As settlers began to move in and explore the rural and undeveloped land of the United States, it became clear they needed shelter. Shelter was a necessity: from the weather, from the rough terrain that surrounded the homesteads, and shelter from native animals on the prowl for food. The elements that settlers faced were harsh and near despair, which created a live or die attitude. The land was unsettled, unexplored and uncivilized. In most areas, there was a large quantity of timber, which led to log homes being constructed throughout the country. With the large abundance of timbers, it became very common to use timbers in many different forms. Timbers were used horizontally as logs for homes as well as for the exterior surfaces for barns, smokehouses, black smith shops, school-houses, and any other out-buildings that were needed. It wasn’t long before settlers began to use timbers together vertically and horizontally to create large open post-and-beam barns. The vast majority of the homes were built of logs hewn flat on the sides, with chinking (or mud) between the logs. Typically, the corners were joined with some variation of a dovetail-type notch. This basic technique was employed for technological reasons, which are still important and highly relevant today.
You can still find them: They sit atop the ridges, in the hollows and on the stream banks of our nation. Like no planned or contrived monument could hope to, these 150-200 year old log structures salute that almost undefinable and unique spirit that was, is, and always will be—America. A log home reflects the definitive American soul: the sweat, blood, self-reliance, ingenuity, pride, and unbreakable commitment to doing what must be done. There is a huge reservoir of strong people who believe in America’s pride, values, and future. We, at Hearthstone, build that same spirit, tradition, and pride into every home we create. To most successfully achieve those objectives, we believe that our log homes should authentically reproduce the look, charm and aesthetics of our forefather’s homes. We then combine that basic philosophy with the finest in modern design, engineering, and technical details so that your Hearthstone home is enjoyed for many generations. Nearly all of the permanent, long-lasting log homes shared the common characteristics of logs hewn flat on the sides, joined at the corners with a dovetail-type notch, and chinked between the logs. While we have several different types of log homes, they all share these general characteristics.
The pioneers built their homes this way because of those outstanding technical advantages. We believe in those technical advantages—as well as the tremendous aesthetic appeal. At Hearthstone, we can respond to many different design ideas from our clients. To get started, we begin with several standard building systems—which we then mix, match, and modify to suit our client’s taste and budgets. Some of the styles that are chosen the most: The Hearthstone Traditional—this cost effective system generally features 6” x 12” logs up to 40 feet in length. We can alter the hewing look, the chinking gap, the dovetail corner type, edge chamfering, log thickness, and other details to get different looks for different tastes and budgets. The Hearthstone Timberwright®—this system features 14” tall logs in various widths (usually 6” or 8”) with a very heavy, irregular edge chamfer that mimics the irregular shaped logs of the old log homes or the Hearthstone Timberlake® homes. Once again, we can alter the hewing look, the chinking gap, the dovetail corner type, the edge chamfering, log thickness, and other details to achieve different visual effects. The Hearthstone Timberlake®—these homes are truly stunning masterpieces of permanent folk architecture. They have been developed in partnership with world-famous artist and designer, Bob Timberlake. They feature extensive timber framing and massive logs (14”-24” in height). The logs are naturally contoured on the top and bottom (at the chink joint), but hewn flat on the sides—as they were 200 years ago. They are a better-than-the-original reproduction of the look and feel of those 200 year old homes. All of our homes feature extensive technical specifications and techniques that promote centuries of use. We have many years and thousands of homes worth of experience. We have led our industry in technical innovation and excellence for decades. The systems, engineering, and details we build into each home—through the best of both hand-crafting and CAD-CAM technology—are the key to the success of your project.