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Non-Settling Construction Method

Simplified Construction

Pros and Cons of Settling vs. Non-Settling Methods

With the complexity of modern log homes, construction methods have needed to upgrade. These days, log homes that settle are not the most effective way to build. Non-settling log home construction is an engineered system that keeps the height of the log wall consistent over time. Slip joints, plumbing, settling jacks, and more can be wiped out of the design with non-settling construction. Not only does this simplify construction, it also facilitates a greater degree of flexibility and creative expression in the home’s design.

Our optional engineered non-settling system uses a series of lag bolts to secure, or “freeze”, the position of each wall log. These lags serve the dual purpose of preventing the individual shrinkage of the logs from compounding, as well as functioning as a pinning system for shear walls in seismic zones. Our proven system has been tested and measured over the course of several years after our homes are finished, and shows no loss in the wall heights. This is a wonderful option for homeowners who want to avoid all the complicated building methods that allow for settling.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do Log Homes Settle?

Logs, like other wood products, shrink and compress as the moisture content equalizes with the environment. In a traditional stacked log wall the shrinkage of each log is added to the shrinkage of every other log in the wall. This can add up to several inches of wall height lost over time depending on the height of the wall.

Is There A Big Difference In Price Between Non-Settling And Settling Designs?

The system we use to make the logs non-settling can add 10-15% onto the price of the log package. However, those dollars come back to the homeowner during construction by eradicating the need for slip joints, special plumbing, settling jacks, custom stairs and roofs… all special requirements to allow the home to settle. In many cases, the overall cost of the home actually ends up costing less.

What Is The Engineered Non-Settling System?

Our non-settling system relies primarily on a series of lag screws configured to lock each log in its vertical position. We also kiln dry our logs in order to reduce the natural shrinkage as much as possible. In certain circumstances, steel columns may be embedded to carry point loads.

This system has been field tested and engineer approved.

Are There Any Draw Backs To The Non-Settling System?

The only drawback is that all non-settling homes must be chinked. Full-scribe (Swedish Cope) homes traditionally have no chinking and rely solely on settling to keep them sealed.

Can The Non-Settling System Be Used With Square Logs? (AKA Dovetail Construction)

Yes, our non-settling system works nicely with Dovetail corners with minimal adjustments to standard chinking practices.

Can Swedish Cope Design Be Crafted With The Non-Settling System?

Yes, however, there will still be chink lines. We use quality chinking or sealant that stretches as the logs expand or contract. The good news is that these products come in many colors to match your stain. Often we can make the chink lines barely noticeable.

How Does This Non-Settling System Help The Contractor And Homeowner In The Long Run?

This system removes much of the headache and hassle that builders typically associate with log homes. No longer needing to make provisions for settling, all the framing, masonry, plumbing and other trade requirements are greatly simplified. The homeowner will not have to make ongoing maintenance adjustments after the home is built: there are no settling jacks to mess with.