Log Homes, Log Home Kits and Prices

All posts by Heather Hayward

Log Cabin Lighting

Log cabin lovers appreciate the warmth of log walls. Unfortunately charming log walls can also lead to very dark rooms. Lighting your log cabin doesn’t have to be challenging. Unless you want to whitewash your logs to brighten up rooms, the keys are to plan ahead and to use layers of light.

Plan Log Cabin Lighting in Advance

The best time to think about log cabin lighting is before the home is built. Some options can be added easily at any time, such as floor lamps. Other fixtures require more forethought. Because running electrical wires through log walls and ceilings can be complicated, the most economical way to do it is when you are building. Waiting until after the cabin is built can be very expensive.

Are you imagining fans with lights in the cathedral ceiling? Do you want pendant lights over your kitchen island? Add that to your design ahead of time to make sure there is adequate space for your chosen light fixtures and that the electrical wires to them, and their switches, can be put in place (and out of sight) while your home is under construction.

This is also the time to think about the original home light source, windows. A wall of windows not only lets you enjoy the view but brightens up what could be an otherwise dark room. Natural light should not be underestimated.

Layers of Light

There are three layers of light: ambient, task and accent. The size of your room and room type will determine which types you need, but in general you want at least two to properly light a room. Sometimes simply adding a layer of light can dramatically increase your cabin’s quality of light.

Ambient lighting, also known as general lighting, provides an area with overall illumination. It is Log Cabin Lighting Chartoften provided by an overhead light fixture. Ambient light sources to consider for your lighting plan: ceiling fans, chandeliers, flush-mount/semi-flush-mount ceiling fixtures, pendants, recessed lighting, torchiere lamps, track lighting, vanity lighting and wall sconces.

Task lighting is exactly what it sounds like – lighting that allows you to perform a task. It supplies the intense, direct light needed for detailed work such as reading, cooking or applying make-up – in places like the kitchen, office and bath. Task light sources to consider for your lighting plan: desk lamps, island or mini pendants, track lighting, under-cabinet lighting, vanity lighting and work lamps.

Accent lighting allows you to spotlight interesting features in your home decor, such as a picture or trophy. It also serves as a secondary light source to augment ambient lighting in a room. Ambient lighting mainly provides overhead lighting, and accent lighting helps fill in the rest of the room where ambient light can’t reach.*

Last Minute Quick Fixes

• An easy solution is to use higher wattage light bulbs in your fixtures. Just don’t exceed the maximum recommended wattage.
• A well-placed mirror can instantly brighten a room by reflecting light from a window or other light source.
• Add dimmer switches so you can adjust light levels as needed.

  • https://www.lowes.com/projects/decorate-and-entertain/lighting-your-home-at-a-glance/project

Keeping Your Log Cabin Green

Energy efficiency and sustainability work together to save the environment as well as money.  Here a just a few solutions for keeping your log cabin green:

Sustainable Log Cabins Starts With the Logs

If you’re considering purchasing a log cabin kit and care about the environment, you’ll want to start with a kit company known for sustainable practices.  Logs by their very nature are a sustainable resource.  However, certain harvesting processes take less of a toll on the environment than others.  Conestoga Log Cabins only uses logs from planted forests.  This means that natural forests can be preserved and deforestation is decreased.  In addition all of Conestoga’s logs come from certified Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) suppliers.

A responsible log cabin manufacturer will not just use logs from planted forests but will also use manufacturing techniques that significantly reduce waste.  Conestoga’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility employs the latest technology when cutting logs.  No part of the logs is wasted.  Even the leftover wood shavings are used by a local famer who converts them into animal bedding.

The Sun:  Free Energy

Solar Panel Metal RoofMost log homes are temperature controlled using natural gas, oil or coal, all of which are costly, contribute to pollution and are in diminishing supply.   The sun can provide a free natural energy source.  You can start by considering the position of your log cabin before you build.  Design and orient the house to minimize summer afternoon solar heat gain and optimize winter solar heat gain. In the northern hemisphere, this means orienting the long sides of the house to face south and north and creating roof overhangs and landscaping that shade the east, south, and west sides of the house.  Situate the house to take advantage of prevailing breezes during the spring, summer, and fall. Not only are these breezes valuable for cross-ventilation in the cabin, but they can make screened-in rooms and porches more comfortable places to live (National Building Museum).  You can take it one step further and install solar panels.  They turn the sun’s heat into energy.

Windows

Conestoga uses Low E Argon windows which limit the amount of heat that passes through windows without reducing light in the summer and keep heat inside during the winter.

Landscaping

When you picture a log cabin, it is probably surrounded by trees.  This scene is not only beautiful, but beneficial.  Shade trees can keep your cabin cooler in the summer but sunlight can still get through the bare branches in the winter to warm your cabin. Shading your cabin’s roof can increase the air conditioner’s energy efficiency by more than 10%.

Metal roofs

Metal roofs not only compliment log cabins but are a sound environmentally friendly choice.  The

Metal Roof

Metal Roof

longevity of metal roofs is significantly longer than traditional asphalt shingles.  Even though metal roofs are more expensive at the onset, the overall life cycle cost is lower because they can last up to 50 years or more.  They are also 100% recyclable!  On top of that, they offer energy savings of up to 40% depending on the roof color and cabin location.

Saving Electricity and Money

Whether your log cabin is a new build or it’s just time to start replacing appliances, consider how much energy they consume.  Look for appliances that are ENERGY STAR certified.

Don’t underestimate the impact of your lightbulb choice.  The average household uses 5% of its energy budget on lighting.  By converting to LED lights, you save electricity and money.

 

 

Easy DIY Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Did you wait until the last minute and need to throw a Valentine’s Day gift together quickly? Are you tired of heart shaped cookies, chocolates and flowers? Here are ten quick ideas that can be made from objects you have around the house.

  1. Everything is better with bacon! Bacon flowers are perfect for anyone that loves the world’s most perfect pork product. Just roll bacon, put on skewers and pop them in the oven. The family dog will appreciate this one too!

  2. Personalize a Favorite Drink – Whether it’s a water bottle, soda or beer, design a label that expresses how you really feel.

  3. You Rock My World! Even if you can’t find a heart shaped rock in your yard, a loving message will warm any heart and can be a keepsake for years to come.

  1. Personalized Candle – find stencils online or freehand it. Scrap out the areas you want to paint and fill them in.

  2. Magically Delicious – Every kid’s favorite part of Lucky Charms is the marshmallows. Give them a jar full of sugary delight!

  3. Oh So Sweet – Make your honey a body scrub that’s good enough to eat. All you need is sugar, strawberries, coconut oil and vanilla. Learn how.

  1. Handprint Valentine – Stamp handprints in the shape of a heart and then just add a message. Grandparents love this stuff!

  2. Fruit Messages – Leave a message in an unexpected place. “Let’s never split” on a banana or “Orange you glad I picked you?” on an orange makes for a loving healthy snack.

  3. DIY Sharpie Mugs – This gift takes minimal effort but is a gift that can be used every day and cherished for years.

  4. Wooden Coasters – Visit the woodpile and grab some paint. Saw off the end of a log, add a painted on heart or message and you’ve got a Valentine’s Day coaster made with love.