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2035 Eagle Drive
Pagosa Springs, CO
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Spectrum Construction is Pagosa Springs & SW Colorado's source for quality Real Log Homes and Structural Insulated Panels. We are a professional contractor specializing in Log Homes, Timber Framing, Green Home Building, New Homes, Remodels and Home Additions.
Monday 9 a.m.
- 5 p.m.
Tuesday 9 a.m.
- 5 p.m.
Wednesday 9 a.m.
- 5 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m.
- 5 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m.
- 5 p.m.
Saturday or Sunday by appointment.
Log homes are beautiful, rustic, and cozy, and can be just as energy efficient as any conventional home. Because they are constructed of natural and renewable materials, they are more energy efficient. Finding a home builder that can navigate the complicated world of energy code and efficiency is essential when starting the process of creating your own custom built log home, and Spectrum Construction, located in Pagosa Springs, CO is there to help. The following are a couple of considerations that factor when building an energy efficient log home.
Designing a custom built home that can withstand the elements throughout the year depends on more than quality materials. To create an efficient log home, home builders must tailor the houses they manufacture to the climate it’s constructed in. Climate zones run on a scale of 1 to 8 and are based on two parameters: temperature and moisture. This is important because some building materials that are ideal for a custom built log home in a hot, dry climate are not suited for log homes in a wet, humid climate. Failing to take these factors into consideration can lead to costly weaknesses in the structure of your home. Problems can range from reduced energy efficiency, costing more in utilities during winter, to more serious issues like excess moisture and rot. Here in Archuleta County, we live in Climate Zone 6, which is cold and dry. While some areas might use logs that are 6” x 8” in size, Spectrum Construction uses logs that are at least 8” x 8” to ensure the requirements to build log homes in this specific climate zone are met. By using this dimension with a proper seal, it acts as an air barrier, insulation system and vapor retarder all in one. Coordinating with your home builder on which climate zone your house will be developed in will considerably improve the longevity and energy efficiency of your custom log home.
Photo Credit: International Energy Conservation Code
R-Value of Wood
Home builders know that understanding the nature of wood as a building material is essential to constructing a solid log home. Lumber is a useful material to build with because of its awesome insulating properties. The R-Value of wood refers to its ability to retain heat in a home. The beams of timber that make up a log home provide not just structure, but insulation as well. According to logcabinhomes.com, “Wood insulates 6 times better than brick, 15 times better than concrete and an unbelievable 1,770 times better than aluminum.” This is apparently due to natural air pockets that form in wood. The heat that is absorbed during the day will then be slowly released at night. This quality alone makes building a custom log home an excellent choice for an energy-efficient home. To make an exceptionally warm log home, Spectrum Construction incorporates a layer of insulation in the subfloor, attic, or roof.
Photo Credit: SBC Mag
Log homes have been rumored to be less energy efficient due to air leaks. While wood as a building material can be potentially prone to change, builders take steps to combat this from the beginning. Freshly cut logs retain a lot of moisture and as they dry over the years, they shrink. This creates a gap between the wood, that could compromise the structure of the log home and reduce its thermal efficiency. In an effort to minimize air leakage, home builders season logs by drying them in a shielded space for at least six months before construction begins or by drying them in a kiln. They can also advise which types of wood are less prone to air leakages, like cedar, pine, and spruce. Shrinkage cannot be avoided, but log home builders know how to calculate the amount of contraction a log will undergo. Home manufacturers take this into consideration when they design and build a log house. Builders also pay special attention to the way the logs are fitted together when constructing a log home to ensure that no air leakage occurs from settling. By using the Interlock Joinery System, the joints cut into the logs naturally settle together as the home ages. With an interlocking system, the joints create a log home that can be just as air tight and efficient as a conventional home.
Photo Credit: Log Home Living
In short, a custom built energy-efficient log home is easily achieved with a knowledgeable home builder. Contact Spectrum Construction in Pagosa Springs, CO to start
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