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Which wooden house is better: a two-edged cant house or a round-log house?

It all depends on your own perception, and both optiona have their advantages and disadvantages. During the drying and shrinking process, one wide crack usually forms on two-edged cant (it varies from log to log), while many small fractures appear on round logs. It is certainly more convenient to install and hang furniture in a two-edged cant house. It is also important to consider the fact that an upper layer of wood is stripped off of two-edged cant, but given the modern antiseptics, it does not affect durability at all. Russia is traditionally more closely associated with wooden houses from round logs, Norway - with two-edged cant houses, while in Canada wooden houses are built exclusively from large logs with a diameter from 34cm and bigger. The frame houses that we build are unique in Russia. In terms of appearance, not every log house project can be modified for two-edged cant. Consider whose look you like best - of two-edged cant or round logs, and build accordingly.

Can the first floor be full-sized and not a mansard? Do you think it is worth it or not? Will it affect the aesthetics of the house?

It depends on the size of a house and its architecture. When it comes to a log house based on this project, it will most likely look tall. We think it is best not to do it, it is not cost-effective. If you do not plan to get an attic room. In this case, it is important to understand the purpose of the attic. As a rule, depending on your height, it is enough to raise the mansard floor by 1.3 - 1.7m  and make  the angle of the roof minimal. The minimal angle (depending on a project) of  the roof - reduces the internal volume of the room, which affects its heating, while acute gables are not the best choice for a wooden house.

How precise is the indicated cost? What is the duration of work?

The final cost is determined after we have designed and finalised the whole project. If during this process the floor areas and heights remain the same, then the indicated price is correct +/- 5%. The duration of work depends directly on the size of the log building. Our team builds on average 100m2 per month. 

Does the indicated price include notches of door and window openings?

Shaping and cutting notches on door and window openings is included in the cost of log house construction.

Do you do horizontal bracing for the logs in the notches? Are all these elements included in the cost?

The cost of handcrafted log house construction includes metallic studs used for the hidden fastening of logs in the joints. The diameter of studs is 10mm, the length is 500mm.

Do I understand it correctly that the indicated price includes a fully assembled truss system? Do you install a sliding system?

The cost of log house construction and installation does not include a truss system. To cut in rafters into the walls of the house, we need to approve the thickness of finishing boards and clamping bar of vapor barrier insulation. Comparing to other construction companies we do not include into standard package temporary roofing like it is done by others, because we do not see any sense in useless wasting of materials. If we simply put roofing beams and cover it with tar coating, there is a big chance that in 2-5 months the beams will be twisted, it will be impossible to cut them in the roof structure and tar coating is simply thrown away after disassembly of temporary roofing. If there is a request for temporary roofing, we can do it right after assembly for free, you will only have to pay for banners which we use instead of tar cover. Instead of roofing beams we use the slopes of unsquared board. Later on we can use the board for scaffolding and banners for preserving delivered construction materials.

Is it possible to drill logs for hidden electric wiring?

It is possible. We will need an approved plan of electric wiring. It is important to know where sockets, switches, outside lighting are going to be placed and where primary input of the power cable is going to be.

What does it mean to «build under an overhang»?

It means that your wooden houses will be built under the roof, thereby being completely protected from bad weather conditions. This significantly reduces the construction time as long pouring rains can pause the construction process for some time. If you are planning to build a house from dry two-edged cant, it is necessary to do it under cover in order to maintain the required moisture content of wood. 

Do you do grinding when you disassemble a house and how?

There are three ways to do grinding. 

First one – within disassembly of the log shell at construction site (usually we do grinding this way when sending shells to Norway). The advantage here is that we get a better quality of grinding because every log is ground separately. This is a cheaper grinding because it is made within disassembly process and does not require building of scaffolding. This way the quality of grinding in the corners and places of rows joining is also higher. Every log is treated with preservation after grinding. The disadvantage is that the logs could get dirty within assembly and further will require additional, partial grinding. 

Second one is almost the same but we grind each log within assembly of the log structure. Generally we do it this way when we take tower crane to the assembly site. Rented automatic crane is unprofitable for us, because the rent will take all the profit and even more. 

Third one is to do grinding after construction of permanent roofing. 

Hello! I am interested in a house of up 100 square meters for a family of two adults. Please, suggest an optimal choice.

First of all, it is importart to understand what to take into consideration and what you like.
Such a small house could and should be designed very thoroughly to make it functional and cosy. We understand that for two people there should be at least 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, a bathroom (combined or not) and an entrance hall. Norwegian houses look very attractive with carved posts, projections for terraces. A 100m2 house can be very beautiful.

How much does shipping cost?

Shipping costs are determined by freight companies. You can make arrangements with them on your own or entrust this task to us. While shipping, it is especially important to consider whether 12 vehicles will be able to reach the foundation of the house. If this is not feasible, then it is necessary to work out in advance whether it is possible to reload the freight onto short vehicles and drive up towards the foundation.

How many vehicles will be needed to ship a log house?

Every lorry can fit on average 50m2 of the total area of a round-log house (depending on the diameter of logs) and 80m2 of the total area of a two-edged cant house.

I would like to order a house project from you with possible construction in the future.

In the attached letter the following specification were indicated::

– area of the house up to 100 m22
– ground floor: entrance hall, kitchen, living room, bathroom (with a small sauna 1600х2000 mm)
– first floor: hall with balustrade (over the kitchen), parents' bedroom, room for 2 girls
– double ceiling in the living and kitchen

Interior design:
– kitchen is separated from the living room by a semi-arch
– stairs from partially sawn logs
– support posts made of logs
– various beams and girders
– fireplace (possibly, with its back wall outside)

Exterior design:
– algorithm of offsetting logs at the corners;
– wide wind boards (Norwegian houses)
– supporting posts

The procedure is the following: your wishes are quite clear according to outside appearance, on all the pictures could be seen extended elements of the house. Are they acceptable? In telephone conversation you mentioned that you have a limited building area.

To design such a project, we will need an advance payment from you in the amount of 15 000 ruble for project design (the cost of this work is taken out from the cost of log shell manufacturing when ordered from our company) and upon design issue remaining 15 000 rubles if design of the house is not enlarged within design process. 

During the design you will have to closely communicate with our architect. He will be offering options for various elements of the house and show you how it is going to look like. You will also decide where and what kind of stairs you will have.
All your wishes regarding offsets, extended logs, stairs will not make any particular difficulty for us. The most important thing here is to approve all the smallest details, because the stairs could be of different shape, offsets and beams can also be different, including the colour.

Design is always something to begin with. If we come from the area of 100m2, the cost of log shell manufacturing at our construction site will make up around 1 100 000 rubles. Cost of assembly onto foundation is 300 000 rubles. We cannot give the exact cost of foundation because we do not know what you are planning. When choosing a foundation, not only the type of soils should be taken into account but also how you plan to heat the house and whether you are going to have under floor heating or not, for example. 

How long does it take you to construct a log building?

The team at the North House company builds on average 100m2 per month. If the area of the house is 250m2, then it will take us 2.5 months to build it.  

What is the best diameter of timber for building a house?

It is preferable to build houses with a floor area of up to 150m2 from 21cm two-edged cant or round logs with a 28-30cm diameter. Houses with larger floor area look better if they are made of bigger sawlogs. If you build a 500m2 house from logs with a 28-30cm diameter, its walls will resemble a set of pencils.

Where do you buy wood?

We mainly buy pinewood from the south of the Onega - this is the border between Vologda Oblast, Karelia and Leningrad Oblast. Larch and cedar - from Lesosibirsk and Karabula.

Why are there gaps in the outer projections?

When there is rain and side wind, water drains along the butt-end of the logs and flows between them. Within tight log construction, water still penetrates between the rows of logs (in the butt ends) and the logs will become damp. Gaps of 3-5mm should be left in the outer extended logs for the means of ventilation and faster humidity evaporation. Imagine a drop of water flowing along the wall: it should not penetrate between the logs but should flow unstopped and drop on the ground (not on the foundation).

Can the Canadian notch be used with two-edged cant?

Yes, a two-edged cant house can be built with Canadian notches (with or without tongues). The only difference is external at the corners. The Norwegian notch is made with upper and lower grooves, while the Canadian notch has only an upper groove, but they work in the same way while the logs shrink and settle.

Which notch is better: with or without a tongue?

We believe that the simpler and more predictable the behaviour of a notch is, the better. Canadian notch is made without a tongue. In theory, this tongue provides an additional joint to prevent possible air leakage, but it can have a negative effect when the house settles. A log (not every one) may get twisted or jammed on the tongue. Whether the notch is made with or without a tongue, it does not affect the price of house construction. All the works will be done in accordance with specifications, which we will finalise with you for every element of the log structure.

When should I order the log shell to have it delivered before the road closure?

Roads are usually closed for drying for a month from April 1. If within design process the house remains the same in sizes, two months will take to manufacture it. Consequently you should order the log shell in January or beginning of February, not later.

What is the difference between your company and other firms that work in wooden house construction?

What sets the North House company apart is the fact that we work with professional dealers, and the quality standards, which they set for us, are much higher than any possible requirements of individual clients. It is with this quality that we build all our houses.

We are open to dialogue, and you can always count on our warm attitude. Please, visit us - we certainly have something to be proud of and what to offer to your attention.

We look forward to seeing you at our construction sites daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.