An introduction to a better living environment
Log homes have become increasingly popular throughout Europe, and are seen increasingly in Spain. Unlike most buildings, a wooden house breathes and is most properly the only building material directly compatible with life. A good log home is easy to maintain as almost no humidity will accumulate on the log surface, to form a home for decay and insects, and rain water will bead or run off a properly treated and cared for timber, which soon dries completely in the open air.
Potential residents often ask whether log-homes are actually quite suitable for the environment found in southern Spain. The answer is that this type of home has been built in Spain for many years, and even those built with poor quality wood do still stand. However, differences in durability of wood become more pronounced as the years go by, big differences reflecting the origin of the wood and the care taken with it. Wherever you build it is very important to keep humidity of the wood above 18-20%; this is achieved with an environmentally friendly treatment, as described below. Conventional concrete walls in Spain require more frequent attention to remain waterproof, and often offer poor insulation value compared to logs. Double-glazed windows and doors also help to optimise residential quality. Concerns about durability are reduced when the logs are properly treated and maintained through the use of insect treatment and decay-preventing wood sealants.
American settlers' homes as well as Scandinavian villages are proof of wood's century lasting” ability; however, the recent fashion of painting wood with chemical-based coatings didnt do wood any good, and it became rare to see windows last longer than 20 years. Today's natural and long-lasting wood treatment, used for several centuries in countries around The Baltic, is based on the rediscovered and now refined treatment of linseed oil pre-mixed with wood-tar, which is not only environmentally friendly but also longer lasting and available in various colours. This method is one of the few highly efficient and ecological ways of preventing insect damage to the logs, leaving no hazardous vapours to damage health. A properly treated home will become a partner, not a master. The linseed-oil /wood-tar treatment can, after the first year's basic applications, be left unattended for up to five years. Storm damage is almost unheard of in a professionally built log home, due to the weight and mass of the logs and to them being anchored to each other with long steel screws, leaving strong yet flexible construction appreciated in areas prone to earthquakes. Fire risk is in general lower with a proper wood quality home; as outdoor enthusiasts will recall, a log on a bonfire is extremely difficult to ignite and most often can be salvaged from the fire, with only superficial damage.
Many people think of log-homes as being vacation homes, located in the scenic outback. However, the truth is that almost 90% of log homes are the primary residence of their owners, with the majority of these homes in or near metropolitan areas. Most owners who build log homes as getaway places, eventually move into them full time, because living there make body and mind feel in better harmony, like being on a perpetual holiday.
When choosing your home, kit, material or supplier, it is essential that you obtain a written guarantee of the wood quality (if pine is your choice); the guarantee should also state the country of origin to ensure this has been cold and slow grown” and is not a rapid fertilizer-forced pine wood. Poor pine is supplied very cheaply from some eastern European countries and is welcomed by less conscientious suppliers, who often dont care about the product's lifespan, but only about the profit they can make.
Some of the best available pine in Europe comes from Belarus (previously Byelorussia) and the Finnish borderland's huge undisturbed forests areas. This has proven to be price efficient without compromising quality or harming the environment. Wooden homes are a realistic option; they are flexible in design, and are energy and price effective alternatives to conventional building materials, which far too often find their way into the press in relation to their being the source to ill health.
Wooden homes are no longer only for the Settler” without an alternative, or for the hopeless romantic dreamer. A log home is now an option for the passionate individualist who want to contribute to their family's health and welfare as well as protect the environment. Wood is the only self-renewing natural resource for building material. It is relatively easy to work with, and its density to weight ratio makes it ideal for strength and load bearing.
Finance, insurance and resale of log homes have become increasingly easy all over Europe. The inherent strength, durability and stability of log homes are attractive to financial institutions, insurance companies and potential buyers. The more components the kit package” contains, such as windows and doors, pre-cut logs, floor and roof material, the less you need to spend on labour.
Albaniz Trading SL can supply turnkey homes” ready to move into; however, DIY-based kits are optional and relatively simply assembled. All based on high-quality materials, flexible design options, and more than a hundred standard designs for cabins and homes in both round logs and sawn timber. The raw shell” house (approximately 110 m2) can typically be assembled by three men in a week, with additional finishing taking two to three weeks. Prices vary typically from »500 to »800 per built square metre, subject to buyer's specifications.
Lots of people enjoy nature, experiencing the feeling of breathing fresh and unspoiled air. Why not allow yourself this inexpensive luxury (while asleep) in your own log home?
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