Humans have been inhabiting the Earth for over 200,000 years, and during those hundreds of thousands of years, people have lived in various types of homes. The quality and style, as well as the materials used to build them, differ from one era to the next. If we were to take a look through history, we would find that we have progressed, but also, that particular building materials have also carried on throughout history. Starting out with practical cave dwellings in 25,000 BC, moving on up to Mammoth bone huts in 16,000 BC, and hide Tipi tents in 11,000 BC, and then the practical Mudbrick housing in 8,000 BC. Housing was created out of hard stone like marble and granite, much like the houses from ancient Rome and Greece. The more prolific the person was, the more regal their house was built, and often, wood was reserved for the less well-off people in society. Some of the first wood constructed buildings were built as multi-family units with several apartment-style housing options. When it comes to log houses, humans didn’t see timber framed housing until the 1st century. Although log houses were not built in North America until the 17th century, they have been built in Russia and Eastern Europe for centuries before that.
Mistakenly, people sometimes think that the log house is a very American icon. While that may be true because log home building was very prevalent during colonization, it was immigrants from Sweden and Scandinavia that brought over their time-honored skills and trades to assist them in their new world. The Swedish were the first to set up log houses and implement their practices in the new colonies on the East coast of the United States. Fellow immigrants from Great Britain and France were intrigued by their techniques and sought help in log house construction. Back then, log house construction was quite an intense process compared to how it is now. People had to gather all of their materials manually; there were no mills or tree farms, they simply went out into the forest and took what they needed. Hauling the logs back would have been quite a task, as well as hand peeling them and cutting them with primitive tools. Now we have the luxury of draw knives and chainsaws to assist us with the log home building process. This is probably why log houses in history were built smaller, plus, they were able to stay warmer the smaller they were.
Often, families new to the Americas would have house raising gatherings where people from the surrounding area came out to assist in building their home. It meant the house went up faster and was able to be lived in sooner than if just a few people worked on it. In 1920, log house materials began to be milled and offered precut and ready to use making log home building even easier than the handcrafted homes. Some companies still handcraft beautiful log houses the traditional, more labour intensive way.
There are people who learn this time-honored skill, which is wonderful since it keeps the true essence of log home building alive. These days, we have log home building kits that are available to purchase and will be delivered right to the construction property. Log home building methods have changed a lot over the centuries, but the amazing benefits and high quality of log houses is something that will always remain. People not only choose log houses because of their natural appeal but because of their durability and stability, as well as the healthy, comfortable environments they provide for us.***
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