What seems like a financial bargain is the exact opposite. We can build a log and timber house to be 15 to 20 percent more energy efficient than a conventional house. Resale value is only unimportant compared to some people in similar situations because the entire purchase is totally discretionary, more like buying a luxury car or boat and less like buying an investment. Therefore, depreciation would not be the concern it could be for other people.
A wooden deck is a natural addition to a real log house, and also an addition with the highest resale value of any renovation or add-on. In this category, wood decks with pressure-treated wood recovered 87 percent of their cost for sale, while composite decks recovered 74 percent of their cost. A year ago, we covered the pros and cons of various decking materials. While it's cheaper to build with wood, it also requires more maintenance than composites.
If you plan to keep your home for a long time, a lower maintenance composite deck may be a better option despite its lower resale value. A log cabin can be a fabulous investment. During the inspection, you should check the caulking, check for pest tests, and check the general condition of your cabin. The reason that logs contract is that a living tree has a high moisture content and, as soon as it is cut down, it starts to release water.
However, I distrust and fear the maintenance and utility bills associated with log houses and feel that they depreciate more than conventional constructions. While there is no preferred humidity for all log houses, maintaining a constant relative humidity inside helps prevent wood from logging in. Considering all the challenges involved in putting together a log house project, it's no surprise that some kits are never finished or that they take years to complete. Some of the largest companies in the country offer policies for log and lumber houses, such as State Farm, Met Life, Merrill Lynch, Allied, Farmers, USAA, etc.
The original owner built it from the trees on the property, so it's not a kit, which is what 90% of log homes are today. For many people who want a huge sprawling log cabin, cost isn't an issue, they'll just take their ideas to a designer and have a custom built home planned and made. For prospective buyers working from home, a log cabin with electricity and WiFi connection is a big draw: a dedicated workspace in the garden, away from the distractions of home life. A study conducted by the University of Maine found that logs play a vital role in energy conservation.
However, time and again, we have seen log cabin kits prove to be a poor investment, both for financial and other reasons. One thing I've never found attractive about log houses that don't have plaster on the inside is the way the electrical outlets & light switches protrude from the walls & the wiring extends along the surface. Regular maintenance of your log cabin reduces damage caused by UV rays, water, insects and air infiltration.