The first decision you will have to make if you are considering using log home kits to build a log home is the method of construction. You can choose the saddle notch method or the butt-and-pass method. Each style explains to the way the home is joined at the corners.
The saddle notch method requires builders to cut a notch in a log that fits a perpendicular log that will be placed on top of it. Logs are continuously stacked in this fashion to build a wall, and extremely the weight of the logs makes them lock tightly and make secure corners. Some builders drive a bolt or stake through the logs to create added security.
In the butt-and-pass method, a perpendicular log is butted against an existing log as the stacking of logs begins. On the second level of stacking, the log passes over the first perpendicular log. On the third level, the log butts up against the perpendicular log again. The stacking continues in this manner until a wall is done.
The butt-and-pass method used with log home kits creates spacing between the logs that have to be filled with insulation and chinking, a method that equates to caulking your log home. The logs are then secured with stakes or bolts driven down from one log to the next.
Naturally, the saddle notch method tends to be more expensive for builders and home buyers. One of the reasons is the amount of precision required to get the logs properly aligned. It takes careful measuring to cut the logs with proper inch specifications so that a perpendicular log can fit into a groove and form a tight corner.
Although some companies claim to use the butt-and-pass method for their log home kits, some critics have contended this type of method is not possible with a kit. Kits are usually manufactured somewhere else and shipped for assembly on the property. Some builders have claimed that the butt-and-pass method is so strong, it can not be shipped in parts and reassembled.
One of the challenges many home owners who purchase log home kits face after the assembly begins is “settling.” This is a natural process that forces some parts of the house to fall out of alignment about a year or so after the logs have completely discharged. It can create gaps between the roof and the house or shatter windows, if the damage is too great.