Log Home Replacement Windows

If you own an older log home or log cabin, you may find that the original windows and doors are no longer as air-tight or as workable as they once were. Why not make an upgrade? Windows and doors installed today look and perform far better than those used years ago. And today’s low maintenance windows will greatly improve the value of your log home. 

Log Home Window Installation

Changing windows and doors in a log home, however, is not the same as changing them in a conventional home. The connections used between logs and windows are unique. In some cases, the new window will fit cleanly into existing framed opening. Other times, the opening in the log wall will have to be enlarged or padded for the new window to fit correctly. Either way, first consider an experienced log home building crew for a tight fitting and professional looking job. 

Our log home window replacement jobs typically fall into three categories:

  • Full window replacement
  • Insert replacement
  • Cut-in a whole new window

Before deciding whether to perform a full window replacement or an insert replacement, we first look at the condition of the existing window frame. The frame is typically 2 x 6 material which fits between the window unit and the log wall. If the frame shows signs of excessive wear, we will always choose the first option.

Full Log Home Window Replacement

Full window replacement requires that the window be completely removed from the log wall. This leaves just the raw log to log opening. A 2x4 or 2x6 box will need to be in built within the log opening to allow for fastening of the replacement window. Careful attention should be paid in sealing the 2x box to the abutting logs. Sashco's Log Builder Caulk is excellent for this purpose. The window used for replacement should be custom sized to fit the framed opening. 

In some cases, the old window can be removed without removing the window frame. This saves the step of building a 2x frame within the log opening.   

New log home windows

Once the new window is installed, pine trim should be installed to cover the nailing flange. (see picture at right)

Log Home Insert Replacement Window

The insert replacement option is the least invasive and generally the least expensive. When we install an insert window, only the window guts (sashes, balances and stops) are removed. The rest of the window such as the frame and the inside and outside trim remain in place.

Insert replacement windows can be expensive because each new window unit is custom built. However, because the labor is significantly less, the overall job should cost less as well.

Cutting new window into a log home

The final option involves installing a new window into a blank log wall. This requires that the logs be cut to the rough opening of the new window (plus three inches for the 2 x 6 frame).  The difficulty with this sort of blind cutting is that there are usually long nails scattered throughout the log wall. Plan on hitting a few.

Because older log homes tend to be dark inside, the

New window installed in a log home

natural light created by any new window is welcome. The installation shown in the final two pictures successfully transformed the dark corner of a living room into a bright, sunny space.

Once you know your options, installing new windows into a log home can be a worthwhile and cost effective project.