We all know the economy has made us change our plans and goals. Some of us wanted to build a log home and enjoy the log home lifestyle but, since the economy took a nosedive, we are forced to save money and upgrade the home we have instead of build a new one.
Many companies offer products that can aid in making your stick built home appear to be a log home. In fact, some of these products achieve this look so well the average person would be hard pressed to identify whether the home is built from log or a framed house.
One of the most common methods people use to update their home is to replace the siding on the exterior of their home. By installing a log siding product, the homeowner can achieve the external appearance of a log home and begin the transformation. Log siding installs virtually the same as other siding methods and in many cases has a comparable cost. Although I would certainly recommend hiring a professional to perform the log siding installation, many DIY’rs can do the installation themselves. I have included the basic steps below, but please check with each manufacturer and follow their installation instructions. Many manufacturers require their process be followed exactly or you will have no warranty protection.
- Begin by carefully measuring the exterior of your home to determine the amount of coverage needed. (most manufacturers and retailers of log siding can quote it by the square foot)
- Measure the size and quantity of your windows and doors. We don’t need to purchase log siding to cover these, and will need to purchase trim boards to surround these with prior to installing the siding.
- Choose the style of log siding you prefer. There are a lot of choices out there and each has its own pros & cons.
- Decide if you want to put false corners or log ends on your home. These pieces provide the traditional passing log look we come to associate with log homes. (an option is to use corner boards which will give a timber frame look to your home)
- Strip the old siding off of your home. This will include any trim on the corners and around your windows and doors.
- Wrap your home with house wrap. This will aid in tightening up the “envelope” of your home and save on energy in the future.
- Apply a sealer or stain to all of the log siding, corner pieces and trim boards. I recommend doing this on all sides of the product. (some manufacturers do this for you at their factory)
- Install trim boards to all of your windows and doors.
- Starting on the bottom of the home make a level line using a laser, chalk line or level to use as a guide for installing the first piece. This will ensure you have a good starting row to work from.
- Install the corner boards or first log end to one corner.
- Measure and cut the first piece of siding to achieve a tight fit between the corner piece and the first door trim piece, or the opposite corner.
- Perform steps 10 and 11 on the opposite side of the house.
- On the ends of the house install the first row between the 2 rows you just installed.
- Continue this procedure working around the house until completed.
- Make sure you check the siding with a level every couple of rows to ensure everything stays level.
Whenever to pieces of siding come together cut the ends with a 45 degree bevel so they overlap. This will ensure a nice appearance for years to come.
Next we will talk about how you can change the interior appearance of your home to complete the Log Home look.