Restoring old log houses takes time and commitment, but it is definitely worth it because it helps preserve
the historical atmosphere that a new house never has.
Here are some of our finished projects:
  • Old Kavastu dairy. Fieldstone renovation.
  •  Alatskivi castle
To prevent bottom logs from rotting the foundation must be at least 30 cm from the ground. The outer edge of the bottom log must be ca 30 mm over the edge of the foundation.
If possible the bottom log should have a drip mold. There should be a moisture barrier (f.e. tar paper,
birchbark) between the foundation and bottom log. Tarring the substratum of first logs also helps against rotting.
Before building the log part you have to check if the foundation is measured correctly and if it is plumb. 

Displacement and assembly of a log house

In the modern days houses are not usually built on a site but on a manufacturing place or in a workshop.
The assembly of a house on a site takes only a few days but requires precision and care.
So what are the most important work processes that you need to know and take into account when putting together the log part?

If the log part of the building has been made in a workshop or if you are dealing with an old house, all logs must be marked before taking them apart. For that every wall is marked with a letter and every log with a number, so that every log has its own “name” (f.e. A1, A2, A3...; B1, B2, B3... etc). The names of the walls are also on the draft. If logs have been continued or walls are cut off by openings, an additional marking should be put into use, like roman numbers (f.e. AI1, AII1, AIII1; BI3, BI3, BIII3). You must make sure that the marking of a log (f.e. a plywood board attached with nails, weatherproof marker etc) survives transport and is readable after standing on the site.
 It would be reasonable that the builders or dismounters of an old building put it together themselves afterwards. If it is not possible the assemblers should be informed of features of log constructions. Work should be shared between members of the assembly team – everyone has their own task and area of responsibility.
 To save time it is important that a lot of work (putting linen felt into the stock, cuts and polishing, cutting rabbets) is done before assembly.
 Sorting logs on the site according to their markings helps speed up the process of putting up walls. It would be reasonable that the first sorting is done already at the production company when packing the logs.
 It is important to put first two rows of logs in place. When taking apart the log part the lower logs must be marked with the measurements of the diagonals.
 All logs must be tapped on after jointing and placing secret sticks. Log is ready when the hitting tool bounces back from it.
 Secret stick is hit to the bottom of the drilled hole (between to logs) and every hit makes the upper log rise.
 Stock and tenons are tightened with special materials. Moss (f.e. sphagnum) and linen felt are both suitable. When tightening with moss you have to make sure that there are no cones or branches in it. The moss must be moist. Ideally the log stays on a 3...4 mm layer of moss after tapping on it. This layer disappears after the weight of other logs or the roof is set on it. There is no need to cut the moss that comes over the edges before other logs and the roof pushes it together. Linen felt should be secured with a stapler about 1 cm to the inside (so that the outside part can not become moist; at the same time this means there is no need to cut the linen felt, wool etc afterwards). Before putting in the secret stich you must break the linen felt that is on top of the hole so that the stick will not pull the felt inside the hole.
 Tenderpoles must be put to place at the same time as the log part to make the walls more stable.
 It is important not to keep log walls without a roof for a long time, because moisture can damage wood.