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Wisconsin Log Homes Founder
"This blog is a great opportunity for me to
communicate with fellow log home enthusiasts.
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Dave Janczak
Founder of Wisconsin Log Homes, Inc.

Our Thermal-Log System versus Solid Log Construction  

Wisconsin Log Homes actually started with designing and building solid log homes in 1976.  Because Kathy and I lived in a solid log home ourselves, we discovered over time the complications and disappointments that come along with the solid log system.  That's why we founded the Thermal-LogTM Building System, also known as half-log, in 1979 and completely stopped providing solid log homes.   

The idea behind our hybrid Thermal-LogTM Building System was to create a product that performs and lives better than a solid log home.  Although it seems like we're just providing half-log, or in some cases a log siding, there is actually much more to our system. Some people may think that a half-log building system just isn't quite the same. But here's the truth.  You are still receiving genuine, beautiful logs that need to be produced, and in our case, hand-peeled.  Each of our home structures are specifically designed to create the same emotion of a solid log or post and beam structure, but with much less maintenance and costly up-keep. 

The biggest reason we moved away from using solid logs as the structure component of our homes was to eliminate structural settling and movement of the building, which is completely unavoidable because of the nature of all wood, and occurs as soon as 1-2 years after building.  Because the logs inevitably shrink as they age, we would need to compensate for movement of the structure with slip joints, which are placed above the windows and doors.  Even with the best building systems, because of the movement in solid log construction there are issues with windows, doors, cabinets, fireplaces, interior walls; virtually anything attached to the solid log wall.  The shrinkage creates large gaps in the walls that have extreme consequences of decreasing the structure's energy efficiency, allowing the elements to come into your home, and sometimes you'll even see sunlight or large drafts coming through the wall.  Don't get me wrong, solid log homes are beautiful homes, but they create so many problems that we no longer wanted to see our customers living with.   

We developed our Thermal-LogTM Insulated Building System because we knew that people loved the visual characteristics of log homes, but did not want the hidden drawbacks of solid log construction. By "splitting" the log in half and introducing an energy smart 2"x6" framed insulated structure in between the split log, not only do you eliminate the negative aspects of a solid log home, but you also increase the energy efficiency of the home to an extreme. With our Thermal-LogTM System, you are guaranteeing stability, efficiency, ease of building, and absolutely no log-wall settling or air leaks.  It's a smarter way to build a home that brings our clients closer to the comfortable lifestyle they desire.

Our versatile Thermal-LogTM system will also allow you to create the precise "hybrid" look you desire. Walls and ceilings are an open palette. Walls may be finished with optional interior log, drywall, wood paneling, log and timber accents, or a combination of products. Ceilings may be lined with optional tongue and groove paneling or drywall. With Wisconsin Log Homes, your design and décor possibilities are endless.

Because all our homes feature a framed cavity, you are able to easily run wiring, plumbing, and HVAC ductwork through any of the walls.  Plus, added electrical outlets and changes can be done during and even after completion of the home, which is not the case in solid log construction. Most people building a new home in today's market have a need for complex wiring and networking; so I see this as being a big benefit for our clients. 

As a side note, our Thermal-LogTM system is actually less costly to insure and more easily financed, yielding a typically higher resale value. 

The choice between building a solid log home or a Thermal-LogTM home is only your decision to make.  But Kathy and I believe that with our energy-efficient building system, your home will be beautiful to look at and exceptionally beautiful to live in. 

Read an article about our Thermal-Log system featured in Custom Wood Homes magazine here:  http://www.wisconsinloghomes.com/DBpdfs/Article/14.pdf