But what about the Irish weather?
Traditionally log houses are very suitable to Artic conditions. The major concern with Irish weather conditions is wind driven rain. We try to accommodate this in our designs by for example constructing roofed terraces on the prevailing wind side. Also we recommend longer eaves and keeping the building at least 500mm above the ground.
Can I get insurance?
Generally its Lloyds through a broker. O’Brien Finlay are the most agreeable and cheapest. They have a department called Finsure for holiday homes and different style buildings. Click Here for Finsure. firstname.lastname@example.org
Sample Quote for a log cabins in July 2006:
Buildings €180,000 Contents € 30,000 Premium € 425
Inclusive of 25% no claims discount – no claims last three years.
All quotations are subject to a satisfactorily completed proposal form.
What about fire?
Materials in most conventional houses include highly inflammable and toxic plastics and m.d.f. It has been proven that in a fire log walls and laminated beams burn at a certain speed without loosing their strength thus giving the occupants more time to get out.
Can I get planning permission?
Yes is the simple answer. The more complicated answer is that it is more difficult and that you will need more patience and energy. Remember that the Planning Authorities are used to processing cement products for the past 50 years but they are slowly coming around to accepting different construction solutions. Check out Planning.
How do you preserve the timber?
We import the best quality Artic Pine heartwood. Any coating that stops the breathing process of the logs shortens its life. Most preservatives are toxic and unhealthy. If one has to colour the building, we recommend natural pigment paint for the log wall exterior.
How much do they cost?
A lot of companies use 70mm wide logs on a concrete slab with cheap fittings, windows and doors. This is a garden shed. For a permanent residance we recommend top quality materials. We use 134mm wide log with a vertical lamination. This is a seriously good quality log, made to last and withstand Irish weather conditions. We feel this system makes for a better quality house and still comes in cheaper than a conventional house.
How long will they last?
In Finland we visited log houses over 200 years old, still in use. There are two things governing lifespan; quality of materials and quality of construction.
How warm are they?
From our experience the insulation qualities of log are excellant. The breathing quality of the log house takes care of the quality of indoor air and helps stabilise room humidity. The Log Homes Council of America fought for 13 years to establish that the thermal mass of a log wall is as energy efficient as a well insulated frame wall.
What kind of foundations?
Generally we prefer vented strip walls on foundation footings for the perimeter and pillar on footings for internal walls. Also timber beams on pillars to support the suspended timber floor.
What about insulation?
We use recycled paper and sheepswool for the suspended timber floor, roof and studded frame walls. We have a machine for the paper insulation.