|Building in the Desert | Design by Location
What's it take to build on a mountaintop? How about in the desert or at water's edge? Experts set the scene for perfect log home design, no matter what terrain you choose...
Design: Dry, sun-filled environments can wreak havoc on logs. The sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause them to fade, dry out and settle more than they would in other regions. If your heart’s set on a log home in the Southwest, these facts are no reason to give up your dream. There are ways to design your home to combat nature. “Look to limit solar exposure on the house,” says Real Log Homes’ Dianne Collins. “Windows positioned on the south side (that reflect heat away from the home) and longer overhangs will keep harsh UV rays off walls. Site the house to take advantage of natural or manmade hills or berms so you can buffer the home against extreme temperature changes by tucking it into its environment.”
Log Species: No question about it: The desert is a harsh climate for wood. In these kind of conditions, Doug Mikkelsen prefers cedar. In general, the denser the species, the better, according to architect Rand Soellner (who’s worked on projects in Kuwait City. Also consider lower-pitched roofs combined with sun-protecting overhangs can help. Rand recommends high-end, fiberglass shingles, copper metal, slate or a synthetic slate made from recycled materials.