Standards of Practice addendum for log homes (rough draft)

Written, adapted and updated by InterNACHI Log Home Standards of Practice Committee members Larry O'Connor and James Eubank.  Suggestions, revisions, and additions are welcome.  Send your comments to   After there has been time for suggestions and comments this rough draft will be sent to the SOP committee for final revision and adoption.
  • Handcrafted log home typically implies a home that is constructed of logs that are individually fit together.
  • Milled log home is constructed of machine-lathed logs, and is also used to describe a log home built from a kit.
  • Insulated log home is construced with half-logs attached to a standard 2x6 frame structure.
  • Chinking is the mixture used to fill the gaps between logs - can be natural materials or synthetic.
  • Shrinking is the normal loss of diameter in logs as they lose moisture.
  • Settlement is the downward movement of log courses as the logs shrink.
  • Checking is the natural cracking of logs as they shrink.
  • Butt joints occur when two logs are placed end-to-end.
  • A log course is one layer of logs placed atop the entire foundation of the home.  
Log wall exterior
The inspector shall inspect exterior surfaces of log walls, when such surfaces are visible, looking for:
    A.  presence of mold, mildew or fungus
    B.  cracks located at tops of logs and facing up
    C.  discoloration, graying, bleaching or staining of logs
    D.  loose or missing caulking
    E.  separation of joints
    F.  condition of chinking, to include cracking, tears, holes, or separation of log courses
    G.  condition of log ends
Log wall interior
The inspector shall inspect interior surfaces of log walls, when such surfaces are visibile, looking for:
    A.  separation between logs, including light or air penetration from outdoors
    B.  separation between exterior log wall and interior partition walls
    C.  separation between log walls and interior ceilings
Other exterior concerns
In addition to the items specified in InterNACHI Standards of Practice 2.1 and 2.2, the inspector shall inspect:
    A.  downspout extensions
    B.  grading and water flow away from log walls
    C.  vertical support posts under and on all porches
Other interior concerns
In addition to the items specified in InterNACHI Standards of Practice 2.4 and 2.6, the inspector shall inspect:
    A.  Slip joints, adjustable sleeves, looped water supply lines, flexible hose sections, and flexible ductwork that are visible as part of the standard heating and plumbing inspections.
The inspector is not required to:
    A.  inspect or predict the condition of the interiors of logs
    B.  predict the life expectancy of logs
    C.  climb onto log walls.  However, the inspector may inspect log walls by use of a ladder, if this procedure may be done safely and without damaging the walls.
    D.  inspect components of the porch support system, or of the plumbing or heating systems, that are not readily visible and accessible.
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