The Butt and Pass Method

We think the best way to build a log home is using the butt and pass method.

Who wouldn’t want to live in a gorgeous butt and pass log home like this one?

Foundations for a butt and pass log home

When it comes to foundations for a butt and pass log home then we have discovered that almost any type of foundation is suitable. From a concrete slab to pillars you can use whatever is the most suitable for your needs.

Pillars supporting a butt and pass log home
pillar foundation for a butt and pass log home
Simple concrete pillar foundation

Logs for a butt and pass log home

From what we can gather from everything we have seen, just about any type of tree will do. Sourced locally will be the cheapest as transportation costs can be high moving logs around the country. The thicker the logs the less you will need to build your walls. However, these will be older trees and harder to come by. Obviously the straighter the better, with as little taper as possible. With this method we have heard you can use “green” logs, but it would be better for the logs to have dried out for a year or two before using them. Get your hands on some decent Chainsaws

The job people hate the most – peeling logs

Wall Building and Chinking for a butt and pass log home

The butt and pass method for building log walls is well known for being the simplest and probably the quickest way to build your walls. The logs are placed one on top of the other and pinned using rebar.

How to Build the Walls

With the butt and pass method for building walls you start with your first row of logs with each log butting into the the other log. Now you place the next row on top making sure you have alternated the corner so now a pass sits on a butt.

Stacking the rows of logs butt and pass method
butt and pass log wall corner
The rows of logs change from butt to pass

You drill holes through the top log about every 16 to 24 inches and hammer rebar through those holes into the log below. This process is call “pinning”. Keep going until your walls are as high as you need them!

1/2-inch rebar every 2 feet
butt and pass log home
Using an electric rebar hammer
A beautiful butt and pass corner

What is Chinking

Chinking is the material that you push between your logs to make sure that they are sealed from external elements (e.g., rain, snow and sleet). Of course, this also prevents heat loss, air infiltration and little critters getting in.

Make your own chinking
Chinking log walls
Chinking done right – butt and pass wall

Roofing systems for a butt and pass log home

You can put any roofing system on your butt and pass log home. Metal roofs are the most popular because they are very quick to install, and the costs can be lower than other options.

Metal roof on a butt and pass log home

The one thing we hear a lot is that wet log walls grow mold, turn black and are difficult to maintain. This is true for most log homes because they are not built correctly. The secret to keeping your walls dry, therefore mold free are your overhangs. The recommended minimum overhang is 5 feet, this should stop the rain hitting your log walls. But go further if you design allows and try for 7 to 8 feet.

Internal Walls in a butt and pass log home

The walls of your butt and pass log home take all the weight of the roof so you have the freedom to do almost anything you like on the inside.

Framing for the internal walls

Flooring in your butt and pass log home

When building your butt and pass log home your floor system must be carefully planned and installed depending on your local planning requirements and local conditions.

Doors and Windows in your butt and pass log home

Windows cut out and framed in a butt and pass log home

The walls are so strong that doors and windows can just be cut out and framed.

Window cut out and framed

Other Stuff for your butt and pass log home

Other details like plumbing and electrical will need the skills of a qualified tradesman to install.

Some Butt and Pass log Home Designs