As you contemplate your log or timber luxury residence, perhaps you find yourself thinking about what your entry will look like or what view will greet you from your master suite windows. Or, maybe your thoughts first turn to the friends and loved ones who will gather around the fireplace on a snowy evening. What you probably do not dream about, however, is how you will maintain your new log or timber home. In this, you are not alone.
Exterior maintenance is rarely a client’s top-of-mind thought during the planning of a PrecisionCraft residence. However, a certain amount of pragmatism is a benefit in any situation. Your custom cabin or home is no exception. Knowing your new home will stand and protect those you care about for generations to come is important. Because of this, there are practical choices to be made during the planning stage of your home, and each choice you make will help protect your residence. This article provides an overview of maintenance factors you should consider before and during the design of your new residence.
The Role of Eaves & Orientation to the Sun
Knowing the angle of your home’s main view corridor in correlation to the sun, assists all parties in determining how to protect your view– and your home. Long before you have to start worrying about maintaining the quality treatment on your exterior logs or timbers, you and your designer (or our design team) should discuss ways to protect the logs or timbers from direct sunlight. [i]
As lovely as they are, the eaves of a log or timber home are much more than a decorative element of the architectural design. Eaves provide crucial coverage for your log or timber walls. Because snow, rain, and even the sun can have an adverse effect on wood, the depth of your home’s eaves and the pitch of the roof offer your home year-round protection from Mother Nature’s mercurial moments. The easiest way to protect your home’s timbers is to keep them well-covered with roof overhangs. Read how eaves contribute to your home’s energy efficiency here.
In addition, eaves, and the shade they provide, also play a huge role in protecting the interior of your home. Just as logs and timbers are vulnerable to the sun’s rays, draperies, carpets, and other furnishings are inclined to fading when situated in spaces that receive a lot of direct sunlight.
Stain choice is an additional item of consideration when weighing factors to protect and preserve your home. Quality over cost is paramount when protecting the logs or timbers. This is because stain is the first (and primary) defense against the elements. Make sure to choose a stain that allows your logs to breathe while still being protected.
You will also want to have your home lightly power washed every two to five years, depending on your stain selection and application of clear coat. The process of washing your residence assists to preserve the stain’s effectiveness and quality.
Of course, the stain you select for your log or timber home is also an important part of your home’s first impression. Read tips about stains from leading log and timber home stain producers, Sashco, here.
Depending on where your home is located, carpenter ants, termites, wood peckers, and other pests may be a legitimate maintenance consideration. One of the easiest ways in which to combat ants and termites? Simply follow building codes that require log or timber supports be located a safe distance from the ground. This code requirement is why you see exterior timber posts setting atop concrete pillars, like the residence below.
Sometimes particular styles of Mountain home design or certain accent areas have exposed logs or timbers. In these cases, you may wish to consider a roofing cover or metal capping for the exposed section. Either will serve as additional protection and both are stunning contributors to your home’s exterior appeal.
It is important to remember that landscaping can also be a factor in maintenance. If you build in a valley or on a slope, creating a landscape design and grading plan that directs water away from your home is of paramount importance. In addition, shrubs and trees should be planted in locations that keep them from actually touching your home (and they should be trimmed annually to maintain this distance.) This keeps the condensation that gathers on the leaves from damaging the wood, and (perhaps more importantly), it maintains the defensible space around your home in case of wildfire.
Your home is more than a testament to architectural design or an inspirational story in a home building magazine; it is an investment. Preserve and protect your home today so that it endures for a lifetime and beyond.
Interested in our in-house architectural design team’s views on maintenance? Read the interview, How Much Maintenance Will My Log Home Need? here.
[i] This is because UV rays from the sun can degrade the cellulous structure of non-treated wood, which can cause greying and flaking.