Construction Details

What We Do

Seeing 8 – 14m (46 foot) logs that taper from butt to tip fitted together to make a wall with joins so tight you cant get a piece of paper between them is surly a thing of beauty and never ceases to amaze even the novice.

Our walls do not just look like a sheet of plywood with knots and grain spattered here and there, the knot you see on a log wall is actually the place that a branch once grew, and the top of the tree is the skinny end and the butt of the tree is the large end.

From your plan we start with your sill logs, half logs run one way and ¾ logs the other, this is how the half notched corners are started, its these half notch corners that give a log home its incredible strength and a beauty unsurpassed by any other construction.

The Crew boss of your home uses a complex inventory of available logs to choose each one for your walls, there is a mathematical equation each time he chooses a log for your wall. That log is then retrieved from the peeling rack, and placed on the building to be rough notched, a process that brings that log down to a more parallel place to the log below.


See the page on Scribe Fit Magic. Scribing two logs together is not something new and has been around for hundreds of years, the latest technology has enabled the tool that does this to come along away, and is still a hand operated device. Scribe fitted together tapering logs can still be found today 7-800 years old in Norway and Scandinavia.

Saddle Notch

The corner notch we are using at present is the saddle notch and these are cut by hand with a chainsaw and then sanded smooth.

Corner Notch

Cutting of the logs to make them fit together

Of course the two logs need some wood removed somewhere to make them fit together so tight, that they look like they grew together.

Wood has to be removed from the notch, the logs length (the long groove) and the overhang, the outer part of the log that makes the corner notch. These are all cut buy hand with chainsaws by our skilled craftsmen cutting staff. Not an easy job running a 57 cc chainsaw to cut within 1-2 mm of a 1mm pen line made by the scribers. The final one milimeter or 2 left after the chainsaw has done its job, is removed by a high speed disk sander. Every hump and hollow is left on each log and each log is fitted around the humps and hollows of its mate.

After cutting and sanding that log can go back on the wall, and the crew boss selects the next log to run along the wall at right angles to the last one. And so all of the walls are constructed right up to the top plate log (the last one on the wall).

Log posts

We love log posts. They make a great complement to verandahs and mezzanine floor supports not to mention roof system supports. These log posts are really just a tree in all of its log splendor for all to view and touch for ever. See the magnificent ones in Guest Lodges. Post with their root balls cleaned up and exposed are an extra specialty we can offer at NLH

Log floor joists

If your log home is two storied or has a mezzanine floor supported by log floor joists these are carefully notched into the log shell walls also, and cut flat to take the conventional joists and flooring.


Throughout our projects, you will have seen Log homes with slightly different types of overhangs on the corners, you can choose a style that suits you from traditional staggered chisel log ends, to smooth curves, to straight clean lines, some examples below (soon). Remember these are the corner notches that make your home very very strong.

Roof logs

Here at NLH we build great log roof structures as well, some homes have large complex roof systems and some are simple.

A log ridge beam that supports your roof looks fantastic and majestic up there in the air. Beautiful log trusses, some with glass add a touch of craftsman finesse to your log home. These log roof pieces are built from detailed drawings done by us here at the construction point.

We do not need to put these on your home here in the yard, they usually just arrive with the kit, and then are installed only at assembly day.

Gaskets and Insulation

Yes your log home does have gaskets installed hidden in the long groove and over ever notch that you cant see. They prevent any water ingress in to any log joins.

We also install a small amount of sheep wool insulation in to the void and into the notch to prevent any air movement, in the case of a micro check opening. Our log seal gaskets are made from EPDM and are made right here in NZ. The gasket has 3 separate wiper blade type fins, which prevent capillary action unlike bulb type seals.

Special logs

We have access to all sorts of character logs, like forked trees, burls, and the root ball bases mentioned earlier, your log home can have a character of its own with a specialist feature like these.

Windows and Doors

Because our logs are big they are usually well over specked as lintels over door and window openings, you can have as many doors and windows as you like, as long as the home still has some walls. We cut flat window and door headers and square up all openings to suit you chosen joinery type.

We also bevel or slope all of the window sill logs to the desired angle or pitch to suit your joinery type. These openings are finished square and plumb and sanded smooth to take buck boards and easy fitting of all joinery types.

Plumbing and Electrical

We will drill your log home walls for all of the electrical outlets and switches that you want in your log walls. Then at assembly time, we can just run a pull wire through these holes for your electrician to hook up to at a later date.

Plumbing is never a problem, nearly always the plumbing is hidden behind the item that it is servicing, like a shower, vanity unit, or even the kitchen cabinetry. So locations for pipes and wastes is as easy in a log home as it is in a conventional home.