Log House gasket 1This may not come as a surprise but not every log home is built the same. So to ensure your home is well insulated there are some key things you will want to talk about as your home is being built.

The timber for your log home should be carefully chosen for durability, aesthetics, and R-Value (resistance to heat flow). The higher the R-Value is, the better insulating the wood. Softwoods like cedar, pine and fir provide better insulation than hardwood. Logs are able to store heat throughout the day and release it through the cooler night, requiring less energy to heat your home and creating a very warm and cozy feeling at night. The heat storage quality of log walls creates a fluctuating R-Value, though it is generally a little lower on average than in traditionally built walls, log homes can provide better insulation in some climates than your conventionally framed home.

We, at Artisan Custom Log Homes, design and build several different types of log houses with varying levels of insulating qualities.

We, at Artisan Custom Log Homes, design and build several different types of log houses with varying levels of insulating qualities.

  • Full Scribe Home
  • Post & Beam Home
  • Timber Frame Home
  • Hybrid Log Home

How are full scribe log homes insulated?

Full scribe homes can take anything Mother Nature can dish out, and are very strong—usually constructed solely from logs stacked horizontally creating that traditional log home look. Besides some internal and gable framed walls, they do not require siding, conventional insulation or drywall, but the logs are carefully hand-picked and scribed for a tight fit and can be adjusted over time to ensure you have a snug and warm log home. All horizontally stacked log walls and corners are insulated individually with a specially designed closed cell gasket material ensuring a wind and water proof seal.

How are post & beam log homes insulated?

Post & Beam homes are very energy efficient, blending the full scribe look with vertical support beams infilled with framed walls, this allowing for added insulation and an added R-Value for those colder climates. Posts are grooved for installation of siding for a clean look and to help prevent any sort of wind penetration. We might recommend a post & beam home for areas that have stricter energy codes.

How are timber frame log homes insulated?

Timber Frame and Hybrid Log homes are similar to post & beam but the timbers are cut in square profile rather than round. The logs are gasketed ensuring a tight-fitting seal. Settling of the wood does not happen, and gaps and leaks are less of a concern. Siding can be added for extra protection. These homes provide a flexible option, combining the timber frame construction with a variety of design choices. You can select building materials, and there are many possibilities when it comes to how you insulate and finish your home.

Artisan Custom Log Homes makes sure the logs for your home are air dried and seasoned before construction to ensure the snuggest fit. We provide expert advice on maintaining your log house through the years to make sure it remains a warm, cozy place to call home.

How Energy Efficient are Log Homes?

Now that you’re familiar and in the know regarding all things log home and insulation, the next big question we get asked is how energy efficient are they? As we know, log homes tend to be known for having that comfortable, warm homey feeling but you also want to make sure that it isn’t going to break the bank for you to heat it. So there are a couple of things that you will want to consider.

The energy efficiency of your finished log home will depend on the building materials, actual log diameter, the thickness of the framed walls, and the size and location of your structure. It will also be based on the wood’s insulation properties and thermal mass. Insulation refers to the wood’s ability to resist heat transfer. 

Log Home Construction Materials

Wood has a natural insulation property due to its cellular structure which provides small air pockets. These air pockets trap and slow down the transfer of heat through the wood. The higher the density of the wood, the greater its insulation property. This means that hardwoods such as cedar and spruce have a higher insulation property than softwoods such as pine. Wood insulation provides a natural and renewable source of insulation for the home, making it an eco-friendly and cost-effective option for homeowners.

It is also crucial to air-dry the logs before construction to reduce contraction and expansion—which will affect energy-efficiency. Reducing gaps between logs and preventing air leakage is key.

As noted above, different wood types are going to offer your home a different level of insulation. The wood you choose for your log home will have a thermal resistance or R-value, and this will affect the insulating properties of the home. Artisan Custom Log Homes can help you choose the right type of wood for your home and help you understand the differences between them.

Craftsmanship and Energy-Efficiency

The hand scribing and custom fitting of each log guarantees a strong and warm home that your family will enjoy. Our craftsmen are experienced in traditional and hybrid log home building, so we can tailor a home where all aspects of energy-efficient building techniques are considered: windows and doors, skylights, interior walls, insulation and sealing, local climate, heating and cooling systems, building codes and ratings systems.

Protecting your log home from moisture adsorption is crucial and making sure the wood is treated and protected by an overhanging roof and correctly installed gutters and drains will provide that protection.

Comparing Log Homes to Conventional Homes

Comparisons on the energy-efficiency of log homes and conventional homes show different results, but it is usually always pointed out that log homes are air-tight and can retain heat well. Log homes can be made as—or more—energy efficient as conventional buildings!

Experienced, professional design teams can help ensure you are meeting energy standards with your new log home, and they can work with you to create the most energy-efficient home possible.

If you have any questions about our log homes and their energy-efficiency, please email us and one of our team will get back to you.