Log Homes for the Eco-Conscious


Posted by Hermann Thoene | Posted in EcoLog | Posted on 24-01-2012

Brian Hartz wrote a nice article about Hermann Thoene and his new Vanisle Ecolog Homes business for Douglas Magazine. The article was published in their Nov/Dec 2011 issue.

Brian did a great job in summarizing the background and current status of our business.

Thanks for Douglas Magazine to allow us to allow us to make a copy of the article available for interested people.

Building A Log Home – Part 3, Log Walls and Roof


Posted by Hermann Thoene | Posted in Building A Log Home | Posted on 06-01-2012

2 months after we started with the construction, the ICF basement was finished and the subfloor was in place. We were all really excited when the log home kit arrived. A 60′ truck brought all pre-cut timbers for the log walls, posts, beams and roof structure.

The delivery truck had a built-in crane and unloaded the timber packages onto the subfloor.

Now we could start building the outside log walls. Even though the 8″x8″ Hemlock timbers were everything but light, they could be handled by hand. We worked with a 3 man crew, and for the first 7-8 rows we lifted all timbers up manually.

Ecolog homes are built fairly simplistic: The square timbers come with a pre-cut “box joint”. Wooden spacer blocks are use to support the timbers. The space between the spacer blocks is filled with foam sheets. Later on the spacer blocks and foam sheets will be sealed with chinking on the inside and outside. These wide chinking seams make up the actual “Ecolog look”, which people find very attractive.

After a row of timbers has been put on the wall, lots of holes need to be drilled for the hardwood dowels, which hold the timbers together and prevent them from twisting or moving around.

This was the first log home my builders built, and after a couple of days they got into a pretty good routine. Round after round the timbers were put in place.

For the last 2-3 rows of logs we used a hand cranked Genie lift to get the timbers up on the walls. Another really useful tool during construction were the “bakers” – portable scaffolds on wheels, which can be moved around very easily.

It took about 2 weeks to erect the log walls. It was hard manual labor, but the result was very rewarding. Every day after work we walked around the construction site and admired the new house taking shape.

After 10 rows of logs (or timbers), the walls were complete. During construction the door and window openings were only very “rough” openings, and now we could cut the exact opening using a standard chainsaw.

The next step was to assemble the roof trusses. Each truss is made out of 3 pieces of 4″x10″. They were precut to length and had the “birdmouth” connections already cut. But we had to drill holes and bolt them together. This was done inside of the new home, so that we had a nice level surface to assemble the trusses.

Our 24’x40′ home required 13 roof trusses, one every 4 feet.

After all trusses were assembled we ordered a crane to move the trusses onto the log walls. This was another exciting step, and after all trusses were up, the new home really looked like a home for the first time.

The next task was to install the roof sheathing. We used 2″x6″ tonge & grove Douglas Fir boards for sheathing, as the sheathing as well as the roof trusses are exposed on the inside and make up part of the special “look and feel” of the loft rooms.

The roof is made up of multiple layers to provide proper insulation, ventilation, air tightness and protection against rain, snow and ice:



  • Sheating
  • a black building membrane
  • 6.5″ of insulation (R40)
  • Tyvek
  • horizontal and vertical strapping (rain screen and ventilation)
  • standing seem metal roofing
8′ wide Dormers were built into the roof using standard 2″x6″ framing techniques. Gable walls were also built as 2″x6″ frame walls. For both gables and dormers we installed cedar shingles as siding.
It took about 2 months to construct the roof with 4 dormers and a chimney for the wood stove. This was not only because we were building in winter, but also due to the small building crew (2-3 people) and due to many features of the home:  A very unique covered porch for the main entrance, hidden gudders, extended roof overhangs and more.

Windows and patio doors in the loft were installed in the same way as it’s done for regular frame homes. For the windows and doors on the main level we built square window bucks, which were installed into the walls in a way that the logs could move as they dry out and the house “settles”.


Will log homes be felled by modern building codes?


Posted by Hermann Thoene | Posted in Building Code | Posted on 05-01-2012

A few days ago I was interviewed by James Bradshaw, who was doing some research about log homes and the National Building Code. I provided him with some of the information based on my Energy Advisor training and based on the research I did for my recent article about Building Codes for Cottage Magazine.

James researched the topic from many different angles, and came up with a great story, which was published in the Globe and Mail on the front page across Canada:


I really enjoyed the reader discussion (click the “Comments” link at the bottom of the article) about this topic. Quite controversial, but most readers seem to be in favor of log homes.


Understanding Building Codes in Canada


Posted by Hermann Thoene | Posted in Building A Log Home, Building Code | Posted on 28-10-2011

Eliminate construction problems and save money by knowing how building codes work

Construction of new homes in Canada is governed by province specific building codes. Each province can either create their own building code or adopt the National Building Code of Canada, which is a model code. The BC and Alberta building codes, for example are based on the national model code, with additions such as seismic requirements to suit each province. The main purpose of the building code is to provide detailed requirements resulting in safe buildings. Many recent building code amendments also address reduction of water and energy usage of new homes.

The building code is enforced by local governments and in most cases by a building inspection department of a municipality or regional district. It is important to know that the current enforcement system is discretionary: a municipality or district may choose not to have an inspection process but in the majority of cases, local governments regulate the building process and enforce compliance with the building code and other local by-laws. Most urban regions have thorough processes in place to ensure high building standards and compliance with all codes and regulations. But some rural communities often lack the resources for building inspections and are unable to enforce building code compliance. Some people look intentionally for such communities when they plan to build recreational cottages. Building a seasonal cottage without the need to fully comply with all building code requirements can make a big difference on costs.

One example of a “building permit free region” is the Powell River Regional District in BC, which includes Savary Island. As a result of the lack of building permits, Savary Island hosts a variety of fantasy structures, from rustic shacks over fort with palisades to multi million dollar mansions. Denman and Hornby Islands are also permit free regions.

The building code doesn’t distinguish between cottages, regular residences or seasonal buildings. If a building department enforces the building code for cottages in their area, even a seasonal cottage must meet the same standards as a permanent residence. The only exception is for very small structures: Some municipalities allow buildings of up to 100 sq. ft. to be built without a building permit, but may need a siting permit. In some areas, seasonal-use-only cottages may be exempt from some code requirements, but may require the owner to enter into a covenant with the local building department specifying that it will only be used seasonally. Converting from a seasonal residence to a legal full-time residence can be very costly.

The majority of residential construction in Canada is done as wood frame construction, where walls are built with 2” x 6” wood studs, and the cavities are filled with insulation. The requirements for this type of construction are described in very much detail in Part 9 of the building code, and therefore wood frame buildings are sometimes called “Part 9 buildings.”

Most experienced builders have memorized all key requirements of the building code, and know what the height and width of stairs must be, how much steel to put into foundations and how to frame and insulate walls and ceilings. At different stages of the construction process a building inspector will visit the building site to ensure all building code requirements are met. He or she can request changes from the builders if they didn’t build according to the code. Depending on the type of change, this can result in extensive costs for the homeowner. If the homeowner or builder refuses to comply with the requirements of the building inspector, the inspector can refuse to provide an occupancy permit at the end of construction, or add a note about potential construction deficits to the title of the property. It is important to note that building codes are a minimum standard and not necessarily the best.

When selecting a builder for a new home, make sure the outfit has a good knowledge of the building code to minimize the chance of change requests from your building inspections.

Log homes are a popular choice for cottages and cabins. While log homes also need to comply with the building code, there are no detailed descriptions how to achieve this compliance. That’s why engineers need to be involved in the design of log homes, and—depending on the building inspector—sometimes also into the inspection process.

Many people who want to build their own home or cottage know a few key requirements from the building code. As a log home supplier, I often hear the question: “What is the insulation value of your log walls, it must be R20 according to the building code, or?” It is true, that Part 9 of most building codes contains detailed tables prescribing insulation requirements for frame walls, basements, different types of ceilings etc. But these tables cannot be applied to non-frame construction techniques like log homes.

Some building codes have recently been changed to better accommodate non-frame construction: The BC building code has a new Part 10, which offers an alternative way to comply with energy efficiency requirements. The builder or homeowner needs to participate in an EnerGuide Rating System® (ERS) process and achieve a certain rating, which proves the overall energy efficiency of the home. The Ontario building code offers the same alternative, and starting in 2012 the ERS process is mandatory for every new home in Ontario.

Homeowners normally don’t need to know much about the building code. The BC Building Code, for example, is more then 800 pages and is at least as difficult to read as legal documents for non-lawyers. Most building codes are also quite expensive: A paper copy of the BC Building Code costs $320, and online access costs $200 per year.

If you plan to build a new home or cottage, you should be aware of upcoming changes in the building code. The national model code is updated every 5 years, most recently in 2010. The provincial codes normally follow with their respective update 1 or 2 years later. The next version of the BC Building Code, for example, will be published in spring 2012 and become effective in fall 2012. New homes of any type (frame or non-frame construction) will need to be more airtight, better insulated and conform to new ventilation requirements, which should result in a 30 percent or more reduction in energy use. If somebody plans to build a new home or cottage, it can have a big impact on construction costs if the home is built before or after these changes are in effect.

This article was first published in the Nov/Dec 2011 issue of Cottage Magazine by Hermann Thoene and Niels Anthonsen.

About the Authors:
Hermann Thoene, Certified Energy Advisor and owner of Vanisle Ecolog Homes (ecolog-homes.ca). He also designs and supplies square log homes and cottages.

Niels Anthonsen, P.Eng., owner of Building Energy Engineering, is a Professional Engineer, Certified Energy Advisor and LEED A.P. and specializes in Thermal & Vapour management and Energy Modeling for Single Family and Multi Unit Residential Buildings. (niels@BEengineering.ca)

Building A Log Home – Part 2, Foundation / Basement


Posted by Hermann Thoene | Posted in Building A Log Home | Posted on 01-08-2010

Log homes can be built on top of any common foundation. The most common types of foundation in North America are these:

Slab-on-grade Foundation

A concrete slab is poured into a mold directly into the ground. This slab serves directly as the floor for the main level of the home. This type of foundation is cheap to build, but should not be used in extremely cold climates, where the ground freezes for long periods of time. Slab-on-grade foundations can provide a good economical solution for relatively flat building lots in mild or moderate climates. If used in combination with radiant in floor heating the slab can be a beautiful and comfortable finished floor.

One problem with slab-on-grade and log homes is plumbing and electric: The subfloor of the main level of a house provides easy accessible space to run vents, plumbing pipes and electric cables. When using a slab-on-grade the plumbing and electric installation requires more planning, as everything needs to be laid out in advance, so that the pipes can be placed inside the concrete.

Crawl space

This is a non-insulated basement type where one cannot stand, mostly somewhere around 40 inches high. It keeps the house off the ground to protect it from moisture and insects, and offers convenient access to plumbing and electric installation. The bottom surface of the crawl space can either be soil or poured concrete. It can be used for some storage, but it’s not considered living space. A crawl space can be used to create a level building area on a sloped lot, and it keeps the house higher off the ground to provide better protection from weather and insects.

Full height basement
A basement provides a lot of additional living space, that can be used for storage, a garage, extra bedrooms, a recreation area, or to build a secondary suite. Basements can be partially under ground or above ground. On sloped properties basements can be fully above ground on one side, and mostly under ground on the other side. Basements provide a lot of benefits, but the building costs are significantly higher as the other options described above.

ICF Basement

Depending on your choice and size of basement or foundation, the construction time will vary from a few weeks to several months.

For our show home in Saanich I chose to build a full hight basement with ICF blocks. The Styrofoam blocks look like huge Lego for adults. The walls are built with these blocks, and window and door openings are framed into the walls. The blocks have plastic clips to hold rebar. At the end, concrete is poured into the space between the 2 styrofoam walls.

This method has many advantages:

  • Saves time and labor cost, as no traditional wall framing is required
  • Provides and excellent insulation. The ICF blocks I used resulted in a R28 insulated wall
  • Saves time and labor for finishing the inside walls: Drywall can be drilled directly into the styrofoam, no additional framing required
  • Reduced amount of garbage during basement construction

The material cost of an ICF basement is higher then building a “regular” concrete basement. But the time savings and better insulation will offset that.

Our building team took about 3 weeks with 2 people from building the footings until pouring the concrete for all ICF walls.

Have a Laugh: New videos from EcoLog-Homes.com


Posted by Hermann Thoene | Posted in EcoLog, Fun Stuff | Posted on 05-03-2010

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Why use logs or timbers just for cabins, cottages or log homes?

We wanted to know how a “log look” can improve some well known buildings. Several short video clips will show some interesting and most unusual “log buildings”, starting with Big Ben, the “grand daddy of all clock towers”.

Check out the videos on this page – new videos will be added over the next few weeks.

Your comments / ratings / feedback are welcomed !

Building A Log Home – Part 1, Lot Search


Posted by Hermann Thoene | Posted in Building A Log Home | Posted on 12-12-2009

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When I decided to build up an EcoLog business on the West Coast, it was clear that I had to have a “show home”. Ideally this home would be at a location not too far away from where I live now, and easy to reach by interested customers.

I started my lot search around Feb. 2009 in the Greater Victoria area. My realtor setup an automatic MLS search using my search criteria, and I got listings offered every week. I looked at some lots, but mainly to get an idea what I really wanted. And thankfully I didn’t come across my “dream property” at this time: I didn’t have financing approved yet, and wouldn’t have been able to buy at that time.

Getting Financing in 2009

I thought it couldn’t be too difficult to get financing for an interesting building project, with quite a bit of equity available for security. But I guess I was wrong with that. It turned out that no bank wanted to take any risk – no matter how small it was. I went from one institution to another and told my story: I’m starting a new business, have some good equity in my nearly mortgage free home, and want to build another home. Equite sounded good for the banks – but as soon as they heard that I had no regular income, but was building a new business, they shut their doors. I couldn’t even get 50% of the building lot as a mortgage. So much for the effect of the US housing crisis in Canada !

I finally found a very engaged lady at Bank of Montreal, who listened to my plans and believed that my ideas could work. She put a lot of effort into preparing my case, and presenting it to the bank’s risk managers. After several weeks she succeeded not only in getting a stepped mortgage plan approved, but even offering some really good rates. As part of the deal I moved all my financial business (daily banking, financing, mortgage for existing house) to BMO.

Getting Serious

On June 15th my financing was approved, and that’s when I started to look more seriously for building lots. I looked at many lots, from Sooke over Metchosin to Saanich, even around the Malahat and Shawnigan area. On July 2nd I found a “good fit” at a reasonable price through the http://propertyguys.com website. The lot was a subdivision of a bigger property, and was located in a good location in Central Saanich. It was a private sale, and my “house realtor” was on vacation. I got in touch with the seller on a Friday, and they told me they were expecting to get 2-3 offers over the weekend. Was that a bluff to get me to act?  I don’t know, but the seller sounded trustful, so I started to prepare an offer.

Building lot at Stelley's Cross Road

Building lot at Stelley's Cross Road

I bought and sold several homes before, but I always had my realtor help me. I contacted the delegated colleague, but I quickly got the feeling that he wasn’t very interested in helping me with a private deal.

Just a few weeks earlier I had gone to various Twitter meetings in Victoria, where I met lots of nice people – among them Scott Garman, from http://www.garmanandassociates.com. I was desperate to get some help and contacted Scott. He agreed to help me, even though he knew there was no commission for him. He even refused to take any money, and didn’t ask for anything in return for his help. He provided me with advice on the lot, and created a detailed report to help me compare the lot to other recently sold properties and homes in that area. Scott made me feel more comfortable with the deal, and on Saturday I sent an offer to the seller.

My offer wasn’t the highest, but the sellers were local people, and they liked my idea of building a log home and building a new local business. That’s why they accepted my offer over others, even though I had lots of conditions attached to the offer.

Over the next weeks I worked on removing those conditions: Get an estimate done for the bank, clear financing, make sure no old oil tanks or other obstacles are burried there, and most importantly have lots of talks with the municipality to make sure that I could build the home I was planning to build.

The seller also had some open issues, as they had not fully completed the subdivision process yet, and they had to get the title officially registered. After several weeks all issues were resolved, and I was proud owner of a piece of land in Saanich.

Lot Search Learnings

Here is a summary of things I find important when looking for a building lot:

  • Get financing pre-approved before you start you lot search. Otherwise you may end up loosing your “dream lot” to other bidders. If you want to get a “good deal” on any property, you need to be well prepared and act quickly !
  • Sewer service: For lots without connection to public sewer systems, make you know where and how you can put in a septic field. Costs can vary drastically depending you your lot, ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 (and higher)
  • Hydro/Power: Where is the connection located? Find out what the costs will be to get power to your house. My lot had “all services at the lot line” – but I only found out later, that I still had to get a power pole on my property to connect Hydro. With connection permit costs I payed >$3,000 to get power. If you need multiple poles, a “rule of thumb” would be to calculate around $2,000 per power pole.
  • Check development plans for surrounding area: This is probably the most important point. Go to the municipality responsible for your desired lot, and ask them about short and long term plans for anything going on around your desired area. I once looked at a lot with a beautiful ocean view, directly beside a park. Not cheap, but gorgeous. When I talked to the Municipality, they showed me approved plans for the neighbour property to build a 7 story condo complex! No ocean views once that goes up….
    Other important aspects to check with your municipality are design and building rules: My lot had a covenant attached with lots of design rules, and I had various discussions to make sure that I could build an EcoLog home.
  • Water: Another point for non-serviced lots: You can get water nearly anywhere – but it can be really expensive. I looked at some lots which offered pre-drilled wells.  Not bad, I thought – but some research showed, that getting water out of a well can be really expensive, depending on the depth! Get expert advice on the flow capacity, water quality, and costs to get to your water !
  • Get expert advice: Review your plans of buying a specific lot with some experts: Get a realtor to help you evaluating the place, and work with your lawyer in reviewing the title and other legal matters around you property !

The overall experience I had was positive. It’s fun to go “property shopping”. In the process you will see many interesting areas, and meet a lot of interesting people.

After completing this part of my new “project”, I  now had to focus on creating detailed plans for my new home!

To be continued…

Unit Converter for home builders and trades people


Posted by Hermann Thoene | Posted in Website Tools | Posted on 11-12-2009

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Canada is officially metric, and children in school learn how to measure and calculate using the metric system. But did you ever work in any construction related job and use metric units? It’s all about feet and inches, yards and some other measurements like boardfeet. Most plans, material and “talks” are in imperial units. But not all… Surveyors for example work “mostly” in metric, as their resulting plans are official documents – and officially Canada is metric, right?

If you are planning to build your own home, or to get it built, you will soon realize that you need to cope with this unit chaos. You will have to calculate the size of your windows in inches for your builder, but your window company may ask you for metric measurements. Your architect will tell you the building hight in feet, but your municipality will have maximum hight requirements in meters. Your builder tells you to order “5 yards of concrete”, but the concrete supplier tells you prices per cubic meter.

To ease this chaos a little bit, we provide you with a nice little gadget: A website based unit converter. Check it out, it’s right here – on the right side of this page.

I tried to find such a converter for WordPress or Joomla – but there was hardly anything available.

With my background in the IT industry I decided to have one developed. I’m not good enough in JavaScript and PHP myself, so I wrote a requirements spec, and posted it to eLance. After a few weeks my little project was completed.

If you have your own Joomla or WordPress based website, and want to provide a Unit Converter for your visitors: Feel free to use it. I hope the little tool will soon be available through the official WordPress and Joomla extension directories, but until then you can download it from our website here:


Update Januaray 2010: The unit converter is now also available through the official Joomla and WordPress.org extension directories – just search for “unit converter”.

Bringing EcoLog Homes to the West Coast


Posted by Hermann Thoene | Posted in EcoLog | Posted on 05-12-2009


Picture HermannMy name is Hermann Thoene, and as you can see on my LinkedIn profile, I have spent a significant time of my “professional life” in the computer industry. For various reasons (maybe I’ll write about that some day in a more personal blog) I had to do something new and different – and that turned out to be manufacturing and building log homes. My family and friends were quite stunned, and during the first months nobody really thought that I was serious about this new business.

Why would somebody with no background or experience in construction want to start a new company manufacturing and building log homes??? And all that during the most difficult economic times, where especially the construction industry has been hit hardest!

I was always fascinated by log homes. To me they are very natural buildings, where you can still smell and feel nature. Most of the material in a log home is wood – a very natural and renewable material. When I first told my friends in Germany that I was planning to move to Canada, many thought (in a more or less serious way) that most Canadians live in the woods, trap animals and live in log homes. Of course I was a bit disappointed after moving to British Columbia in 2000, to see that this is not totally true – but my interest and fascination with log homes remained.

In the summer of 2008 I once again visited my friend Peter Schleifenbaum in Haliburton, Ontario. He manages Haliburton Forest & Wildlife Reserve – a company with many diverse business areas. If you live in Ontario or visit Ontario, I strongly recommend that you check out the many interesting attractions available at Haliburton Forest. It’s worth more then one visit for sure…

Sample EcoLog Home

Peter developed the EcoLog concept about 10 years ago, when he was looking for ways to create high value  products based on wood from his certified sustainable forest. Haliburton County is the most famous cottage country with prestine forests and hundreds of lakes, and many people from all over Ontario enjoy cottage life in the Haliburton region. Peter wanted to address the cottage market, and took old pioneer building methods and tweeked them to fit modern building standards and regulations. The result were EcoLog building kits, which were soon loved by many customers. Very much to Peters surprise, most of the customers wanted pretty big building instead of small and cosy cottages. The reason was that many people not only wanted to use their “cottage” for weekends or vacation, but were building it big enough to be used as their retirement residence. Over the last 10 years Peter and his company have sold more then 100 EcoLog homes of various sizes, and the charming “EcoLog look” is so popular in Haliburton county that people even start imitating it by putting “fake EcoLog siding” on their homes.

But now back to my visit to Ontario in 2008: That summer Peter told me about the background of EcoLog, and about the success as a business. I had a chance to look at several homes and was fascinated from the beatiful natural look, and from the simplicity of the building concept. We discussed if these homes could be a similar “hit” on the West Coast, as I had never seen any similar homes in BC. Peter offered me the chance to use his ideas and concepts to build a simlar business in British Columbia.

In October 2008 I started with some market research to find out what BC people think about these homes. I presented EcoLog homes at a home show, talked to many interested people, and built a website where I collected more feedback from interested potential customers. The feedback was very positive. People loved the charming look and atmosphere. That gave me enough confidence to decide that it’s time for EcoLog homes to “go West”. I started looking for suppliers, potential business partners and many different trades people. I visited Peter a few more times to learn all the details about EcoLog homes. I looked at many existing homes in Ontario, talked to builders and spent some time on construction sites to see how these homes are erected.

I’m very conscious about our environment, and I like to build and sell “eco friendly” homes. Therefore I like to “go local” wherever possible. I formed a partnership with a sawmill on Vancouver Island to provide the timber from locally grown trees. I built a network of reliable local trades people to provide the necessary materials, and to help me and my future customers build EcoLog homes. Our production process and facilities are ready now, and soon we will start putting our first “west coast” EcoLog home kit together. This kit will be used to build our future show home in Saanich, BC.

The building process for this home will be documented through a series of blog posts on this site… Stay tuned !

Update January 2011:

I think it’s time for a little summary what happened since I first published this blog post 2 years ago.

End of 2010 we finished our West Coast Ecolog show home, and it turned out great! A summary of the building features and pictures are available here. The home is a true “head-turner”, as every person driving by the house in their car turns the head to look in astonishment. It sticks out in a very positive way in this neighborhood with mostly 70’s and 80’s style homes.

This home is not only the show home for my business, but also my home and home office. I live in the home for about 1 year now, and I love it! During the summer I enjoyed the big open deck, and when it got too hot I could retreat to the cool interior of the home. During the winter I heat the whole main level and the loft with my beloved wood stove in the living room. I barely ever use the electric heat. Even on the lowest setting, the wood stove easily heats the whole house, and when it’s not too cold I only turn it on every second day. There is lots of discussion around the “thermal mass” effect in log homes – if it provides benefits or not, etc… I must say in our climate on Vancouver Island the thermal mass really works: Once the walls are heated up they store a lot of energy, and release the heat very slowly over up to 24 hours. This makes for a very comfortable living climate: When the wood stove burns down in the evening and I come down into the living area in the morning, it’s still nice and warm!

During the construction of this home I learned a lot! I spent nearly every day on the construction site – not only to help, but also to understand all the challenges in building a home. Half way down the road during our construction process I found out about a government program to measure energy efficiency of homes, the Energuide Rating System. I liked the idea to be able to measure how energy efficient a home is, and to be able to compare homes regarding their energy use, and signed up to get an Energuide rating for the new home. Normally this process should be started at the design stage, where the overall design of a home can still be optimized to increase the energy performance. But even with our late start we achieved an Energuide rating for 79, which is excellent, especially for a log home.

As energy performance becomes more and more important for new homes I actually took the training in 2010/2011 to become a Certified Energy Advisor. I can now model homes for our customers at the design stage and help them optimize their homes from an energy performance perspective.

On the business side things are moving along very nice. We have many people visiting our show home, and the feedback we receive from our visitors is extremely positive. In April 2011 we participated in a home show, where more then 800 people visited our home on a single weekend.

In 2011 we sold several Ecolog homes in BC, and even one to a Saskatchewan.  We just increased our product portfolio and can now offer Ecolog homes with different wood species: Western Hemlock, Douglas Fir and Red Cedar.

I enjoy working in this industry, and I don’t regret making this move.