Welcome to Avalon Log Homes

Welcome to Avalon Log homes. While here you can check out our Luxury log homes, log homes, log cabins, Floor Plans, see our log home photo gallery and videos, get free log homes information, review 100's of our log home floor plans, Request a quote, read blogs about the log home industry, or link to our other social network sites all by Avalon Log Homes.

About Avalon Log Homes

Avalon Log Homes - Blending Luxury with Nature Avalon Log Homes is your Log Home connection all over the USA & Canada. Our expert team provides the finest quality log products and planning services to make your dream home become a reality. Log Homes, Custom Homes, Custom Design Services, Green Building Standards, & Construction Management. Avalon Log Homes offers a full line of services for luxury log homes, custom log homes, milled log cabins, handcrafted log homes, and timber frame homes.

Avalon Log Homes was founded by industry veterans and seasoned business

Professionals with close to a century of collective experience and more than 1000

log & conventional homes built. While Avalon Log Homes is certainly not the oldest log home manufacturer in the business, or the biggest, we are absolutely committed to becoming one of the world’s premier log home manufacturers.

Since our inception, we've built our business and strong reputation on a few basic

Core Values that guide everything we do. These include Integrity, Pride, Service,

Stewardship and Quality. Operating in this fashion has helped us grow Avalon Log Homes to be one of the fastest growing, most well respected log home

manufactures in the business.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Idaho Wine Month Encourages Local Consumers to Drink Local

Idaho Wine Month Encourages Local Consumers to Drink Local
From Article by Moya Shatz
Executive Director
Idaho Grape Growers and Wine Producers Commission

In order to help promote the Idaho wine industry, June was declared as Idaho Wine Month by Governor Butch Otter in May 2009 to encourage consumers to buy Idaho products by purchasing wine grown in Idaho. Local restaurants, retail stores, and wine shops will be offering specials for those who purchase wines produced and bottled right here in Idaho during June to celebrate Idaho Wine Month. For a complete list of retailers offering specials, please see below and visit your local wine merchant.

As most of you know, Idaho is emerging into a major wine-producing state. With the long, hot days available to growers and our states rich volcanic soil, grapes are being grown and made into award winning wines. Idaho Wine Month brings people together for all of the tastes and treasures that Idaho has to offer. With the promotion of Idaho wine during Idaho Wine month, we hope many consumers will be tempted to purchase wine at a higher rate and continue to in the future.

To coincide with Idaho Wine Month, the Idaho Grape Growers and Wine Producers Commission is hosting Savor Idaho, Idaho’s Premier Wine & Food Event for the second time. Focusing on Idaho wine and food, Savor Idaho will be held at the Idaho Botanical Garden on June 13th from 2-6pm, featuring many local wineries, restaurants, and exhibitors.

Below is a Woodriver Cellars specials that they will be offering to support the Idaho wine industry during Idaho wine month.

Woodriver Cellars-
• $5.00 off the purchase of one bottle of wine.

• Free 3 oz pour of Woodriver Cellars’ “Featured Wine” with each dinner purchased on Friday and Saturday evenings from 6pm to 9pm throughout the month of June.

• Enjoy 20% off all cases for the month of June.

• New Wine Club members who sign up in the month of June receive a FREE bottle of their Sweet White or Sweet Pink with initial sign up.

• Thursday, June 10, 2010 attend “Perfect Pair” for their “Cuban” theme. They will have food, cigars and port on the back patio. Wine and cigar education is included in the evening, as well as Barrel Room Tours and tastings. Port by Woodriver Cellars and cigars by Sturman’s Smoke Shop.

• Friday and Saturday Tasting Room hours are from 11am to 10pm with dinner from 6pm to 9pm and live music from 7pm to 9pm.

Sunday-Thursday 11am-7pm; Friday & Saturday 11am-10pm
3705 North Hwy 16, Eagle
Phone: 208.286.WINE (9463)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Saving Money When Designing And Building Your Dream Log Home

Saving Money When Designing And Building Your Dream Log Home

Consider log home design options:

You have a wide variety of log home design options to consider.
At the top is a handcrafted log home or a timber frame log home. From there you can go with a milled log home and even a conventionally framed home with log siding and log accents for those on tighter budgets.

The savings start with the design of your log home.
- The best way to begin your design is to find a floor plan that is close to what you are looking for, mark it with your changes and send it to one or more log home companies of your choice. Most log home companies will gladly advise you on your custom log home design, where to save money, and then quote a kit price. Don't be reluctant to begin a design with your unique requirements. Rarely (and I do mean rarely) does a company ship the same log home kit twice. If you are having difficulty finding a plan that fits your life style, go to a search engine (e.g., www.google.com , www.yahoo.com, etc.) and search on “log home plans.” You will find many log home companies listed; most of which have extensive libraries of standard floor plans. Another option would be to search on “house plans” where you will find a mind boggling number of companies that sell conventional house plans, including a few also offering log home plans. Remember, most log home companies will gladly convert a conventional house plan to a log home plan. Remember, the more corners in the foundation, the more complex the roof system, the more windows called for, the more exposed rafters called for (as opposed to locally manufactured roof trusses), the more the home will cost.

Do the log home labor yourself. - This is the opportunity for the greatest saving. Of course, most of us work full time at other jobs and do not have the time for such an undertaking. However, if your heart is set on researching this option, visit any of the online book sellers, search on “log homes” and order one or more books that focus on the construction of log homes. But perhaps the wisest choice would be to contact a nearby log builder and negotiate an hourly rate for consultation or have them give you a proposal to be a construction manager for you for a fixed fee or percentage on the costs. This method allows any savings to be passed back to you. It is best to spend time and money up front to get the job done right, rather than deal with problems later that never seem to go away.

Act as your own builder. - This is your option for the second greatest saving. Many log home buyers decide to be their own general contractor. However, be aware, this choice is not without its headaches. That is why you save all those bucks! Local building officials can be difficult to work with; subcontractors will be late or never show up; deliveries will be late or the wrong materials will be delivered; the weather is unpredictable; subcontractors and suppliers may take advantage of your inexperience. And the list goes on. Regardless of the pitfalls and stress, acting as your own general contractor will still save you about 15% - and that is big bucks. If you elect this option, again visit online book sellers, search on “log homes” and purchase one or more books that deal with log home construction. Contracting with an experienced builder to serve as an advisor or construction manager is highly recommended.

Shop for financing the same as you shop for building materials, appliances, etc. – If there is no local lender experienced in the financing of log homes, go to the search engines and search on “log home loans” or “log home mortgages.” Lenders will not charge you when you apply for a loan. File applications with two or more lenders and then select the best deal. Sometimes it’s good to look at a national log home lender with log home experience.

Select your building lot with caution. - How long will the driveway be? If you must install a septic system, a health permit is a prerequisite, and then, will it be necessary to pump to the drain field? Will it be necessary to cross a creek? How much grading will be involved? Is tree and stump removal going to be a problem? Will there be a rock problem when the foundation is excavated? In other words, a "cheap" lot can quickly become an expensive lot. If you are having difficulty finding a lot, contact a local real estate agent. Give the realtor your lot selection criteria (price range, location, size, etc.) and tell him/her to search the Multiple Listing Service data base. There is no charge for this service. The true price of the lot should include all those things necessary to have it ready to build on including driveway, sewer, water, & power systems on-site.

Select your log home builders with caution. - When talking to builders ask for references and visit log homes he/she has built and talk to the home owners.

Select carpet as your floor covering rather than hardwood floors. - Yes, hardwood floors are a "natural" in log homes. But we are looking for opportunities to save money. Perhaps you can compromise. Put hardwood in the great room and carpet elsewhere. Remember, at a later date (after you have received a job promotion or two) you can always replace carpet with hardwood.

Use Cultural Stone for wall accents and fireplaces attached to plywood and studs in lieu of a full masonry or stone. - Don't tell your friends. It's impossible to see the low cost plywood and studs thru the cultural stone. Real Stone also weighs a lot and can require additional structural support. This decision can save you a lot of money

Consider an efficient wood stove over an inefficient and more expensive fireplace. - Select black flue pipe instead of a masonry chimney. The black flue pipe looks great in a log home.

Build your log home on a crawl space rather than a basement. - Again, we are looking for opportunities to save money. Sure, a basement is cheap floor space and many buyers opt for the extra storage, shop and/or recreation room space; never-the-less, eliminating the basement will save $15,000 - $30,000 in a typical home.

Have your custom fixed glass manufactured locally. - Yes, your window supplier will want to order your fixed glass from the factory. While he/she is getting a quote from the factory, visit a local glass shop. You may be pleasantly surprised. Locally manufactured fixed glass windows are available with double glass and/or tinted glass.

Select your windows and doors with care.
- This is a major opportunity for savings. Compare the quality and cost of several manufacturers before making a decision. If you expect to have a large number of windows and exterior doors, ask the suppliers if you qualify for a truck load discount.

Select your plumbing fixtures, electrical fixtures and kitchen cabinets with care. - These are also major opportunities for controlling your costs.

Start shopping early.
- Whether you hire a builder to do a "turn key" job or act as the general contractor, you can save money on individual items in the house - for example, appliances, floor coverings, windows, doors, plumbing fixtures, kitchen cabinets, counter tops, etc., etc. The earlier you start shopping the more likely you are to find items on sale. Just let your "turn key" builder know in advance that you plan to shop for sale items and BE AWARE, if you slow down or inconvenience the builder, you will quickly lose what you saved and probably much more.

Best wishes as you embark on an exciting journey.

Check out our Log Homes, Log Cabins, Luxury Log Homes, new log floor plans, client photo galleries, new articles, and videos at http://www.avalonloghomes.com/

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Thermal Mass Benefits of Log Homes

Thermal Mass Benefits of Log Homes

The nation's Model Energy Code finally recognizes the energy-conservation benefits of thermal mass. After 13 years, the LHC's claim a log wall's thermal mass makes it as energy efficient as a well-insulated frame wall has been acknowledged. The situation could be cause for adopting an "I told you so" attitude, but that won't happen. "The Log Homes Council (LHC) doesn't feel smug, it just feels vindicated," says Barbara Martin, LHC's executive director.
The situation in question is the fact the nation's Model Energy Code finally recognizes the energy-conservation benefits of thermal mass. This is a victory for the LHC. After 13 years, its claim a log wall's thermal mass makes it as energy efficient as a well-insulated frame wall has been acknowledged. Achieving this acceptance has been a major goal for the LHC, a part of the Building Systems Councils of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
While the claim is true, it wasn't officially acknowledged, in part because thermal mass is difficult to quantify. Log home owners had the home heating bills to prove it was true, but Department of Energy and code officials needed more than empirical evidence. So, over the past 13 years, the LHC has gathered scientific statistics from independent research projects to substantiate its assertion.
Now that it has succeeded, Dave Carter, LHC energy committee chairman, says "This makes life easier for log home producers. We no longer have to fight energy codes based on R-values. It also helps log home owners. They don't have to invest in additional building materials to meet codes that do not improve the livability of their homes."
R-value measures a material's resistance to the transfer of heat from one side to another. Logs have a relatively low resistance to heat transfer. In fact, they actually absorb and store heat in their cellular structure. This put logs at a serious disadvantage in the cold winter states. It forced producers to overbuild their homes, especially their floor, window and roof systems, to meet total R-value requirements. "This drove up construction costs without any measurable benefit to our buyers," says Carter.
R-values have been at the heart of the debate all along. When the energy crisis struck in the 1970's, the state and federal governments quickly developed new energy standards for residential construction. To assure compliance, officials needed a way to measure the energy performance of all residential building materials. Since the situation was a crisis, and the R-value methodology existed, it became the standard.
Thermal mass is a material's capacity to absorb, store and slowly release heat over time. Logs do this well. The LHC set out to prove two things. First, logs have thermal mass because of their cellular structure, bulk and thickness. Second, this thermal m ass provides significant energy-saving benefits because it releases heat back into the house when temperatures drop.
Early studies proved thermal mass properties significantly reduce heating and cooling loads in moderate climates. The National Institute of Standards conducted the most important of these studies for HUD in 1981-82. However, energy experts continued to question the value of thermal mass during the winter months in northern climates. They doubted its benefit when heat is needed constantly and thermostat settings are opposite outdoor temperature.
Two recent studies, both conducted in cold climate states, answer this question to the log home industry's benefit. In 1990, an independent testing agency, Advanced Certified Thermography, conducted a study for the Energy Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Service. It focused on heat loss through air leakage, assumed to be a problem with log walls because of their many joints. The study found the industry has substantially reduced air infiltration rates in the past 15 years. It credited this reduction to improve joint construction and the use of expanded foam sealants and gaskets on all joints and corner intersections. Leakage in the 23 test homes occurred where it in the same places it does in frame houses: at the peak of the cathedral ceilings, around window and door frames and along the tops of walls. The study concludes air leakage in well-built, modern log homes is not due to their log walls.
NAHB's Research Center conducted the second study for the LHC in 1991. It showed the thermal mass of log walls does significantly reduce energy use for heating in cold climates. It based its conclusion on a comparison of the actual energy use of eight log homes to the actual energy uses of eight well-insulated foam houses during one winter. The number of houses were evenly divided between upstate New York and Montana. The study also compared the homes actual energy use to their predicted energy consumption. The results led to the conclusion that log homes were as energy efficient as the frame houses.
"What is significant here is the log walls' average R-values was 44 percent lower than the frame walls' average R-value." says Carter. "Clearly, we must conclude the thermal mass performance of log walls is an advantage to log home owners."
The LHC works to improve industry standards, increase awareness of log construction as a method for building attractive homes and overcome obstacles to log home ownership.

Check out our Log Homes, Log Cabins, Luxury Log Homes, new log floor plans, client photo galleries, new articles, and videos at http://www.avalonloghomes.com/