Reprinted with permission from Country’s Best Log Cabins.
Download Country’s Best Log Cabin’s Feature on the Log and Timber Homes Council in .pdf form.
Why Buy From A Log and Timber Homes Council Member?
By Abigail Klein
With all the decisions about building your log or timber home one of the biggest questions you may ask yourself is “who should I buy from and work with to make my dream home come true?” Competing for your business are hundreds of companies in the United States, Canada and beyond, ranging from large companies and small mom and pop shops, to local sawmills.
With so many options who do you trust to get the job done properly? We suggest choosing a member of the Log and Timber Homes Council. For nearly 40 years home buyers have trusted members of the Log and Timber Homes Council to make their dream home a reality.
The companies that belong to the Log and Timber Homes Council have voluntarily adopted membership requirements that protect consumers during the buying and building process.
“When was the last time you bought anything from anyone who not only harvests the raw materials, but also designs and crafts the finished product? You will find everyone from the sales rep to the owner of the company have something in common with you: They share the same passion for living in a log and timber home as you do.”
-Doug Terrell, VP, Blue Ridge Log Cabins and 2014 chairman of the Log and Timber Homes Council.
Council members work together to advance the industry, sponsoring research in energy performance, advanced building techniques and construction code understanding.
Here are the top 11 reasons to only buy from Log and Timber Homes Council members:
1) Part of a Prestigious National Association
The Log and Timber Homes Council is part of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Often called the “voice of the housing industry” in the United States, NAHB is a trade association that encourages policies that make housing a national priority. Since 1942, NAHB has been serving its members, the housing industry, and the public at large. The Log and Timber Homes Council is part of the NAHB’s Building Systems Councils, an association of manufacturers, vendors and builders who create log, timber, modular and panelized single- and multi-family homes and commercial structures. As the trade association for the housing industry, it is fully funded by voluntary member support. The association and its individual councils receive no government funds.
2) You’re Guaranteed Quality Logs & Timbers
To belong to the Log and Timber Homes Council, manufacturers must grade their logs and timbers by accredited third-party agencies to monitor the quality of the materials. This ensures the logs and timbers used in construction meet the national standard for log home construction (called the ICC 400-2012 Standard on the Design and Construction of Log Structures) and regional building codes and the engineering requirements behind them.
A visual log examination by a trained inspector looks at the attributes of the wood (knot clusters, slope of grain) and determines for what type of structural application that timber is best suited. It is a way of being certain that the log will do the job it is intended to do, in terms of strength and performance and provides a layer of protection for the home buyer by establishing a standard level of quality for all logs used in the home.
3) Providing In-depth Construction Manuals
Constructing a log and timber home is far more complicated than just stacking courses of logs. To ensure homes are built to meet national or regional building codes, all council members are required to develop and provide construction manuals to builders and contractors. The construction manuals detail how the manufacturer’s building system is to be employed in the field, including fastening schedules, floor and roof building techniques, and more.
4) Providing Information to Consumers
All LTHC members agree to offer free information to consumers to help them make informed decisions during the buying and building process. This includes the funding of LogHomes.org, which provides detailed information to consumers through its Buyer’s Guide: The Perfect Path to Your Dream Home. Information is also available at www.nahb.org/logandtimberhomes.
5) Sponsor Scientific Studies to Advance Log & Timber Construction
The Log and Timber Homes Council has sponsored numerous scientific studies to improve the technology and performance of log structures. This has included measuring the thermal performance log construction (good news—log and timber homes stay cool in summer and warm in winter!), measuring sound transmission through log walls (good news again—log and timber homes are quieter than their stick built counter parts), measuring the fire performance of log walls (yet more good news, logs tend protect occupants longer than stick framing) and more.
6) Fair Competition for Your Business
Members of the council abide by the free enterprise system, where companies compete on a level playing field for their clients’ business. Members agree that they will not attempt to injure, with malicious intent, either directly or indirectly, the professional reputation of other members, nor to indiscriminately criticize another member’s work in public, or take unfair advantage over fellow members. Each member agrees to conduct his or her business in a manner that avoids controversy, but that if controversy arises, to resolve the dispute through non-litigation mechanism wherever possible.
7) More Than Three Decades of Wisdom & Experience
Founded in 1977, the original Log Homes Council is one of the oldest organizations dedicated to promoting and improving log and timber building technologies. As the industry and home buyer preferences have evolved, so, too, as the Council, and the recent inclusion of the timber framing industry to form the Log and Timber Homes Council reflects that. Many of the original charter members are still active in the association today, bringing a wealth of wisdom and experience to log and timber home design, construction, and preservation and serving as proof of the strength companies that belong to the LTHC
8) LTCH Members Give Back
Log and Timber Homes Council members firmly believe that they not only sell homes to the markets they serve, they proudly give back to their communities and those who fight to keep our nation free. Over the years, members have come together to help provide housing for those less fortunate, to compile their culinary prowess to publish a cookbook to help fight cancer, and, most recently, to provide time, talent and materials to build mortgage-free homes for disabled Iraqi-war veterans and their families, as well as the families of the fallen, with partners, Operation Finally Home and the Structural Building Components Association. These moving and worthwhile projects are a key component to what the LTHC stands for and are a testament to the integrity of its membership.
9) A Strict Code of Ethics
All members of the council have adopted a strict ethics code. Upon joining the Council, members voluntarily agree to produce well-designed, model-code complying structures. Members also agree that financial obligations and commitments regarding business activities with their customers would be in writing, with copies distributed to all parties concerned. Member companies assume the responsibility to keep informed on laws, regulations, legislation, building codes and other essential information that affect the log and timber industry.
10) Ethics Committee Will Attempt to Resolve Any Disputes
What happens if there is a dispute involving a company that belongs to the Log and Timber Homes Council? After hearing all sides of an issue, the Log and Timber Homes Council Ethics Committee will suggest ways to resolve the issue and prevent future conflicts. The company in question may also receive a warning with specific recommendations on bringing its actions into line with accepted industry practices. If an agreement cannot be reached, the Ethics Committee will advise all parties to pursue legal solutions. If, however, a member of the Council fails to live up to the expectations of the council, the Ethics Committee has the right to revoke or suspend the
11) Complaints Against Non-Members Are Monitored
While the Log and Timber Homes Council has no way of mediating disputes with non-members, a file is kept on all non-member complaints. The Ethics Committee reviews this file when considering a log and timber home manufacturer for membership.
Did you know that log and timber homes are considered systems-built structures? This classification comes from the systematic approach to building the homes, as well as the controlled environments in which they are crafted. Other building systems methods include modular, panelized and concrete, and often these systems combine to make for a truly unique and high-performance house. The National Association of Home Builders’ Building Systems Councils represents all of these types of housing and the highly skilled men and women who build them. For more information about building systems, please visit the Building Systems Councils’ website nahb.org/bsc.