The Book: Your Log House
10. First Logs & Floor Joists
The setting of floor joists in log buildings
generally varies from most conventional techniques.
Techniques frequently used in order to save an entire
course of logs are illustrated in Details 3 and 6 of
Figure 28. With this technique of stepping the joists
down the foundation wall, the entire platform can be
built before the log walls are started. If the walls
are being built off-site, the platform can be built
on the final site simultaneously. It will be ready for
the delivery and re-erection of the log house that is
being built off-site. The main advantage is that an
immediate gain of a foot of usable wall is affected
rather than devoting an entire course to the crawl space.
Note that the first log sits on 1 in. of tarred fiber
board or sill gasket. This takes up all the irregularities
in the concrete as well as the sill log which has been
flattened to a 4-in. minimum-bearing surface. Polyurethane
materials, such as styrofoam, also serve well in this
Log joists may also be set on the foundation
wall and capped by mortises in the sill log. This technique
(Detail 2, Figure 28) allows the builder to gain usable
wall height reasonably soon. It saves him from having
to allow for recesses and ledges in the foundation work.
It also allows for an attractive appearance in the basement
if the axe and chisel work is done carefully.
The placing of floor joists higher
up on the log wall, as noted in Detail 1 of Figure 28,
may require more building logs. However, some of the
advantages of doing so outweigh the time and cost considerations.
This is particularly the case in houses with much lived-in
basements. Rather than building a basement totally out
of concrete, concrete block, or plywood, why not use
logs? It is certainly more pleasant to watch the basement
recreation room’s firelight flicker on only 5
ft. of concrete with 3 ft. of timber above it, than
on 8 ft. of concrete.