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The Log Siding Guide

Log Siding in Sashco Capture Chestnut

Log Siding in Canada Guide

Log Siding is becoming more and more popular as building costs soar and people’s time to maintain properties decreases. Hybrid log homes can be a good alternative for people who want the look and feel of a wood or log home without some of the drawbacks of a traditional log home. 

When using log siding on a home, it is typically done with a standard 2x6 framed wall system, OSB or Plywood and building paper. It is a fairly fast installation and appropriate for most levels of home improvement skills. 

Most log siding is made from pine or spruce but Western Red Cedar is available as well but quite a more expensive. Cedar log cabin siding does have the advantage of being more resistant to weather and insects but is also softer so remember to be gentle with it. 

Types of Log Siding

Half Log Siding

Half log siding is made using a real log. The log is typically cut in about 1/3 and has a deeper contour to it then faux log siding. A 10 inch exterior log siding is a fairly common size and can also be used on the interior. It would have a 9” stack height and with a shiplap design. 

This is also known as a chinkless siding design as it requires no chinking to achieve a finished look. We do see some people use chinking for aesthetic purposes on these profiles. This is available in a hand peeled log siding look or smooth and is about 3-4” in depth.  

 

log siding
log siding
log siding

Flat Log Siding

Flat log siding is another profile that replicates an Appalachian style timber look. This is typically done in an 11” stack height and is about 2” thick. The flat log siding can be chinked or remain chinkless as the edges of it are beveled and already look great. These are usually a tongue and groove profile and usually more rough sawn in nature. 

Faux Log Siding or Log Look Siding

Faux log siding is fairly common and sometimes called log look siding. It is inexpensive in comparison to the above half round and lighter to install. This exterior log siding can also be used on the interior of homes. Sometimes called fake log siding as it actually comes from dimensional lumber and not a log (typically a 2x8 or 2x6). 

This log look siding can still look nice but is easily distinguishable from the real log look. Also, with this type of log home siding, it is incredibly important to make sure any mill glaze is removed from it prior to staining.    

Half Log Siding Costs- Is log cabin siding less expensive than logs? 

Yes, and by quite a bit. The ability to frame a standard 2x6 wall and utilize standard building practices and materials does help to keep the cost much less than a traditional log home. When looking at costs, you will often see half log siding homes or Hybrids taken to the lock up stage to be almost the same as a traditional log home shell taken to lock up. 

The finishing costs on a traditional log home tend to be higher. Think in terms of running plumbing, mechanical and electrical through logs VS a standard 2x6 wall. 

Half Log Siding Maintenance

The time required for maintenance on a half log sided home is substantially less than a traditional log home. This can in part be due to less movement and also less emphasis in rot prevention as rot in a hybrid home is less serious than a traditional log home. With that said, maintenance is typically done on heavily exposed sides on a 3-4 year cycle and often double that on your lesser exposed sides. 

This helps to ensure you stay in the maintenance phase VS entering the restoration phase. There is a big difference between sanding off a coating to reapply or simply pressure washing off your exterior log siding and reapplying.  

Installing Tongue and Groove Log Siding

Installing log cabin siding should not be a difficult task. Depending on the type of log siding that you are installing, this will dictate the log screws you will want to use. Some are just installed with deck screws, heavier log cabin siding can do better with a more structural screw such as Spax Timber Screws

You will want to decide initially if you are using a chinked design or not. When installing tongue and groove log siding or ship lap, chinking becomes optional. If you have an exterior log siding that is designed for chinking ( there is a space between each row) then you will want to plan for use of backer rod as a bond breaker and a product like Log Jam Chinking  

Log Siding Most Commonly Asked Questions

How to prep a log siding home before staining? 

This is one of the most important steps in the success of your project. If we can emphasize 2 things to you for this project. 

One- You must ensure there is no mill glaze on the log siding before staining. Failure to do this will prevent the stain from penetrating into the wood and instead will have it sit on top. This then results in early failure of the stain and often removal. Did we say it loud enough?

REMOVE YOUR MILL GLAZE!!! This can be done with a light sand or pressure wash using a cleaner/brightener such as CPR

Two- Allow the wood to acclimatize once you have it on the job site.See below for more information on this one. 

Can I preserve my log cabin siding? 

Yes, you can do a Borate treatment to the siding to help protect against rot and wood burrowing insects. This can also help with woodpeckers down the road with less bugs. A Borate treatment is one of the quickest, simplest and inexpensive things we do. 

It can have a big effect on the lifespan of a wood home. It does not affect the stain. It does add a couple of days of dry time to your job but it is well worth it.   

How to finish the corners with log siding? 

There are different ways to finish the corners on a log sided home. Often, the way may be influenced by the thickness of the siding itself. For example, on the thinner 2x8 log siding corners are often done simply with 2x6 or 2x8 corners. With the thicker log siding, we will typically see a larger corner component, such as a 12” log with the corners cut out. 

Do I have to wait before installing my log cabin siding? 

Yes, this is important when using any wood siding and a very common mistake people will make. Your wood does need time to acclimate to its new home. Typically, waiting 1-2 weeks will be enough and result in less movement and shrinkage after installation. 

One of the best methods of acclimatizing your exterior log siding is to unband it and stack using 2x4s every 2-3’ as dunnage. This allows air flow to flow through and reduces moisture build up.

How long does log siding last? 

That question can have many answers. If treated properly the log cabin siding could last upwards of 40 years and really could go longer. Not treated properly and you could be entering into a nightmare maintenance cycle putting a bandaid on top of a bandaid every couple of years.  

What should the moisture content of log siding be? 

Before applying stain to your log siding, double check the moisture content requirement of the stain manufacturer. Most recommend lower than 18-19% moisture content before staining. A moisture metre can help you determine this.  

What is the cost of log siding? 

This typically depends on the size and profile and also the species of wood used. 2” x 8” Pine log siding typically runs $2-$3 per foot. Half log siding made from real logs and power planed can be closer to $8-$12 per foot. 

When determining your project costs, be sure to know the stack height of the siding so you can convert it to square footage. Most log siding is sold in lineal footage so you will need to convert. 

Can I get rustic log siding from the box stores? 

Some box stores and building material stores will special order in the wood siding for you, but usually that is just the 2”x 8” profile. If you are looking for high quality log siding from Home Depot, you are likely to be disappointed in their selection.If you are looking for the true half log siding from an actual log, that is not typically found at any of the box stores such as Rona or Lowes either. 

Is this faux log siding or fake log siding? 

This terminology can be a bit confusing depending on who is using it. For example, often the half log siding is called faux logs as it really does look like a full milled log. Fake log siding though will often refer to the 2”x8” dimensional lumber that has been profiled to look like half log siding, this is typically found at some of the box stores. When compared against the half log siding, then the term fake log siding may apply well.  

How to protect wooden log siding from woodpeckers? 

Woodpeckers can be a problem for log homes. To protect against them, many will do a Borate treatment initially before staining their home (it will not penetrate through a coating). This helps to keep the bug levels down and prevent against rot. This on its own can be a big help in warding off woodpeckers from your rustic log siding. 

A few other ideas to help get rid of woodpeckers away from your wood siding would be hanging of windchimes, pinwheels or old CDs. They also tend not to like mirrors, streamers or other reflective items. May people will put out faux owls or hawks to ward away the woodpeckers. These often need to be moved as woodpeckers are quite clever. 

Where is half log siding for sale? Where can I buy log siding in Canada? 

We ship all over Canada including 

British Columbia (BC)

Includes: 

Kelowna, Kamloops, Cranbrook, Prince George, Vancouver Island, greater Vancouver, Abbotsford, Thompson-Okanagan, Kootenay, Cariboo and more…

Alberta 

Includes:

Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Canmore, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Banff, Jasper and more…

Saskatchewan 

Includes: 

Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jam, Swift Current, Prince Albert, La Ronge and more…

Manitoba 

Includes: 

Brandon, Winnipeg, Steinbach, Dauphin, Thompson, Swan River and more…

Ontario 

Includes: 

North Bay, Parry Sound, Ottawa, Peterborough, GTA, Huntsville, London, Muskoka Region, Kawartha Lakes and more…

Northern Ontario 

Includes: 

Kenora, Dryden, Thunder Bay, Sault St. Marie, Fort Frances and more…

Quebec 

Includes: 

Montreal, Chicoutimi, Quebec City and more..

Newfoundland 

Includes: 

St. John’s, Paradise more…

New Brunswick

Includes: 

Moncton and more…

Nova Scotia

Includes: 

Halifax and more…

PEI

Includes: 

NWT

Includes: 

Whitehorse, Dawson City, Watson Lake and more…

Yukon

Includes: 

Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River, Fort Simpson, Norman Wells and more…

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