when designing your wood house that will protect it for generations to come.
The Role of Eaves
The eaves of your roof are not only useful for an added decorative element of design, but they can provide coverage for your wall logs from snowfall, rain, and run-off during all of the year’s seasons. The roof pitch as well as the depth of your eaves can also dictate how much light hits each section and for how long.
Orientation to the Sun
Have you ever noticed how furniture in a room that receives direct sunlight starts to fade over the years? Wood walls are also vulnerable to sun damage in this way. Knowing what the angle of your home’s main view will be in correlation to the sun will help determine how to protect it. Discuss with your architect any specific layout elements you would like to incorporate into your home, like seeing the sunrise through your bedroom window or having a panoramic sunset view from your great room window wall. When you have your orientation determined, you will be able to better understand what sections will have the most exposure, thus requiring extra protection.
When a home is built, you never see it built from the roof down. The most important component of your home is its foundation, and that is why there are so many opportunities to protect your home, from the foundation-up. Building your home so that your logs are a sizeable height off of the ground will protect them from moisture as well as pests.
Choosing a Stain
Stain choice does matter and it is a very important factor in protecting your home as well as preserving it. Quality over cost is paramount when deciding what will protect your logs, as it is the first and primary defense against the elements. Make sure to choose a stain that allows your logs to breathe while it protects and to wash your home off every spring to preserve the stain’s effectiveness and quality.
Sometimes particular styles of Mountain home design or certain accent areas require the exposure of wood. In these cases, consider a roofing cover or metal capping for the exposed section as added protection. Don’t forget that landscaping is also a factor. If you build in a valley or on a decline, consider landscaping designs that impede run-off from finding your home. For this same reason, planting shrubs and trees away from your home will also keep condensation from leaves from damaging the wood.
Your home is not just a testament to architectural design or an inspirational story in a home building magazine, it is an investment. With these simple design tools, you can preserve and protect your home so that it may endure for a lifetime and beyond.
Read our article regarding log home exterior maintenance for more tips.