The resulting settlement and shrinkage of logs in a newly built log home are not problems but some of the characteristics of working with timber or lumber. However, the log shrinkage and log settlement are the most vital detail concerning construction. Log home lumber shrinkage and settlement only become a problem when homeowners and builder fail to recognize or respect it. If a builder or a log manufacturer says you need to move on since there is no settlement, you need to get another opinion since it might not be true.
Why does wood shrink?
Timber shrinks in width and not length. There is a difference between timber frame and log home lumber. There is no significant settlement in timber frame homes because the length is mostly vertical. However, in log home lumber, each log shrinks horizontally because the length is horizontal. To take care of a log home, some builders prefer mixing log construction with block work or timber frame. House companies have designed a unique flashing that can accommodate movement in the home.
Benefits of using log construction
A home built using log home lumber is a beautiful home built using the natural material. The character of the wood used is satisfying. The good news is that log settlement stops after about two years. If some areas of the home are built with timber frames, timber clad and standard roof trusses, the house will not experience much settlement.
How much settlement can a home experience?
A log home lumber settlement depends on the size of the home. For instance, a log size of 5 inches wide and 7 inches high can experience shrinkage that affects the thickness of the log. The shrinkage can separate a small space around the corner joints. Another example is a standard ceiling that measures 8 feet high. The ceiling will shrink down by 2 inches. A laminated log will settle by only a tenth of an inch.
While home settling is not a problem if you understand wood shrinkage, under certain conditions it’s critical. Most log settlements and log shrinkage in log home lumber concern are more for maintenance, expense, and energy efficiency and construction quality. The basic engineering of a log home lumber makes for a strong building to withstand a great deal of construction and design.
For more information on log home lumber, contact Log Homes Builders at 919-202-4428.