Log homes can’t be beat for design, comfort, and that special style. Selecting a log species might be confusing, but we’ve found that cedar is the smart choice for North Carolina log homeowners—a superior log for performance, durability, and energy efficiency.
Cedar Log Options
Often log home manufacturers offer a “choice” of cedar logs but attach a premium cost over their primary pine log. Most likely, it’s because unless the manufacturer processes cedar logs, they’ll have to source it from a third party. That’s why Big Twig Homes is so confident in our relationship with Katahdin Cedar Log Homes. Their state-of-the-art cedar log home mill processes more Northern White Cedar logs than anyone else in North America. That’s a lot of cedar logs! With that capacity, you can be assured of quality cedar logs that will last the test of time when you build your custom log home.
With natural resources under stress worldwide, it’s good to know that Northern White Cedar is one of the most sustainable species available for log homes and log cabins. Its natural defenses and regeneration abilities mean that cedar grows easily and without the need for human intervention. On the other hand, Pine is susceptible to insects and has specific needs for soil, water, and temperature. Cedar grows abundantly in moist or dry conditions, though it prefers the cool temperatures of the northern forests of Maine. That’s why Katahdin positioned its initial processing mill at the doorstep of the vast forest lands in Ashland, Me., with the primary mill facility just a few miles down the road in Oakfield, Me.
There’s a reason your grandmother’s blanket chest was made of cedar—the natural oils that give cedar its pleasant scent also keep insects away. These natural oils are also mold and mildew resistant— a great overall feature! These qualities mean that no additional chemicals or pesticides are needed to prevent insect damage, mold, and mildew. On the other hand, pine logs are treated with heat in kilns to kill insects already inside the logs and extract pine’s excess moisture. However, pine’s lack of natural defenses requires ongoing, repeated applications of insecticide and other chemicals to protect the logs.
A Dry Log is a Better Log
Northern White Cedar logs start much drier than pine logs, allowing Katahdin to air dry logs with just a small amount of kiln time to finish the drying process. Once seasoned, Katahdin’s cedar log home wall stock is shipped at a low 10-12% moisture, close to equilibrium with the surrounding air on average. This results in a very stable log, with little checking or shrinkage. Conversely, even when white pine is kiln-dried, it still holds a lot of extra moisture that needs to continue to dry out over time. This is why pine logs often shift or develop gaps in a finished home, even after extensive kiln treatment.
Excellent Energy Efficiency
The stability of cedar logs allowed Katahdin Cedar Log Homes to implement its Energy Envelope System to enhance cedar’s natural insulating properties. The Energy Envelope System uses insulation applied to the inside of the building envelope at the R-value or thickness to meet or exceed North Carolina efficiency standards. This insulating system provides homeowners with a cozy, comfortable home that saves energy and money all year long. The interior walls can be finished with cedar tongue-and-groove to provide a log wall appearance or any other type of wallboard desired.
At Big Twig Homes of Hendersonville, North Carolina, we’ve had tremendous success building custom Katahdin Cedar Log Homes for our happy customers. Let us show you how to achieve your dream custom log home in the Henderson & Asheville, NC area!