Roof Systems – Custom Built Log Homes – Part 7

Roof systems are an integral component of any log home – not just structurally speaking but the ambiance of a log home is defined when you walk through the front door and look up. Timberhaven Log Homes provides options that meet unique style preferences and budgets. For our friends, Jack and Bob, there was no doubt they wanted Timberhaven’s Beam & Purlin roof system in their dream log home. Let’s take a closer look at this particular roof system along with some other roof options.

Roof Systems: Beam & Purlin

Last week you learned that members of a Beam & Purlin roof system are both exposed and structural. So the members are not only stunning to look at but are also designed to support the weight of the roof. Once the beams (vertical members) & purlins (horizontal members) are set into place, 1” tongue & groove (T&G) is secured to the purlins and the T&G is immediately covered with felt paper. Refer to Custom Built Log Home – Part 6 for details on these steps.

log cabin exposed roof, log home under construction, custom built log home, Timberhaven, kiln dried, laminated felt paper over T&G, beam & purlin roof, log home under construction, custom built log home, Timberhaven, kiln dried, laminated

Atop the felt paper, builders will apply 2 layers of 4’ x 8’ sheets of rigid insulation for a standard R-38 insulation value. Depending on climate zone and local building codes – or personal preference – you may need a higher R-value. Timberhaven’s Beam & Purlin system can be increased to achieve an R-49 rating. The insulation is secured with just enough nails to maintain placement until the furring strips are installed.

Furring strips – which are simply 2” x 4”s placed on their sides – are installed directly on top of the rigid insulation. The strips are applied 24” on center and placed from the fascia to the ridge of the roof. Timber screws are used to secure the furring strips, insulation, T&G and are fastened to the purlins. These furring strips create channels for which air can flow through your roof – this is very important as your roof needs to “breathe.”

beam and purlin roof system, custom built log home, laminated, kiln dried, Timberhaven Log Homes, log home under construction

Beam & Purlin roof system

Next 4’ x 8’ sheets of OSB, plywood or Advantech are applied and secured with nails. This sheathing is standard in your Timberhaven log home package, and the final choice of material selection is yours.

The final layers include felt paper which is immediately applied in order to protect the sheathing, Ice & Water Shield, and lastly – the shingles or metal whichever you prefer.

Want a cathedral ceiling with beautifully exposed heavy timbers? The Beam & Purlin roof system may be the best option for you. The final outcome looks like this.

roof systems, beam & purlin roof system, loft of log home, Timberhaven, kiln dried, laminated, roof systemsdola-livgreat1

 Roof Systems: Heavy Timber Rafter Roof

What’s the difference between a heavy timber rafter roof and a Beam & Purlin roof system? Visually speaking, only the vertical members (rafters) are exposed and are placed closer together than the beams in the Beam & Purlin system. Additionally, there are no horizontal members and the T&G runs the opposite direction (horizontally since there are no purlins in this system).  See the differences in the finished product below.

roof systems, heavy timber rafter roof, Timberhaven Log Homes, kiln dried, laminated, log cabinroof systems, heavy timber rafter roof, white pine, kiln dried, laminated, Timberhaven Log Homes, log cabin

From a structural perspective, the remainder of the roof is constructed using the same method as the Beam & Purlin roof system.

Roof Systems: Pre-Fabricated Trusses

roof systems, pre-fab truss, decorative beam, Timberhaven Log Homes, kiln dried, laminated, log cabin

Unless decorative beams are used in areas where pre-fab trusses are in place, none of the roofing members in this system are exposed. It’s still a beautiful look with the T&G on the ceiling as you can see in the photo to the right. In this particular area, a scissor truss is in use (which you cannot see) and a decorative beam is placed for “looks” and stained for contrast.

The assembly of a typical pre-fabricated truss system looks like this. The diagram depicts the use of a flat truss and this particular system offers the least expensive solution to Timberhaven’s roof systems.

pre-fabricated truss, roof systems, custom built log home, Timberhaven Log Homes, laminated, kiln dried

Pre-fabricated truss roof system

Roof Systems: Beautiful options…which one is best for you?

Roof systems deserve the utmost of attention and respect – during the initial designing phase and during construction. Please take the time to research your options, ask your representative what your roof system(s) will look like once constructed, and always (ALWAYS) be attentive and safe during the construction process. Make your roof system selection based on personal preference and budget – it will be beautiful no matter what you decide.

Heavy Timbered Log Home Construction – Part 6

Each phase of the log home construction process is no more or less important than the next – and the overall task of assembling your own dream log home is quite an endeavor.  But Jack and Bob would not have it any other way.  They are having a blast through these construction phases and are elated to see their dream log home taking shape.  This week the DIYers have been working on their front porch, rear shed dormer, and the roof.  Let’s check in with them now.

Log Home Construction: Heavy Timbered Porch

If you’ve been following this blog from the beginning, you may remember that during the design phase, Jack lower side of porch ceiling, log home under construction, custom built log home, Timberhaven, kiln dried, laminated, heavy timbered systemand Bob had Timberhaven increase the size of the porch posts (originally 6” x 8” posts increased to 8” x 8” posts) which reduced the number of posts required which in turn eliminated obstructions of the front windows.  Nice job on paying attention to the details – the final front porch effect is charming!   Here you will see the heavy timbered porch posts have been erected.  Their role is to support the porch header (horizontal member) and the porch roof.  In addition to being beautiful, the posts are important, too!

support posts on porch roof, custom built log homes, log home under construction, Timberhaven, kiln dried, laminated, heavy timbered system

log cabin exposed roof, log home under construction, custom built log home, Timberhaven, kiln dried, laminated, , heavy timbered system

By the shadows cast on the front of this home, you can derive at the fact that the porch roof has been framed.  Soon tongue & groove will be applied to the lower side of the frame to finish the porch ceiling. It’s hard not to imagine taking advantage of some R&R on this front porch.  For now, work must go on.  There will be time for chillin’ later…

Log Home Construction: Shed Dormer

Because Timberhaven Log Homes provides kiln-dried laminated or solid products – materials that won’t shrink or settle after construction – gabled and shed dormers are typically built utilizing our laminated or solid log materials.  However, Jack and Bob wanted a different look to their home, so they decided to build their shed dormer conventionally and finish it with board & batten on the exterior. conventionally framed shed dormer, log home under construction, custom built, Timberhaven, kiln dried, laminated, heavy timbered system This week the couple completed conventional framing of said shed dormer walls and installed the window frames and headers.  Not only will this particular dormer grant the couple a unique, hybrid feel to their home, they are also gaining full ceiling height and lots of natural light. See the angled supports in the photo?  They serve no structural purpose and were strictly added for aesthetics.  We see this architectural element from time to time; it’s a nice touch and maybe something you want to consider for your log home.

Log Home Construction: Heavy Timbered Roof System

As we discussed last week, Timberhaven log home customers can choose from several different types of roof systems.  This decision is usually based on aesthetic preferences but cost is also a factor.  Timberhaven’s beam & purlin roof system is a very popular choice.  What’s most unique about this heavy timbered system is that all the roofing members are exposed – it’s a dramatic effect many log home owners prefer. So, after the beam & purlin roofing members are set, Jack and Bob nail 1” tongue & grove (T&G) ceilingsoffit area with tongue & groove, log home under construction, custom built log home, Timberhaven, kiln dried, laminated, heavy timbered system material perpendicular to the purlins.  The T&G will extend at least 2 ft. beyond the walls which creates the soffit and overhangs. (Notice the purlins extending through the solid log gable ends.)  Some builders snap a vertical chalk line every few feet on purlins as a reference to keep T&G perpendicular. Think about trying to write on a chalkboard without a guide – it’s hard to do!  And since realigning T&G is more difficult than erasing your marks and starting over, we recommend the chalk line guide. beam & pulin roof system, log home under construction, custom built log home, Timberhaven, kiln dried, laminated, heavy timbered system






felt paper over T&G, beam & purlin roof, log home under construction, custom built log home, Timberhaven, kiln dried, laminatedAs the T&G is installed, the couple applies a layer of synthetic felt paper to protect the T&G. The T&G should never be exposed to inclement weather conditions, so it’s important to cover it with felt as soon as it is applied. Because Timberhaven’s beam & purlin roof system is so unique, we’re going to take the opportunity to outline in detail what happens next with this roof.  Check back next week for those specifics.