The Oak Leaf - May 2017 By Lynn Gastineau President of Gastineau Log Homes, Inc. Welcome to the May 2017 issue of The Oak Leaf! For new readers, th


The Oak Leaf - May 2017

By Lynn Gastineau
President of Gastineau Log Homes, Inc.

Welcome to the May 2017 issue of The Oak Leaf! For new readers, this is a monthly newsletter that is sent by e-mail to those that have expressed an interest in Gastineau Log Homes. We use this as a way of communicating technical, design and industry information. For more information, check out our web site at

Please "Like" Gastineau Log Homes on Facebook! There are LOTS of photographs of our homes in the Photo section!

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Log walls, exposed beam trusses, wood ceilings, and lots and lots of glass. The amount of "wood" you want to see in your new home is up to you. We will delve into this further in this months issue of the Oak Leaf.

This Month: Understanding the Differences between Log, Post and Beam and Timber Frame Homes: A lot of people do not understand the similarities and differences between these three types of homes. At Gastineau, we can design and provide you any of these homes. In this months newsletter, we will explain and show you the differences.

Trivia Question: Put it on your calendar! On June 2 and 3rd, 2017 in Fruita, CO you can attend the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival! Who was Mike the Headless Chicken and why does he deserve a festival in his honor? (See the answer at the end of the newsletter.)


This is obviously a log home because the exterior walls are made of solid logs. Look at the two homes below to see the exterior of a timber frame and a post and beam home.

Primary Difference: The Exterior Walls: In full log construction, the exterior walls of the home are made of solid logs that are stacked horizontally. The second story floor system and the roof of a log home could be identical to the floor system and the roof of a post and beam or timber frame home. But the exterior walls of a post and beam or timber frame home are not log; they have a timber framing that is inside of either a SIP panel or a conventionally framed exterior wall. Which could have log siding on the outside. Confused yet??


The exterior of this timber frame home and the post and beam below could be identical. Any type of exterior siding could be used for these two homes.

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The only timber accents you see on this Gastineau Post and Beam home are found on the front porch, which features a timber truss and exposed Oak beam rafters. It is almost identical to the timber frame above, except the porch is smaller is dimensions.

Rule Number One: There are no rules. With all of these types of homes, the construction can be done in a way that fits your taste, needs, budget and style. Inside and out. For example, a lot of timber frame homes only have timber framing in the open concept great room. The bedrooms, bathrooms, utility rooms, etc may be standard construction. All are custom homes that can be designed and built to your specifications. We can guide you through the process and advise you on your choices. But the amount of "wood" you want inside and outside is up to you for any of our homes.


The second story floor system show here is in a timber frame home.

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The exposed ceiling of a kitchen using drywall above the beams. Wood could have been used above the beams; this is the customers choice.


This is the second story floor of a log home. See the similarities between all three homes?

The difference between a post and beam and a timber frame home: The main difference is how the timbers are connected to each other. Post and beam typically uses decorative steel plates to tie members together. Timber Frame, on the other hand, uses building techniques such as mortise and tenon joints. The beams of both of these homes are fully exposed to the inside. Timber Frame homes are typically much more expensive than post and beam. Precision cut and fitting the joints is very labor intensive and the main reason for the cost increase.


The exposed beam trusses you see here use steel plates to ensure the structural integrity of the truss. The timber frame truss below relies on the joinery itself and does not have any steel plates.


Round vs Square: Another option that a "Post and Beam" system offers is the ability to do the post in beam using round timbers vs square.

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This shows round timbers being used in a post and beam home. It is a very different "look" from the other post and beam homes.

What is the difference in cost between these three timber home systems? Like most questions about cost, the answer is "it depends." Normally, a timber frame home will cost the most. The cost of the labor to cut the timber joinery is obviously a major component of the price you pay for a timber frame. In addition, the labor is more specialized and not as readily available. The cost of a post and beam and a log home will typically be about the same price, but it depends on the exterior wall system you choose. Both timber frames and post and beam homes have to be covered up with some sort of wall system. We will discuss those choices below.

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The exterior of this post and beam home used 2 X 6 framing. The exterior features a rock and LP Smart Siding with a Diamond Kote Finish. This new product is guaranteed for 30 years against fading and requires no maintenance.

The exterior walls for timber frames and post and beam homes: Walls must be put around these timber structures to provide insulation as well as an exterior and interior finished surface. The two most popular choices are either conventional framing (either 2 X 4 or 2 X 6) or SIP panels. You cannot "see" the difference between them when they are finished because both have your choice of the finish that is installed on both the outside and inside. SIPS are considerably more expensive than traditional framing but provide a continual insulated wall around the building. Another option is the use of spray foam insulation in a conventionally framed walls, providing similar insulating performance to the SIPS.

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Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS) are panels that are manufactured with an insulating foam core sandwiched between two structural facings, usually oriented strand board.

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This shows the interior gable end walls and celing of a log home that has had foam sprayed into the roof and walls providing an extremely energy efficient barrier,

Exterior and interior finishes of a timber frame or post and beam home: After you decide on the type of structure you want for your walls and roof, you then choose the finishes you want. Exterior: Brick, stone, wood siding, vinyl siding. log siding? Interior: Drywall, wood, log, etc? Combination?


Look like a log home? Actually this is a post and beam home with log siding on the exterior.

So how do you decide? A lot of factors enter into your decision. Let us help you. We can ask you questions about your preferences and budget that can guide you to the answer that is best for you. Because all of these are beautiful, energy efficient timber homes. Let us help you determine what type of timber home is best suited for you and your family.

Construction Seminar Schedule for 2017:

October 7, 2017

Click here for information on our one day construction seminars.

Log Raisings:

We are planning a Log Raising in Lawrence, KS and in the St. Louis MO Area in May. Watch for an email announcing the date(s) and location(s).

Home Show:

No more home shows until Fall 2017!

Open Houses:

Remember that the GLH Model Home Center on I 70 in central MO is AGAIN open 7 days a week! We have three houses there that you can tour!

Answer to Trivia Question: On September 10, 1945, farmer Lloyd Olsen of Fruita, CO cut off the head of a chicken named Mike. The axe removed the head but missed the jugular vein and left most of the brain stem intact. When Mike did not die, Olson decided to care for the bird and fed him with an eyedropper. Mike then began a career of touring sideshows and was featured in both Time and Life magazines. In March of 1947 Mike finally died. And since 1999, Fruita has celebrated their most famous citizen with a weekend celebration. Don't believe me or want to read more about Mike? Click here.

Quote of the Month: "I'll change you from a rooster to a hen with one shot!" Dolly Parton's character in 9 to 5 movie

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