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Log Home Construction: Which wood is best?
Log Home Construction: Which Wood Is Best?
By [http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Darwin_Forcier]Darwin Forcier 

Which Wood is Best for Log Home Construction?

Much has been written about which wood species is best for log home construction. In this article I will draw on fifteen years experience to explain the pros and cons of some of the common wood species used commercially for log cabin construction.

Lodge pole pine is probably one of the most common and widely used wood species for log wall construction. It tends to be straight with low taper due to the slow growth associated with the dry climate where it is found. It is moderately strong and has low to moderate shrinkage during the seasoning process. Lodge pole Pine offers only moderate to low bug and decay resistance and great care must be take to ensure that the logs are treated for insects and decay. 

Spruce is another species that is commonly used in log construction. Spruce is widely used in the Interior of British Columbia when many of North America's log homes come from. Spruce usually grows straight with very little taper making it a good candidate for log construction. However, it is common for Spruce to grow with a spiral grain. Spiral grain logs should not be used in construction and doing so can have disastrous results. Spruce, like Pine is moderately strong and has moderate shrinkage during the seasoning process; and like Pine it offers only low insect and decay resistance. Spruce logs tend to need more maintenance than some of the other species especially Douglas fir and Western Red Cedar.

Douglas fir is a great choice for log shell construction as it grows straight with low taper and is very strong. However, Douglas fir, like Spruce, can grow with a spiral grain. Spiral grain logs should not be used in log wall construction if possible. Douglas fir logs are very strong and are well suited for beams and purlins. Douglas fir has moderate shrinkage and moderate to high insect and decay resistance. Douglas fir log home tend to look more uniform than others because of the low taper. 

Western Red Cedar (WRC) is the final and in my opinion the best choice for log home construction. Quality WRC logs have low to moderate taper and low moisture content. WRC logs will shrink the least of all species of wood during the seasoning process. WRC is almost always straight grained and offers high natural insect and decay resistance. WRC is moderately strong and thus ideal for log wall construction. WRC is also the only species that grows with the "butt flares" that are becoming increasing popular in log homes. The flares offer the customer a way of making their home unique and give it a more rustic and "hand-crafted" look that differentiates it from the cookie-cutter style of log homes found in many areas.

Before choosing the logs for your home, you should do some investigation into what is available in your area. The logs I mention above are by far the most widely used logs today but some may not be available in your area. Having said that, I recommend that your buy the best logs available for your home even if you have to have them shipped to you because remember "the logs are the only portion of your new home that you cannot upgrade later".

Darwin Forcier- Owner and founder of Coast Mountain Handcrafted Log Homes. Darwin has been building log and timber homes since 1993

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Log-Home-Construction:-Which-Wood-Is-Best?&id=5121193] Log Home Construction: Which Wood Is Best?