Walt's Big Idea --Old Kentucky Logs Concrete Siding

An Old Kentucky Log Cabin

Old Kentucky Log Cabin built at McCloud Mountain, Tennessee
Old Kentucky Log Cabin built at McCloud Mountain, Tennessee

Walt Smith should pretty much know just about everything there is to know about logs. Way back before child labor laws, insurance concerns and -- I will presume -- Children’s Protective Services, Walt started working at his daddy’s sawmill in the hills around Corbin, Kentucky. He was about six or seven years old.

I hear that Walt has a different answer every time he is asked about how he got his big idea, but I think it is because he has been around logs long enough to be considered something of an expert. That, plus he was around concrete all day at Antiques and Accents, the antique shop that he built -- and that he and wife, Bobbi, have operated since 1995, located just off I-75 in Corbin, Kentucky. A few years ago, they added concrete statuary, fountains and other concrete items to their inventory. I think he probably got to thinking about logs…and concrete…and concrete logs. The big idea was inevitable.

Model located at Antiques and Accents US 25E Cumberland Gap Parkway, Corbin, KY 40701
Model located at Antiques and Accents US 25E Cumberland Gap Parkway, Corbin, KY 40701

The Competition Was Fierce

Early in 2011, Walt’s new company, Old Kentucky Logs was named the second runner up in Kentucky Highland Investment Corporation’s statewide Big Idea Competition. Kentucky Highland is a community development company that partners with public and private investors to create jobs and economic growth in rural Kentucky. There was some significant competition in the 47 initial applications. According to the contest criteria, the proposals were “judged on various factors, including job creation in Kentucky, high-growth opportunity, uniqueness of the idea, ability to communicate the concept with clarity, and the feasibility and ability to generate revenue from out-of-state sources.” As big ideas go, Old Kentucky Logs had to be a pretty impressive one to compete.

Concrete Siding with Antique Authenticity

An Old Kentucky Log is concrete siding that is an exact replica of a 150 year old hand-hewn log, molded from logs taken from an old Kentucky log cabin. The result is a distinctive detail and authenticity in an Old Kentucky Log that only 150 years of seasoning can give.

The log siding can be installed over a sheathed frame construction or over brick or masonry as long as it is clean so that brick mortar will stick. The mortar is applied to the walls and the logs are held in place using wall tie-ins until set. The steel reinforced logs each weigh around 120 pounds, light enough for two men to carry easily. The dimensions of the logs are approximately 8 feet long by 11 inches wide and 2 inches deep.

Old Kentucky Logs

Look at the detail!

So authentic, it looks like the real thing!
So authentic, it looks like the real thing!

How to install Old Kentucky Logs

Affordable Log Cabin Living without the Maintenance

There are other benefits as well. Regular log cabins and homes require a bit of maintenance. The homeowner has to worry about moisture, bugs, rot, mold, air infiltration and more, so there is cleaning, caulking, staining and sealing to do at intervals. Old Kentucky Logs are a siding, like brick or faux stone, so most of those maintenance worries are eliminated.

Old Kentucky Logs are giving homeowners a new choice in modern building materials without having to let go of the past. Walt has taken the solid reliability of a hand-hewn 150 year old virgin oak log and given it new life in a quality eco-friendly product that will, like its predecessor, stand the test of time. Congratulations, Walt. That is a big idea.

A Few More Projects

Walt fooling around with faux Flo at the Cincinnati Home Show
Walt fooling around with faux Flo at the Cincinnati Home Show
A marker1475 Cumberland Gap Pkwy US 25E South Corbin, KY 40701 -
Cumberland Gap Pkwy, Corbin, KY 40701, USA
[get directions]

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Comments 4 comments

Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 4 years ago from Delaware

Connie what an interesting hub! These cabins totally look like the real thing. I had to look closely at the pictures just to convince myself they were not real log cabins. ;) Great to see you writing again and glad to see you haven't lost your touch in creating interesting information!


Connie Smith profile image

Connie Smith 4 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida Author

Thank you, my friend. I can always count on your support here at Hubpages. I bet you wish you could say the same for me....I have been busy writing at school and now trying to utilize what I've learned so far at Hubpages. My goal is to be like my mentor (which is you, in case you did not know)and do some freelance writing, as well as get back in the groove here.

That close up really shows the detail in Old Kentucky Logs and guess what? You cannot tell the difference when looking at the cabins in real life without touching them, either. I am totally impressed.


Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 4 years ago from SE MA

I just shared this on Twitter, G+ and Facebook..

I know folks who have built log homes and others who'd like to. This is such a cool concept!


Connie Smith profile image

Connie Smith 4 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida Author

Thank you so much for spreading the word. I have seen one of these cabins and it really does look like the real thing. For anyone who is thinking of building a log home, they should know all the alternates. Also, Old Kentucky Logs has distributorships available in various areas around the country. They just signed on with someone in Pennsylvania, so those in the mid to Northeast do not have to drive so far to see this in person. It shouldn't be long before Old Kentucky Log homes sprout up all other the place up there.

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