What is your idea of a perfect home? Over the years, changing trends and preferences have given rise to various favourites in terms of home build and design. While some became passé after a decade or two, some, like timeless fashion items, became heralded as classics: waxing and waning in popularity but never quite losing their appeal entirely. Log and timber homes are some such classics, having been in existence for centuries, adapting to the times, only to increasingly become THE choice in custom homes today. Of course, there is an entire host of good reasons for this.

At a time when buildings are often associated with steel and stone, log and timber homes stand as steadfast reminders of simpler times when the world was slower-paced and one’s nightlife revolved around the comfort of the hearth. One can even say that this rustic appeal is the strongest advantage of timber framed homes over their concrete counterparts, although to attribute their growing popularity to plain sentimentality would be highly unfair and inaccurate.

The Beauty of Nature

Except for very select examples, most log and timber homes are unpainted. Instead, the wood is treated to bring out its rich, brown colour, as well as the texture of its bark or lines. Some treatments even add a little shine. The result is an almost uniformly brown structure that calls to mind the fortitude and the elegance of nature.

Designed and maintained well, these homes are picture-perfect. They can look stylish, rustic, rugged and classic all at the same time. They are their most spectacular with a backdrop of natural scenery: woods, a small pine forest, a lake, or a mountain. They may look out of place in a highly urbanised setting, but that’s exactly the point. These structures promise you not just a home but a communion with nature, too.

Unexpected Functionality

While log and timber framed homes may project a rural appearance, do not mistake them for old-fashioned, ill-equipped relics. Today’s designs are as good as any modern home and are equipped with all the facilities and amenities that their owners can need or afford, from heating and insulation down to modern electronics and appliances. In fact, some even brag hi-tech features, such as top-of-the-line security and communications systems.

But even without electronic add-ons, timber and log houses serve their inhabitants well. People have been building them for years and it’s not just for their looks either. For one, they are surprisingly sturdy, with some surviving onslaughts like the infamous hurricane Katrina in the United States. If you are looking for a house that withstands the test of time, look no further. The oldest log and timber homes in Europe were made roughly 800 hundred years ago. A church in Russia that’s made of logs was made way before those—around 1,700 years ago. That’s more than a millennium. Let that sink in for a bit.

What this means is that log and timber framed homesare perfect in Australia where the elements can be as harsh as they come. Being made from wood, they offer excellent protection from both hot and cold weather. Wood possesses what is called “thermal mass,” a property that helps keep your home’s internal temperature manageable whatever the season may be. This feature also makes log houses highly energy-efficient, as long as long as the home is sealed properly, helping you save a lot of money. Lastly, these houses are also noted for being quieter than conventional home designs, which makes them ideal for relaxing and unwinding from a tiring day.

Giving Back to Nature

Log houses are among the most sustainable types of dwelling today. Yes, they use a lot of wood, but trees are a renewable resource. This is compared to steel and concrete homes which derive their materials quarries and mines. Home builder often make sure to source their materials from forests that are certified sustainable to ensure that the trees used to construct your home are replenished after some time. Others even use standing dead trees or those trees that have been killed by pests.

That these houses are energy-efficient is also a huge plus. Not having to depend on a lot of power just to keep your home comfortable enough to live on can dramatically lower your carbon footprint. It may not seem much, but nature needs all the help humans can provide.

Log and timber homes are a beautiful, highly functional and environmentally friendly housing solution that is appropriate even for modern homeowners. With the right equipment and amenities, they are no different from other modern homes. They offer the same comfort and convenience mostly everyone craves in a home—and a lot more.

What feature do you find most appealing in a timber or log home? Tell us in the comments.