On Sun, 21 Aug 2005 07:30:24 -0400, "Thomas Bunetta"
My only suggestion would be to go with the practical side.
I've worked on the interiors of a few log homes (by 3 different
manufacturers) and IMHO they are not worth the trouble. All the
manufacturers seem to have their own idea for how the logs are sealed
where they sit on top of each other and none of those ideas seem to be
adequate. Add to that all of places where you have to allow for
shrinkage of the logs and whole system is just too much trouble.
If you want the house to look like a log home, my suggestion is to
side it with t&g siding that looks like logs. Any lumber yard can
order it for you.
As to your question of cost, if a contractor erects it, a log home
will be very close in cost to that of standard frame
construction...... no matter what the sales people claim.
Thanks for your input... it kinda adds to my general feelings about the
I looked at a number of links Edwin provided, and that form of construction
holds promise (I'm trading possible hurricanes for possible tornadoes) in
both strength and energy efficiency.
On Sun, 21 Aug 2005 19:09:32 -0400, "Thomas Bunetta"
I live in Kansas and we are seeing quite a few of the poured concrete
homes going up here. We even have a company in my home town that
manufactures the foam blocks.
I haven't had the opportunity to work on one yet but one of our
builders is working on a plan for one now.
I talked to a heat and air guy who told me that the heating/cooling
systems are designed to exchange the inside air at a certain rate (to
remove moisture) because the buildings are so tight.
Mike O. (in email@example.com) said:
| I live in Kansas and we are seeing quite a few of the poured
| concrete homes going up here. We even have a company in my home
| town that manufactures the foam blocks.
| I haven't had the opportunity to work on one yet but one of our
| builders is working on a plan for one now.
| I talked to a heat and air guy who told me that the heating/cooling
| systems are designed to exchange the inside air at a certain rate
| (to remove moisture) because the buildings are so tight.
Interesting. In the early 80's I put up a 24x32 concrete block shop
building in southern Minnesota. Only the ceiling was insulated and it
had two 6x8 solar panels on the south side. On a typical winter day
(wind northwest at 10-20 MPH, temperature -15F) the inside temperature
usually exceeded 90F between noon and 1PM.
Encouraged by that success, I started construction of a poured
3-bedroom residence with 11-1/2" thick walls using extruded concrete
"bridge planks" for floors and roof. Insulation was sheets of 6" foam
with a bonded fiberglass outer skin. The north side was earth-bermed
up to the second story windows and the entire south wall was covered
with solar heating panels (so as to look like a single gigantic
The intent was to make the building(essentially) tornado-proof and
self-heating with a two week "flywheel" reserve. Construction and
material costs ran fairly close to $8000/floor for a projected total
cost on the close order of 24K.
A divorce mid-project put an end to construction; but the concept is a
good one. My reasoning at the time was that I could either pay a bunch
of guys to bend nails in green lumber or put the same money into
stronger and more durable materials. It's definitely a workable
DeSoto, Iowa USA
Around here developers are building starter mansions all over the place .
The first thing they do is tear down perfectly good ranch houses just for
the land they sit on . A few of these houses are blocked up and towed to new
sites .Basically all you are paying for is the land, a new foundation and
the towing charges ..seems a fairly economical way to go to me ......
A commercial building calculator that will get you very close per your
The sign-up is benign and will be well worth your time ... and yes, I've
personally used this particular calculator as the _starting point_ for small
commercial bid estimates in the past. Bookmark it well ... it is hard as
hell to find from scratch.
To do my residential estimates and budgets I use a suite of tools based on
Excel macros called "UDA Construction Office".
It would be a bit steep in price unless you are planning on doing the
general contracting yourself, then it would be well worth the few hundred
dollars as an estimating tool, a budget tool and a bidding/contracts tool.
It is a relatively painless matter of inputting a few parameters and it
spits out a fairly comprehensive estimate for "industry standard"
residential construction, from soup to nuts. If you get to the point where
you have your parameters down fairly well, it is within the realm of
possibility that, on a quite evening, the input could be done via e-mail and
the results e-mailed to you.
If you would like to capitalize on your own labor, I would suggest
finding a house plan you like from the thousands available in the
library or on-line. Then have an archiect or designer provide a set of
drawings that reflect that plan and detailed to utilize one of the two
following methods of construction.
1. Check out the Portland Cement Assoc. publication on insulating
concrete block, an autoclaved cement product that is lightweight and
workable with traditional carpentry tools. An excellent article was
published several years ago in Fine Homebuilding Magazine, worth
looking up. This would also be an excellent material for a shop.
2. Set the drawings up for pre-fabrication of floor, wall and roof
panels. Your labor would be to build the panels. keep the sizes
manageable and spend the time in building them ahead of the
construction. When the time comes let a carpentry company erect them
for you and finish off as much as you want.
Hope these options give you more to research. Best of luck.
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