Philadelphia Log Homes

by Jon Nunan

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A century or two ago, it might have been an everyday thing to see log homes in Philadelphia proper. Today, on the other hand, it would be an understatement to say that Philadelphia log homes are "uncommon." This doesn't mean, however, that city dwellers wouldn't enjoy the rustic appeal of an all log house. In Pennsylvania, as well as in the rest of the country, more and more people have made the decision to live a little more naturally, and while you might not see too many log homes on South Street, in the more rural areas surrounding the city, these kinds of structures are a welcome addition to the landscape.

Benefits of Log Homes in Pennsylvania
Aside from the obvious aesthetic appeal of a log home, Philadelphia area residents should note that this classic style of building has some other perks, too. First, in an area where the winters can get pretty frigid, logs provide an excellent source of insulation. A log home naturally inhibits heat transfer. When coupled with modern insulation techniques, you can bet that a standard framed house with vinyl siding would have a difficult time competing with a log home in efficiency.

Next comes the price. Though it is certainly possible to spend just as much money building a log home as you would building a standard house, log homes can actually be built relatively cheaply if you work with the right companies. For those adventurous to try it, there are even log home kits available that will give you step-by-step directions to build your new house on your own. It has been said that a functional log home can often be built without the need for a mortgage, as long as you're willing to do a lot of the work yourself.

Log homes are also environmentally friendly. Instead of using lumber, where a portion of the tree it is cut from is wasted, you're using whole logs and turning much less of the tree into sawdust. The production of whole logs also uses far less energy than that used to make boards, and since the logs make their own attractive siding, no additional energy is needed to clad the house.

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Philadelphia Log Home Builders
The term "Philadelphia log home builder" is a bit of a misnomer since, once again, actual log houses in the city are quite the rarity. However, in the areas outside of Philadelphia, log home builders have an ideal setting to practice their craft. From Chester and Bucks Counties all the way up to the Poconos, there are hundreds of places that provide the perfect backdrop for a log structure. For city folk looking to build that perfect getaway home in the country, you can't get much quainter than a vacation house made of logs.

Log Home Pricing
It is incredibly difficult to say how much a log home will cost to build. Just like any other house, it will depend a lot on how big it is, the complexity of the floor plan, and, of course, what you want the inside to look like. For those picturing a three story house equipped with granite counters and walnut floors as well as all the modern amenities you'd expect in a brand new house in any mid-range housing development, it isn't going to make a huge difference in the price tag whether the house is made of logs or not. If you're thinking about a small two or three room lake house that you'd rather build with your own two hands, making it out of logs can definitely save you money on the bottom line as long as you build smart.

Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.