Wednesday, April 28, 2010


In the early 1980's I was introduced to log building when I was an apprentice to Paul Smith in Cooper Landing. I soon became a purist of scribe fit log building; looking down my nose at factory turned logs and conventional stick framed homes.
Now, a quarter century later, I realize there is room enough in this world for all types of homes and one type isn't necessarily better than the other depending on what location on earth it is located.
Here in Alaska and in other northern climes we value homes that are energy efficient and easy to maintain. Perhaps the most efficient homes are the sod houses that the Eskimos lived in for thousands of years. They are weather tight, easy to heat, built with local materials at low cost and are very low maintenance. Naturally, we have become accustom to our modern conveniences and most of us aren't willing to give them up to live in a truly green home.
Since we aren't willing to live in sod houses, we are left with wood as our primary material for residential housing. We do see some concrete homes and even some steel frame construction, but wood is still king in homebuilding.
I am often presented with the question; which is better, log homes or conventional frame construction. I love this question because it gives me an opportunity to display my vast knowledge and make people think I'm really smart. The answer is easily answered with a question. 'Which one do you like best?' or 'How much money have you got?'
The title for this blog is Log vs. Frame as if it is a title fight or a court battle. Believe it or not, people frequently do plot one against the other like one is better than the other.
In the words of the infamous Rodney King. "Can't we all just get along?"

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