When it comes to using logs on the exterior of your property, it can be a tough choice to decide between full beams and siding.
Here are the ways in which siding can help reduce the overall cost of your build.
Is log siding cheaper than logs?
Log siding is cheaper than logs for your tiny home exterior.
Log siding can save money in your build in several ways compared to full logs. These include cheaper materials, less labor, fewer tools required and shipping costs, and it’s far easier to install.
Full logs are grooved to create tight-fitting joints, but they need insulation to prevent air leaks. In contrast, log siding locks firmly together on both sides, massively reducing the risk of air leaks. Using log siding saves a lot of time and money as you spend less time measuring the pieces out, less time cutting, and drastically reduce the amount of waste product.
Another significant advantage of choosing log siding over full logs when it comes to your tiny home is that it is far lighter. With a tiny house, this can drastically reduce the overall weight of your home.
The average price of log siding sits at around $4.30 per square foot, but depending on material and quality, this price can vary from $0.70 to $9.00.
How to maintain log siding
Wood is a popular material in building and construction thanks to its natural beauty and eco-friendly nature. But the problem with the latter is that it makes wood biodegradable, and if you don’t maintain it correctly, you’ll face damage from moisture, water, and pests. Don’t worry; there are a number of maintenance steps that you can take to reduce this risk.
If your tiny home is in a fixed location, ensure that you regularly trim back bushes and hedges to prevent them from touching your wood siding – this helps prevent rot. Additionally, clean mildew and dirt from the log siding at least once every year. You can do this with a brush and some soapy water. If your walls are particularly dirty, try a power washer, ensuring that you keep it on a low setting. If you have mildew patches, try a vinegar solution (3 parts water: 1 part vinegar) to remove them.
When carrying out cleaning and maintenance work on your tiny home, check the caulk around your doors and windows; regularly re-caulking any gaps or spaces where water could seep in. If you spot any damage in the log siding itself, you must replace it as soon as possible to prevent severe damage or pests.
One of the best ways to maintain log siding is to add a clear seal or wood stain. A sealer protects your wood from bleaching but doesn’t penetrate as deeply as a wood stain. A stain penetrates the wood far deeper and prevents moisture for longer.
As a general rule, early prevention is better than reaction; don’t wait for something to happen before you carry out work on your log siding. Instead, clean it often before mildew gets the chance to build up and replace the thinning stain before it wears off completely. But avoid cleaning during the colder months because the water could cause your logs to freeze an then thaw, leaving them warped.
Check the exterior of your home periodically to monitor for any signs of warping, cracking, or splitting. Sand any rough spots and re-stain the wood as necessary. If any part of your wood siding needs to be replaced, it’s a good idea to call on the services of a professional. Attempting to fix it yourself could damage more of the surrounding area’s wood and ultimately cost more than it would have done to hire a professional in the first instance.
Chinking your log cabin siding
What is chinking on a log cabin?
Chinking is a sealant that homeowners use to seal the gaps between the logs.
This helps keep moisture out of your tiny home while protecting the logs from water damage.
Chinking is an excellent method for preventing moisture, insects, and other natural forces from entering logs and damaging your home. It is made from an elastic compound that gives it the flexibility to bend with the movement of your logs.
How long does chinking last on a log home?
On average, chinking will last for around 20 years, but you can almost double this lifespan to 40 years through proper care and maintenance.
The average cost sits between $3 to $6 per linear foot; the cost varies depending on factors such as the material type and quality.
If you live in a mild climate, your chinking could last up to 50 years, whereas the changing temperatures in countries with hot summers and cold winters cause your chinking to stretch more, making it more susceptible to damage. Importantly, patch any gaps or cracks as they occur to maintain the integrity of your product.
Best log cabin siding stain
There are a number of high-quality stains recommended by customers and industry professionals alike.
Outlast Q8 log oil
Outlast Q8 Log Oil provides maximum moisture repellency and protection against rot, mildew, mold, and insects. This exterior treatment is non-film forming, meaning it won’t crack or peel, and the product penetrates deep into the wood for long-lasting protection.
X-100 Natural seal
X-100 Natural Seal uses wood-protecting ingredients to prevent stains, splitting, mold, and mildew. It is an environmentally friendly product (registered with the EPA), oil-based, and an excellent protector against the outdoor elements.
Seal-Once wood sealer
Seal-Once Eco-Friendly Premium Wood Sealer is designed for interior and exterior use and protects your wood for up to ten years. Nano-polymers coat the wood fibers to give protection from the inside out and prevent the wood from decaying. In addition, the UV blockers prevent your wood from graying and help maintain your home’s appearance.
If you want a glossy finish, try Transformation Log and Timber Stain, which is excellent for reviving older wood and suitable for new logs too. This stain is compatible with a range of other stains, adding to its suitability for use on older pieces of timber that may have already been treated.