Got a plan?

Log Home Media Blasting

Sandblasting a Log Home

If you live in Montana and have to maintain a log (or wood) home, you will want to know about Flathead Dustless Blasting, they specialize in surface preparation for log homes. Although their name features “dustless” blasting, they also use other media depending on the surface to be cleaned. This video show a recent project in Whitefish, Montana where a 36 year old log home was being prepped for new stain.

In northwest Montana, brutal winters play havoc with wood. Extreme temperatures, snow, ice and a blazing sun will degrade and destroy virtually any surface application so that regular maintenance is required to keep the log home looking presentable.

Metal (& Hard Surfaces) Dustless Blasting

Metal surfaces such as vehicles and trailers are blasted with a solution that includes media and water, which keeps the surface temps cool and virtually eliminates dust and mess. Depending on the surface, the Dustless Blasting system has numerous advantages over the old, outdated dry blasting method. The proof is in the results; watch this short video and be prepared to be impressed.

This rusted, unsightly trailer looks like something that belongs in the landfill.  However, it’s transformation after being sprayed with our mobile dustless blasting system is something to behold. Stripped down to bare metal it is ready for a fresh coat of paint without needing any other prep work.

This rusted, unsightly trailer looks like something that belongs in the landfill.  However, it’s transformation after being sprayed with our mobile dustless blasting system is something to behold. Stripped down to bare metal it is ready for a fresh coat of paint without needing any other prep work.

If you live near northwest Montana and need to give your log or wood home a facelift, contact this company to get more information about how they can help you. Visit Flathead Dustless Blasting and tell them you heard about them in the Log Cabin Directory.

Stiletto Television Log Home Series on Nat Geo TV

I received a telephone call this afternoon from a delightful young lady named Rebecca, who is the Casting Assistant for STILETTO Television.  They are looking for people who have land and are getting ready to build a log home. She sent me the following info and I promised to pass it along. Enjoy!

Calling anyone who’s got cabin fever!

The producers of TREEHOUSE MASTERS are actively on the hunt for folks who are looking to build log structures (in every shape and size imaginable) in 2014.

This brand-new series on the National Geographic Channel will follow clients from start to finish as they work with a nationally renowned log cabin expert to create a new home, an addition to a residence, a total overhaul or renovation, a weekend retreat, a quirky log shack, hunting lodge, or even a sweet getaway for a pampered pooch. No project is too big or too small! If you’re looking for a house made of logs, whether handcrafted, timber frame, Norwegian, a hybrid or anything in between, then you are exactly what we are looking for!

If YOU have a log cabin fantasy that you want to see come to life, we want to hear about it ASAP. APPLY NOW and watch your dream become a reality.

Click here for casting application.

Log Home Series on National Geographic TV

PS: If you follow up with this and are chosen to be part of their series, be sure to let us know so that we can follow you on your path to TV stardom 🙂

Your Log Home Floor Plan

What’s your (floor) plan?

People who build log homes tend to fall into one of two camps. There are those who have designed their own floor plans or hired an architect to design their home based on drawings, photos and the interpretation of the dreams of their customer. Once the plans are perfected, the search for a log home builder begins.

In the other camp are those who choose a builder first. This is often done in person while attending a log home show and seeing all that is available from the many vendors. Once this decision is made, the logical next step is to choose a floor plan. All major log home builders and manufacturers have dozens, if not hundreds of floor plans from which to choose. In most cases, the plans can be modified to suit individual needs and desires. There may or may not be a fee to modify these plans; that will be determined by the manufacturer/builder and can often be negotiated.

DIY Floor Plans

If you are an adventurous soul and are comfortable using a computer, one of the most exciting things you can do is to create your dream home’s floor plan yourself. There is software available that can make you feel like you are a professional architect. You can start designing your home right out of the box with an intuitive interface that leads you through the process. In fact, most of these programs include a drag & drop library that will let you position cabinets, edit room shapes and sizes, design a deck, roof lines and virtually control every aspect of your home.

All of these programs offer templates that can be modified, which is a great way to jump start your project. As you add rooms or enlarge spaces, the program maintains all the critical calculations such as ceiling heights and other design components. As with all software there is a learning curve, but typically this is a minor issue with help just a click away for every question you might have. Many programs also have help in the form of videos, which make things even easier to learn.

Planning your log home project

If you talk to any industry experts they’ll tell you that the planning phase for log homes can range anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of decades. Many people take years to finalize on everything from a location to the finished design. This is where designing your home yourself can be a lot of fun. As you browse magazines and online resources for ideas you will see things that you would like to incorporate into your design. Making modifications becomes a snap when you are using software to create your vision.

Creating Your Log Home Floor Plan Using Software

Floor Plan Software

One of the major players in this home design software category is Punch Software. They offer numerous programs for home design, interior design and even landscaping. This permits you to get creative and save money by planning changes to your interior and outdoor living spaces before you invest. Once you have created your log home floor plan you can give it to your builder or manufacturer and get an accurate quote for your custom home.

To learn more about this floor plan software, click the image below!

Punch! Professional Home Design

Create your own log home floor plan and design it to fit your needs; have fun customizing your dream home!

Log Splitters for Firewood

How do you split your firewood?

Readers of this blog might recall that we heat our log home with a wood stove. Over the years we’ve published numerous posts talking about all things related to using firewood to heat a home. A couple examples include:

Heat from a woodstove is unlike any other; it feels different, smells great and just having a visible fire to look at all day warms the soul and the body. Suffice it to say that our family loves our woodstove heat. The only possible downside to this form of heat is the firewood. Where do you get it? Do you cut it yourself? Do you have it delivered?

In my case, living here in northwest Montana, firewood from standing dead trees is plentiful. If one does not have access to wooded property, a permit from the Forest Service can be obtained where you can cut wood cut for only $20 per cord. So, the source of free or low-cost wood is endless if you want to do the work yourself.

Dropping a tree and buzzing it up into lengths that will accommodate your stove or fireplace is relatively easy work. The hardest part of this annual ritual is splitting the wood. For the past ten years, I split all my wood by hand using a maul and a wedge when needed. I bragged (to anyone who might ask) that it was great exercise. However, I must admit that every year it was more challenging to begin this routine after a winter of inactivity. Last spring I decided to buy a log splitter.

Which log splitter is best for you?

I began my search online reading about various models and manufacturers, but I believed that I would buy a gas-powered log splitter. It just seemed that it made the most sense until I reasoned it through. I realized that I most likely would not be towing my log splitter into the woods. I usually cut my wood into rounds and bring them home to dump them on the side of the house where I stack my wood. I split my rounds there and then stack them nearby. I decided that an electric log splitter would be the best choice.

Electric Log Splitters

The only advantage to a gas log splitter was that it could function where there was no electricity, but that meant the log splitter would cost 2-3 times what a comparable electric splitter costs. The choice for me was easy, I chose an electric log splitter and I have been thrilled with my decision.

I used this electric log splitter to split about 6 cords of firewood this past summer. I did not encounter one issue with my splitter; it easily split rounds that were 12” in diameter. It made short work of what typically was a project that stretched over a few months. In less than a week, I split everything I needed for an entire winter working evenings and weekends.

If a mechanical log splitter is in your future, I highly recommend that you check out the WoodEze Electric Log Splitters. Trust me, I did the research and based on what I discovered, this provided the greatest value. After using it to split my yearly requirement of firewood, I am now a true believer.

Electric Log Splitter for Homeowners

To learn more about electric log splitters for home, ranch or farm, go to


Rustic Architecture - the Digital Magazine

Rustic ArchitectureDid you hear about the new digital magazine for log home and timber frame lovers?

PrecisionCraft just released a digital publication titled, “Rustic Architecture“.

It combines informative articles and incredible photos with mountain lifestyle topics, videos, floor plans, and more. You can purchase a single issue or subscribe to every quarterly issue and get it on your iOS or Android tablet, smartphone or your Amazon Kindle.

I think I may have been one of their first subscribers. After I received the email announcement, I signed on immediately. I was so excited about what PrecisionCraft had done that I sent them an email asking some questions I thought my readers might want to know. Here’s a recap of our Q&A exchange.

Specifically, what is the goal of the magazine?

For the average person, the act of building a custom log or timber home can take years, from the first idea, through research, dreaming and finally building it.  During this time we want to continually provide new and interesting content for people who are interested in PrecisionCraft homes.  We already have a comprehensive website that is always being updated, email newsletters and award-winning printed literature. With the launch of Rustic Architecture, we now we have a digital publication for tablet users.  We see this as the next logical step in the evolution of delivering informative content about our log and timber homes.

PrecisionCraft Log Homes & Timber Frame

Who can benefit from subscribing?

While there is lots of great information available on our website, the magazine format is perfect for delivering relevant articles and stories about our homes, in an easy to read bundle.  It is easy for people to download and read at their leisure.  We wanted the magazine to be really fun too, so we worked hard to create interactive content that went beyond static text and images.  Those who subscribe will get to TAP, SWIPE and DRAG all kinds of elements as they read.

Rustic Architecture - the Digital Magazine for Log Home & Timber Frame Lovers

A little about what we will see in future issues?

Future issues will follow the same framework as this first issue.  We will focus on architectural elements, interior design methods, building trends and energy efficiency.  We will also continue to choose a region that is a good fit for mountain style homes and highlight why.  Of course we will also feature three of our homes in each issue –which is a main draw.

Rustic Architecture - a Digital Magazine

Besides the convenience factor, what sets this apart from other similar publications?

When we decided that this was the format that made sense for delivering our content on a tablet, we really looked at how much we could do, from an interactive perspective.  As each new issue comes out we will try to add some new element that can enhance the reader’s understanding and enjoyment of the topic.  Tablets are an exciting new platform to develop content for and we are having a good time figuring out what we will do next.

Get your copy today!

Rustic Architecture - the Digital Magazine for Log Home & Timber Frame Lovers

A single issue is only $2.99, or subscribe for the entire year for only $12.99; make your selection here.

Over the years, one of the many things I have always appreciated about PrecisionCraft was the creative way they treat the decor in their magnificent homes.  This stunning bathroom pedestal sink is just one example of their imaginative creations.

After you download your first issue and have browsed through the magazine, let us know what you think about it. I can’t wait to read what you have to say.

Get your copy of Rustic Architecture here!