Log Home Design Basics: Roof Planes & Pitch

Many folks let out an audible "ooh & aah"  when they see a dramatic high pitched ceiling in a log home.  There's no question that a home with a high roof pitch and multiple roof planes has more curb appeal.  Just look around your own neighborhood.  These design elements are must haves for most log home lovers, but before you go design crazy there are some important considerations to understand that can influence the cost, performance and the look of your custom log home.  

Things to consider:
  • High pitched and multiple plane roofs add higher material and labor costs, additional time to construct and complexity to your project.  
  • If your design includes skylights, chimney chases, sun tubes, dormers, etc. penetrating your roof, how do they relate to the roof pitch and planes.  Are there conflicts that can affect the roofs performance?  
  • Once you have your custom log home preliminary drawings, take a closer look at your roof design.  Does it make sense?  Meaning, are there areas where potential rain drainage capabilities are compromised or areas where excessive snow build-up can create roof performance issues?  Keep in mind, that both form and function particularity with roof design should not be in conflict.
  • In colder climates such as ours, we're very conscience of snow loads and the potential for ice damming.  Your local/state building codes will require a specific snow load (in lbs.) at the time of design, but when you receive your first set of preliminary plans look at the elevations for potential areas that may require additional insulation, flashing, venting and other means to control ice damming.
  • A higher roof pitch in most cases translates into higher ceilings inside, meaning that an additional volume of air space will require heating and cooling which will add to your monthly operating costs. 
  • Consider lowering the roof pitch a little and upgrade to a 9' wall height (typical is 8') to create that feeling of airy openness.
  • Depending on the design of the log home, you maybe able to incorporate flat ceilings in areas such as kitchen, dining, bedrooms, utility rooms, etc. and save those high pitched ceilings for the great room.
  • Consider lowering the roof pitch a bit and adding gable end log trusses for exterior or additional log accents on the interior for design impact.
We hope this gives you a little insight into roof pitch and plane design.  Consult with your log home dealer and builder to review your roof pitch and planes for performance and cost.  An  intelligent design that looks good, built right and performs well will always stand the test of time.

By The Leelanau Log Home Company LLC

Copyright 2012 Under the Influence of Wood Blog