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Navigating Rules, Codes & Regulations for Log Cabin Homes

By November 25, 2018 No Comments

engneering plans Big Twig HomesModern log cabin homes can be an uncommon style of construction for many areas, despite their long historical presence in Western Carolina. Some folks are unfamiliar with how well the beautiful Katahdin Cedar Log Homes meet modern standards. We tackled some thought-provoking questions about log cabin kits that we’ve fielded in recent conversations.

Can log homes meet energy efficiency codes in my municipality?
Katahdin Cedar Log Homes are engineered to meet or exceed energy efficiency code requirements. The combination of whole log wall construction paired with the unique Energy Envelope System® can be customized to meet requirements in climate zones 3,4, and 5 found in the Carolinas. Each of these zones have specific R-value requirements for roof and wall insulation. These requirements range from R-13 to R-19 for walls and R- 30 or R-38 for roofs. Katahdin log cabins offer insulation flexibility because their Northern White Cedar log is one of the driest and highest R-value of any wood species. Because a dry log is very stable, we can apply insulation to the interior of the log envelope to reach just about any level of insulation desired. Though you won’t need as much in Asheville NC as in Oakfield, Maine, where Katahdin is headquartered! log home on stilts Big Twig Homes

Can a log home be constructed on pilings?
One couple noted that their building site is located in a flood plain. They would be required to build on “stilts,” or pilings, to meet new construction requirements. The short answer is Yes! With advance notice and the guidance of a local engineer, we can build your Katahdin log cabin kit with supporting piers to elevate the main floor to flood plain code requirements. Placement of the piers will coincide with pressure load points where trusses and floor systems meet the log walls. If a more open lower level is required with fewer columns, we can specify steel beams to support the structural span of the home. The Katahdin design team would work with the local engineer to test the soils. These soil tests will determine how deep the pier footings would be necessary to support the log cabin structure. Once the pilings are in place, they can be finished and dressed with synthetic stone or other finishes.

How do I obtain an engineer stamp for my plans?
At Big Twig Homes, we understand that each municipality has different requirements. Before we finalize the design and plans, we’ll check in with your local code enforcement authority to verify what permits, engineering and other code requirements are. With that knowledge in hand, we’ll be able to set up engineering approvals and stamps and factor that into your overall design lead time. Katahdin has relationships with engineers licensed to work in each of the 50 states. As a result, we’ll be connecting with a local professional who understands log cabin homes. It’s also worth noting that many lending institutions require engineering stamps on plans before a loan is approved.

ARborwall Solid Cedar Home Big Twig HomesOur lot is located in a gated community with strict covenants. Can I build a log home?
If your land is part of a planned community, there may be covenants requiring a particular appearance. In that case, let’s talk about designing an Arborwall Solid Cedar Home. These stunning homes are constructed using the same log construction as a Katahdin home, but the exterior log profile is shaped to look like a clapboard facade. You’ll still be able to enjoy the soaring purlin and truss roof systems that make our log home kits so distinctive, but the exterior can blend with in with all types of communities.

It’s important to note that we’ve built log cabin homes in many sizes, styles and locations—each has its unique challenges. Yet, with our experience and perseverance, we can make your Asheville or Black Mountain NC log home a reality! We encourage you to reach out with your unique building situation and we’ll work together to find  the perfect solution.

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