Hochstetler Log Homes
By Douglas M. Kish, MA
The Beauty of an Energy-Efficient Log Home
The charm and mystigue of log homes has been with us since early frontier days and remains just as captivating today. A warm fire, exposed timbers, colorful accents and rich furnishings contribute to the beauty of a log home.
Although there are limited contractors in the area for log homes, Hochstetler Log Homes, Ltd., is a family-owned company with more than 33 years of experience designing and manufacturing log and timber homes.
The cost of a log home is comparable to a simple wood-frame home. However, log home owners like to include cathedral ceilings, exposed timbers, quality cabinets, chandeliers and a unique front door, which adds to the cost. You can build a log home yourself with general carpentry experience and skills, providing you can devote several months of good weather to the project. Alternatively, hiring a contractor with the proper tools would be more efficient timewise.
The average amount of time to build is six to nine months for a 2,000 square foot log home. Although Hochstetler has numerous standard home designs, their professional design team can assist you with a completely custom design from your ideas or a sketch.
You might be surprised to learn that log homes are energy efficient. Logs are natural insulators. Forget R-values, think thermal mass. Unlike man-made insulation, logs insulate by thermal mass, which simply means they “store” heat and release it later.
Logs are sealed with caulking and gaskets as they are stacked using their tapered tongue-and-groove cuts to insure a precise fit.
You can choose from Northern White Cedar, Eastern White Pine, Western Red Cedar or Cypress logs. In addition, Yellow Pine and Aromatic Cedar can be available. Hochstetler will help you decide which logs are best for your area of construction. Whatever your choice, there are several steps you can take to preserve the beauty of your log home. Designing your home with large overhangs of at least two feet and covered porches to shield it from the sun’s rays is always recommended.
Depending on your state’s climate, you can choose 6” or 8” thick walls. The inside walls of a log home require little maintenance, as owners usually prefer to keep the timber appearance rather than drywall.
Log homes have been proven to withstand wind, hail and even hurricanes. The outside of the finished home will require staining and you can choose from an array of dark or light colors. Always use a quality finish that allows the logs to “breathe.” A good finish also contains a UV guard to protect from sun exposure.
Hochstetler Log Homes has two furnished log homes in the area for you to see the finished product. They are located at 552 State Route 95 in Loudonville, Ohio. The McKay is a 2,007 square feet home which features the popular open-concept great room with a large fireplace and exposed timber ceiling, inviting sunroom, master bedroom with master bath, and a large open loft with two additional bedrooms and a bath upstairs. This model is open for viewing every day except Sunday.
The smaller Black Fork model is well suited to a wooded or lakefront lot. It offers a timbered front porch, open-concept great room with fireplace, an adjoining dining area and kitchen, and a bedroom. The large loft upstairs provides additional living space and overlooks the great room.
For more information about log homes, see their website www.hochstetlerloghomes.com. Or call 800-368-1015 for information or to schedule an appointment to visit the two furnished models. It will change your opinion of a log home forever.
Hochstetler Log Homes