Millions of people in the United States own their own home. Of those millions, approximately 20 percent designed and built a custom house, but only 2 percent of those are lucky enough to call a log or timber-frame structure home. By reading our magazine, you have squarely put yourself in an elite group who appreciates the natural beauty of an all-wood abode. After all, there are scads of reasons why life is better when you surround yourself with hardy logs and majestic timbers. May we present our top 10 favorite reasons why log and timber homes rule.
1. Design Flexibility.
While there is something to be said for a traditional cabin — cozy and classic — modern log and timber homes can be built in a countless variety of designs to suit any locale or style preference. So, whether you’re craving a waterfront timber home with coastal details, a contemporary, industrial-inspired hybrid or rugged mountain lodge, you can be sure your log or timber home’s style will stand the test of time.
2. Lasting Legacy.
Log and timber homes have tried-and-true longevity. (A log home built in 1638 is among the oldest homes in the U.S!) Of course, this is a valuable asset from a construction and sustainability standpoint, but it also holds special meaning for your family. Passing down a log or timber home means you’ll be sharing cherished memories and a heritage for your children, your children’s children and generations beyond.
3. Mother Nature, Mastered.
Depending on where you build, your log or timber home may endure severe weather events, from heavy rain and snow to tornadoes or even hurricanes. In addition to providing superior insulating abilities against heat and cold for year-round comfort, log and timber homes also offer solid-wall construction or an unbeatably strong framework, respectively, that enables them to stand up to biting winds, heavy snow loads and other forces of nature.
4. Every Day is a Vacation.
We’ve all been on those vacations that we wish never had to end. Now, imagine enjoying that lifestyle every day. Log and timber homeowners repeatedly share that they experience the “permanent vacation” feel when they’re at home. The change of pace, the sense of calm created by the wood interiors and the connection to nature all contribute to that refreshing feel. Whether you’re rocking away on a front porch or cozying up in front of a roaring fire, log and timber homes are made for leisure.
5. Money Matters.
It’s no secret that building a log and timber home requires an investment of time and money. But over the long term, these wood homes have been shown to hold their value better than other types of housing — an important quality if you plan to offer it up as an asset for resale at some point. If you’re looking to offset ownership costs up front, they also make ideal short-term rental properties thanks to their unique look and tendency to be in recreational areas, like the mountains or along the waterfront. Of course, if enjoying your log or timber home for a lifetime is your goal, we think that may be the best investment rationale of all.
6. Green Living.
Maybe more than ever before, sustainability matters, and there is no home-building material better for the environment than logs and timbers. For starters, they’re the ultimate renewable resource. Their fabrication also produces less waste than milling 2-by-6s and other standard building components. In addition, these homes generally require less energy to produce than a conventional home. Plus, most log and timber home companies are meticulous about bettering the environment through efforts such as reforestation and recycling – even converting waste material, like sawdust, into biofuel.
7. Excellent Efficiency.
Both log and timber homes rank high on the energy efficiency charts. Besides the naturally insulating properties of the wood, known as thermal mass, well-built log or timber homes offer tight building envelopes, thanks to superior-rated components like structural insulated panels (SIPs). These factors combined mean homeowners need less energy to heat and cool their homes to stay comfy. This lower energy consumption is good for the environment and your household budget.
8. Wood for Your Health.
Sure, log and timber homes are easy on the eyes, but did you know they’re good for the rest of you, too? Homes built with wood are known to lower stress levels and promote better indoor air quality (no off-gassing from artificial construction materials). Plus, log and timber homes are often built in the middle of nature-centric areas that encourage residents to spend more time on activities like hiking or biking. And, even if you’re just enjoying views of the great outdoors from your front porch or massive great room windows, you’ll still enjoy health benefits: Studies have shown that being exposed to natural light boosts serotonin levels, and just viewing scenes of nature puts the body in a state of rest.
9. Delightfully Different Design.
Log and timber homes really are something else. The materials and methods used to build them are unique, and as such, the homes stand out from the crowd of traditional stick-frame houses. Inside and out, log and timber homes have a “wow” factor that will have folks “oohing” and “ahhing” every time they drive by or are lucky enough to step though your front door.
10. Together Time.
While there is something charming about a cozy cabin built for two, log and timber homes are meant to be enjoyed with friends and family, too. They have a relaxing vibe that invites you to slow down and savor one another’s company. Open-concept plans that connect the kitchen with the great room encourage groups to interact with ease, while the focus on each other naturally spurs everyone to put down their phones, shut out the demands of “regular” life and spend time reconnecting with the people who matter the most.