If you have spent time looking at log homes, you probably noticed that the vast majority of them are short. They are either a one story rambler style home or one story with a loft tucked up into the roof — with dormers to add head room. Luckily there’s a way to build a real, full sized log home… a log home with a real second floor, or even a third floor.
The reason most log homes are only 1 story is because of settling problems. The vast majority of log homes out there are either kits, or notched log homes. Those will all experience settling, and require a great deal of complicated and expensive finishing work to compensate for that settling.
Extra work like adding screw jacks, slip joints for plumbing, keyways, settling space above windows/doors, slip joints at the top of sheet rocked interior walls, maybe even spring loaded nuts, et cetera. All of those things can help deal with settling, but they really have a ‘maximum capacity.’ That means they can only deal with ‘so much’ settling — as much that typically happens with a 10-12′ tall log wall. Much higher than that and the problems can really start to develop, so while there are some true 2 story kits out there… most are 1 story.
As the saying goes, “It’s always cheaper to build up versus building out.” That means it will be more expensive to build a large kit or notched log home, to get the same square footage as a taller 2 or 3 story log home, because you need to pay for more foundation, and more roofing material.
If you want a full sized log home, instead of a short log home, there is an alternate construction method: the Skip style Butt and Pass log home method. With the butt and pass method, there is no settling. That’s right, zero settling. So you can build dang near as tall as you want.
There’s no need to use screw jacks, cut settling space, cut keyways, use slip joints, etc. You save a lot of time, because the project is less complex. You save a lot of money, because you don’t need custom equipment to finish your log home. You also get to skip the dormers, because your walls are tall enough to not need them for head room. That’s awesome, because dormers can be very complicated to build.
And since there’s no settling, you are not limited to 10-12′ tall log walls. It is very common for our students to build 2 or 3 story log homes with 20′ or taller log walls. When you see a full sized log home next to a short log home, it is an extremely impressive sight.
Don’t settle for short, go tall instead!
For additional information on this topic read the following article: