What sets one log home manufacturer apart from the others?
Among a variety of differences, one of the most important is the quality of the logs used to build your log home. In plain English: NOT ALL LOGS ARE CREATED EQUAL. Some logs, even of the same wood species, can suffer from structural defects, cosmetic blemishes, decay, or insect infestation. These irregularities and log damage could prove devastating to the structural integrity of your new home, not to mention its beauty.
In an attempt to prevent substandard logs from being used to build new log structures, the American Society of Testing and Materials developed ASTMD3957, or “Standards and Methods for Establishing Stress Grades for Structural Members used in Log Building,” in 1980. This professional method of grading logs was created to test the ability of logs to withstand stresses based on the wood species, age, size, and the slope of the grain, in addition to the imperfections such as splits, scars, holes, or organic degradation. Log grading for stress allows a manufacturer to assign logs for use according to their load-handling capability. To help in the implementation of the grading requirements, some log home companies now enlist the standards recommended by the Log Homes Council and/or Timber Products Inspection, Inc. (TPI), an independent grading agency. TPI trains employees of each log home company in grading standards and then oversees the grading with unannounced inspections. Logs that are graded, based on the structural criteria outlined in ASTMD3957, are stamped with the log grade clearly marked. This stamp may also include other specific identification codes such as “Wall Log 30”,“Wall Log 53”, etc. Not all companies use the same grade.
Although the log grading process is very detailed and technical, it is a crucial element to consider when choosing the manufacturer for your dream home. Knowing your log home is constructed of logs and timbers that are structurally sound can provide peace of mind and contribute to the value of your investment.
Note: There is more than one grade level accepted by the ASTM grading system and the ASTM does not grade for visual imperfections such as blue stains, planer chips, chip out, and/or manufacturer defects.
Knowing You’ve Got The Best
At Beaver Mountain Log Homes, we take log grading every seriously. It is our policy to use logs that exceed the requirements set by the ASTM standards for stress.
We grade our logs three times: once prior to milling, again as we pre-cut the logs and timbers, and finally for the aesthetic beauty (not considered by ASTM standards)
As a final quality control step, our “Builder Friendly” pre-cut logs are pre-assembled in our factory and inspected for visual imperfections and defects.
Now That’s What We Call