How To Install Pine Log Siding
Pine log siding is the perfect material for log home or log cabin construction. Its tongue and groove/end-matching design allows for fast and easy installation. It is a beautiful, durable, and stable product that will last for generations.
Homeowners who have woodworking skills can install the corners, trims, and siding. If you are not prepared to do the work yourself, no worry. Traditional carpenters or contractors can do a professional job with installation, sealing, and staining. The first thing to do is decide which type of log siding you want.
Unfinished, Hand-Hewn, or Pre-Finished Log Siding
You have choices for pine log siding including the sizes, surfaces, and finishes. Examine all of them before making a decision to meet your idea of a log home. The best log siding mills provide these options:
- Profiles and Sizes – The three popular profiles include quarter log (2x6 and 2x8), half log (3x6 and 3x8), and premier log (3x8 and 3x10).
- Surfaces – The two favorite surfaces are smooth and hand-hewn. Hand-hewn looks like it was shaped with an axe or adze tool.
- Finishes – Both unfinished and pre-finished log siding are available. The pre-finished siding comes with the highest quality water-based or oil-based stain already applied.
How Much Log Siding To Order
To order the right amount of product, use a Siding and Paneling Calculator that includes the latest sales prices. All you need to do is enter the desired material, wall height, wall width, and pitch if it applies. The calculator will also provide square-foot pricing for the materials.
When Your Log Siding Arrives
Your order of log siding, corners, and trims should be stored in a dry inside environment until you are ready to install it. If it’s necessary to store it outside, cover it with plastic and keep the siding off the ground to prevent it from absorbing moisture.
When storing the siding indoors or outdoors, let it set for a few days to acclimate to the humidity and temperature levels in your area. You will note the log siding is milled with a tongue and groove/end-matching design for fast, easy, and secure installation.
Corner Logs Go On First
A conventionally-framed house should be sheathed with either OSB or plywood and wrapped with house wrap or tar paper before the first log goes on. Start with the log corners of your choice and secure them with Oly Log fasteners through the face of the corner into the stud wall behind.
The log corners are notched to fit on a 90-degree corner with a flat surface on either side to accept the log siding. Oly Log fasteners should be placed every two to three feet apart.
“Pine log siding is the perfect material for log home or log cabin construction. It is a beautiful, durable, and stable product that will last for generations.”
Log Trims Come Next
Installing the log corners and log trim before installing the log siding will significantly decrease the overall work time. Log trim sizes are available to coordinate with the profile of the siding. Trims are placed around door and window openings and secured through the face with Oly Log fasteners every two to three feet. They can also be toe-nailed/screwed on as well.
Log Siding Installation
Log siding boards are installed individually one row at a time starting at the bottom and working up. Level the first row to make sure all the succeeding rows are level. Use these steps:
- Start the first row with the tongue up to prevent water getting trapped in the grooves
- Use galvanized or stainless steel fasteners to secure the siding to the studs
- Only the first row of siding needs to be face nailed/screwed at the bottom to secure it
- All other rows need nailing/screwing through the tongues at a 45-degree angle
- Make sure each nail or screw is countersunk below the surface of the tongue
- The ends can be butted together between the wall framing because the end-matching feature creates secure joints
- The piece you cut off at the end of the row can be used as the starter piece on the next row. The piece you cut off that meets the door and window trim can be used on the opposing side of the door or window opening.
Random siding lengths allow all pieces to be used and break up the joint patterns. Make sure you keep the end joints randomly scattered as the siding is installed up the walls. There is a milled relief cut in the back of each piece of siding that allows air to move freely behind it to keep the logs dryer and straighter.
Caulking The Joints
Once all the corners, trims, and siding are installed, you need to caulk the joints. Caulking prevents air leaks, moisture issues, and insect damage. The end-matching feature eliminates 80% of caulking. The recommended places to caulk are on butt joints where they are not tongued-and-grooved or end-matched. The most common areas are where the siding butts into the corner and trim pieces.
There you have it – a general guide to installing log corners, trim, and siding for your log home or log cabin. Enjoy your new log home.