Granny's Country Store > Home-Building Resources > Log Home Construction | Search | View Cart

Living Homes
Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction
Low-Cost, Log Home Construction the Easy Way!

      Traditional methods of log-building have been passed down from a time when people went out into the woods and built cabins with little more than an ax, a saw, and an adz. Those techniques required skill and time to carefully scribe and notch the ends to fit together. The logs had to be notched because it was the only way to tie the pieces together as a stable structure. Some methods included scribing and fitting the entire length of every log. But few people in today's world have the necessary craftsmanship background nor the requisite amount of time it takes to learn this art form. Fortunately you do not have to become a master craftsman to be able to build a high-quality log structure in relatively little time.

      Today there are inexpensive modern materials available that greatly simplify the process of log building so you can put up a house with very little in the way of skill, time, or money. With the "butt-joint" method, you use a big electric drill, lots of cheap reinforcing bar (otherwise known as "rebar"), and a sledge hammer to pin the logs together with essentially no scribing, no notching, and no close fitting. The final product is even stronger than a scribed and notched log home.

      Structurally, there are many advantages to the butt-joint method versus original log-building techniques. For instance, the traditional scribing and notching immediately weakens the logs at the joints and creates vulnerable places for moisture and rot to set in. Also, traditional log houses tend to "settle" over time, potentially wreaking havoc with doors and windows. These log homes have to be carefully engineered with hidden spaces above doors and windows, so that the logs can settle without destroying the openings.

      On the other hand, the butt-joint method has no vulnerable notches for rot to start in, and all the pieces are so shiscabobbed together with rebar that there is no settling. The window and door frames can be nailed directly to the logs without worry.

      Renee's family first learned about the butt-joint method through a class with Skip Ellsworth in Seattle. They practiced on our house, then we helped them build their house, as shown here. Complete instructions on the butt-joint method of log-building are included in my book, Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction

Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction    $30.00    Quantity:

-Please scroll down the page for the "Add to Order" button.-

The Classic Hewn-Log House
by Charles McRaven

      If you want a log house that looks historic from the day you finish building it, then this is the book for you! The Hewn-Log House is a classic of early American architecture, evocative of the pioneer experience and westward exploration. Charles McRaven has been building and restoring hewn-log houses for sixty years, and shares his wealth of knowledge in folksy narration accompanied by photography and illustrations that clearly show every step of the process. Whether you're restoring an old house, building a new one, or indulging an interest in traditional building, you'll find much to learn from McRaven's experience, gleaned from a lifetime of trial and error.

      In this book you will learn to hew a log with a broadaxe, make a dovetail notch, replace rotten logs, mix chinking mortar and install it properly, find and use vintage logs, use pioneer hand tools, build a stone foundation and fireplace, and install modern utilities. 1978, 2005. Story Publishing. 198 pages.

The Classic Hewn-Log House    $20.00    Quantity:

-Please scroll down the page for the "Add to Order" button.-

"How-to" Build This Log Cabin for $3,000
by John McPherson

      Want to build a low-cost log cabin? There is no need to pour a ton of money into something as simple as a cabin. John McPherson shows how to do it with logs from your own property, a simple foundation, plus low-cost or recycled lumber, windows, and doors. "How-to" Build This Log Cabin for $3,000 does not include a lot of detailed text, but it doesn't have to either. The McPherson's are really good and photographing EVERY step of the process, so you can look at the pictures and follow along. There are more than 300 photographs and several line drawings to take you through the entire process. 1999. 140 pages. Cost: $25.00

"How-to" Build This Log Cabin for $3,000    $25.00    Quantity:

-Please scroll down the page for the "Add to Order" button.-

How to Build Your Own Log Home For Less Than $15,000
by Robert L. Williams

      The Williams family was inspired by a tornado. The tornado destroyed their home in North Carolina and left them with little more than a wasteland of fallen trees. They had no experience with log construction, but learned to become resourceful with what they had. They ultimately built a 4,300 square foot log home for just $15,000!

      The book includes coverage of site selection, drawing plans, chain-sawing and squaring logs, tools and equipment, foundation walls, sawing framing timbers, log wall construction, log girders, building floors, roof framing and sheathing, wiring and plumbing tips, chimneys, stairways, and decks, rustic windows and doors, cabinetry and book cases, chinking, insulating, and finishing touches.

      The great thing about a book like this is that it helps put you back in the real world after you've heard so many "experts" claim that a new house is going to cost you $150,000. A good house shouldn't cost a lifetime to pay for it. Robert Williams' book should be an inspiration to owner-builders everywhere. 1996. Breakout Productions, Inc. 216 pages.

How to Build Your Own Log Home for Less than $15,000    $25.00    Quantity:

-Please scroll down the page for the "Add to Order" button.-

Log Construction Manual
The Ultimate Guide to Building Handcrafted Log Homes
by Robert W. Chambers

      Log buildings are embedded deeply into North American history and culture. For more than one thousand years, builders have been weaving logs into homes, shelters, barns, and churches. Today, however, the buildings where we live and work are rarely handmade from natural materials. In this context, handcrafted, scribe-fitted natural log buildings are an attractive and uplifting alternative to conventional buildings and building materials.

      This book tells you what you need to know to build your own log home and also reveals the deep rhythms and patterns of log construction. Author Robert Chambers shows how to take naturally shaped, tapered, round logs and scribe-fit them one to another so that they look like they actually grew together in the woods.

      The Log Construction Manual is filled with information available nowhere else, including the Log Selection Rules, Chambers's simple method for choosing which log to use next; instructions for building hip and valley log rafters and roof trusses from full-round logs; step-by-step directions for laying out the sill logs for virtually any floor plan, including hexagons, prows, and more; state-of-the-art compression-fit saddle notches and underscribing to keep fits tight over time; details on scribing and cutting long grooves and corner notches just like the pros; and more.

      Chambers also offers advice on organizing and financing a log home project and has loads of experience to share on cutting costs and avoiding common pitfalls. He presents practical ideas for saving money and controlling costs. Although handcrafted log homes are expensive to buy, they are within reach for many as owner-managed building projects.

      Written concisely with great care in explaining important details, the Log Construction Manual brings clarity, insight, depth, and even humor to the log builder's craft. This is a comprehensive book for log home owner-builders, beginners as well as professionals.

Log Construction Manual    $38.00    Quantity:

-Please scroll down the page for the "Add to Order" button.-

Log Home-Builder's Dreampack!
-Be informed before you build.-
Cost: $115.00 (Save $23.00)
-This package counts as 5 items for calculating postage.-

Package includes:

Log Home-Builder's Dreampack (5 items--Save $23)    $115.00    Quantity:

See also the Amazing Log Wizard Tool


PO Box 684
Silver Star, MT 59751

How to Place Retail Orders

      Order On-Line: Order on-line with your Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express. Simply click on the links to learn more about each product and enter the quantity you want in the little white boxes, then click the "Add to Order" button. You will be transferred to our secure payment service for the final check-out. We also accept PayPal payments. Please Click Here for PayPal instructions.

      Order by mail or telephone: We accept checks and money orders payable in US dollars. Please use the on-line shopping basket to tally your order. Click the "Pay for Order On-line" button to calculate the postage, then print or copy the information and call or send it to us at the address above.

Shipping Options
USA Customers
We ship all USA orders via USPS Priority Mail, except as otherwise noted on the website. Express Mail shipping is available by special request.

Customers outside the USA
please click here for additional
shipping information.

Granny's Country Store
Home-Building Resources | Holistic/Sustainable Living
Wilderness Survival | Resources for Educators
Native Skills & Culture | Nature, Wildlife, Tracking
Wildflowers and Edibles