Log homes are a timeless feature of mountain life. But they can sometimes be tough to maintain. We sat down with a local expert on log homes; Thomas Elliot with Log Home Finishing out of Fairplay, CO, and asked some of the most common questions people have about owning a log home.
Jan and her team recently got a beautiful log home under contract in only 9 days! 394 Camron Lane in Breckenridge, CO was listed for $1,045,000, and is a 3,278 square foot log castle in the woods. Before we get to the Q & A, check this Log Home out!
Jan says, "You will have found your mountain paradise once you see the amazing views down the Blue River Valley from the great room and master bedroom. This private setting allows connecting with nature and wildlife viewing from the wrap around deck. Sitting in the hot tub at night or around the firepit with unobstructed views of the Milky Way and stars against a dark sky. Hiking trails are steps away from the home. Second living area and entertainment room to challenge each other for the new high score."
Back to the Q & A!
Jan: What type of maintenance should a perspective log home buyer expect?
Thomas: Log Homes require maintenance recoat of stain in order to properly protect the logs. The stain should be recoated every 2-5 years depending on the product used and also other factors like design of the log home and sun exposure can determine when to recoat stain.
Photo: Well maintained logs with Sikkens Log and Siding Stain.
Jan: What kind of problems might a log home have that a buyer should watch out for?
Thomas: If stain on the log home has not been maintained the logs may have excessive cracks and appear very dry and dark. A well maintained log home will have a very obvious and desirable even sheen and finish when it has been properly maintained. Also be sure to inspect the chinking for signs of damage like cracking.
Jan: What is chinking?
Thomas: Chinking is the sealant between the logs on a log home and often appears beige, tan, or grey. Chinking can last for between 10 - 20 years before needing replacement.
Photo: This is an example of chinking.
Jan: Besides chinking and staining what else might need to be done to maintain a log home.
Thomas: Log homes are similar to any other home in that they have decks and wood railings that need to be maintained. It is a good time when recoating the stain on your logs to also recoat the stain on your decks and railings. If the railings are logs, they may need to be recoated more often to avoid having to be replaced due to damage.
Jan: Do logs ever need to be replaced if they become too damaged or if the log home is older?
Thomas: Log Home Finishing does replace logs on log homes however there are a variety of repair options to replace rotted or damaged logs such as epoxy repair or replacing the outer face of the log only. Other damage that Log Home Finishing often repairs is hail damage which involves media blasting the damage out and sanding before restaining.
Jan: What is media blasting?
Thomas: Media blasting is sand blasting except we don’t use sand, we normally use corn cob or walnut shell blasting to remove old finishes and damage before recoating stain. This is an excellent method to get the logs down to clean bare wood before staining which leaves an excellent finished product.
Photo: These logs were media blasted to remove the old stain and damage.
Jan: What should be done about the checks (cracks) in the logs?
Thomas: The checks (cracks) in the logs are normal and occur more in our dry climate than other areas. Log Home Finishing recommends filling the cracks first with backer and then caulking. This will prevent moisture intrusion and protect the stain and chinking also.
Thank you to Thomas Elliot for answering some of the questions people typically ask about log homes! To learn more about the great services at Log Home Finishing, reach out to Thomas!
Log Home Finishing
(970) 368 2308