Log and Timber Glossary
Sifting through the spectrum of unfamiliar log home terms can sometimes be a daunting task, but not to worry! We’ve got you covered. Here you will find our ever-growing lexicon of wood home vocabulary, so you can spend less time in the dictionary, and more time planning your dream home.
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- Butt and Pass Corner
A corner style used in log home construction. One log stops where it meets an intersecting log, and the other log extends past the corner. In most, passing logs have a mortise (cutout) into which the butt log fits for a tight corner.
The strip of material between logs designed to seal the space while adding a distinctive look. Sometimes used solely for looks.
- Corner Post
A type of corner used in log home construction. A post is found at each corner into which grooves are cut to hold log ends. it looks very similar to post-and-beam construction.
Corners are made by log intersections that are a signature feature of the log-home look. Corner styles are: intersecting, interlocking, and overlapping.
- Dovetail Corner
A corner style used in log home construction. This style is used with square or rectangular logs. The corner is cut in a fan-shaped wedge and interlocks with perpendicular logs.
- Drying Methods
Methods to season logs and improve their stability, either naturally (air-drying) or by acceleration (kiln-drying).
Screws, nails or bolts used to hold stacked logs to each other to form the wall unit.
A certification, typically by a third-party agency, of the structural suitability of logs for use as walls and window or door headers.
- Handcrafted Logs
Tree trunks that are hewn or peeled using hand tools to form logs.
Log home style that mixes structural logs with non-structural logs or other non-log building materials, commonly in the form of half-log and log-accent homes.
- Log Profile
The horizontal shape of a log that defines its look. Basic profiles are round, square and D (round outside, flat inside).
- Manufactured Logs
Solid wood cants milled to uniform sizes and shapes with precision machinery.
- Materials Package
Also known as a Kit, this includes the walls logs, fasteners and sealing materials provided by log-home producers to form the weathertight shell. Packages may also include additional materials, such as windows, doors, porches and roofs.
- Rafters and Purlins
Rafters are supporting roof beams that are perpendicular to the ridge beam. Purlins are parallel to the ridge.
- Saddle-notch Corner
A type of corner used in log home construction. In this style, a notch on the bottom of the log straddles the top of the log coming from the perpendicular wall. Both logs extend past the corner. This is a style favored by many handcrafters.
- Sealing Systems
Various flexible materials that adhere to logs to provide weathertight seals between them.
- Settlement and Shrinkage
The movement of logs as they compress and lose moisture to attain equilibrium with the surrounding humidity.
- SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels)
Foam-core panels often used in log-home roofs to increase energy efficiency. SIPs are sometimes used for walls in hybrid log homes.
Structural or non-structural ceiling timbers often found in open ceilings. Common forms are simple, king-post, queen-post and scissors trusses.