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There are two kinds of log homes: "handcrafted" and "milled" (also called "machine-profiled"), made with a log house moulder.
Handcrafted Log Homes
Milled Log Homes
Handcrafted vs. Milled
One major factor that isn't always addressed is moisture content. Any timber, large or small, will have moisture in it when it is fresh cut. Log homes of all types have varying degrees of moisture content.
In the case of "handcrafted" logs, this moisture will naturally leave the timber, drying it out until it stabilizes with its surrounding climate it. This drying out causes movement and shrinkage in the timber; as the timber dries, the pores on the exterior of the wood seal up. The moisture in the center of the timber keeps trying to escape and eventually opens a crack in the timber. This crack, also known as a "check," can continue all the way to the heart of the timber sometimes leaving quite a large crack on the side of the home.
Milled logs are processed in a different manner than are handcrafted logs. Logs destined to become milled logs can become one of several types, depending on the desired quality and end result. The end quality of a milled log has a lot to do with its moisture content at the time of construction.
Many handcrafted log builders do not consider milled logs to be logs at all, a position which milled-log manufacturers disagree with.
Modern technology enables log homes to be built using computer-aided design. Logs are pre-cut, and pre-packed in the factory, disassembled, and then transported to the building site to be re-assembled.
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