A log house and a log cabin are almost identical structures, the main difference between them being the size. Log construction used to be the most common building technique in certain regions of Sweden, Finland or Russia as well as in the Alps.
Here, in the Burgess Pine neighborhood of Colorado, the views are absolutely spectacular and the location is ideal for a family retreat or even a permanent residence. It’s where this charming house can be found, surrounded by views of the nearby ski area, the gondola and Emerald Mt.
Enter through a hallway decorated with antler coat hangers, wallpapered walls and a bench with a sculptural base.
The residence offers a total of 5,200 square feet of living space spread across 5 bedrooms, 4 and a half baths and several expansive social areas. The great room is one of the most impressive spaces. It has large windows overlooking the beautiful landscape and an interior that blends the rustic decor with modern design elements.
A two-story double sided fireplace is the focal point of a cozy seating area. An oversized pendant lamp complements it and provides a contrast with the variety of textures present in the room.
The kitchen is also part of this open floor plan. The layout offers it enough privacy to make it feel intimate but, at the same time, allows it to stay connected to the rest of the space for easy interaction.
The kitchen island has a bar extension and an elevated countertop. The design here is neutral and modern with a few contrasting details such as the exposed log beams. The stainless steel accents define this space.
A few strategically placed accent elements offer character to the room. For example, a rustic armchair sitting in the corner forms the ideal cozy reading spot and the large artwork placed above the small window highlights the high ceilings.
The dining area is intimate, with a large table at the center, upholstered chairs around it and a sculptural chandelier hanging from one of the large beams. The walls are covered in wood and stone, forming a diverse array of textures which define the whole residence.
Energy efficiency in log homes.
Even though this may seem odd, log walls usually don’t satisfy building code energy standards. That’s because they are susceptible to air leaks. As the logs dry over time, they shrink and this opens gaps between them. To minimize air leakage, the logs should be seasoned for at least six months.
However, the efficiency of the logs depends on the climate. Their ability to store heat during the day and then gradually release it at night gives them a better overall energy efficiency in some climates than in others.
Some woods are more effective than others from this point of view. For example, cedar, pine, fir and larch are superior in this case.
Because logs can absorb water very quickly, they need to be protected from contact with water and moisture. They can be waterproofed and treated with insecticide and this treatment needs to be applied every few years.
The upper level houses the master bedroom which has a gorgeous modern wall-mounted fireplace with a textured design and a large log beams that runs through it. Open shelves offer display space for collections and the set of comfy seats complemented by a quirky metal floor lamp and a sculptural side table form a comfortable reading nook in front of the fireplace.
There’s a second bedroom on this level which has its own private bathroom. Judging by the design and the color palette, this is a teen bedroom. Two single beds occupy most of the floor space. On the other side of the room is a freestanding tub with views of the beautiful landscape.
An asymmetrical unit provides storage for towels and other bathroom necessities.
The upper level also houses a loft with an earthy color palette, comforting textures and large windows. A sectional sofa arranged around a coffee table at the center of the room faces a wall-mounted TV and overlooks the panoramic views.
The lower level of the residence houses the home theater, decorated with a black and gray palette, comfortable leather seating units and accent lighting that creates eye-catching visual effects.
A separate game room is dominated by a gallery wall. A pool table stands at the center, with three pendant lamps hanging above it. The design here is modern and lacking the usual rustic details. The ceiling is free of beams and the floor is different from the rest of the house as well.
Although most of the rooms have large windows and offer views of the surroundings, it’s the deck and patio that offer the most spectacular views. Comfortable seating areas invite you to sit down, relax and enjoy the moment. The outdoor spaces are decorated with nature-inspired colors such as green and blue.
The Pros and Cons of log homes.
As with every other type of home, log houses have both pros and cons. First of all, living in a log home is a very green thing to do, especially if it’s an old and already-existing house. This means there’s one less new house to be built. In addition to that, an old log house has a lot of history.
- It’s impossible to recreate the coziness and relaxing and welcoming environment offered by a log home. Moreover, the inside walls can be finished in a variety of ways.
- Compared to wood-frame houses, log houses are more energy-efficient and even better insulated, if the conditions are right.
- However, there’s also a list of disadvantages to take into consideration. For example, those beautiful big logs offer great living conditions for termites, beetles and ants.
- Also, log homes are complicated to wire with electricity and this usually means more work, more problems and a more expensive project.
- Because the logs shrink in time, the house needs constant care in order to stay insulated and free of insects.
- Then there’s also the constant fight with moisture. Every 3 to 5 years, the logs have to be stained or sealed and this is also an expensive process.
Dealing with building requirements.
When building a log house, a series of regulations and requirements need to be taken into consideration. For example, the energy efficiency requirements are an important element that can influence the design and construction of a log house.
Log homes are usually able to comply with most requirements, the main issue remaining the fact that log walls don’t usually satisfy the required energy standards, especially in the colder climates. This also influences the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning equipment efficiency and adjustments have to be made.
Insulation is a problem that has to be dealt with. In order to comply with the requirements, additional attic insulation usually has to be installed in order to make up the difference between the required value and the actual effective value achieved by the log construction.