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Rise of high-end log homes


“Common problems with any house is moisture absorption, termites and the general wear-and-tear of the house. But with a log house, one does not have to worry about that as moisture absorption is restricted with the design of the logs,” he says.

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Also, the log homes are water-resistant.

The suppliers also kiln-dry the wood to remove all the moisture from it, thus preventing termites from breeding.

Honka Group also suppliers the door and windows or home owners can opt to fit their own that suits their style.

Prices of log homes are about 30 per cent more than the conventional brick-and-mortar house due to the shipping costs and bringing in a team from Finland to assemble, Mr Kanabar says.

Log houses are built on a level surface which means those on a sloppy land require a concrete platform to make it level thereby making it a basement floor.

“We have experimented with various log designs such as square and round logs and have found that the square logs are more popular as they do not collect as much dust as round ones,” says Mr Kanabar, adding that the maintenance costs are just like for standard houses.

To re-apply vanish on the wood or paint it a different colour, one only needs to sand it down and apply a coat of linseed oil and UV protect, then vanish or colour it.

He gives the example of Finland where most houses are built of logs therefore people paint them in various colours to differentiate them. Most Kenyans, however, prefer the natural look which is unique and blends with the environment.

Design

Othaya Group works closely with architectural firm Block45, in designing the structures to ensure viability of the houses they build. Mr Kanabar says designing the log homes takes longer.

“The architects liaise with the clients in order to get their specifications, then they design the house which is sent to Honka where changes are imposed in order to make it a log house,” he says.

The design is then sent back for approval by the client, structural engineer and architect before the manufacturing process starts in Finland.

The long process ensures all the specifications are right since the houses are made of pre-fabricated logs which makes it hard to make structural changes once the pieces are cut and shipped.

“Once the suppliers get the designs, the pieces are custom-made to fit in their place according to the design of the house and sent with a QR code to place each log in its unique place,’’ says Mr Kanabar.

A team from Finland then comes to assemble the house as it is not as simple as staking the logs together.

Pricing

The QR code helps them know where each logs should be placed as a lot of the electrical fixtures and plumbing are all drilled in the log during manufacturing to avoid visible wires and pipes.

The interior design and finishing is done on ground according to as clients’ specifications, but there are certain finishings one cannot apply to log houses.

Mr Kanabar says an average log house can last for hundreds of years with regular maintenance of the wood.

“Common problems with any house is moisture absorption, termites and the general wear-and-tear of the house. But with a log house, one does not have to worry about that as moisture absorption is restricted with the design of the logs,” he says.

Also, the log homes are water-resistant.

The suppliers also kiln-dry the wood to remove all the moisture from it, thus preventing termites from breeding.

Honka Group also suppliers the door and windows or home owners can opt to fit their own that suits their style.

Prices of log homes are about 30 per cent more than the conventional brick-and-mortar house due to the shipping costs and bringing in a team from Finland to assemble, Mr Kanabar says.
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Source: businessdailyafrica


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