Saturday, January 10, 2009

Plumbing, Ventilation, and Electrical Systems

One of the important features of a log home is the mechanical and electrical systems.

The crawl space below the main floor provides space for pipes, electrical, hot water heater and water storage tank. It is important to keep the depth of the crawl space at least 2'6" (between the bottom side of the floor to the floor of the crawl space). This space makes the workmen's job as easy as possible. More depth may be required for the hot water heater and water storage tank.

The water pipes carry fresh hot and cold water from the water storage tank to the sinks, bath tub, toilet fixtures and the outside faucet. Other pipes carry waste water to the septic tank and leaching field.

The electrical wires are usually placed in the bored vertical and horizontal holes in the exterior logs. The switch and outlet boxes are recessed into the logs. The electrican places these recessed boxes per the local electrical codes.

In the interior partitions, usually framed with wood studs and covered by gypsum board or tongue and groove wood panels, the electrical wires and piping can run between the main floor and the second or loft floor It is best to avoid pipes and duct in the exterior log walls. On the second or loft floor, the pipes, wires, and possible ducts are more difficult to hide. One possible solution is to build a double floor; that is, to build a shallow conventional floor system over the log shaped ceiling joists and wood deck. This provides space to run piping and wire to the main floor ceiling lights and any second floor sinks and toilets. Ducts may also use this space.

If sinks, toilets and ducts are not used on the second floor, the electrical wiring may use a single floor system, using wire chases top routed into the single wood board placed below the main tongue and groove second floor wood deck.

A double floor system on the second floor may also be used to reduce noise between the main and second floor rooms. Of course, this may add expense to the second floor system.

Of course, these mechanical and electrical systems are suggested guidelines. As log cabins vary greatly in design, they may require other solutions.
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