Friday, October 2, 2009

A Log Cabin

I must start off apologizing for ducking in and out of the blogosphere (mostly out!). We've been traveling a lot over the past month, taking care of my family's vacation home. It's a log cabin built back in the 1970's and in desperate need of some attention.

A bit of advice...don't buy a log cabin! Especially as a second home if you won't be around to take care of it regularly. My grandfather, who built the cabin, thought it was going to be maintenence free. HA! I think it's been more demanding than a traditional brick/vinyl siding home.

The log cabin in the 1980's with original finish

The biggest problem initially was insect damage. At the time the cabin was built, it was common practice to leave the logs in the lumberyard with the bark on, which encouraged beetle infestation. Once the logs reached the building site, they were already contaminated with beetle larvae.

After 10 years or so insect holes started appearing in the logs. My grandfather was (poorly)advised to paint the logs to keep the insects out. However, the insects were already in so painting it wasn't going to prevent anything. Additionally, the paint has inhibited the logs' ability to "breathe" and has contributed to moisture problems inside the house.

Insect damage to the logs

My grandfather has since passed on and my parents now own the cabin, but my husband and I are the primary caretakers. Recently I noticed it seemed the insect damage was getting worse and I called out a log repair specialist. He found several rotten logs and told us the paint really needed to come off, which was fine by me since I always disliked the paint and wished the cabin could have stayed its natural wood color.

The red house with new replacement logs

So, all that to say, much money later...the cabin is back to its true color, the rotten logs have been replaced, and the holes are sealed up. Now all we have to do is apply clearcoat to the entire cabin every 3-4 years! Geesh! What a job that will be!

Tah-dah! The paint is almost all gone! Yippee!


Linda Pruitt said...

Thanks for your post! I so miss my cabin in the woods! It wasn't a log cabin, but a lodge built in about 1919 and then modified in the 30's. It was in various states of dis-repair, but I loved the atmosphere and the cold mornings by the fire, regardless! It's gone now, I really miss it!

UberArt said...

I'm sorry your cabin is gone now. :( It sounds lovely, as most lodges from that era were.

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

It sure is a beautiful home! Hope it is worth the work :)

Rose Works Jewelry said...

That cabin is sooo cute!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE log cabins and had thought for many years that I was going to have one someday. Well, as time passed I outgrew the idea, and "really" appreciate you blog in this regard...I had NO idea!

Its so beautiful! How did you get the paint off? That must have been a huge undertaking.

UberArt said...

The paint was removed by a professional log restoration crew using cob blasting. It's like sand blasting, but it uses ground up corn cob media instead of sand, which is more effective on the logs and environmentally friendly.

Judy Nolan said...

Your cabin is beautiful...I really like the logs without the paint, besides the fact that it solves a problem. Yes, lots of work to keep up, but I envy you, just the same. :-)

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