Scandanavian settlers built the first log homes during the 17th century, and today these homes dot the landscape from New England to the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. But whether your log home has a lengthy history or was built relatively new, any log home won’t last long without meticulous TLC.

By Valerie Kalfrin | January 31, 2021

“Water management is extremely important in log cabins, both for the integrity of the logs themselves and for maintaining a dry interior,” notes Kate Ziegler, a New England real estate investor who helps her parents preserve the pre-Revolutionary War log cabin where she grew up in rural Pennsylvania.

Some modern log homes have contemporary foundations and basements, which makes this a bit easier; but others, such as her family’s historic cabin, may have “slab” foundations or be built directly on a concrete pad at ground level. So any water that might pool in a basement has the potential to enter your living space instead. She recommends keeping any dirt or mulch away from the lowest logs of your home.

Residents and buyers must find a log home’s character and allure to be well worth the work required. Ziegler, for example, has fond memories of gathering around the wood stove with her parents, her sister, and the family dogs, especially on cold days.

“Log homes are charming,” Ziegler says. “I’m not sure if it’s the warmth of the texture of the wood, or something about them that feels relaxed and unfussy by nature, but they blend with the environment in the summer and look cozy and welcoming covered in snow.”

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