Can anyone tell me how log homes are handled in the NEC? Conventional wiring methods can not be applied. I've been using common sense and advice from the inspector. The logs are 16-18" round with vertical logs at doorways.
I've used UF cable in the chases between the mesh of the chinking, if you're speaking of "real" log homes, and not the new "manufactured" log homes. If you don't have space under or over the walls to sink a long drill bit in (72"), then you're in for a fun time. I've succeeded in drilling at angles in each log to go vertically.
I also recommend spending the extra time to recess the boxes into the logs, rather than putting them in the chinking. If the logs are squarish faced, it makes for a better looking installation. 1-1/2" Hole saw and a sharp 1" chisel will help in this endeavor. Use LWX metal boxes and feed one cable from a junction box to ease the "pain".
Cabins are a wonderful challenge... Note.. always quote them as "Cost Plus"
[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 06-27-2001).]
-Virgil Residential/Commercial Inspector 5 Star Inspections Member IAEI
people are always moving to VT, wanting to build a log home, I say they should maintain the period design they desire down to minor details,let 'em use gas lights, draw from a shallow well & build an outhouse with a sears catalog. and oh, yes, have chickens....
It is a true log home with no provision for the wiring. (or the plumbing, but that's not my worry). Cost plus is an excellant idea - thanks. I am putting the boxes in the logs then sanding the face for a flush fit cover plate. The biggest pain is trying to run the wires up from the basement as the logs sit on 10 I-beams and the sills have nails every 2". There isn't a way to staple the wires by the boxes. I have another one to do in the future and I think I'll be there when they are putting up the walls and predrill each course as they go up. The owner won't go for the outhouse, this place has 4 bathrooms!
I did my parents' log home in NH, but theirs' was a "half log" type with standard 2 x 6 construction on the inside. For the outside Fixtures and receptacles to sit flat we'd plane down the rounded face so that there was a flat spot to work with. I've passed up full log wiring jobs because of the unknown factors involved. Let us know how you make out.
We have just bought some land (not in VT.)and have been contemplating building a log home there. Wiring to receptacles down near the floor level can be hidden by using a wide foot board. This should be in the design of the home. Light switches may be another problem. And overhead light boxes will present another challenge as well as the wiring to them. Thanks to those who have posted good ideas. I would like to hear how some of these challenges are solved before I get the floor plan designed. Would not want painted EMT or NM cable, but may have to accept some compromises in some situations.
Warren; trade interaction is key, case in point is the overhead lighting. Because the beams & floors may be exposed, the wire must be routed in the beam before the floor goes down. Use 14-3 instaed of 14-2 for this sort of thing, an extra conductor can be worth it's wieght in gold.
My parents' home is a "half-log" type. It was a kit built house with 2 x 6 construction behind the logs and Pine on the inside walls and ceilings. It wires the same as any other house, the only challenge was mounting fixtures and devices outside on the curved surfaces. I would recommend something like that for a lot less problems. I'll see if I can dig up a picture or two.