Sunday, July 29, 2012

Building a Log Home, chapter 19



Time to cut out the windows and doors and doorwalls on the first floor. If we thought there was a lot of sawdust each day (we swept up several trash cans worth every evening), there was even more sawdust when they took their chainsaws to the walls. In the top picture he’s cutting out one of two tall windows in the south-facing kitchen. We were asked how low we wanted each window, how high, how wide, and in a couple of rooms we changed, added, or eliminated windows from our original plan. The flexibility was wonderful.

In the second shot you can see one of the logs as it plummets to the ground from the great room. As they chain sawed out a section they would kick the piece free. It made a terrific boom as it hit the earth. My husband was ready with his tractor to ferry the pieces away. Since then he has turned a few of them into benches for around the campfire, but we have tons (literally) left.

You might notice in the second picture that there are only a couple of feet between the great room windows. By cutting out the openings the narrow strips of remaining logs could have teetered out, but before cutting they hammered some 2 by 4’s up to hold them in place. Later the window frames were strong enough to keep the structure intact.

The windows were another challenge that we researched well. Because we knew there would be maybe six inches or more of settling we had to leave air pockets above each door and window. We filled them with insulation and screening to keep the critters out. As the house has settled those pockets have disappeared and the upper framing boards have slid over the lower ones. If we hadn’t done that all the glass would have cracked the first year.