How-To Tips



How Do I Determine How Much Lumber I Need?

One of the most common problems homeowners face when planning their home is finding out how much lumber they need to cover a particular wall. Lumber prices are quoted by the linear (running) foot, but most people only know how many square feet they have. If you already know how many square feet you have to cover, you can easily convert that amount to linear feet.

Converting Square Feet to Linear Feet:

1. Start with the amount of square feet you have to cover and multiply it by 12.
2. Next, divide that figure by the actual face width of the board you plan to use. This will give you the linear footage. Note: the actual dimensions of the board will almost always be slightly smaller than the nominal dimensions. We note this width in the details of each product as the "Stack Height" or "Coverage" specification.

You have 1,000 square feet of wall space that you would like to cover with a 1x8 Tongue and Groove board. The 1x8 in this case has an actual face width of 7”. Convert your square feet amount to linear feet.

1. 1,000 square feet X 12 = 12,000
2. 12,000 ÷ 7 = 1,714 linear feet

Carpenter Bees

How can I protect my home against carpenter bees?

Carpenter Bees present one of the most common maintenance problems log home owners face. These insects tunnel into log homes to nest which can cause significant damage and headaches. We have found that the following products when used in conjunction with other traditional methods can greatly decrease the problems carpenter bees can cause. Bug Juice Insecticide is the first ever EPA registered insecticide paint additive designed for interior and exterior use. Bug-Juice kills crawling and flying insects on contact. Not only does Bug-Juice not affect the color of the coating, it will also not affect the drying time and process.

Bee Gone is an EPA registered Pyretheroid insecticide which can be applied in WOODguard or water to wooden structural surfaces on residential buildings. Bee Gone controls a wide range of insects, including beetles, spiders and all forms of bees. Bee Gone may also be used to control home-invading insects as a residual spray on outside surfaces, such as walks, garbage areas, window frames, doorways, porches, and patios.

For more information on carpenter bees and dealing with existing carpenter bee holes, please see the Log Homes Council’s Tech Note on Controlling Carpenter Bees.

Stain Prep

How Do I Prepare My House For Staining?

For New Construction and Weathered Wood:

1. First, clean the wood thoroughly by using water to remove any dirt or mill glaze. A pressure washer works best if set at no more than 500-1000 PSI and is at least one foot away from the log surface.

2. After wetting the entire surface, use a solution of 2 oz. powdered Tri-Sodium Phosphate (TSP), 1 quart household bleach and 3 quarts water that is applied with a garden pump sprayer. To avoid streaking, apply this mixture from the bottom to the top of the wall.

3. Next, let the TSP bleach/water solution sit on the wood for approximately 10-15 minutes, depending upon the severity of the discoloration. It is advised to keep the surface wet and use a bristled brush to lightly scrub any mold or mildew that may remain on the logs.

4. Remove the solution by using a pressure washer (set at 500-1000 PSI) and starting from the top of the wall, again keeping it at least one foot from the surface.

5. Allow 3-5 days to completely dry before applying any stains or sealants.


Helpful Tips for Applying Chinking to Your Log Home

• Carefully inspect logs for defects, deterioration or insect damage. Make appropriate repairs where necessary.

• Clean logs with ammonia/water or alcohol/water solution to remove all dirt, debris, oil or previous chinking. DO NOT clean with petroleum distillates or detergents – they leave a residue that interferes with adhesion.

• Follow stain manufacturer’s instructions prior to chinking. Make sure that your stain is compatible with the chinking you choose. Some coating use oils which may be non-drying and can lead to adhesion problems.

• Make sure that the wood coating has fully cured and is free of oil residue or wax before applying chinking.

• Check the weather forecast. Chinking is best applied in dry, warm weather and also when there is no threat of rain. The more humidity that is present, the longer the cure time.

• Only apply chinking when the wood surface temperature is between 40º F and 90º F and when no frost is present. To avoid blistering, do not apply the chinking in direct sunlight and try to keep it sheltered from the sun for 1-2 days.

• Chinking will perform better if the product is stored at room temperature and kept warm. If the product gets too cold it will not tool as well.

• Install a bond breaker such as mylar tape, backer board or backer rod, depending on the chink joint to make sure there is a proper 2-point adhesion.

• Above all, follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely! Most chinking products have a warranty, but chinking must by applied according to the manufacturer’s guidelines to be valid.


Whether you are in the middle of building your dream home, tackling a DiY project or just curious. We are eager to answer any questions about our products or log homes in general.