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Dear Dale:

Building a Dream on the Pioneer Spirit

June 15, 1986|Dale Baldwin

Question: You probably don't get many requests for information about log cabins from the city dwellers, but I'm about to retire and am thinking of moving out of the city. It has always been a dream of mine to build and live in a log cabin. Actually, I mean a log house, because my wife and I do like a little room to roam. Can you tell me where I can get information about log construction? We would like to investigate this as early as possible.

Answer: The pioneer spirit is perhaps more alive now than in any recent decade. Log homes are being constructed in nearly every part of the country. On vacation in Montana and Wyoming last year, I spotted many log homes in the more isolated areas. Also, there has been a slight resurgence of log homes in the San Bernardino Mountains resort areas. These new constructions indicate that logs are still a good choice economically and functionally.

One place to get information is through the Real Log Homes National Information Center, P. O. Box 202, Hartland, Vt. 05048. Real Log Homes is a trade name in the log home industry, and the manufacturing process incorporates an interlocking system that is said to be effective in deflecting heat or cold and provides a relatively simple method of construction. There are at least five independent manufacturing facilities of Real Log Homes in the United States, the closest of which is Sierra Log Homes Inc., P.O. Box 2083, Carson City, Nev. 89702, which has the information available as the Real Log Information Center.

John Cobbey, sales manager for Sierra, says the firm has four representatives in the Southern California area. They are Ken and Jay Payton, 9765 Morro Road, Itascadero 93422; George and Mollie Jacques, P.O. Box 130, Descanso 92016; Donna and Dana Gilbert, 10605 Geronimo Ave., Bloomington 92316, and Monte and Janice Domingos, 4017 Barbara St., Bakersfield 93309. Any one of these reps will send free brochures or answer your questions. In some cases, a model home will be available for them to show you.

Cobbey points out that a small model with a loft bedroom will be on display at the Anaheim Home Show in the Anaheim Convention Center, beginning Aug. 16.

Also of interest, Rodale Press Inc., 33 E. Minor St., Emmaus, Pa. 18049, has scheduled for publication later this month a hardcover book entitled "American Log Homes" by Arthur Thiede and Cindy Teipner. It sells for $24.95. Floor plans of more than 20 homes are included, and the authors relate the history of log building in the United States.

There is a brief history and photograph of about 50 log structures throughout the country.

Q: I have white wicker furniture on a roofed balcony. Because it's outdoors all the time, the smog has gotten to it, and it's very dirty. Will it damage the wicker to wash it?

A: It shouldn't. In fact, it may restore it. Use warm water and a regular kitchen detergent. An old toothbrush will help clean the crevices.

Q: We have a small cabana behind our swimming pool. The floor is concrete, which is fine for most of the area, but I'd like to put ceramic tile on the shower floor. The problem is that the concrete floor in the shower is very unlevel. What should I do to level it?

A: Put a layer of mortar over the concrete and level it. That would be an adequate base for the tiles. It sounds as if you are inexperienced at tiling, so it's a good idea to do your "learning" in a small area, such as the one you have in mind.

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