There are several approaches to building log homes with log siding, and some have specialized log siding terms you should understand. One construction style that is growing rapidly is building with log siding. For that reason, two of the most popular woods used today are knotty pine, for its cost-effectiveness, and cedar for its moisture-resistant qualities.

Log siding is used as a building material for the external and internal walls for many structures. As its exposure increases, its uses become more varied, including:

  • Homes   
  • Cabins   
  • Garages   
  • Businesses   
  • Barns   
  • Workshops   
  • Rental cabins
  • Park offices
  • Tiny houses
  • Tree houses
  • Retail stores
  • Man caves

Understanding log siding home terms will be helpful in choosing the building materials and reading the blueprints for home construction.

Log Siding Terms: The Siding

The best wood log siding made today is superior to old-style plank siding that was slower to install, produced more waste, and showed nail and screw heads. These terms are helpful:

  • Tongue and Groove – Each board has a groove cut into one side and a tongue on the opposite side for fitting together.
  • End Matching – Each board has a groove cut into one end and a tongue on the other end for fitting together.
  • End-butting – The ends of siding pieces can join together (end-butted) anywhere between the wall framing (studs).
  • Conventional Framing – The standard way to make walls with vertical studs and top and bottom plates.
  • OSB Board – A ¾” thick material in 4’x8’ sheets that is secured to the wall framing. The exterior log siding is screwed into this board.

Log Siding Profiles

A log siding profile is its D- shape, thickness, and width to differentiate it from other forms. Although there are many on the market, four stand out as favorites, including:

  • Quarter Log Siding is made in 2”x 6” and 2”x 8” sizes in pine and cedar.
  • Half Log Siding is made in 3”x 6” and 3” x 8” sizes in pine and cedar.
  • Premier Deep-D Log Siding is made in 3”x 8” and 3”x 10” sizes in pine and cedar.
  • Hand-Hewn Log Siding is available in all these sizes plus 3”x7” in cedar half log. This profile looks like it was hewn (shaped) with an axe or adze tool.

“One construction style that is growing rapidly is  building with log siding.”

Available Surfaces and Finishing 

Formation of the log’s shape is not the only choice you have available for your log home.   

These terms are common among log homes and log cabins:

Smooth Surface – is an evenly-finished wood and not a rough textured surface

Hand-Hewn –  is basically log siding that looks like it was fashioned with an axe or adze tool

Sealants – are in short, liquid pliable putty’s used to seal the pores, tiny cracks, and loose knots in wood

Stains – are liquids for coloring the wood to hues of your choice

Caulking – is a process of sealing joints and small cracks. Usually around windows and doors

Chinking – is a similar process as caulking, instead it’s used regularly to cover larger spaces between logs                                                                                                                                                       

Clear Coat – is a final finish applied to stained wood surfaces that provides a clear protective coating

Log Siding Terms: Log D-Trims

Log Siding TermsBoth exterior and interior walls need trims to provide a completed or finished look. Log trims are available to match the size and profile of siding you select, including:

Specifically, 2”x 6” Log Trim  is typically matched with quarter log pine or cedar siding

Similarly, 3”x 4” Log Trim  is another good choice for quarter log pine or cedar siding

3”x 6” Log Trim is typically used with half log pine or cedar siding

4”x 4” Log Trim is a good option for use with half log or premier pine or cedar siding

4” x 6” Log Trim is best for premier log siding

Lastly, Custom Log Trim is custom made-to-order in your sizes and specifications

Corner Systems for the Outside

The exterior walls require installing specially-shaped corner logs before the siding and trims are screwed onto the  OSB board. Four favorite options are available to fit the style you prefer:

  • Firstly, Vertical Log Corners are simple 6” or 8” diameter logs milled to cover two adjoining corners
  • Butt-N-Pass Corners are tightly pinned that do not need notching and resemble stair steps or ladders
  • Saddle Notch Corners are fashioned with a notch cut on each side of the log so it can be connected to the log below it. It is the traditional corner connection.
  • Lastly, Double D Corners are virtually the same as D-style corners except both sides of the logs are rounded.

Each style of corner is available to match exactly to all the log siding profiles and sizes. You can learn more about them at the National Association of Homebuilders.

We hope these log siding terms help you feel more comfortable with planning and building a log home!

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