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Log siding for dormers

Updated on July 10, 2014

Dormers... what is a dormer? Let's start here. A dormer is the outcropping in a roof line that allows for extra living space and usually a window in the attic or upper room. A dormer can come in a slanted roof, also known as a shed dormer, or a triangle shape, known as a gable or dog house dormer.

Log Siding on Gable and Shed Dormers

Look at the photo for more information. Both are pictured here in this home elevation sketch. When building a log home, very often the dormer is framed with standard stick framing. Then the log siding is installed over the house wrap and insulation. On the inside of the dormer typically 1x6 or 1x8 tongue and groove pine or cedar in used.

Log Siding Advantage

The advantage of using log siding for dormers instead of solid log goes back to the age old problem of shrinkage. A log will shrink, no matter how dry it is. Some logs will only move less than a half an inch, and some handcrafted homes will move up to 6". That is a lot of room. To help keep your home air tight and bug free, framing the dormers is a wise idea.

Swedish Cope Logs and Log Siding

Log siding is not always a very viable choice for every kind of log profile. The Swedish Cope logs are the ones which are most challenging to use log siding with. The only way to get log siding to match a Swedish Cope is to take a log and cut it in two. This gives a full half log siding. When framing a wall and then trying to install a full half log, there is usually not enough room to make the logs on the log wall and the log siding line up. The log siding turns out to be too thick. In this case, sometimes the builder will suggest using a board and batton finish for the dormer.

Typically when a home is constructed of Swedish Cope milled logs the logs are stacked to the top of the peak. Solid logs to the top look great, but they do encourage more shrinkage over the entire area. Think of it this way, if each log shrinks just a little, you have an accordion effect up the wall. On a log wall that only stands 9 feel, you have less area for settling than a log wall that stands 22 feet to the peak.

Installing Log Siding

Log Cabin Siding for D Logs

Usually log siding is used with a D-log, double tongue and groove stack. A D log is milled with a round side to the outside and a flat side on the inside. When building the home, you can purchase log siding that is an exact match to your log home for your dormers. Then on the inside of the dormer 1x6 pine tongue and groove is used. The log cabin siding matches perfectly with a D-log.  

For a round on round log profile or a double D, double or single tongue and groove stack, log siding can purchased. In this case as well, it is best to buy the logs and the log siding from the same supplier, to insure that it is an exact match.

Gable Dormer

Gable dormer with log siding
Gable dormer with log siding

Log Siding- natural and beautiful

Logs are a natural product and they will shrink. Through using the framed walls for the dormers and covering in log siding, you are still getting the look of log, but with much more limited settling. Also this leave the house more air tight over the years and more bug free.

If you are looking for a log home builder in Montana or anywhere in the United States for that matter, we can help. Someone said one that a house is built of walls and beams, and a home is build with love and dreams. We simply take the beams and the dreams and turn them into reality for our customers.

Sue Lemmon
Cowboy Log Homes


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