RippleCraft Log Homes are built primarily from one of two wood species; Eastern White Pine or Western Red Cedar.* In fact, most RippleCraft log homes contain a combination of the two species where in tandem they create the striking color contrasts evident in the homes we build.
Eastern White Pine is a highly stable and straight grained wood that ranges in color from a nearly white sapwood to a golden heartwood. Produced along the east coast of the Unites States as well as in the Great Lakes region, this wood is readily available in the greater lengths desirable when building a log home. The workability of this wood makes it a favorite of the log home industry.
Because of its cell structure, kiln drying eastern white pine can take much longer than drying many other wood species. Drying time can take up to ten weeks to reduce an 8″x8″ log to an average moisture content of 15%. The r-value of white pine is higher than that of most logs used in producing log homes.
Western Red Cedar is another highly stable wood that varies in color from a dark reddish brown to a nearly white sapwood. The wood is very straight grained and appealing. Known for its weather and insect resisting capabilities as well as its distinctive aroma, this wood is available to lengths over 20 feet. Western Red Cedar is grown exclusively in the Pacific northwest and is therefore more expensive to obtain. Costs for red cedar are generally in the range of 40%-50% higher than that of white pine.
Western Red Cedar dries in much less time than does white pine, with kiln drying dropping the moisture content of an 8″ x 8″ log to an average of 15% in four to six weeks.
*In addition to these two species of wood, dead standing timber is also available to customers. As with any other type of wood, dead standing timber, typically Engelmann Spruce or Lodgepole Pine, has its advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantage for the use of dead standing timber is that it has a quicker turn around time. It still must be kiln dried, but accomplishing this can be done in less than a month in comparison to the three months taken for a typical white pine charge. The disadvantages have to do with a number of appearance variables. During our sorting and milling process we continue to try and minimize these negatives.
Remember when deciding on the type of wood to be used for the building of your log home that no two species are exactly the same, nor are two logs within the same species alike. It is these variations in color and grain that help to give a log home its distinctive appeal. Regardless of which species or combination of species you ultimately select to build your dream home with, you can rest assured that the home you build will contain all the charm and comfort that RippleCraft has to offer.