Frequently Asked Questions
Are Ward Cedar Log Homes energy efficient?
Very! Ward Cedar Log Homes offer superior energy efficiency. In fact, log homes surpass frame homes in energy efficiency. We employ the latest technology to engineer and build homes that meet the most rigid conservation standards for a year-round residence even in locations that endure harsh seasonal changes.
The National Bureau of Standards conducted independent tests on six buildings of identical size using various construction methods. While individual experience may vary, tests show that, overall, the log house is more energy efficient than a frame house. During the winter months, the log house performed as well as the frame house. During the spring and fall, the log house necessitated less energy usage than its frame-house counterpart, and during the summer the log home was more economical to cool.
Are Ward Cedar Log Homes well insulated?
Northern White Cedar has the highest insulating value-per-inch of any native construction wood species. This is a result of its unique cell structure, in which large, less dense cells trap pockets of air to create natural insulation.
Can I custom-design my log home?
Absolutely! One thing that Ward has learned over the years is that log home buyers have very different ideas of what they want in their log home! Most of the homes Ward sells are customer-designed for each family. Ward's materials packages can also be custom-designed to fit your needs.
Custom designs are expected at Ward and there is no extra charge for custom designs! The ideas for your log home can come from any source. You may want to modify a standard Ward design slightly or design your home completely from scratch. It doesn't matter which, there is no extra charge for custom designs at Ward Cedar Log Homes.
Can I get help finding a contractor to build my home?
Your representative is factory trained to guide you and your crew through the unloading and construction process. He or she may be a professional builder or will be able to recommend competent contractors in your area.
Can I get help with the design of my log home?
Representatives can help you design a home that meets your specific requirements. Supported by our in-house design team in Maine, they will work closely with you throughout the finalization of the complete set of working plans, which includes floor plans; foundation dimensions; a floor, ceiling and roof framing plan; elevations; and related details.
Can I get references from Ward?
Your Ward Sales Representative will be happy to provide you with a list of satisfied Ward homeowners to contact so you can talk with those who have experienced working with Ward.
And we also suggest that you check with your Better Business Bureau for information about both the log home manufacturer and the local sales representative and/or builder of any companies that you are considering. In more than 90 years in business, Ward has no complaints registered with any Better Business Bureau.
Can I have second floor living space?
Don't let sloped ceilings stop you from having the room you need. Add dormers to increase the height of the outside wall and create more second floor living space. Choose either shed or gable roof dormers to provide the exterior style you prefer.
Does my log home have to look like a log home?
When it comes to the outside look of a Ward Cedar Log Home, there is a world of possibilities that guarantee eye-catching curb appeal. Our unique building system allows you to choose clapboards, stone, bricks or many other exterior options should you desire something different than the traditional exterior log home look. If you choose the traditional log look, leave logs natural and they'll acquire a silvery patina or apply a finish to achieve a specific color tone. Ward also offers a choice of corner styles. The standard package comes with full-log corners. If you'd like, you can also specify corner boards to coordinate with clapboard or log siding.
Does Ward belong to a trade association?
As a member of the National Association of Home Builders and a charter member of the Log Homes Council (members of Ward's staff are former officers of this important consumer-oriented trade association), Ward is deeply involved and well-respected in its industry.
Does Ward Cedar Log Homes export its products to other countries?
Absolutely. Ward Cedar Log Homes is very active in overseas markets. Ward Cedar Log Homes products have been shipped to Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Philippines, Germany, the Netherlands and the Dominion Republic.
How are Northern White Cedar Logs processed?
The initial step is milling, where each log is cut into a "cant" a rough-sawn square timber consisting only of cedar's jewel — its heartwood. Air-drying ensures a more stable log that is less likely to warp, twist, crack or check(small cracks 1/8" or less) and then, once properly dried, planing gives each side its unique profile. When your home plans are finalized, each log undergoes final cutting and quality inspection. Because cedar is naturally insect and moisture resistant, treatment with harsh chemicals or preservatives is not necessary. Throughout the process, logs are inspected a total of three times by our independently certified log graders. Finally, Ward provides a delivery date that works with your schedule and timeline — typically within 30 to 90 days of the order being placed — and components are clearly labeled for easy identification upon delivery.
How do I determine the completed cost?
Many factors affect the completed cost of a Ward Cedar Log Home, including geographic area, special features and whether it is contractor or homeowner built. While the final cost may vary, you can estimate the completed cost of your home, excluding land, to be about the same as a stick-built home of equal quality and specifications. All Ward Sales Representatives are trained to help you determine the final completed cost of your home. Many of Ward's Representatives are actual builders themselves and are happy to provide you completed cost figures for your home. If our Representative is not a builder, he or she will provide names of competent builders in your area for you to work with. It is our job to make your home buying process as easy as possible for you!
How do I figure out the costs of building my log home?
Representatives will help you determine the cost of your home, even offering suggestions on how to save money with the package and design. They will also organize materials, labor and services for easy comparison, as well as help you obtain quotes from builders and subcontractors in your area for any or all parts of the project.
How do I get through the maze of building codes and regulations?
The ability of a manufacturer to meet your local building codes is a very important issue. Ward Cedar Log Homes is a member of the International Code Council (ICC). Ward's homes are designed to meet criteria based on the International Residential Code (IRC). It is ultimately the responsibility of the purchaser to obtain building code approval in the form of a building permit being issued. As a purchaser, you may pass this obligation on to your builder, if he is agreeable. Ward and your Ward Sales Representative will work with you to make certain all building and energy codes are complied with and permits issued.
How do you ensure quality?
We want you to be completely satisfied, so you can depend on your representative to keep close track of your home-building project. Up to six different service reports will be completed and sent to our corporate office during the construction of your home. Your representative even checks in with you one full year after home completion — a valuable quality control feature built right in, even after delivery.
How do you know that you are dealing with "good people"?
Ward's reputation in the log home industry for high quality materials and service is second to none! Ward realized many years ago that a satisfied customer is worth more than any amount of advertising. Ward works closely with each of its customers through every phase of the process to ensure that there are no surprises or problems. You will become good friends with your Ward Sales Representative!
How long after I place my final order will it take for my log home materials to arrive?
Delivery typically takes 30 to 60 days after you place the order. Custom designed homes may take slightly longer, depending on the time of year. We will work together to schedule a date that is good for both you and Ward.
How long has Ward been in business?
Ward is the first American log home manufacturer. Ward founded the pre-cut, pre-packaged log home industry in 1923. More than 90 years of experience will help to make your home a place of peace, joy and happiness.
How will my log home materials be delivered?
Ward takes great pride in the fact that it has never missed a delivery date in its more than 90-year history. The private trucking company we use quotes very competitive prices, usually well below the rates of other log home companies and always below common carrier rates. Materials are carefully packaged and shipped on flatbed trucks to prevent damage during transit, and components are clearly labeled for easy identification upon delivery. Please note that the driver is not allowed to help with the unloading of the materials.
Your Ward Sales Representative will help to determine if there are any special considerations or possible problems in getting large tractor-trailers to your site. Ward home packages have been airlifted, barged, rafted, ferried and even driven across frozen lakes.
The log home materials package arrives on site with each log precision-cut and numbered for a perfect fit. We also pre-cut our own Northern White Cedar exterior and interior trim for all doors and windows, our log gables and even all porch, deck, loft and stair railings. We also cut and hand-peel our own round purlins. Because we cut, package and "care for" so much of the materials, we take full responsibility for every piece. Your Ward sales representative will thoroughly explain the unloading and inventory process so that the materials can be easily found during construction. The entire Ward materials package can be completely unloaded by a rough-terrain forklift or lull.
I want air conditioning and have many electronic systems — how easy is it to install house mechanicals?
Ward homes utilize a conventional flooring system and studded partitions, making the installation of wiring and plumbing just as easy as in a traditionally framed house. In addition, any type of heating, ventilation or air conditioning system can be used. Interior wall switches and outlets are also installed in a conventional manner. For exterior walls, wires may be run through holes drilled in the logs or in channels that will be covered by support posts and door trim. Outlets and switches are mortised into the exterior walls.
Is cedar easy to maintain?
Sealant applied to the interior walls is all that's required to keep your Ward Cedar Log Home looking as new and beautiful as the day you moved in. A quality exterior stain will help maintain the beauty of your log home's exterior walls.
Is the purchase contract confusing?
Ward's Purchase Agreement covers all aspects of your home purchase clearly and in simple language. We have spent more than 90 years perfecting our Purchase Agreement to make sure it considers the needs of both the customer and the company. Your Ward Sales Representative will be happy to provide a sample Purchase Agreement for your review. Our Purchase Agreement is probably the most clear and detailed in the industry. It plainly states every material and service you will receive.
What are the roofing options?
The roof is the crown jewel of every home we build, adding elegance, strength and complete protection from the elements. We offer three roof systems to choose from: our uniquely designed exposed round purlin roof, traditional rafter construction or a manufactured truss system.
Ward was the first to use the pre-cut round purlin roof system, which gives structures tremendous strength while creating soaring cathedral ceilings, plenty of space for lofts and open, free-flowing floor plans — the trademark of a Ward Cedar Log Home. Pre-cut gabled ends are pre-erected at our manufacturing facility, then disassembled, to ensure that the angle of each log has been perfectly cut. Purlins may be round or square, depending upon your preference.
The Rafter Roof System is more conventional, designed with standard dimensional lumber. Should you want to make a stronger architectural statement, specify our larger rafter option to create vaulted ceilings in which the rafters are exposed.
Ward offers a manufactured truss roof system that allows you to combine both flat and vaulted ceilings. An attic truss system is also available should you need additional second floor living space at an economical price.
What can my home look like on the inside?
Interior walls can be finished just like any traditional interior wall — tongue-and-groove paneling, available in either pine or cedar, comes standard for a solid log wall look. Another popular choice is drywall, which gives you the flexibility to paint or wallpaper areas of your choice. Some of the most beautiful Ward Cedar Log Homes use a variety of interior finishes to achieve an attractive and balanced combination of color and texture.
What can the outside of my log home look like?
Ward was the first company to offer the classic "D"-shaped log, giving our customers the perfect blend of the traditional log home look on the exterior, with a smooth, more finished look inside. Logs are available in both 6" and 8" profiles. Or, you can choose a milled exterior clapboard-style log if you prefer a more conventional exterior look. Our traditional interlocking corners give a look that's reminiscent of yesteryears. Or you can choose to square off the corners and finish them with cedar trim for a more modern look.
What does cedar look like?
Each log of Northern White Cedar is its own masterpiece, with its natural light honey color, fine grain, beautiful smooth sheen and unique arrangement of small brown knots.
What if I need financing?
Ward, as a manufacturer of log homes, does not finance homes. But financing a log home is very easy today. Ward will either directly or through your Sales Representative provide assistance in obtaining local financing. Your representative will be familiar with the lenders in your area or national lenders that can help you obtain financing if necessary, saving you much time shopping. Your Ward Sales Representative knows the lender's requirements to qualify for both construction loans and final mortgages and can help you to qualify. Some of our Representatives are also builders who may also finance the construction of your home themselves, simplifying the process even further.
What if I want a porch, a deck and/or a garage?
When the days are long and the weather warm, you'll want to spend more time outside, entertaining friends, relaxing with family or simply enjoying a lovely view on a quiet Saturday afternoon. With Ward, you can easily extend your living space out of doors by adding a screened-in porch, wraparound deck or gracious veranda. Or add an attached or detached garage — even a barn — matching your home's exterior appearance.
What if my contractor or I need more information on building my log home?
Ward representatives will provide personal construction seminars as needed and, of course, unlimited technical assistance should any special construction concern arise. Ward also has a toll-free number (1-800-341-1566) so you or your contractor can speak directly to our expert customer service representatives.
What if there's not a Ward Representative in my area?
If a Ward sales representative is not available in your area, Ward's Corporate Sales Representative, Ron Silliboy, is available to consult with you. From design to construction, you can expect to receive a high level of personalized assistance. In fact, Ward's outstanding service is considered the "standard" of the log home industry.
What is the Ward "Comfort System 5™"?
Our five point Comfort System-5™ log system is what makes Ward homes air tight, waterproof and energy efficient. Evolved over 90-plus years, the Comfort System-5 has been perfected into a technically superior system that prevents air and water from infiltrating the structure. The system includes milled tongue-and-groove logs, overlapping interlocking corner joints, and an exclusive sealing system. Our five point Comfort System-5™ lets us take full advantage of the energy-efficient cedar walls, ensuring a tight and lasting fit.
What is the Ward 20-Year Guarantee?
Our 20-year guarantee covers all log components against structural defects for 20 years and warrants that all items manufactured by Ward are free from defects in workmanship or design. Our component suppliers also extend their individual product warranties to you as a Ward customer. Ward has had long term relationships with all of its quality-oriented suppliers (Andersen, Schlage, Owens-Corning, Perma-Chink Sealants, Jeld-wen, Sikkens, and Continental Finishes) and insists that each look after any warranty claims promptly and fairly. Ward will assist you in any claims with these companies.
What is the Ward Hybrid Home?
For extreme climate conditions or when you're building in areas with prescriptive energy codes, Ward Cedar Log Homes offers a Hybrid home. The 2x6 framed and insulated walls look exactly like traditional solid log walls. When you're building in areas where energy codes are dictated. Ward's Hybrid log home is the ideal choice, delivering an R-value of more than 30.
The Hybrid log home offers insulated log walls that mimic stick-built construction, but look exactly like a traditional solid log wall, giving you the look of a full log wall home. In addition to all the benefits of using Northern White Cedar, the system features superior energy efficiency, exterior look flexibility (choose clapboards, stone, bricks or many other exterior options should you desire something different than the traditional exterior log home look), interior choice, a variety of corner styles and easy-to-understand construction.
The Ward's Hybrid Log Home gives you the look of a full log wall home while providing an excellent way to reduce costs. (And since only the walls are constructed differently than other Ward log homes, the rest of the log home package remains the same.) Ward's Hybrid log home features:
Easy installation of mechanicals for straightforward installation of wiring, plumbing and HVAC systems. Ward homes utilize a conventional flooring system and studded partitions so that the installation of wiring and plumbing is as easy as in a traditionally framed house. Any type of heating, ventilation or air conditioning system can be used. Interior wall switches and outlets are also installed in a conventional manner. For exterior walls, wires may be run through holes drilled in the logs and in channels that will be covered by door trim. Outlets and switches are mortised into the exterior walls.
Northern White Cedar log siding — Air dried to ensure the highest quality and stability, cedar naturally resists the problems associated with moisture and insects and protects your home investment for years to come.
Superior energy efficiency — When you're building in areas where energy codes are dictated, the Ward Hybrid Comfort System delivers an R-value of more than 30.
Exterior look choice — Choose from insulated log walls that look exactly like traditional solid log walls or clapboard-style exterior walls.
Interior look choice — Interior log home walls can be finished just like any traditional interior wall — tongue-and-groove horizontal paneling, cedar half-log siding for a full log wall look, or dry wall that allows you to paint or wallpaper areas of your choice.
Select from a choice of corner styles — The standard package comes with full-log corners, but you can also choose corner boards to provide a more formal appearance.
Proven exterior sealant and caulking system — Ward engineers worked with leaders in foam gasket and caulking technology to create a system that employs thoroughly tested materials and methods.
Easy-to-understand construction — Builders and contractors everywhere, even in areas where log homes are uncommon, will quickly understand how the Hybrid home is constructed.
What parts of the Northern White Cedar are used?
No part of our Northern White Cedar is wasted. After cutting, logs first pass through our state-of-the-art sawmill, which has been designed specifically to handle Northern White Cedar. Each log is cut into a "cant," a rough-sawn square timber consisting only of cedar's jewel -- its heartwood. Since Ward only supplies the heartwood of cedar logs, pressure treatment is not required — cedar is preferred in place of pressure-treated lumber in many areas. Remaining wood is recovered and used for exterior and interior door and window trim; porch, deck, loft and stair railings; tongue-and-groove paneling; and decking. Any wood not meeting our grade is chipped and sold as mulch.
What quality brand names are included in the Ward standard building package?
Quality materials are a way of life at Ward Cedar Log Homes. As America's first manufacturer, the quality lesson was learned early on. Today you can look at Ward homes that are more than 90 years old and the quality of the construction and materials still shine through. High quality components add expected value to your Ward Cedar Log Home. With every item, product quality, maintenance requirements and company services have been considered. We want your Ward Cedar Log Home to provide you with many years of trouble-free service value you can count on!
Andersenﾮ 400 Series Tilt-Wash Windows and Doors
Choose from a wide range of sizes, shapes, styles and colors to achieve the custom look you desire. With Andersen High-Performance, Low-E glazing, the 400 Series tilt-wash windows insulate up to 41% better than ordinary dual-pane glass. In addition, an exclusive Perma-Shieldﾮ exterior vinyl cladding allows windows to endure the toughest elements. Your package may also include Andersen 400 Series Frenchwoodﾮ hinged and gliding patio doors, complete with screens, hardware and locksets.
Interior and Exterior Pre-Hung Doors
Pre-hung 6-panel solid Pine wood doors offer the quality and durability of premium wood doors, with the quick, trouble-free installation of a pre-hung door. Ready-to-install, these doors come with the hinges mortised and pre-installed. The Thurma-Tru Energy Saver exterior door is stabilized for shrinkage and swelling. It also comes weather-stripped and includes Low-E glazing to ensure a tight seal and superior energy efficiency.
The quality, precision and design of Schlage locksets are standard in every Ward Cedar Log Home. Built to the highest standards of accuracy, all Schlage materials are designed to deliver easy operation for life. Both lever and knob designs are offered in a brass finish designed to last a lifetime.
Owens Corningﾮ Roof Shingles
Owens Corning shingles combine consistent quality with long-lasting beauty and maximum protection. All styles offer these key features: Fiberglasﾮ mat for weather protection, greater fire resistance and longer life; weather-grade asphalt, which protects the roof from water; colorful mineral granules that help reflect the sun's rays; and a heat-activated adhesive strip that bonds shingles into a single, watertight unit. Many styles also carry a Wind Resistance Rating for winds and gusts up to 110 mph, and all have a Class A Fire Rating, the highest available for residential applications. Ward's standard shingle is Owens Corning 25-Year Supreme.
Why are butt-and-pass corners preferred?
Ward was the inventor of the interlocking "butt-and-pass" corner and log joinery system. Instead of the square log ends butting against the face of each other, logs alternately extend past one another. Each log fits together in a tongue-and-groove fashion, with the foam sealant, backer rod and caulking providing superior protection.
Why does Ward exclusively use Northern White Cedar?
White Cedar is an extra cost option with many companies, which usually sell the local-type pine in their package. It is Ward's only species offered and, if you compare accurately, Ward's package prices are competitive with theirs. You can have the quality and durability of cedar from Ward and still have it price comparably to other lower-cost woods.
Northern White Cedar has several characteristics that make it the best wood species to use for log home construction, including:
- high natural resistance to rot or decay
- the most natural resistance to insects
- the best insulation value per inch
- more dimensionally stable than most woods
- doesn't warp, crack and twist as much as other woods
- easy to work, cut, plane and nail
- a beautiful light color, with small brown knots
Cedar's characteristics are widely known. In fact, one of the three model building codes in the United States allows the use of cedar anywhere the use of pressure treated lumber is required.
Don't just take our word about all of the reasons to use Northern White Cedar. Do some research yourself. Look at cedar and pine log homes that are three to five years old. Talk to the owners about each. Visit the library and study the wood technology books. And reputable sources such as Log Home Living Magazine state that cedar is "Highly resistant to decay" and is "A finer grade of wood." You'll quickly decide on the value of cedar for your home too!
Why is the Comfort System 5" so superior?
Our team of design engineers developed this unique structurally graded log system the Comfort System 5" which includes air-dried cedar logs, tongue-and-groove joinery, an internal foam gasket barrier, an external foam backer rod and the Perma-Chink energy seal exterior caulking guarantee.
Northern White Cedar logs It all begins with this superior wood, known for its structural stability, energy efficiency and natural resistance to the elements and insects. We air-dry our cedar logs for up to six months to balance moisture content. We also mill each log with an overhanging drip edge that works like miniature cedar shingles or clapboards to whisk rain down and away from your home.
Tongue-and-groove joinery Our tongue-and-groove joinery, with closed-cell gasket material applied to all tongues and end joints during construction, provides a mechanical barrier to the elements by preventing air infiltration through the walls, creating the tightest log home possible. This prevents leaks and ensures maximum energy efficiency. It also helps to keep our log walls straight and true during construction.
Internal foam gasket barrier -- This closed-cell foam gasket barrier between our cedar logs is an additional line of defense that insures your home against moisture and air infiltration.
External foam backer rod The profile of each cedar log is grooved to accommodate a foam backer rod. This provides a non-adhesive surface so the caulking will stick only to the upper and lower wood surfaces of the groove. The caulking acts like an elastic band that expands and contracts with the wood. The foam backer rod creates a second barrier to perfect the weather-tight lock, preventing cold air and water from penetrating and warm air from escaping.
The Perma-Chink energy seal exterior caulking guarantee We use Perma-Chink energy seal exterior caulking especially formulated to fit in the 1/4" groove on the exterior surface of our logs to create a weather-tight seal against the elements and protect your home from elements like rain and wind, which can cause problems with air and water infiltration. Perma-Chink energy seal exterior caulking is a thoroughly tested blend of acrylic Polymer that dries to form an elastic, durable surface that requires little-to-no maintenance. It is perfectly textured and colored to blend beautifully with the natural tones of a Ward Cedar Log Homes, and the caulking can be stained just like the logs.
With butt-and-pass corners, invented by Bruce Ward along with the log joinery system, logs alternately extend past one another instead of the square log ends butting against the face of each other. End logs fit together in a tongue-and-groove fashion with foam sealant, backer rod and caulking providing superior protection.
The premier pre-cut purlin roof system is created from the finest handpicked spruce logs, which are peeled by Ward craftsmen and sized to specification for each individual home. Pre-cut gabled ends are pre-erected at our manufacturing facility then disassembled to ensure that the angle of each log has been perfectly cut. Ward also offers the option of pre-assembled conventional trussed roof systems for customers preferring traditional flat or vaulted ceilings.
Will cedar logs shrink or settle?
Moisture content, wood species and log joinery systems are all important factors that affect the amount of shrinkage and settlement a homeowner will deal with. Using dry cedar is the major factor that Ward uses to control shrinkage and settlement. Dry cedar logs produce the tightest log homes. In fact, Ward's air-dried Northern White Cedar log homes experience virtually no settling, so there are no specially engineered slip-joints or bolts to tighten. The lack of movement also ensures that the seal placed between the logs remains relatively undisturbed for a tighter, more energy-efficient and stable log wall, yielding greater energy savings and comfort for our customers.
Ward addresses settling and shrinkage issues long before construction begins:
Ward uses Northern White Cedar exclusively, which is known for its dimensional stability.
Careful, slow air-drying helps prevent logs from warping, twisting, cracking or checking.
Throughout the structure, vertical wood posts are used to bolt the log rows along with vertical jambs of rough buck and minimize downward log movement.
Every interior partition has a 4'x4' post against the log wall, bolted solidly to prevent settling.
Every vertical window and door frame is fastened to each log row to prevent downward log movement.
Visit homes three to five years old to see how the total system reacts to this process. You will see for yourself how dry cedar logs produce the tightest log homes.
Will I know what's included in the package and what additional materials I'll need to buy?
Ward is the industry leader in "educating" the customer in this regard. We firmly believe that the more you know about our material and services, the more likely you are to buy Ward. This process begins right in our Planning Guide and continues through our Purchase Agreement, both of which provide a complete list of materials and specifications. Our materials and specifications list in the Planning Guide also clearly lists all materials that must be supplied by the customer or the builder. We suggest that you compare the two lists so that you understand exactly what you are buying and what additional materials you will need to supply. We are proud of our completeness, quality and flexibility.
Will my local contractor clearly understand how to put my home together?
We make our homes so that the construction of your home, no matter where you build it, is easy-to-understand. Builders and contractors everywhere — even in areas where log homes are uncommon — will quickly understand how the Ward home is constructed. Ward provides detailed construction plans and a 100-page Construction Instruction Manual. No log cutting is required on-site in the normal Ward home package. Ward's unique tongue and groove configuration and dadoed end cuts are completely pre-cut. The logs for many models can be erected by a three-person crew in less than a week!
Will the cedar logs remain stable and strong?
Because of its larger cells, cedar can be air-dried, which allows moisture to migrate out of the wood, minimizing twists, cracks or checks (small cracks 1/8" or less). Far more dimensionally stable than most other wood species, cedar exhibits minimal shrinkage and the ability to stand up to nature's toughest elements.
The dryness issue is a very important consideration in selecting your log home supplier. It is important to understand that this issue is the moisture content and not the method of drying or the amount of time dried. Many people believe that the slower, more natural process of air drying is better than kiln drying, which tends to create more stress (cracking and warping) in the wood. Ward's cedar logs are slowly air-dried to an average moisture content upon delivery of 15 percent to 18 percent in the center of the log.
Checking (small cracks 1/8" or less) in a white cedar log is very minimal. The porous nature of cedar allows it to dry without the ill effects of the process. And, Ward uses only white cedar heartwood for wall logs as the heartwood is the most stable and resistant to decay with any species. The heart is also a natural checking control feature: when checks do occur, they always stop at the heart. When you stand outside of a Ward Cedar Log Home and look at the criss-crossing logs at the corner, you will see the heart in every log. Most pine home manufacturers cannot guarantee a heart in every log; therefore, cracks may develop clear through the log.
Will the logs I purchase be graded?
There are basically two types of grading within the log home industry today: independent third party grading and in house, company grading. Ward uses the independent third party grading system — specifically the Log Home Council Grading Program — for all wall logs and structural beams and timbers. Third party grading is where an outside agency is hired by the manufacturer to train "in-plant employees" of the manufacturer to grade logs and then inspect the manufacturer's finished products to certify that grades are being met. At Ward, each log, beam and timber is graded by certified graders to assure you that all structural requirements are met. A grade certificate is issued by the company for each building to demonstrate this procedure has been followed. Grading by the Log Home Council Grading Program assures you that all components meet the structural requirements of your local building code. If a question arises in the field about the grade of materials, you may ask the third party inspector to do a field inspection of the materials in question.
From the northernmost corners of the United States to the hot, humid South and the arid Southwest, Ward Cedar Log Homes are designed to withstand virtually any climate. Log homes are designed to deliver superior energy efficiency, which minimizes heating and cooling costs. Independent testing by the National Bureau of Standards has demonstrated that log homes, with their tremendous thermal mass, consume less energy than frame houses. Morever, Ward's Northern White Cedar's large cell structure traps air to create natural insulation.
Fire Performance of Log Walls
A combination of the insulating response of the charred wood at the surface with the slow rate at which flame will spread along the wood surface, and the fact that there are no concealed cavities in a log wall through which the fire may travel makes, illustrates the fire resistive nature of solid wood walls. Log structures are a top choice for endurance and integrity in a fire.
Great Sound Proofing
Log homes have the ability to act as great sound proofing. The use of mass wood, limits the transmission of sounds. With the reduction of noise, living in a log home makes it that more comfortable.
Welcome to Ward Cedar Log Homes online resource center
Here you will find answers to questions most frequently asked by log home buyers, a complete step-by-step guide to building your own Ward Cedar Log Home, several related links that will be helpful to you through the log home research, building and purchasing process, the advantages of log homes, and see testimonials from Ward home owners.
Whether you build your own home or have it built by a contractor, a Ward Cedar Log Home typically takes less time and is easier to construct that a comparable frame house. Our building system is designed to be easily understood by either professional builders or homeowners. Most materials arrive precision cut to minimize the amount of labor required on site. Each component is also clearly labeled for easy identification and to help speed construction. The builder only needs ordinary carpentry tools.
Want to build your Ward Cedar Log Home yourself? You'll find that Ward offers the industry's most complete and detailed construction guide. With more than 100 pages, this easy-to-follow manual covers all aspects of construction and provides step-by-step illustrated instructions. This, along with detailed working drawings and extensive pre-cutting, makes your Ward home exceptionally easy to build.
Your Ward Representative will work with you every step of the way — from planning out the dreams you have for your log home all the way through to completion of your new log home. And Ward will be there for a one year inspection to make sure that you're satisfied with your Ward Cedar Log Home.Building a Ward Log Home.
Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Ward Cedar Log Home
1. Deciding to Build
Our Planning Guide offers over 40 standard pre-designed homes, camps and garage plans to choose from or design your own fully custom home dream home.
Start with any of our dozens of plans in the Premier, Cedar Valley or Camp series. Our 80-page full color Planning Guide provides you with details about homes in each series and includes:
- Interior and exterior photos and floor plans
- Descriptions and drawings of more than 26 home plans, four cabins and three detached garages
- Complete information on our company's designs and custom services, materials included in home packages, payment and delivery policies, construction details, pricing, material lists and warranty information
Or bring us photos of home styles you love or a rough floor plan sketched on paper and your dream will be brought to life with our design experts guiding the process. Whatever type of home you envision, be assured we will take your initial ideas through to final finished drawings at no extra cost. Our design team uses advanced computer-aided design software to expedite this process and make it easy for you to visualize your new home.
2. Contacting Ward
If there is no representative located in the area where you are building, you will work directly with a trained professional at our home office. From design to construction, you can expect to receive a high level of personalized assistance. In fact, Ward's outstanding service is considered the "standard" of the log home industry.
3. Estimating and Budgeting
Many factors affect the completed cost of a Ward Cedar Log Home, including geographic area, special features and whether it is contractor or homeowner built. While the final cost may vary, you can estimate the completed cost of your home, excluding land, to be about the same as a stick-built home of equal quality and specifications.
Your Ward Representative will help you determine the cost of your home, even offering suggestions on how to save money with the package and design. He or she will also organize materials, labor and services for easy comparison, as well as help you obtain quotes from builders and subcontractors in your area for any or all parts of the project.
If needed, your representative will be familiar with the lenders in your area or national lenders that can help you obtain financing.
4. Reviewing/Modifying Plans
Your Ward Representative can help you design a home that meets your specific requirements. Supported by our in-house design team in Maine, they will work closely with you throughout the finalization of the complete set of working plans, which includes floor plans; foundation dimensions; floor, ceiling and roof framing plan; elevations; and related details.
5. Ordering Your Home
Your Ward Representative will work with you concerning proper payments, purchase agreements and plan approval paper work. Ward requires a minimum of 25 percent initial investment with remainder due upon delivery.
6. Finding a Contractor
Your Ward Representative may be a professional builder or may be able to recommend competent contractors in your area. He or she is there to help you get through the maze of local building codes and regulations and will work with you to make sure your project complies with all building and energy codes.
Your representative is factory trained to guide you and your crew through the unloading and construction process. We make Ward Cedar Log Homes so that the construction of your home, no matter where you build it, is easy-to-understand. Builders and contractors everywhere — even in areas where log homes are uncommon — will quickly understand how the Ward Hybrid Comfort System is constructed.
7. Scheduling Delivery
Delivery typically takes places four to six weeks after you place your order. Custom designed homes may take slightly longer, depending on the time of year. Materials are carefully packaged and shipped on flatbed trucks to prevent damage during transit, and components are clearly labeled for easy identification upon delivery.
Your Ward sales representative will thoroughly explain the unloading and inventory process so that the materials can be easily found during construction.
8. Having Your Foundation Ready for Delivery
Your home plans will be engineered to provide the necessary dimensions and specifications to complete your foundation, be it a full foundation, crawl space, posts or slab.
9. Building Your Log Home
On-site technical assistance is an important part of Ward's construction service program. Your representative is factory trained to guide you and your crew through the unloading and construction process. Ward representatives will provide personal construction seminars as needed for you and/or your contractor, and, of course, provide unlimited technical assistance should any special construction concern arise. In the event a local representative is not available, Ward's direct sales office will provide you with a representative who is prepared to assist you every step of the way.
On-site technical assistance is a very detailed part of each local Ward Sales Representative's contractual agreement with Ward. If your Sales Representative does not perform the intended on-site inspections, provide the technical assistance,\ or file the required reports about your job, Ward maintains the right to appoint another Sales Representative for you who will!
Should you choose to construct your home without the help of a builder, you'll find that Ward offers the industry's most complete and detailed construction guide, designed with the "do-it-yourselfer" in mind. With more than 100 pages, this easy-to-follow manual covers all aspects of construction, providing step-by-step illustrated instructions. This, along with detailed working drawings and extensive pre-cutting, makes your Ward home exceptionally easy to build.
The log home materials package arrives on site with each log precision-cut and numbered for a perfect fit. We also pre-cut our own Northern White Cedar exterior and interior trim for all doors and windows, our log gables, and even all porch, deck, loft and stair railings. We also cut and hand-peel our own round purlins. Because we cut, plane and "care for" so much of the package, we take full responsibility for every piece, decreasing on-site labor costs and the chance for error.
Ward Cedar Log Homes utilize a conventional flooring system and studded partitions, making the installation of wiring and plumbing just as easy as in a traditionally framed house. In addition, any type of heating, ventilation or air conditioning system can be used. Interior wall switches and outlets are also installed in a conventional manner. For exterior walls, wires may be run through holes drilled in the logs and in channels that will be covered by door trim. Outlets and switches are mortised into the exterior walls.
10. Ongoing Representative Follow-Ups for Customer Satisfaction
We want you to be completely satisfied, so you can depend on your representative to keep close track of your home-building project. Up to seven different service reports will be completed and sent to our corporate office during the construction of your home. Your representative even checks in with you one full year after home completion — a valuable quality control feature built right in, even after delivery.
And our 20-year guarantee covers all log components against structural defects for 20 years and warrants that all items manufactured by Ward are free from defects in workmanship or design. Our component suppliers also extend their individual product warranties to you as a Ward customer.
11. Enjoy Your Ward Cedar Log Home!
Each Ward Cedar Log Home is unique and is manufactured expressly for each customer. Hopefully that customer will be you!