For those brave souls who buy a house that is deteriorating, they will need to have the dwelling restored. The building techniques used back in the day were very different from what builders are doing today. In order to succeed in a period-accurate restoration, they need to find professional log home restoration contractors who specialize in identifying and replicating the old style.

Checking the logs for rot is a fairly straight-forward technique, but will need to be the first step taken. Piercing the logs with a screwdriver or ice pick can tell you whether or not there is soft or spongy wood on the inside. The presence of holes from many years of carpenter bee intrusion is also a good indicator that there may be damage unseen, and this condition must be addressed.

When rain and sun cause mildew and dry rot, logs at the base may not be able to withstand the weight placed upon it once the structure is rebuilt. By filling the interior of the logs with an epoxy, the logs are saved and reinforced. This is most important when the logs are towards the bottom and will be responsible for upholding the entirety of the structure.

If the original structure was made of pine, oak, or cedar, then the contractor is strongly encouraged to find the same kind of logs to use. The older the structure, the more important it will be to use the same materials. Preservation of original construction, along with attention to the use of time-appropriate materials and techniques is key to successfully restoring the house.

A great deal can be learned about the building style if one is familiar with the people who most likely built their cabin originally. Immigrants from different parts of Europe had their own building styles, and within a certain period they probably kept to it. In order to truly recreate the home as it was, the owner might want to find out who the original builders were and what style of structure they were most notable for.

One good clue owners can identify to determine what style the original house was, is by noting the corner notching technique. This can vary depending on the ethnicity of its original builders, as well as what time period the structure was erected. Corner notches established rigidity and stability of the house, and the techniques improved through the centuries.

A century ago people used whatever materials were around to chink and daub the outer walls of their homes. Unfortunately, it may be impossible to find an example of this on the structure itself since that would have been the first thing to deteriorate. Simply knowing if there is lime available, or if they may have been known to use mud and animal droppings can help.

In a perfect world, the owner may be able to find old photographs of the house. It should not be too difficult to discover who the original owner of the property was, and then determine how the house was made from that. Local historical society groups are an excellent source for this type of information.

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