If you are considering buying a log home, there are many things to consider when it comes to deciding if this is the right type of home for you. Beyond general care and maintenance, knowing how utilities such as electrical wires are oftentimes routed through log homes is important in ensuring that you can not only identify a potential problem, but also how to potentially avoid problems in the future when it come to adding things like shelving and changing out doors and windows. That is because there just may be electrical wires run in these spaces to help hide them from view and give your home the clean clear look that you are going for.
Common Wire Routing Techniques
Depending on the construction of your log home, there are many places where electrical wires may be located. If your home has a crawl space or an attic, you can bet that the majority of them are in these locations and stapled up appropriately to code. This means that they should generally be out of the way of most potential issues. Cutting in a door or window may result in the need to move wires to accommodate the change, but with attic and crawl space access, this can be done easily with little time commitment in most cases.
Less Common Wire Routing Techniques
Many houses nowadays, especially log houses, are being constructed using slab on grade technology. This means that the base plate or log is placed directly on a solid slab of concrete with no crawl space underneath. The use of this style of building requires the use of underground PVC conduit to get to one location or another if attic access is not available. This means that moving or changing wires in the future may be difficult, if not impossible, depending on the location and application.
In still many other houses, the use of a cathedral-style ceiling with no attic access above it means that yet another avenue of wire routing is not available to you or a contractor. Oftentimes these ceilings with their high peaks are constructed using roof trusses that sandwich visible ceiling material and roofing material with no room to access in the future. Wires are run through the trusses have to be run through drilled holes or knockouts and lighting is pretty much set in place in most cases.
The Tricks of the Trade
While above and below a living space are the favored ways to run electrical wires in log homes, there are some tricks of the trade to getting wires unseen to where they need to go. The first of these is the hiding wires in chinking joints before they are finished to travel along the length of a log unseen. This is not a preferred route because it does not meet depth and protection requirements. The second is to run wires up the inside of door jambs or windows to lights and switches. These wires are safe, but the use of ill-advised or overly long screws to install doors or windows may put them at risk. Finally, general contractors often drill holes down through courses of logs as they are stacked and may run non-metallic conduit to crawl spaces or attics to accommodate wiring. This is the prefered method for electricians and results in the best product at the end of the day for the homeowner.