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Which house is better. Log or timber

If a decision is made to build a cottage or summer cottage from wood, the answer to the question has to be found: which house is better to build – from a bar or a rounded log? Solid timber of natural moisture, along with OCB, is the most affordable, so it makes sense to compare their advantages and disadvantages, and then make the final choice.

log house

Houses from rounded logs and from a bar: comparative technological characteristics

The production technology of these sawn timber is not much different. In the production of OCB, the trunk of the log passes through a system of cutters, turning into a regular cylinder. At the same time, the unstable layer of wood (sapwood) is removed and the central part (core) remains, which is more rigid and takes on high mechanical loads. A bar is obtained from a solid log by mechanical processing, after which its section acquires a rectangular or semi-cylindrical shape.

Log houses from OCB

The difference is more significant in the technology of manufacturing corner joints. Log houses from OCB are assembled with the help of recesses specially sawn in the crowns – cups. When the logs shrink, the profile of the cup is distorted, the gaps in the mating increase. In addition, there is one more nuance: when determining the thickness of the wall, one should take into account not the diameter of the OCB, but the much smaller thickness of the inter-joint joint. The difference has to be compensated for by laying insulation, which leads to a rise in the cost of construction. The advantage of a solid bar is a significant simplification of joining corners.

Profiled timber houses

Houses are most easily assembled from profiled timber dried in special chambers. The thorn-groove system allows to tightly connect adjacent links along the length, minimizing the gaps between them as much as possible. Shrinkage of houses made of such material is minimal, due to which housewarming can take place within 5-6 months after laying the foundation. The disadvantages of a profiled bar are only its high cost and less exotic appearance, in comparison with a log cabin.

Building a house: log or timber, which is better?

Before deciding which wooden house to build, you should answer several clarifying questions, which are the criteria for the optimal choice.

1. Does the developer need a classic log house, or is a more practical construction made of timber preferred?

Log houses look organically against the background of natural landscapes, in harmony with the environment. However, this exotic requires constant care: the use of antiseptics and fire retardants.

A house made of timber looks more neat and noble, meets European aesthetic standards. But cracks in the material during drying are inevitable, therefore an external finish is desirable.

2. Is the house supposed to live all year round?

Houses from a bar have the same wall thickness, therefore, heat losses are distributed evenly and are not so great in comparison with a log house. However, in the process of shrinkage, cracks may appear in the non-profiled timber, and this changes the geometry of the walls, requires additional thermal insulation and external finishing.

Buildings made of OTSB require compulsory caulking. To achieve a smooth decrease in temperature along the thickness of the wall, the insulation is installed from the outside. This procedure is quite time consuming, associated with aesthetic requirements and the need for a careful selection of finishes. Rounded logs of natural moisture, like timber, can twist and crack when dry. The most unpleasant thing is if cracks have arisen between the crowns – it is very difficult to caulk them.

wooden houses

3. Does the pace of construction matter?

Houses made of logs and solid timber shrink throughout the year, only its parameters are slightly different. If the log “shrinks” by 7-10%, then the timber – by 11-14%. Only after 11-12 months, it is possible to carry out finishing work, close compensatory cuts over door and window openings, and equip permanent wiring.


Summing up:

  • the cost of a log house will be the lowest only if it is intended for living in the summer. In winter, it is suitable for use, only with significant investment in insulation and decoration.
  • the timber is chosen depending on the financial capabilities of the developer – its price is determined by the manufacturing technology and has a wide range. By purchasing a more expensive profiled timber, you can reduce the cost of finishing work and shorten the construction time.

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