The Oak Leaf - December 2016 By Lynn Gastineau President of Gastineau Log Homes, Inc. Welcome to the December 2016 issue of The Oak Leaf! For new r


The Oak Leaf - December 2016

By Lynn Gastineau
President of Gastineau Log Homes, Inc.

Welcome to the December 2016 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!

Hotop Lvg room

This Month: The Best of the 2016 Oak Leaf: It is hard to believe that we are entering our last month of 2016. It has been a very exciting year for us at GLH; our busiest year since 2009. This month we are going to look back at the best photos and information from the 2016 Oak Leaf newsletters in case you missed them the first time!

Trivia Question: What is the origin of the phrase "Close, but no cigar?" (See the answer at the end of the newsletter.)


This loft was added over the dining and kitchen area of a modified Caroline design.

In January, we talked about Lofts: What is the definition of a loft? A loft is the upper story of a building directly under the roof. An attic typically covers the entire first floor while a loft covers only a few rooms. The space for a loft is created by the pitch of the roof which creates more headroom in the center of the building. The steeper the roof, the more useable space there is in the loft.


This photo shows a loft AND options. The round beams, railing and stairs are optional vs our standard square Oak. The T&G Ceiling shown is also an option.

In February we focused on Options: What do we mean by options? We have standard plans and standard materials. But there is no limit to the options that we can provide for your home. Both in materials, sizes, logs, building systems and in design! If you want to build a custom home that uses wood, we can guide you through the process and help you achieve the home of your dreams!


Incorporating stone into your design can be done in several ways. Stone columns support the deck and the stone patio is off the lower basement level.

In March we discussed Blueprints: Building a home begins with the blueprints. This is where your "dream" is put on paper. Critical mistakes can be made if you try to build without blueprints that are properly engineered and detailed. Few people have the vision (or the ability to communicate that vision) to build a home without a full set of working blueprints. This month we will explain the process that we use to achieve a set of plans that will reflect your desires and meet your needs.


Below you can see the elevation from the blueprints for the home built above.

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In April, we highlighted our hand crafted Pine log homes...Many people do not realize that we offer a handcrafted log home in addition to our traditional log homes. This construction method is different in design, production, construction, finishing and cost. Read the April Oak Leaf to learn more about this beautiful method of log construction.

Log Shell.KC

These homes are built on the log yard, disassembled and then rebuilt at your building site. This step provides for a veery quick construction of the log walls.

Our Back to Basic packages were featured in the May Oak Leaf.Several years ago, we developed a line of home plans and material packages that incorporated cost saving methods to lower the completed cost of the home. We named them our "Back to Basic" line. In the May issue of the Oak Leaf, we explained the differences between these packages and our standard log home package.

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Click on this image to go to the Back to Basic page on our web site.

Welcome to your Log Home! In the June 2016 Oak Leaf, we looked at exterior doors.Your choice for exterior doors is made by considering the design, the functionality, and your personal preferences. The prices can go from very inexpensive to very, very expensive. In the June Oak Leaf, we discussed some of the things you should consider when choosing a door. And lots of pictures of doors in our homes!

Front Doors to Store

From classic to custom made, your front door is a statement about your home.


In July, we explained the differences between log home corners and how they significantly add to the strength of a log home: One of our log homes was hit by an F4 tornado in early 2016. (250 mph wind) It significantly out performed all the surrounding frame and brick construction. The corners played a big part in the strength of the building and one reason why we decided to focus on corners in the July newsletter.

One question you will be asked when planning to build a log home is: "What kind of corners do you want?" Not a question you get when building a conventional frame home! Most people are confused by this question, so we examined it further in the July Oak Leaf..

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This model home was built with two different corners so prospective log home owners could compare. The furthest away is a butt and pass corner. The closest is a saddle notched corner.

How do you choose the type of foundation for your home? Find out in the August Oak Leaf.: The purpose of a foundation is to transfer the weight or load of the building to the earth and also to resist the load imposed on the building by the earth. In the August Oak Leaf, we discussed the pros and cons of the most common types of foundations to help you in your decision making process while planning your new home.


This walk out basement foundation utilized special forms to make the exterior have an appearance of brick..

Maintenance of a log home is a common question. It was the focus of the September Oak Leaf. All homes need maintenance. The maintenance for a log home is not that different from recommended practices for other types of construction. Learn more in the September issue of the Oak Leaf. And don't miss the Top Ten Ways to Minimize Maintenance of Your Log Home" in that issue!


The secret to easy maintenance is making it easy to reach! The porchs and size deck make this house easy to maintain.

In October, we delved into the fascinating world of Heating and Cooling systems! Although not a very sexy subject, the HVAC systems (or just Heating system) you choose for your new log home is a very important decision. It impacts your comfort, your design, and your construction costs. Log homes are easy to heat and cool (as our customers tell us) and the system you choose to control your interior environment is a very personal one. We covered some basic information to help you in your decision making process in the October issue of the Oak Leaf.

Active solar heating is a viable option in certain parts of the US. Geothermal is another option that can be used throughout most of the country.

In November, we examined the various options for the interior partition walls of a log home....: We all love the beautiful exteriors of log homes. But what are your choices inside? In a log home, the interior of the exterior walls is the inside of the logs. The walls that divide off the rooms (partition walls) are usually 2 X 4 or 2 X 6 frame walls that require a finish wall to be applied to both sides. These wall coverings are discussed (and mostly shown) in the November Oak Leaf. Lots of photos in this issue!


Plain white looks clean, crisp and cool in this bedroom.


But all wood looks good too....

Home Shows:
No more home shows until this Fall 2016! We have learned that the Log Home Show is returning to Kansas City the Spring of 2017.

Log Raising:

We had hoped to have a log raising this Saturday Dec 3rd near Columbia, MO but the weather does not look like it will be cooperating. If you would like to go see the logs being stacked on this home, the crew will be working at the site until about December 9th. You can go to the site during the weekdays by appointment. Call 573-896-5122 or 800-654-9253 or email ( to set an appointment and for directions.

Construction Seminar Schedule for 2016:

No more seminars in 2016. Watch for the 2017 schedule to be released next month!

Click herefor information on our one day construction seminars.

Open Houses:

The Halls are Decked at Pennsylvania Oak Log Homes! Come to their Open House on December 3rd from 10 AM to 4 PM. Located at 131 Oley Furnace Road in Fleetwood, PA. For more information, and directions, call 610-790-7479.

Remember that the GLH Model Home Center on I 70 in central MO is open 7 days a week until Thanksgiving! We have three houses there that you can tour! We will be closed on Sundays from Thanksgiving until March 1st.

Answer to Trivia Question: It is likely (although cannot be proven) the phrase originated at fair grounds in the late 19th or early 20th century. Like today, there were booths set up with overpriced, nearly impossible to win games for fair goers to try. But rather than win stuffed animals, the prizes were usually for the adults and cigars were a common prize given out to winners. So when you lost, the game workers would belt out "Close, but no cigar!" to encourage people to try again.

Quote of the Month: "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." —Author Unknown

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