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Posted by on Feb 8, 2014 in Log Cabin, Skills | 1 comment

build to endure

build to endure

It’s a cold day around the house this morning.  Understandably, cold is a relative term, but in the southland lows in the teens and days that don’t get above freezing are enough to make some folks grumpy, huddling around wood stoves and talking about the apocalypse.  The weatherman is calling for more snow today (Third time this week) more next week and some folks are getting a bit disjointed.

Oh well, it’s about time to get some seeds started, so there will be little sprouts of hope coming up in cold frames before much longer.

I’ve been doing some repair work lately on a house that’s about a hundred years old (roughly).  It’s had a lot of abuse over the years because it’s been inhabited by college guys for many of those years, but the issue I’ve been working on has more to do with its foundation (or lack there of).  Some of the crawl space brick began falling out, but unlike modern construction where buildings are built on cinder blocks that are covered with a brick facade, this house is built directly on top of the bricks, to make matters worse, I discovered that there’s no concrete footer underneath.  There are just two courses of bricks laid perpendicular to each other and the bricks laid right on top of them at a whopping 16 inch crawl space.

It’s less than awesome. I think it’s still standing mostly from pure determination.

This brings me to one of my most coveted building principles.  Build to endure.  These days people build for energy efficiency and cost savings, but rarely do I hear someone advertise a house that is built to withstand centuries and I find that a bit peculiar.

Why wouldn’t we?

Something that is so resource intense as a house and by design is supposed to shelter and protect us, why wouldn’t we build them to be incredibly strong and resolute?   Why would we want to go through so much expense and effort for something that looks nice, but isn’t designed to last?  It’s one of the primary reasons I chose log construction for my cabin.

Whether you choose stone or heavy timber for your place of refuge, my advice is to build strong. Build to endure.

In the meantime… live well… laugh often… love always.

Delibrio Animosus,



1 Comment

  1. The truth of this statement hit me a couple of years ago when I was reading a blog written by a Swedish log-builder. His career is restoring old log buildings.

    I was glancing at some of his pictures of 500+ year-old log homes in Sweden. The majority rested on stone foundations and had carved-in ledges that protruded inward to hold the floor joists.

    I asked why he didn’t tie the joists into the log walls, and he answered with: “We expect a good house to last for many centuries, so these walls will outlast several floors.”

    Definitely a longer-term approach than most of us take, huh?

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