Your Log House
The On-Site Manual For The Do-It-Yourselfer
What's the book about?

Illustrated Glossary of Terms

  1. Introduction
  2. Why a Log House?
  3. House Design
  4. Traditional Principles & Contemporary Design
  5. Log Acquisition
  6. Getting Started on the Building
  7. Organizing the Site and Equipment
  8. Foundations
  9. Timber Layout
  10. First Logs & Floor Joists
  11. The Chainsaw
  12. Setting Wall Logs
  13. Openings
  14. Framing Walls
  15. Building the Roof
  16. Round Log Piece-en-piece
  17. Stair Planning
  18. Thermal Resistivity of Wood

• Includes 15 House Plans!

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The Book: Your Log House

10. First Logs & Floor Joists

The setting of floor joists in log buildings generally varies from most conventional techniques. Techniques frequently used in order to save an entire course of logs are illustrated in Details 3 and 6 of Figure 28. With this technique of stepping the joists down the foundation wall, the entire platform can be built before the log walls are started. If the walls are being built off-site, the platform can be built on the final site simultaneously. It will be ready for the delivery and re-erection of the log house that is being built off-site. The main advantage is that an immediate gain of a foot of usable wall is affected rather than devoting an entire course to the crawl space. Note that the first log sits on 1 in. of tarred fiber board or sill gasket. This takes up all the irregularities in the concrete as well as the sill log which has been flattened to a 4-in. minimum-bearing surface. Polyurethane materials, such as styrofoam, also serve well in this sealing capacity.

Log joists may also be set on the foundation wall and capped by mortises in the sill log. This technique (Detail 2, Figure 28) allows the builder to gain usable wall height reasonably soon. It saves him from having to allow for recesses and ledges in the foundation work. It also allows for an attractive appearance in the basement if the axe and chisel work is done carefully.

The placing of floor joists higher up on the log wall, as noted in Detail 1 of Figure 28, may require more building logs. However, some of the advantages of doing so outweigh the time and cost considerations. This is particularly the case in houses with much lived-in basements. Rather than building a basement totally out of concrete, concrete block, or plywood, why not use logs? It is certainly more pleasant to watch the basement recreation room’s firelight flicker on only 5 ft. of concrete with 3 ft. of timber above it, than on 8 ft. of concrete.

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