Log Home Education


Log structures settle due to log shrinkage upon drying, crushing of the wood fiber, and the quality of the joinery. 

Settling allowances will need to be made for plumbing, electrical interior framing, masonry and door and window openings. 

With the Douglas-fir that we use, you can plan on a settling allowance of 3/4" per foot of wall height or affected opening.


Floor joists

Typical log floor joists can span up to a maximum of 28' at 4' on center. Spans greater than this may require larger logs, closer spacing of the joists, or a log beam and/or log posts supporting them at midspan. We also have the option of using 2x4 parallel chord floor trusses on the main and second floor which gives us far more flexibility in the layout of plumbing, heating, and electrical.

This system allows for a wide latitude in floor plan layout. One thing that the floor trusses allow for, is the use recessed lighting. The trusses also allow for very easy routing of the second floor plumbing, heating and electrical.

All of this gives us much more freedom in designing the home while reducing the overall cost of construction. The ceilings in the area where floor trusses are used can be finished in either wood paneling or sheetrock. We can also mix the use of log floor joists in one area of the house and use floor trusses in another. The only sacrifice one makes by using floor trusses over the use of log floor joists is being able to lie in bed and stare at logs overhead. In most cases this is a small price to pay for the freedom in design and cost reduction possible in using the trusses."


Log walls are quite variable due to the taper and variation in the size of the logs. Because of this, the log walls are built using the centerlines of the walls as our reference plane. The dimensions indicated on the drawings are to the log wall centerlines; please look closely. Final wall heights may also vary slightly from the actual drawings. The height will be the number of rounds as agreed to in the final contract documents.

Doors & Windows

Door and Window openings should not be cut any closer than 36" from an adjoining wall centerline to the nearest side of the opening. This allows for the proper trimming of the window openings without cutting into the scarfing of the logs at the notches and also allows us to place a thorough-bolt between the window and the notch if required.

Any log wall between two openings such as two windows or a window and a door, should be at least 48" for load bearing purposes and to prevent logs splitting lengthwise.

The maximum window width without a center support post of some means is 8' without prior engineers approval. Most building departments are now requiring some type of engineering prior to issuing permits. This is especially true in areas where there is a seismic concern or high lateral forces due to winds.

Typical Specs.

1. Log Peeling
     Logs to be peeled and hand detailed Douglas-fir logs, 11' - 13' small end diameter graded as #2 or #3 special mill sawlogs. Logs are to be treated with a non-toxic, broad spectrum fungicide to control mold and mildew.
2. Standards
    All work to be done to standard equal to or more stringent than those set forth in the American and Canadian Log Builders Associations 1995 Log Building Standards for Residential, Hand-crafted, interlocking, scribe-fit Construction. Exception is made with regard to the considerations for spiral grain of the logs. Please contact us for more details regarding this issue.
3. Scribe-fit
     Logwork to be done in the scribe-fitted, shrink fit notched manner with all saw cut and scarfed surfaces sanded and all log ends trimmed to their final length. Logwork to be done on my preconstruction site and reassembled on your foundation.
4. Doors and Windows
     All door and window openings cut and finished, ready for your units to be installed and trimmed.
5. Electrical
    All electrical openings and chases to be cut and drilled to your electrician's requirements. The client and or electrician must be on site during re-erection to pull the necessary electrical wires.
6. Floor Joist
    All floor joists, plates and roof members to be flattened to accept framing and finish material.
7. Trucking Costs
     Re-erection costs are included. Trucking costs are included as an estimate; the actual cost may vary due to road conditions and/or site accessibility.
8. Consultation
    Consultation time with subtrades and the general contractor, if appropriate, are included so as to move the project along smoothly.
9. Price
    Price does not include plans, permits or engineering fees.
10. Minor Materials
     All minor materials used on site such as foam sealant tape, fiberglass and through bolts will be provided by Mark Fritch Log Homes.
11. Flashing, Settling Devices
     Flashing, settling devices, sill seal, doweling, door and window splines and window bucks are to be provided by the general contractor.

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