Log Garage Options And The
Types of Log Siding
If you live in a log home, anything other than a log garage just won't do! A garage with "normal" siding will detract from the charm of the home and look out of place.
A garage that matches your home will increase the property value much more, and look like it "belongs". With all the options that are available today, it is not too difficult to design a garage that will complement your log-style home.
When most people think of a log home or garage, they automatically think of a structure made from solid timbers. This type of building has been around for centuries, and when properly built and maintained they can last for centuries, too.
However, a solid log garage comes with a few disadvantages when compared to other building types. Plumbing and wiring create some challenges, and there is always the issue of the timbers "settling" with age. They require a lot of attention and maintenance, and they are expensive when compared to other building designs.
Today there are options for logs that weren't available a number of years ago. One option is using glulam logs. These are actually flat boards that are glued together, with an outer layer that is rounded to make them look like solid logs. Glulam logs resist splitting, cracking, twisting and warping much better than real logs made from a solid tree trunk.
Another option is foam core logs. The cross section looks like a wooden box, with foam filling the space inside and a rounded board on the outside. These are much lighter and easier to handle than solid wood, and they have a much higher insulation value. They also resist splitting and warping, much like glulam logs.
Most log buildings today are not actually made from solid logs, though. A very popular option is to use wood log siding on the outside of a conventional stick-built frame structure or a pole building. From the outside, you can't tell that the walls aren't solid timbers, yet you have all the advantages of a conventionally framed building. Many log-style homes are actually built this way.
Using wood siding instead of solid timbers eliminates the challenges of installing plumbing and electrical wiring in a structure built of solid logs. You also don't have the issue of logs settling, and the garage can be insulated much easier. Garages built with this type of siding can cost as much as one-third less than solid log garage kits.
In addition to wood log siding, today you can also find vinyl log siding. Vinyl log cabin siding has the same advantages as other styles of vinyl siding: ultra-low maintenance, long life, easy installation, no worries of rot or insect damage, and low cost. Vinyl log siding usually has a foam underlayment that adds insulation value and gives the curved vinyl its rigidity. Some vinyl even comes with a lifetime warranty; try finding that with any sort of exterior wood product!
Most vinyl styles are made to look like painted wood, but some colors look very much like weathered wood or stained wood. Many styles are embossed with a textured wood grain pattern, and some have "hew lines" molded into the vinyl. Some vinyl siding even has "knots" and looks very close to real stained wood.
Another alternative is steel log siding. Steel siding has pretty much the same advantages as vinyl. It is a low maintenance, long-life material that is less expensive than real wood. It does have a few disadvantages when compared to vinyl, though. It is more easily dented if, for instance, an errant baseball happens to hit the side of the garage. Steel siding is also prone to rust if the finish is damaged or if you live in a coastal area.
As you can see, there are a lot of options when building a log garage. You can build one using solid logs, manufactured wood logs, or wood log siding. If you want to avoid the maintenance headaches and expense that come with real wood, you can use vinyl or steel log siding and have it still look like a log building.
Many companies that manufacture and sell log homes also have garage kits available, too. There are a few places that list prices online, such as Cedar Knoll Log Homes, Barn Pros, B and H Cedar Homes, and Tussey Mountain Cabins. Take a look at their websites to get an idea of how much the different types of kits (siding vs. solid logs) cost. Make your log garage match the look of your home, and you won't be disappointed.
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