While a log house is, structurally, the same as a log cabin, it doesn’t mean they are the same thing.
Log homes are generally much larger than a cabin, which implies a place to stay for a short term, whereas a house is a home, one that an entire family can live in for many, many years.
I, personally, live in and love a log home. Built in 1923 by the editor of the Evening Telegram newspaper, Black Jack Robinson, the Robinson family built a replica of it in Hogs Hollow and still stands proudly today with all its grace and elegance. And while our home doesn’t have the traditional exposed logs in the interior, with the exception of a couple of exposed beams in the main living room, it still provides the casual elegance and quality that so many people love about log homes.
Handcrafted log homes, which are typically made of logs that have been peeled but are otherwise essentially unchanged from their original appearance as trees, is a craft brought to North America by Scandinavian settlers in the early 18th Century. Quickly passed along and adopted by not only other colonists, but also Native Americans, the craft evolved and soon pre-fabricated log houses made of sawn or milled logs were being exported to North America.
What makes log houses so unique is the changing of the logs over time. As all logs have varying degrees of moisture content that cause movement and shrinking of the logs over time as they dry out, small cracks known as checks open as the home ages. It’s a natural process that occurs in all log homes, no matter the construction method. Some log homes need to have gaps between the timber filled over time, or have bolts that must be tightened and released during different times of year to allow for the shrinkage and expansion of the logs.
Today, custom and pre-fabricated log homes are available from various manufacturers and builders and remain a popular choice for country, second and lake homes. I highly recommend them and love helping my clients find the log home of their dreams.