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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We've been approached by a local log home builder, who has several projects on the go and is looking for an electrical crew. We have solid residential experience, but can't say we ever wired a log home project.

Do any of you guys have any pointers/warnings you can share on the subject?
 

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I own stock in FotoMat!
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Full log or veneer? Makes a big difference.
 

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ampman
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yes i live in a log home mine is on a slab not on piers i did not wire this house but have added wiring along the way down stairs full log, upstairs 2x6 framing with log siding . wiring downstairs a notch was cut behind baseboards and drilled upwards at an angle to cut in box with a really long nail plate runs entire lenght of wall .switche loops are next to doors run up behind trim and drilled up above header to ceiling
 

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hurtlocker
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built a couple never wired them, but
after we put subfloor down for first level
the electrician layed everyingthing out on floor next to wall
he would mark where the hole went and how high it needed to be
so we would drill every row or two depnding on log size
make sure they use long drill bit and run it down as far as you can redrilling
the wood splinters fall down and clog holes.
worked pretty good
wether this is right or wrong I do not know
this worked good for us
hope this makes sense
 

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Pro
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I wired several of them and hated every one. We finally taught the contractor how and were to pre-drill the logs for us and that opened up our possibilites. They generally take longer and use more wire to do the same job that a stick would. I know this sounds crazy, but you sometime may have to go around the house and back to keep the wires in a chase. There is some good money in it because a lot of sparkies won't touch one, but, they can be a bear if you don't know what to watch for. Take a good look at what you are bidding because there may be need to go pull a few wires before the roof is completed. May be the only way to hide the overhead lights wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
sounds pretty involving...I'll reply back once we chat with the homebuilder some more. They appear pretty professional and high-volume so it's my hope they'd know how to do the pre-drilling. I read you can easily double the wiring cost for a log home as opposed to a standard wiring job.
 

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Head Grunt
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I presonally have done a few now and i must say, THEY SUCK!!!! IMO only charge time and materials for wiring these instead of by the box or you will take a huge loss in labor. The suffering you go through will depend on the contractor who puts it up. Be sure they do not put any screws through the center of the logs, they should be screwing them together on the sides for better stability. Drill your holes larger than they need to be, especially in the winter as the logs will sweat moisture from the drilling and the holes will freeze solid. I tend to use the windows and doorways for easier access into the logs, router out the jambs and nail guard the crap out of it. The last log home i did the guys put solid beams spanning the room, i recessed puck lights in the beams and routered the beams for the wires. The big help was the put a 2"X6" plate on top of the top log and put the second floor walls on top of that. The 2"X6" was set back on the log so it gave me a good 1.5" chaseway around the top of the logs for my wires. For the recpeticles make yourself a jig for a router so all you have to do is push the jig up againts the wall and plunge the router into the log and burn it around the pattern. For the other boxes i find drilling a pilot hole in the four corners, run a jigsaw around your marks and then chisel the wood out by hand works well. You can get fairly quick but overall the task is very time consuming. Be sure to tell the customer that there cannot be any changes once the box is in, it is best that they know what they want before you start cutting. My last log home customer had a change in the entry door swing and had told the contractor but she never contacted me. Her change was done on a Friday, Saterday i showed up and cut out the boxes according to my plans. Needless to say Monday when the door arrived there was a problem. Good luck. Also i charge $45 a box for new construction "stick", for log homes if i were to charge by the box it would be at least $90 but i stick with time and materials to be on the safe side.
 

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Head Grunt
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And another thing, if the second level is stick be sure to drill you holes in the studs larger than normal as you will have alot more wires than normal. This last house i did had 2X6 walls and i drilled my usual 3/4" holes. I never gave it a thought how many more circuits would be run through since there was no basement or crawlspace to work with. I ended up drilling a second set of holes for all the wires. I should have bumped right up to a 1 1/4" or 1 1/2" bit to handle the wires.
 

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I will ask again: Is this a 'full log' home or is it veneer?
 

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I did a real log home before. Doing the electrical was tricky. I say MCwire was very useful for the lights. The rest of the stuff I either put in conduit or some kinda flex and hid it quite well.
 

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Good question. Are you refering veneer to the lick-n-stick log siding?
May be the same thing, but I've never heard it called lick-n-stick.

What I call veneer log is basically the logs are cut lengthwise, then screwed to a standard 2x stud. I call them "D" logs because the cross section looks like the letter D.





They are installed in a manner similar to siding:




If this is the type of log, then it's a piece of cake.

Full log homes are the difficult ones.
 

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Best way I have seen is to put all your recepticles in the baseboard. You use that as your chase. Wall switches drill down as the logs are stacked or I have also seen the wire run behind the sub jambs in the door openings. Most of the rest will be normal framing on interior partitions. "D" logs are logs that are flat on the interior side. Log siding is just that...log faces that are nailed or screwed to the regular wall framing.
 

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I have worked on around five log homes. Tennessee Log Home brand to be exact.The way the sparkies wired the ones I worked on was a pain in the butt for them.
The came along after the first two courses where in.Used an auger bit to bore down below the sub floor.Then used forstner bits to make room for the boxes.Ran almost all the wire under the floor joists.It cost the GC a bunch more than normal becuase the EC had to come out many more times than normal for a rough electric install.
 

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Head Grunt
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"Log siding is just that...log faces that are nailed or screwed to the regular wall framing." This is the style log siding i was refering too, it is 1.5" thick with the same shape as the logs itself. The name lick-in-stick is just a knickname we have given the log siding. The whole log set-ups around here are often referred to as Lincoln Logs but are of the D shape as they are round on the outside and flat on the inside with a thickness of 7 1/2". We also have other log homes here that are rough "natural" on the ouside and inside but flat top and bottom, these are much harder to work with as there is no flat surface to work with at all. All log homes are harder and more time consuming to wire. For the log siding i charge as being stick built as it is normal stick construction but i do charge extra for building the mounting blocks for outdoor lights.
 
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