If you’ve been wondering whether cypress log homes are capable of withstanding the harsh weather in states like Florida, you can rest easy. People all over the world have used the Cupressaceae family for thousands of years to build sturdy, long-lasting structures. Below, you can read about some examples of cypress log homes around the globe.
Some of the Tallest and Oldest Trees in the World
The cypress family of trees includes cedars, redwoods, and many specific cypress trees, which produce an aromatic oil that deters pests and helps preserve the wood in humid environments with minimal shrinkage.
The Cypress of Abarkuh, located in Iran, is believed to be over 4,000 years old, making it the second oldest known tree in the world. Coming in third is the Grand Abuelo, a subspecies called Alerce native to the Andes mountain region, estimated to be almost 3,500 years old.
Coast Redwoods are in the same family, and a tree nicknamed “Hyperion” in California is currently the tallest in the world at over 115 meters (380 feet) tall — eclipsing Big Ben and the Statue of Liberty.
Throughout the Asian continent, relatives of the cypress were recognized not only for their building properties, but for their medicinal properties as well.
Many of the oldest sites in China, dating back 5,000-7,000 years ago, contain stilt-houses that were constructed using wood. One of the oldest surviving wooden structures in China is the Fogong Temple pagoda, built over 1,000 years ago using techniques that helped the building resist both earthquakes and natural weathering.
Both the Chinese swamp cypress and the Fujian cypress are highly prized as building materials in Vietnam. They are now considered endangered species, and efforts are underway to protect them from extinction. The Trấn Quốc Pagoda, built around 540 AD, contains several wooden structural elements and ornate carvings.
Ancient Europe and United States
Just like in China, Northern Europeans began building wooden stilt-houses, sometimes called pile-dwellings in the Stone Age.
Due to the ready availability and cultural popularity of the material in ancient times, several early European cultures used the heartwood of oak to build their structures. Currently the oldest wooden church in the world still standing, the Greensted Church in Essex, England, is made of oak heartwood which is estimated to be over 1,200 years old.
As European settlers migrated to the new world, they brought their log-home building techniques with them, and although they initially used the tried and true oak of their homeland, they eventually made use of local trees such as cedar and cypress.
One of the oldest log cabins in the US is the Hyde Log Cabin in Vermont. It was built in 1783 using cedar logs is still standing near the shore of Lake Champlain.
In many cases, ancient peoples used a combination of stone, wood, and mud or clay to build homes and buildings. Aborigines built wooden shelters and homes called gunyas, which featured stone walls and wooden roof beams.
Today, modern log homes are sometimes made with Western Red cedar, which is also used for quality cladding. Australian cypress is also a popular material used for durable flooring.
Nowadays, make sure to obtain a pre-approved home loan early in the process to determine if you have to meet any additional requirements. Log homes are sometimes treated differently from traditional stick-built homes; they may come with a different rate structure or loan program, especially if the property will be used as a second home.
So, plan your build carefully. With proper care and use of naturally pest-resistant materials, your log cabin could become a family legacy for generations to come.