I love being a home inspector here in Winnepeg, especially when I get to inspect a log cabin. When buying a log cabin though, knowledge is power. Here are a few facts about log cabins, log cabin restoration, and log cabin home inspections.
Foundation - Typically, the foundation of a log cabin will be made from stone pillars as the stone provides a safety layer between the earth and the cabin. In addition to this, it will also allow for a sturdy base to support the rest of construction. Over time, stones may settle so this needs to be assessed regularly and at the point of restoration.
Wall Construction - Made from logs, the walls can actually be placed horizontally or vertically and this decision often depends on the size of the cabin itself. For a perfect fit, the logs will be notched at the corners and this effectively locks the logs into place. As log cabins became more popular, we learned new ways of corner notching including saddle-notching and steeple-notching. As the corners come together, they will be marked by a cut into the wood and they will fit together just like a puzzle. Although this is the most popular technique, it is also possible to use square notching which secures the corners with spikes or pegs.
Again, the size of the cabin will decide a lot including the amount of logs used. So there isn't space in between each log when they don’t sit perfectly, ‘chinking’ and ‘daubing’ is used which is a process containing a combination of various materials.
Roof - Commonly gabled, the roof of a log cabin will normally consist of hand-split wood shingles. Due to the weather, the roof is vulnerable over an extended period of time and can experience leaks and other damage; this is often seen in restoration projects.
Doors - In many restorations, the doors aren't in great condition due to the sheer usage that they receive; normally, a log cabin will have a door at the rear as well as the front. Using pegs to fasten to the inside, log cabin doors normally open inwards and consist of hand-dressed boards.
Windows - Similarly, there will be two windows with one on either side depending on the location of the chimney. When restoring a log cabin, the glass panes may need replacing.
Chimney - Although most cabins will have a chimney, they commonly succumb to sinking and they can deteriorate into pieces over time.
George Adair, Certified Professional Home Inspector
I provide a wide range of home inspection and home inspection related services in the following areas of southern Manitoba: Winnipeg, Selkirk , Lockport,Steinbach,
Stony Mountain, Elie, Rosser, Lorette Sanford, East St. Paul, West St. Paul, Oak Bank,
Oak Bluff, Landmark,
St. Anne, Saint Andrews,
La Salle, Richer, Niverville and Warren.
Our extended area also includes: Lac Du Bonnet, Beausejour, Libeau, Gimli, Pinawa, Falcon Beach, Winnipeg Beach, Grand Marais, Saint Laurent, and Pine Falls