At present, the market has a huge number of offers of blockhouses from regularized round timbers and the so called manually made wood. And houses of manually made wood are often offered by companies that are ready to build houses from any other materials. Lack of specialization means that such “handymen” arte unable to ensure decent quality. Moreover, few companies cut and assemble blockhouses on special production sites or in premises. Logs are often cut in the forest, a meadow, or outside a village, or on a site near the customer’s home, by a team brought together for building a specific blockhouse, which can in no way ensure proper quality.
Chalet’s craftsmen possess multiyear experience in designing and building solely manually made blockhouses. We do not use any other technologies or other materials, but we know very well what we do.
Manual cutting means manual work, i.e. a house is produced and assembled manually by a building team of highly qualified specialists using axes, knives, chain saws, and other hand tools.
Once a design is developed, every blockhouse goes through the following main stages:
Stage one: a blockhouse production on the company’s site
Everything depends on the blockhouse production quality: the house microclimate, beauty, and longevity! Just as all the builders of log houses around the world, we use wood growing in our region and having the appropriate characteristics. We make blockhouses from Carpathian fir trees. An important parameter of the wood quality is its density, which depends a lot on the climate and area of growing. The Carpathian Mountains belong to good climatic and environmental regions where trees grow slowly, the distance between the annual rings is small and, therefore, wood is dense. In high dry areas, the tree trunks are highly dense, have a beautiful form and texture. We select each tree on our own and accept only cut trees from the highest point above the sea level: 800 to 900 meters. As we are very close to the timber logging area, this makes it possible to acquire higher quality and exclusive building materials.
The average diameter of logs ranges from 35 to 40 cm.; however, according to the customer’s wishes or the architectural concept of the house design, we can offer logs with larger diameters of up to 60 cm.
After logs are delivered to the company’s site, each trunk is separated from its bark with a hand knife, in which case a tree keeps its natural difference between the log thickness at its top and bottom. Such wood processing is more advantageous than regularized round timbers, in which the most valuable part of wood is cut off. In ancient times, people noticed that sawn wood is more vulnerable to humidification and decay as the wood fiber structure is destroyed after they are cut off. Logs processed with a knife or an axe along fibers preserve wood protective properties, its natural appearance and make a blockhouse perennial.
Wood is then treated with a temporary antiseptic, which protects wood against mold and pests in the house producing process.
The blockhouse production process involves heavy building machines as each log of a house may be up to 12 meters long and weigh more than one ton.
Canadian cutting method
There are several cutting methods differing not just according to the appearance and technological specifics, but also in house usage terms. We use the Canadian cutting method, which permits to fit logs very accurately, eliminate any space between logs, make a trapezoidal cup, make walls look like a compact block and thermal insulation completely hidden. The use of a special marking device helps, among other things, avoid any space between logs. Logs are put to each other and every row takes into account the inequalities and specifics of the lower row creating a dense and accurate joint.
Most builders of blockhouses in Ukraine, including producers of regularized round logs, traditionally use the so called “Russian cup”. There are important differences between round logs cut into the Russian and Canadian cups. The Canadian cup is mainly distinguished by the cut tree mark. Houses built according to these two technologies can be easily recognized even visually by the cut tree marks near the overcuts.
Let us analyze the cutting methods used for the Russian and Canadian cups. For conveniences purposes, we provide schemes showing three stages of creating a blockhouse by using the Canadian and Russian cups.
Cutting stage. A freshly built blockhouse is on the building company’s site. The two variants look beautiful: they have minimum spaces and look pleasantly.
Shrinking stage. One or two years passed, during which important changes as a result of shrinking wooden structures took place in the blockhouse, or, to be more exact, in the wooden house on your site. For information purposes: the log diameter gets smaller by 5 to 10% depending on the source humidity of logs in the shrinking process. Forms of cups, spaces in cups and grooves change accordingly. Naturally, cups of both types shrink with additional spaces appearing in the Russian and Canadian cups, log structures being contracted and filling the created spaces.
Contracting stage. Of course, logs cannot “hang up” in the air as was shown at the shrinking stage (the shrinking stage was artificially introduced for your better understanding of the shrinking stage) and they will contract and fill the free space. But this is when the Russian and Canadian cups act differently. In case of the Russian cup, quite large spaces appear after the upper log contracts, which will have to be filled with flax or cotton waste, but in case of the Canadian cup the cut tree marks and a triangular form of the cup will make the created spaces jammed and form a warm, which is quite important, and beautiful overcut place.
A log construction will be produced according to the log house building standards of the International Log Builder’s Association (Canada) and supervised by an engineer responsible for the entire blockhouse. A blockhouse is built within 3 to 4 months, which depends on its design. Afterwards, a roof structure is put up, openings for the electrical system are made, and carpenter elements are checked.
Stage two: blockhouse dismantling and delivery to the installation site
Once a blockhouse is assembled and the foundations on the site are finished, the blockhouse is treated with bleaching compounds so as to emphasize the wood structure and make it look unique. The blockhouse is dismantled with a crane; each part of it is marked and transported to the assembly site by special trucks. Some parts of the blockhouse are unloaded with a crane on a temporary site near the future house assembly place. Normally, this stage takes 1 to 2 weeks.
Stage three: blockhouse assembly
A blockhouse assembly is an important and responsible stage of building a wooden house. Even a properly produced log house can be spoiled as a result of poor quality assembly, but the wooden house longevity depends a lot on the proper blockhouse assembly technology. This is why a blockhouse is to be assembled only by craftsmen that produced it: qualified and highly experienced carpenters. They will assemble a house in a quality manner, perform the most responsible installation works, and also give their recommendations on how to use the house in the future.
Every log is isolated with natural lax and the blockhouse is re-assembled on the foundation. A waterproofing layer and an oak beam, on which the blockhouse is installed, is put between the blockhouse and the foundation: thanks to this technology wooden houses stay for a long time period and require no sophisticated maintenance.
Stage four: construction completion and finishing works in the blockhouse
Once all the works are completed and an acceptance act is signed, a warranty period of two years begins. During that period, we offer warranty maintenance services. This is not where our communication with the customer ends. We will still be available for answering any questions you may have concerning the arrangement of the blockhouse, the longevity of which lasts for several generations, providing that its maintenance and current repairs are properly organized.