Feb
1

4 of the Coolest, Newest Products in Home Technology

Woman using virtual reality headset at SXSW

Source: Flickr.com/Nan Palmero

At the recent 2016 NAHB International Builders’ Show (held Jan. 19-21 in Las Vegas), virtual and augmented reality reigned, according to Digital Trends.

“The home improvement space is a fantastic place for AR and VR to take off,” said Beck Besecker, the CEO of Marxent Labs, a company building VR applications. While they build them for any industry it’s apparently builders dominating their sales.

When you think about it – as pointed out in the article – “You would never buy a $50,000 car without a test drive, yet when it comes to remodeling, people do it all the time.”

When building or remodeling a home, you can make all kinds of choices in materials, but you never actually know what it looks like until it’s finished.

Here’s the difference between the two technologies: Augmented reality blends virtual reality and real life where can people interact with virtual contents in real life, and can distinguish between the two. Virtual reality is a completely virtual world, which requires the use of headsets such as the Oculus Rift.

With either technology customers can see a project from all angles or see how a paint color or a piece of furniture or an appliance will look and fit in the room. Home builders can even use the technology with existing model homes by allowing customers to tour the home from their home via an app and a VR headset.

Audio and video analytics are a top home technology for 2016, according to CE Pro magazine. They believe this year we will see a decrease in the need for dedicated sensors monitoring such factors as temperature, motion, smoke and fire. Instead much of the monitoring will switch to audio and video such as mics that pick up the sounds of leaking pipes or gun shots, or cameras that use face recognition or monitor temperature via thermal imaging. It’s also predicted much of these analytics will be useful in determining the state of its residents including if a senior is showing signs of dementia.

Another technology CE Pro sees growing and expanding is home door technology. With such trends as homeowners renting their places via AirBNB as well as just wanting to keep their home secure the need for features directly on the door has increased. Some of the technologies include automated door locks, cameras, smart door bells, motorized shades and facial recognition — all integrated directly into the doors.

Inc. recently published a list of game changing inventions, and while few of them were home related, one is sure to change how our homes operate: Li-Fi. It’s a wireless optical technology which use LEDs for data transmission. Li-Fi is intended to be used with the LED light bulbs already used throughout businesses and homes. Now every light bulb can become a wireless hotspot! The technology comes thanks to a German physicist who first introduced it in 2011. It’s 100 times faster than standard Wi-Fi — Inc. says it can download 18 movies in one second!

Next Steps

Jan
15

8 Home Design Trends for 2016

Sunrooms are making a comeback, except not in the traditional way.

Sunrooms are making a comeback, except not in the traditional way.

In the last blog we talked about the top 7 home building trends of 2016. For this blog we’ll cover the 8 home design trends you can expect to see in 2016.

In a recent Facebook post, we talked about inspiration coming from old homes. Particularly with an individual who desires a custom home, they desire a unique finished product, different from the rest of the homes in the neighborhood. Pulling ideas from older homes isn’t a new design trend, but we predict it will continue to grow in popularity. The design of older homes has stood the test of time so it’s not surprising that we continue to pull design ideas from them to incorporate into our newer, contemporary homes.

Here’s an interesting trend predicted by House Beautiful: The “Glamily” Room. They say more people desire a glamorous family room while still catering to those families with kids or pets. Bring in durable fabrics, such as outdoor fabrics built to withstand wear and stains, combined with functional furniture and pretty, practical flooring, and you have a beautiful living room that is family-friendly.

Cozy Nooks are a 2016 trend, predicts POPSUGAR. As our lives continue to get busier and busier, and increasingly more stressful as well, most homeowners want quiet, peaceful areas at home where they can retreat. The “nook” is not only an area you can sit to read a book, or enjoy your morning cup of coffee, but it’s also a place to meditate or just to take a breather when you walk in the door from a hectic day.

POPSUGAR also includes temporary and fun wallpaper designs in their predictions. Do you remember the days when homeowners started to shy away from wallpaper because it could be a grueling task to remove it, and the application could be tricky? Thanks to lots of advances in materials, wallpaper is much easier to apply and remove these days. Particularly if you use temporary wallpaper. It’s a self-adhesive removable wallpaper so there is no need for paste or water, and you simply peel it off when you are ready to remove it.

And another design prediction we love to hear from POPSUGAR is reclaimed wood. We’ve appreciated reclaimed wood for quite some time, using it in many of our projects. We don’t expect this trend to go away anytime soon especially with the ongoing respect for finding environmentally conscious materials.

Houzz recently released their list of 25 design trends for 2016, and here are some of our favorites:

Stainless steel appliances will stay, but it won’t be the shiny silver metal you’re accustomed to. Houzz is seeing a buzz on their site about colored stainless steel appliances such as black stainless steel or sunset bronze. Apparently Houzz took a poll, and two-thirds of those answering said they would consider using colored stainless steel appliances.

Heated entryway floors. This is such a great idea! Why haven’t we thought of doing this sooner? With a heated entry way – particularly in colder locations – the heat helps to quickly melt snow and dry boots.

Sunrooms. This is a luxury that’s gone to the wayside for those homeowners who want to take advantage of their space in more seemingly practical ways, but now (as with the nooks) more homeowners are realizing the value in spaces where they can retreat, relax and refresh. While not everyone will choose to include a sunroom in a custom home design, many are finding other ways to incorporate a sunroom by carving out a space wherever the sun hits in their homes, according to Houzz.

Next Steps

Jan
1

The Top 7 Home Building Trends in 2016

While most energy efficiency upgrades prove expensive upfront, solar power has become much more affordable due to leasing programs.

While most energy efficiency upgrades prove expensive upfront, solar power has become much more affordable due to leasing programs.

Welcome to 2016! What can we expect to see trending in the home building industry this year?

Here’s our top 7:

1. New homes are back! According to Beth Braverman in an article written for The Fiscal Times she reminds us new home construction was one of the industries hit hardest during the housing bust in 2009. But single family home building increased 10% in 2015, and is expected to increase another 23% in 2016 according to the National Association of Home Builders. As well new home sales increased 15% in 2015 and are expected to increase 23% in 2016.

2. Buyers want green homes. Although higher in initial costs more affluent buyers are incorporating energy efficiency upgrades into their new homes. Over half of builders surveyed report they are working on green projects, according to a study from Dodge Data & Analytics. While most energy efficiency upgrades prove expensive upfront, one such technology has fallen in price dramatically: Solar Power! Using solar power leasing homeowners can pay by the month, resulting in a more affordable investment. One caveat: understand the lease terms and if you’ll have to stay in the home for several years to make it worth it.

3. 2016 may just be the year the smart home takes shape. It’s a technology we’ve talked about for some time, but yet it’s still in its infancy. Manufacturers have been working tediously to grow this market. We’ll see what 2016 has in store for this niche that many homeowners seem to desire. It’s time for manufacturers to fully catch up. Check out some of our past blogs on the subject including Smart Homes: Convenient AND Safe?, Smart Home Regrets and What’s Next for Smart Homes?

4. Open floor plans aren’t going away yet. Our active lifestyles mean formal spaces have no use in our homes. But instead we need our homes to be connected to work with the fluidity of our lives.

5. Gone are the days when homeowners thought of the basement solely as a man-cave or an entertainment room. Welcome to the time of the multipurpose basement. Homeowners continue to expand their ideas on the use of basement space creating a whole new living area and a true expansion of their home. Some ideas include meditation/yoga rooms, spa rooms, libraries and wine cellars.

6. Buyers are preparing their homes for multigenerational living. As more young people live with their parents longer into adulthood, and more aging adults are moving in with their children, our homes demand space for all of us to live together in harmony.

7. Home prices will rise. Although home prices will rise only moderately, according to Fiscal Times’ Braverman. She bases her opinion on a survey by Zillow which predicts home values to rise by a 3.5% average. The impending increase also indicates this year may be the time to build or buy before home prices grow exponentially.

Next Steps

Dec
15

What to Consider When Building a Custom Home

A magnificent outdoor living area was created for this custom Colorado Chalet home

A magnificent outdoor living area was created for this custom Colorado Chalet home

Inspiration

What inspires you? Start thinking now before you commit to building a home about your inspiration and how you can use it in your home design. Creating a Pinterest board is a valuable tool to keep all your photos and ideas together in one place. You can even organize boards by different rooms. Use your board to start planning your custom home, and share the boards with your builder.

blueprint-964629_640Room Placement and Necessity

The ideal placement of rooms may vary a bit based on your personal preferences and how your family functions. But for most families it’s ideal to place the laundry room near the bedrooms, to situate bedrooms as far away from noise and traffic, to locate the kitchen near the main entrance to make it easier to carry in groceries, and to place the garage near a mud room and the kitchen to keep dirt, sports attire and other daily attire such as backpacks contained to one area.

Consider room necessity. What rooms do you use on a regular basis? How much storage do you need? If your family never eats in a dining room you may only need a kitchen with a dining nook. Or if the idea of a fitness room or a game room sounds enticing, consider if you will really use it before adding it into your plan.

Your Lot

While you may have an existing house plan in mind, it may not fit on the lot well. Consider modifying or invest in a custom home plan in order to maximize the views from the lot or to consider the landscaping, including if there is current landscaping such as mature trees.

Source Flickr/aeu04117

Source Flickr/aeu04117

Lighting

You can almost never have too much lighting. Take advantage of natural light whenever possible by including lots of windows in your home plan wherever possible, including skylights if possible. And add light fixtures and outlets in every spot you can.

 

Resale

If you plan to sell your home eventually, and even if you don’t, keep resale in mind. Even if the plan is to stay in the home forever, life circumstances may change the plan. Good design sells, and so does a energy efficient, low maintenance home.

 

for-reading-813666_1280Changes

Consider how your family will change throughout the years. What will your family need in a home plan now, and in 5, 10, 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years?

 

Non-Negotiables

Make a list of non negotiables (i.e. things you require to be included in the house such as a walk-closet, or a mudroom). Because you likely do not have unlimited funds, you have to make compromises on what you want, and what you are willing to give up. If you have a list of non negotiables, you can give the list to the builder so they can make sure those items are included in the plan.

 

Source Flickr/Nils Vik

Source Flickr/Nils Vik

Energy Efficiency

Choose energy efficient appliances with the Energy Star logo. You’ll save money in the long run by lowering your utility bills. You may also qualify for energy efficiency rebates if you install energy efficient equipment in your new home. Often you can receive a federal tax credit for installing Energy Star appliances. You city, state or local utility company may also offer rebates and tax credits.

Maintenance

Design your house for low maintenance. Cheap materials will cost you more throughout the years. Invest in quality materials from the beginning to save more later.

Source stockmonkeys.com

Source stockmonkeys.com

Finances

Before you get too far into the process determine your budget. Consult with a financial advisor to help you decide what you can afford.

When building a home financing may be different from a traditional home mortgage. Shop around to save money and understand the difference between a construction loan and a home mortgage. Often a construction loan has a shorter term and may have a higher interest rate. You will usually need to refinance the construction loan at the end of the term into a home mortgage.

Source Flickr/CarbonNYC

Source Flickr/CarbonNYC

Moving

Ask your builder for a realistic move-in date. Have a back-up plan in case the date is moved later. Make sure you line up temporary housing plus ample storage space, if needed.

 

 

The Contract

Read all contracts over and over, and over again, before you sign. Make sure you understand what you are signing. Make sure the contract includes everything you’ve discussed. Once you’ve signed a contract, you may not be able to make changes.

Take a look at our custom home gallery for some ideas of what we can accomplish for your home building project!

Next Steps

Dec
1

Rustic Wainscoting: What It Is and Why It’s Important

IMG_2166

This rustic wainscoting has a milk paint finish; it’s also hand distressed and hand sanded.

What is Wainscoting

Wainscoting is simply the wood paneling which lines the lower portion of the walls in a room, extending partway up the wall. It’s constructed from a combination of decorative boards and paneling.

History

The origins of wainscoting purportedly date back to as early as the 1300s. It is thought to have originally been functional, not decorative, in purpose.

In some homes wainscoting was used to keep out cold and dampness before insulation was invented. It is said that the Dutch used it to protect walls from damage from chairs or the spurs on boots.

Even today wainscoting offers a functional purpose as it protects walls from the dirt and scuffs which are more relevant to our lifestyles now.

Wainscoting vs Beadboard

The terms wainscoting and beadboard are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are actually different.

Wainscoting’s elements are primarily a panel and the frame around the panel. The frame is made up four pieces which are the bottom and top rail, and the side pieces, also called stiles.

Wainscoting types are often termed by the type of panel used. Some wainscoting types include raised-panel, flat-panel and beadboard.

Hence why beadboard is not the same on its own as wainscoting. Beadboard is only a type of wainscoting, characterized by a row of narrow wood planks which run vertically, and have a ridge between each plank, which is called the “bead.”

Why Wainscoting Is Important

Wainscoting plays more of a decorative function today. But it’s just as important as it ever was. A well designed house has attractive lines on its outside as well as on the inside. Wainscoting offers a well-built look to any home’s walls, and can amplify the design of even the tiniest room.

Rustic wainscoting takes the decorative details’ appeal to another level. Reclaimed boards, a common product used in rustic wainscoting, remind of us elements which have stood the test of time. It brings us back to a simpler time and offers a peacefulness not found in more contemporary styles. Because rustic style often mimics nature and outdoor surroundings, using rustic wainscoting in conjunction with contemporary design elements can also create harmony between the surroundings and the interior of the home, creating a simple, but sophisticated look.

In our home décor packages, as well as in the work we do for custom homes and for the hospitality industry, we use rustic styles often including in our wainscoting, which in many instances comes from reclaimed barn boards.

Next Steps

Nov
15

Adirondack Style: What It Is and Why It’s Important

Home of abolitionist John Brown, located high in New York State's Adirondack Mountains

Home of abolitionist John Brown, located high in New York State’s Adirondack Mountains

Adirondack style is a rustic architectural style associated with the Adirondack Mountain area in New York. The original builders in this areas built housing for the wealthy, but they used native building materials because of the problems they would incur in trying to ship in or transport conventional building materials to their remote location. In the 1800s the Adirondacks were mainly rugged wilderness until transportation routes became established in the 19th century. This is when wealthier individuals began to vacation in the Adirondacks to take a break from city life, and to enjoy the clean air and the beautiful scenery. Many of these individuals built grand lake lodges to house their families and guests.

Timber and stone were the most abundant building materials; whole, split or peeled logs and granite fieldstone were the most often used. Use of these native materials resulted in a primitive, rustic style. Large fireplaces built of stone were also common.

This style reminds us of a simpler time and the peacefulness of mountain living, which is why it has remained popular for many years. You can see influences from the Arts & Crafts movement and Swiss chalets in Adirondack style. But it still has its own style, which some equate to a rustic elegance as the use of native materials, while kept in a natural state, are used in an artful way, with intricate details common.

The Adirondack style is also known to be used to harmonize with its surroundings. When the housing was first established in the Adirondack Mountains because there was no way to bring in large building equipment the builders were forced to make the buildings fit the rugged landscape, making the homes appear as though they are part of the landscape, truly giving them a connection with nature and outdoor living.

Basement with Adirondack lodge look

But Adirondack style doesn’t have to be limited to a house hidden in the mountains. It’s a style we’ve embraced, and through not only our custom home designs, but also through our décor packages we’ve been able to incorporate aspects of the Adirondack style in various styles of homes.

In this hotel Presidential Suite a unique design of barn board paneling runs horizontally along the wall. The back and front bar are also built with the same barn board paneling.

 

Our Adirondack Retreat décor package – our most popular package – includes a slab wall treatment, wainscoting element, and accent logs. This package includes 1-inch wavy slab siding cut from whitewood boards. Slab pieces are uneven, varying in width, and have a rustic knotty, gnarly appearance with wavy edges. We’ve also found that the rustic elements of Adirondack style can work beautifully when paired with more modern pieces in a varied style blend. Some of our own work blending the modern and rustic can be seen in the custom interior trim and finish (wainscoting, furnishings, cabinets, etc.) work we do in hotels.

Next Steps

Nov
1

How to Hire an Interior Designer

Interior Designer SketchIn our last blog we told you how to hire an architect. So in this blog we’re going to tell you how to hire an interior designer, another possibly important piece of your project puzzle. While, just as with an architect, an interior designer is not always necessary, some projects will benefit from the expertise of a design professional.

Interior designers combine their creativity and technical knowledge to work with clients and other design professionals (such as architects) to design spaces which are functional, safe, attractive and satisfy the needs of the clients using the space. Part of the responsibility of an interior designer is understanding how people behave so they can create spaces which are truly functional on a day to day basis. Interior design is not the same as interior decorating, as there is much more of an emphasis on planning and functional design in interior design. Designers must have an understanding of technical issues such as acoustics or how door or windows are positioned. They can only create the space though without altering structural components, but this is why architects and designers often work together.

In residential design an interior designer works on the project from as early as the initial planning stage. The process can take months to fine-tune to create the client’s vision.

Interior designers are highly skilled, and usually trained through a college or a design school. Most have a four-year degree but some have master’s or doctoral degrees. After college many aspiring interior designers spend time completing an apprenticeship.

The best interior designer for your project will offer their expertise and insight in a way which shows you how your spaces can work for you. They will tell you honestly how they think a space should be changed even if it conflicts with your own ideas. But together you can formulate a plan which serves your vision and the potential functionality of the space.

Ask family and friends first for interior designer referrals. Look to a reputable resource such as the American Society of Interior Designers for a list of interior designers. If you are already working with an architect or another building professional they will often have a list of designers they recommend their clients use.

Once you’ve compiled a list of potential interior designers for your project set up interviews. Interview several designers so you can become familiar with their differences including how they deal with clients, what their style preferences are, and how they conduct business. You’ll be working closely with this individual and you want someone who you think will make the right choices for your project.

Here are some questions to start with when interviewing your potential interior designer:

  • What kinds of design services do you offer?
  • Are you available to take on our project?
  • What is your design style? Make sure you ask to view their portfolio.
  • Can you show me examples other projects you’ve done which are similar to my style and within the same budget as my project?
  • What type of education and training have you completed? Do you have any professional affiliations?
  • How will you communicate the ideas and plans you have for our project?
  • How will you provide updates on the progress of our project?
  • Can you work within our budget?
  • How do you charge, and when is payment due?
  • Can you provide professional references?

Next Steps

Oct
15

How to Hire an Architect

blueprint-964629_640In a previous blog we wrote about if a architect is a useful hire, and who specifically may want to consider hiring an architect. You can read more about that here in our blog Should You Hire An Architect?

Once you decide your project requires the skills of an architect, your next dilemma may be “how” to hire one.

Architects usually have a degree from an accredited college, but they also must complete a certain number of intern hours under a licensed professional, as well as take a series of exams.

Ask family and friends first for referrals, and if you see a house you like you may even want to ask the homeowner if they used an architect.

Next, look to a reputable resource such as The American Institute of Architects for a list of architects.

Architects are usually generalists, yet some firms specialize in certain project types. Each project offers distinct different sets of challenges, and each architectural firm offers a blend of skills and experience.

The most successful architect and client relationships are born out of compatibility. Patience in taking time to select the right architect for you and your project will guarantee the project runs as smoothly as possible with the outcome as close as possible to your vision. Keep in mind you’ll spend a great amount of time working with your architect, and you want to enjoy the relationship.

Once you’ve compiled a list of potential architects for your project set up interviews.

Here are some questions to start with when interviewing your potential architect:

  • What is your design philosophy?
  • How do you plan to handle my project? What will you expect from me in order to insure my needs and goals are met?
  • What is your fee structure and how will you handle price adjustments if the scope of the project changes?
  • How will you make decisions about the project and how will you involve me in the decision making?
  • How will you explain the project to me as the project proceeds? Will you show me models or use other visual aids to make sure we are all clear that the project is accomplishing the vision we hope to achieve?
  • What is your process for designing and finishing the project?
  • What other projects are you currently working on (i.e. how busy is the architect, and will they have the time to devote to your project?)?
  • What are the services you provide, including what role and tasks you will be responsible for during construction?
  • How long do you expect the project will take?
  • Can you offer a list of past clients, as well as photos and drawings of your past projects?

Bottom line: As with anything it often comes down to a gut feeling, knowing if the architect is the right fit for you and your project.

Next Steps

Oct
1

Reclaimed Wood: What It Is and What You Should Know About It

Our collections of reclaimed wood boards are organized into groupings in our shop

Our collections of reclaimed wood boards are organized into groupings in our shop

What Is Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood is a sustainable material used in new construction or in remodeling projects. It’s a processed wood retrieved from an original application with the intent for it to be reused. Simply put it’s old wood used for a new purpose. Reclaimed wood is often rescued from old houses, old barns, factories and warehouses. Or it may come from other sources including box cars, shipping crates and wine barrels.

Using reclaimed wood is not a new concept, but we’ve seen a surge in its popularity with the focus on green building.

What You Should Know About Reclaimed Wood

When you use reclaimed wood you give old wood new life, and preserve forests by not using virgin woods. Instead you use older wood that is perfectly usable.

Reclaimed wood has a story and offers a slice of history. The reclaimed pieces you see in a home, hotel, bar or other building may have came from a dismantled distillery or a farmer’s barn. The use of historical wood gives the designer a range of colors and grains to work with in creating a unique look. When you see reclaimed wood used in an application you can pick up on clues of its previous use by the holes, bumps or variations in the grain and colors. Hand-hewn beams may still bear the saw marks from when it was originally cut. Other pieces of reclaimed wood may have a color or patina created from weathering over many years.

How Reclaimed Wood is Acquired and Processed

When salvaging wood part of the process is finding it before it is taken to a landfill. This can mean scouting for demolitions or building renovation sites. Some sorting must occur to find the high quality pieces of wood, and this may mean sorting wood by hand, and removing nails and bolts.

Quality

While reclaimed wood is used it’s not the typical used wood you might find leftover from a project. It’s aged, and recycled, and was harvested many years ago. Sometimes the wood is even mostly intact, such as with large beams. Other times it may be re-milled and sawn into planks. But regardless it’s of a higher quality you won’t find today. Most reclaimed wood is from an era before today’s construction and milling methods. The wood was taken from mature trees that grew slowly over hundreds of years. It grew in a natural environment for many years where it became stronger and more durable; aging also brings out colors in the wood. Planks and beams created from old growth wood is larger and wider than the lumber of today. The age and character of reclaimed wood can’t be duplicated as old-growth wood is mostly no longer available.

How We Use Reclaimed Wood

Take a look at our website, and you’ll notice several projects where we use reclaimed wood. Here are a few:

Colorado Cottage Decor Package

Colorado Cottage reclaimed wood wainscot option

Colorado Cottage reclaimed wood wainscot option

Our Colorado Cottage decor package is a floor to ceiling log siding treatment along with wainscoting and accent logs you can use to change the style of the interior of your home. We use reclaimed wood or barn boards for the wainscoting in this package.

 

 

Custom Countertops and Bar Tops

Cleaned reclaimed wood countertop in a raw, pre-pour state in our shop

Cleaned reclaimed wood countertop in a raw, pre-pour state in our shop

We make custom countertops and bar tops which are made from reclaimed wood from old barns and factories. We finish them with a durable high gloss resin to make them long-lasting and resistant to stains and wear and tear. Their durability is proven after years of high use in many of the hotels and restaurants we’ve installed them in.

 

 

Stoney Creek Inn in Independence, MO

Real barn board paneling is used behind the desk in this hotel room

Real barn board paneling is used behind the desk in this hotel room.

J. Thompson Builders has helped in the building of the Stoney Creek line of hotels since 1997. In 2009 when we opened our custom fabrication shop we were able to take over engineering all of the interior trim and finish work for the hotel line. Their newest hotel is located in Independence, MO. We used reclaimed wood throughout much of the building. You can see examples of that in this piece about our involvement in building the hotel.

 

 

 

Reclaimed Wood Bar Top

The reclaimed wood countertop immediately after installation in the hotel

The reclaimed wood countertop immediately after installation in the hotel

Stoney Creek Inn commissioned us to create a bar top to match an upper bar already installed in their hotel. We made the bar top from 100+ year old reclaimed wood. By using reclaimed wood we matched the style of the other bar top while also using a product which is hardier than newer woods.

 

 

Buyer Beware

Some may try to make a quick buck off the reclaimed wood trend by selling lower quality or fake products. Make sure the wood has been properly treated. Do your research to ensure you are buying from a reputable resource.

Bottom Line

When choosing whether or whether not to use reclaimed wood, the choice is as simple as knowing with reclaimed wood you are acquiring strong, old-growth wood, and you are also taking care of the planet while giving your home or business a unique, beautiful style.

Next Steps

Sep
15

Chinking: What It Is and What You Should Know About It

Chinking-refillable-follow-plate-applicationThe J.T. Unique/Cozy Cabin Outfitters section of our website shows not only are we a builder/remodeler, but we also offer a unique product called themed décor packages.

Basically our themed décor packages offer a blend of rustic log, timber and trim materials which give you the materials to turn any room into a cabin look. The three package styles we offer allow you to customize the look to suit your individual décor tastes.
But within those package descriptions we also mention something our readers may be unfamiliar with called “chinking.”

Chinking before and after

Chinking before and after

What is Chinking?

Simply put chinking is a a water-based, flexible and durable sealant used to seal the joints between the logs of log homes. Historically chinking was a mix of a variety of materials which included clay, sand, mud or lime, and it was applied to keep the wind from coming in between the logs.

Visually speaking chinking is the broad white band you see between logs on a log home. It makes the walls look as though they are striped.

These days chinking is used to create a seal to prevent dust, wind or water from penetrating the logs. It also improves a home’s energy efficiency by reducing heat loss.

Chinking’s elasticity allows it to contract and stretch when the logs move, preventing the chinking from cracking, peeling or pulling away from the logs.

On exterior applications chinking ensures the logs remain protected with little need for maintenance.

But you may be asking why it’s used on interior decor packages, such as ours…

Chinking color options

Chinking color options

Why Use Chinking On Interior Decor Packages?

An authentic log cabin look has a space between each log. Chinking is one of the hallmarks of a handcrafted log home.

On interior applications, such as our themed décor packages, chinking is used for aesthetic purposes to retain the authentic look of a traditional log home. Our interior applications require no sealing from water or weather, but we still offer the service (mind you it’s included free with our décor packages) to retain the authentic appearance.

Note: While chinking is included in the price of our Cozy Cabin themed décor packages, we can also provide chinking services for other applications.

Next Steps