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Log Home Living Covers EverLogs

Log_Home_LivingPetrified Logs

Log Home Living Magazine Epilog: January 2013 Issue

Why would anyone who wants a log home settle for phony logs? They might if they liked logs’ look but didn’t trust wood. Enough folks feel that way, apparently, that someone got the idea to make logs out of concrete.

Making stuff look like other stuff is a hallmark of American civilization. Think plastic. Way before that, though, even George Washington built his Mount Vernon Mansion with wood siding cut to look like stone blocks.

Nobody now uses wood to mimic other materials, so why vice-versa? Simple: to capitalize on wood’s natural appeal.

So imitation logs really shouldn’t come as a surprise, any more than plastic ones, which, yes, also exist. Concrete-log manufacturers insist their products beat wood chiefly because they are maintenance-free.

Thomas Edison, who patented a system for concrete-house construction that he called “my greatest invention,” boasted it was “almost bomb-proof.” But even Edison recognized that his concrete houses needed some degree of architectural styling. So do the folks who make concrete logs.

Unless you have a hankering to hunker in a bunker, recognizable, bare concrete lacks warmth. As a result, concrete houses can be quite stylish, even ones that look nothing like logs. Those that do resemble logs, though, really do.

Most concrete logs are decorative siding that fits over conventional materials, but EverLog Systems makes structural logs. Concrete is poured into molds to create logs that duplicate wood’s color, grain and knots. EverLog (originally Cultured Log Systems) operates in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley, the epicenter of Western-style, genuine-wood log homes. It offers eight styles, including — get this — recycled-looking timbers. It has 10 plans for log-looking cabins and homes, from 838 to 5,765 square feet, but touts its custom designs.

There are other concrete-log companies, enjoying varying degrees of success selling imitation wood. Curiously, though, when EverLog homes began catching on, co-founder Stewart Hansen decided to warm up the concrete-log interiors by adding — guess what? — wooden logs. Maybe the next step will be attaching real logs to the outside of concrete logs so they’ll look really perfect.