Homeowner likes EverLog technology
July 6, 2012
Imagine a fireproof log cabin that not only boasts increased resistance to a blazing inferno but to insects and other maintenance problems owners have been battling since the first log cabins of colonial America. For Lance Stretch, and his cabin built in Kamas, that dream is now a reality.
"A friend of mine saw a brochure about EverLogs, and I found them online when I started the design process," Stretch said. "It turned out really nice and it’s different for this area. It’s not a traditional-looking log home but it’s exactly what I wanted."
EverLogs is the company that constructed the fireproof logs that went into the design. Instead of wood, a patented mixture of concrete and fiber cement siding gives a realistic look of a traditional log cabin.
According to Stretch, during a time of harsh fires across the West, EverLogs provides an extra sense of security for those with homes in densely forested regions. Stretch says the ability to hold off a fire was a big factor in deciding to build his home with the fire-resistant cement material.
EverLog founder and president, Stewart Hansen, added that people who build homes in forested areas want to be able to come back and have their homes still standing. According to EverLog statistics, their structures have a minimum three-hour fire rating, which helps reduce homeowner insurance costs by an average of 20 percent compared to wood frame or log-built homes.
"Since our log homes are made of concrete opposed to wood, the benefit is fire resistance as wood will burn eventually," Hansen said. "Bugs are another big problem, termites and those sorts of things are a huge problem with log homes. They cannot eat concrete."
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Other benefits include the customizability for those who choose the "fake log" route. As moisture inside wooden logs can cause buildings to warp or shrink overtime, contractors are limited in their ability to make complex structures. The same cannot be said for the concrete material which reduces architectural limits and can save homeowners hundreds of dollars in maintenance per year, according to their estimates.
Some in the natural wood industry, however, remain skeptical. Satterwhite Log Homes Sales Excutive, Brett Belnap, is concerned about the durability of the concrete logs exposed to harsh elements over time.
"I haven’t seen the finish tested in their paperwork," he said. "If the logs start popping the face off in 10 years it won’t look like a log anymore. I believe that the concrete will be affected by temperatures and the elements and will start to look more like concrete."
Belnap also argues that traditional logs remain "pretty fire preventative" as solid logs have added thickness to help increase burn times, referring to the time it takes for a log exposed to a fire to eventually ignite.
Hansen says, however, that concrete does just fine in weathering the elements. "Anecdotally we’ve been using the same process for 35 years, concrete is a porous material it really locks in the material, we haven’t had any problem."
EverLogs wasn’t made to put original log home builders out of business. Hansen says there has been a partnership with "log home guys" over the years to help with design.
"I think there will always be wood lovers," he said. "We don’t view our side as trying to take them out of business; EverLogs is just a nice complement to the existing industry."
Due to this year’s fire season Hansen says there has been an "uptick" in sales. There has also been an increase in inquiries from Coloradans asking about the homes’ fire rating.
As for Stretch and his finished cabin, it is now listed on the housing market, due to unforeseen circumstances. Stretch, however, remains satisfied with the way the cabin turned out.