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Thread: Shipping Container Homes

  1. #11
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    What kind of maintenance do you mean? On a proper log house, there should be next to none, compared to other type of homes.
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    There are many log homes here from the settlement times 200 years ago. Most have been sided over and you can't tell they are log structures. I lived in such a house the front part of the house and upstairs were log covered with wood siding, the back part was timber framed and covered with wood siding. For the most part they are maintenance free. The newer kit homes have to be treated I think every other year.

    I often stumble on the remains of log cabins when I'm hiking and hunting. The walls are somewhat intact, but the roof is usually gone. The most famous of these is called a "dog trot" style. It is actually three cabins put together. Two smaller cabins on ground floor with a bigger cabin connecting them is built on top. The attached picture is one that has logs over sixty feet long on top.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Žoreišar View Post
    What kind of maintenance do you mean? On a proper log house, there should be next to none, compared to other type of homes.
    Every other year you have to recoat the outside or it ends up looking like the ones you picture, rotting away. Every year you have to brush down the logs on the inside since they get dusty. This is compounded by any fireplace or wood burning stove you employ with a blower. This is not a small job on a large house nor a particularly pleasant one since you are breathing the dust all day long. You also have to check the logs themselves for settling. This is not cool if you have a chimney. Once, my entire fire place pulled away from the wall. Any wood touching the ground must be checked for termites. The one you picture has a raised foundation but that is not fool proof. One of the support logs for my deck, resting on concrete, got termites and had to be replaced. As this was a supporting beam, heavy machinery had to be brought in and the house lifted, jacked up, on this corner until a concrete pillar could cure which supported the house. Unless you have a central "great room" of two stories and a modern invention, log houses are dark and feel closed. Windows on a log house are expensive and must be structurally engineered if large in size.

    Do you want to talk about fire insurance? Container homes at least do not burn.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    Every other year you have to recoat the outside or it ends up looking like the ones you picture, rotting away.
    The one I posted a picture of is about 850 years old. :p Some superficial deterioration at this point, has to be accepted. What some people seem to forget about wood, is that it is a living and breathing material, even after its been chopped down. If you seal the walls with a coating that humidity cannot pass through, it will inevitably end up rotting very quickly. The best thing to do, is to leave the wood in its natural state, so it can properly aerate. Wood also has a natural survival mechanism to protect itself when loosing its bark, pushing out a healing substance to the surface, which acts as a protection against deterioration from sun and rain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    Every year you have to brush down the logs on the inside since they get dusty. This is compounded by any fireplace or wood burning stove you employ with a blower. This is not a small job on a large house nor a particularly pleasant one since you are breathing the dust all day long.
    Wood panels covering the interior walls should fix this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    You also have to check the logs themselves for settling. This is not cool if you have a chimney. Once, my entire fire place pulled away from the wall.
    That sounds like a poorly constructed log house. The logs are supposed to be movable objects, as they constantly accustom themselves to the conditions surrounding them. In very cold areas, for example, it is advised to have a flatter angle on the roof, so more snow will collect on it, serving both as insulation and as a weight to press the logs tighter together, reducing airflow in between logs. Fixing large, immovable objects to such a structure, is not a wise decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    Any wood touching the ground must be checked for termites. The one you picture has a raised foundation but that is not fool proof. One of the support logs for my deck, resting on concrete, got termites and had to be replaced. As this was a supporting beam, heavy machinery had to be brought in and the house lifted, jacked up, on this corner until a concrete pillar could cure which supported the house.
    Firstly, logs should never rest directly on concrete. As opposed to stone, concrete has great capillary properties, sucking up water and containing it for a long time. Stone, on the other hand, catches water on the immediate surface only, and doesn't react with wood in any meaningful way.

    As for termites, I don't have so much knowledge about, although there are several methods to remove as much as possible of the nutritional value contained in a tree both before and after cutting it down, making it (hopefully) as uninteresting as possible for termites and other wood-eaters. Some of these methods are done by removing some bark of the tree, little by little, year by year, before it gets cut. You could also remove the top of the tree some years before cutting it, increasing the amount of core wood in the tree. Some people also cut the trees at the point of time it starts getting leaves in the spring, and some also wash them in lakes and rivers for a couple of months to get most of the left-over nutrition out of them.

    Safe to say, modern industrial fabricators of log homes don't give much regard to these things. Their interest lies in building fast, cheap and maybe getting a phone call in 5 or 10 years time to come by and reconstruct a failing element of the structure.
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    There were plenty of old pioneer type log cabins in this area about 100 years old. They were ruins. These were places people went out with metal detectors and looked for old things.

    Settling in a log home happens to all such homes. There are many methods of construction. For instance small holes can be made and lined up vertically so that a threaded rod, "allthread", can be inserted vertically. Then nuts are fixed at the ends and with a wrench, tightened down. A space is provided so the homeowner can crawl up and down once a year are tighten. This is not to prevent settling, this is to ensure a tight fit between the logs.

    Using interior paneling defeats the purpose of the log home itself. With only a little more effort the house could be a frame house, insulated, and finished as a modern house.

    Here, if you don't coat your long home, it will rot but before that it will be eaten alive by termites and beetles. You are talking about exposed wood and that is an insect's feast.

    I don't know what the snow load in Norway is or what the building codes are but here it is 200 pounds per square foot. Where I am now we have heavy snow in the winter and it accumulates to an average of eight feet of standing snow. Unless the angle of the roof allows it to shed, by itself, any flat-type roof will collapse under the weight. Even when I don't live here in the winter, I have to travel here and shovel the snow off my deck (second story) which, even with a 200 pound per sq. foot construction, will collapse unless shoveled off.

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    Another benefit of using containers as building blocks is that they are what is called vandal proof. You can see how that would be advantageous in a country of 40,000,000 blacks.

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    One or two people could easily live in a single shipping container with a toilet, sink, shower, stove and storage. Insulation might be a problem but they are fine in cold winters.

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    Just a thought. What if you used soil to insulate a prefabricated home whilst blending it into the landscape? And a greenhouse at the front for food or relaxation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catterick View Post
    Just a thought. What if you used soil to insulate a prefabricated home whilst blending it into the landscape? And a greenhouse at the front for food or relaxation.

    A friend of mine wanted to do something like that with a shipping container. He wanted to embed it into a hill on some property he planned to buy. But there were some issues with the purchasing of the lot so he never did it. It's an interesting idea.
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