Various species of wood have been used in the manufacture and erection of log homes. Fir, cedar, poplar, redwood and different types of pine represent the most popular types of wood used. The type of wood most popular is “pine”. The two preferred species of pine are southern pine and white pine.
Southern Yellow Pine vs. Cedar
Years ago, many favored cedar. However, the poor performance of cedar caused many to look for another wood. The inherent porous grain of cedar made it a weaker cant. It also led to a disappointing appearance of the home as it aged.
The porous grain soaked in stain and especially preservatives making it necessary to repeat maintenance sooner than one might have expected. Soon, the repeat process resulted in a grayish look and over time a very dark blackish color. All wood grain appearance was gone. Many painted the log homes with a solid base stain covering any remaining appearance of wood grain.
Southern Yellow Pine vs. White Pine
The two preferred wood species used in log home construction are yellow pine and white pine. Southern yellow pine became the wood of choice, due to its superior strength.
Why yellow pine? First, it is readily available making the costs acceptable. Secondly, the “wood grain” is much easier to maintain because the grain of the southern yellow pine is harder. The wood holds the stain application for a much longer time. Southern yellow pine looks good for many years with minimal maintenance.
Lastly, southern yellow pine is strong. There is no problem for second floor joints to meet engineering specifications allowing wider spans.
Second choice is white pine. To most, if they have a choice, it is a distant second place. White pine is much more porous than southern yellow pine making it more akin to the cedar short-comings which we previously discussed. White pine does not “weather” nearly as good as southern yellow pine. It turns dark. The grain of white pine is not as pronounced, so the look of a log wall lacks the log home statement made by southern yellow pine.
It is easy to do your own comparison.
Go to the lumber yard and purchase two, eight foot long, two by twelve boards. One southern yellow pine (or yellow pine) and the other white pine. Lay the two boards side by side in the open sun. Each morning, spray them both with water. After ten days, observe.
Lincoln Log Homes uses only high quality southern yellow pine. You will be pleased with the look, initially and for years to come. Southern yellow pine offers beauty, strength and long life; and, subsequent long term satisfaction to the log home owner.