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Ward Cedar Log Homes Represented by Virginia Real Estate and Development

F.A.Q.s About Our Cedar Log Homes

What is the 20-Year Guarantee?

Our 20-year guarantee covers all log components against structural defects for 20 years and warrants that all items manufactured by Ward are free from defects in workmanship or design. Our component suppliers also extend their individual product warranties to you as a Ward customer. Ward has had long term relationships with all of its quality-oriented suppliers (Andersen, Schlage, Owens-Corning, Perma-Chink Sealants, Morgan, Sikkens, and Continental Finishes) and insists that each look after any warranty claims promptly and fairly. Ward will assist you in any claims with these companies.

Are Ward Cedar Log Homes well insulated?

Northern White Cedar has the highest insulating value-per-inch of any native construction wood species. This is a result of its unique cell structure, in which large, less dense cells trap pockets of air to create natural insulation.

Are Ward Cedar Log Homes energy efficient?

Very! Ward Cedar Log Homes offer superior energy efficiency. In fact, log homes surpass frame homes in energy efficiency. We employ the latest technology to engineer and build homes that meet the most rigid conservation standards for a year-round residence even in locations that endure harsh seasonal changes.

The National Bureau of Standards conducted independent tests on six buildings of identical size using various construction methods. While individual experience may vary, tests show that, overall, the log house is more energy efficient than a frame house. During the winter months, the log house performed as well as the frame house. During the spring and fall, the log house necessitated less energy usage than its frame-house counterpart, and during the summer the log home was more economical to cool.

Why does Ward exclusively use Northern White Cedar?

White Cedar is an extra cost option with many companies, which usually sell the local-type pine in their package. It is Ward's only species offered and, if you compare accurately, Ward's package prices are competitive with theirs. You can have the quality and durability of cedar from Ward and still have it price comparably to other lower-cost woods.

Northern White Cedar has several characteristics that make it the best wood species to use for log home construction, including:

  • high natural resistance to rot or decay
  • the most natural resistance to insects
  • the best insulation value per inch
  • more dimensionally stable than most woods
  • doesn't warp, crack and twist as much as other woods
  • easy to work, cut, plane and nail
  • a beautiful light color, with small brown knots

Cedar's characteristics are widely known. In fact, one of the three model building codes in the United States allows the use of cedar anywhere the use of pressure treated lumber is required.

Don't just take our word about all of the reasons to use Northern White Cedar. Do some research yourself. Look at cedar and pine log homes that are three to five years old. Talk to the owners about each. Visit the library and study the wood technology books. And reputable sources such as Log Home Living Magazine state that cedar is "Highly resistant to decay" and is "A finer grade of wood." You'll quickly decide on the value of cedar for your home too!

Will cedar logs shrink or settle?

Moisture content, wood species and log joinery systems are all important factors that affect the amount of shrinkage and settlement a homeowner will deal with. Using dry cedar is the major factor that Ward uses to control shrinkage and settlement. Dry cedar logs produce the tightest log homes. In fact, Ward's air-dried Northern White Cedar log homes experience virtually no settling, so there are no specially engineered slip-joints or bolts to tighten. The lack of movement also ensures that the seal placed between the logs remains relatively undisturbed for a tighter, more energy-efficient and stable log wall, yielding greater energy savings and comfort for our customers.

Ward addresses settling and shrinkage issues long before construction begins:

  • Ward uses Northern White Cedar exclusively, which is known for its dimensional stability.
  • Careful, slow air-drying helps prevent logs from warping, twisting, cracking or checking.
  • Throughout the structure, vertical wood posts are used to bolt the log rows along with vertical jambs of rough buck and minimize downward log movement.
  • Every interior partition has a 4'x4' post against the log wall, bolted solidly to prevent settling.
  • Every vertical window and door frame is fastened to each log row to prevent downward log movement.

Visit homes three to five years old to see how the total system reacts to this process. You will see for yourself how dry cedar logs produce the tightest log homes.

What does cedar look like?

Each log of Northern White Cedar is its own masterpiece, with its natural light honey color, fine grain, beautiful smooth sheen and unique arrangement of small brown knots.

Is cedar easy to maintain?

Polyurethane applied to the interior walls is all that's required to keep your Ward Cedar Log Home looking as new and beautiful as the day you moved in. A quality exterior stain will help maintain the beauty of your log home's exterior walls.

Does my log home have to look like a log home?

When it comes to the outside look of a Ward Cedar Log Home, there is a world of possibilities that guarantee eye-catching curb appeal. Our unique building system allows you to choose clapboards, stone, bricks or many other exterior options should you desire something different than the traditional exterior log home look. If you choose the traditional log look, leave logs natural and they'll acquire a silvery patina or apply a finish to achieve a specific color tone. Ward also offers a choice of corner styles. The standard package comes with full-log corners. If you'd like, you can also specify corner boards to coordinate with clapboard or log siding.

What can the outside of my log home look like?

Ward was the first company to offer the classic "D"-shaped log, giving our customers the perfect blend of the traditional log home look on the exterior, with a smooth, more finished look inside. Logs are available in both 6" and 8" profiles. Or, you can choose a milled exterior clapboard-style log if you prefer a more conventional exterior look. Our traditional interlocking corners give a look that's reminiscent of yesteryears. Or you can choose to square off the corners and finish them with cedar trim for a more modern look.

What if I want a porch, a deck and/or a garage?

When the days are long and the weather warm, you'll want to spend more time outside, entertaining friends, relaxing with family or simply enjoying a lovely view on a quiet Saturday afternoon. With Ward, you can easily extend your living space out of doors by adding a screened-in porch, wraparound deck or gracious veranda. Or add an attached or detached garage -- even a barn -- matching your home's exterior appearance.

What is the Ward "Comfort System 5"?

Our five point Comfort System-5 log system is what makes Ward homes air tight, waterproof and energy efficient. Evolved over 80-plus years, the Comfort System-5 has been perfected into a technically superior system that prevents air and water from infiltrating the structure. The system includes milled tongue-and-groove logs, overlapping interlocking corner joints, and an exclusive sealing system. Our five point Comfort System-5 lets us take full advantage of the energy-efficient cedar walls, ensuring a tight and lasting fit.

Why is the Comfort System 5 so superior?

Our team of design engineers developed this unique structurally graded log system -- the Comfort System 5 -- which includes air-dried cedar logs, tongue-and-groove joinery, an internal foam gasket barrier, an external foam backer rod and the Perma-Chink® exterior caulking guarantee.

Northern White Cedar logs -- It all begins with this superior wood, known for its structural stability, energy efficiency and natural resistance to the elements and insects. We air-dry our cedar logs for up to six months to balance moisture content. We also mill each log with an overhanging drip edge that works like miniature cedar shingles or clapboards to whisk rain down and away from your home.

Tongue-and-groove joinery -- Our tongue-and-groove joinery, with closed-cell gasket material applied to all tongues and end joints during construction, provides a mechanical barrier to the elements by preventing air infiltration through the walls, creating the tightest log home possible. This prevents leaks and ensures maximum energy efficiency. It also helps to keep our log walls straight and true during construction.

Internal foam gasket barrier -- This closed-cell foam gasket barrier between our cedar logs is an additional line of defense that insures your home against moisture and air infiltration.

External foam backer rod -- The profile of each cedar log is grooved to accommodate a foam backer rod. This provides a non-adhesive surface so the caulking will stick only to the upper and lower wood surfaces of the groove. The caulking acts like an elastic band that expands and contracts with the wood. The foam backer rod creates a second barrier to perfect the weather-tight lock, preventing cold air and water from penetrating and warm air from escaping.

The Perma-Chink exterior caulking guarantee -- We use the new Perma-Chink sealant especially formulated to fit in the 1/4" groove on the exterior surface of our logs to create a weather-tight seal against the elements and protect your home from elements like rain and wind, which can cause problems with air and water infiltration. Perma-Chink Energy Seal caulking is a thoroughly tested blend of acrylic Polymer that dries to form an elastic, durable surface that requires little-to-no maintenance. It is perfectly textured and colored to blend beautifully with the natural tones of a Ward Cedar Log Homes, and the caulking can be stained just like the logs.

With butt-and-pass corners, invented by Bruce Ward along with the log joinery system, logs alternately extend past one another instead of the square log ends butting against the face of each other. End logs fit together in a tongue-and-groove fashion with foam sealant, backer rod and caulking providing superior protection.

The premier pre-cut purlin roof system is created from the finest handpicked spruce logs, which are peeled by Ward craftsmen and sized to specification for each individual home. Pre-cut gabled ends are pre-erected at our manufacturing facility then disassembled to ensure that the angle of each log has been perfectly cut. Ward also offers the option of pre-assembled conventional trussed roof systems for customers preferring traditional flat or vaulted ceilings.

Why are butt-and-pass corners preferred?

Ward was the inventor of the interlocking "butt-and-pass" corner and log joinery system. Instead of the square log ends butting against the face of each other, logs alternately extend past one another. Each log fits together in a tongue-and-groove fashion, with the foam sealant, backer rod and caulking providing superior protection.

What quality brand names are included in the Ward standard building package?

Quality materials are a way of life at Ward Cedar Log Homes. As America's first manufacturer, the quality lesson was learned early on. Today you can look at Ward homes that are more than 80 years old and the quality of the construction and materials still shine through. High quality components add expected value to your Ward Cedar Log Home. With every item, product quality, maintenance requirements and company services have been considered. We want your Ward Cedar Log Home to provide you with many years of trouble-free service   value you can count on!

Andersen? 400 Series Tilt-Wash Windows and Doors

Choose from a wide range of sizes, shapes, styles and colors to achieve the custom look you desire. With Andersen High-Performance, Low-E glazing, the 400 Series tilt-wash windows insulate up to 41% better than ordinary dual-pane glass. In addition, an exclusive Perma-Shield? exterior vinyl cladding allows windows to endure the toughest elements. Your package may also include Andersen 400 Series Frenchwood? hinged and gliding patio doors, complete with screens, hardware and locksets.

Morgan? Interior and Exterior Pre-Hung Doors

Pre-hung Morgan 6-panel solid wood doors offer the quality and durability of premium wood doors, with the quick, trouble-free installation of a pre-hung door. Ready-to-install, these doors come with the hinges mortised and pre-installed. The Morgan Energy Saver exterior door is stabilized for shrinkage and swelling. It also comes weather-stripped and includes Low-E glazing to ensure a tight seal and superior energy efficiency.

Schlage? LockSets

The quality, precision and design of Schlage locksets are standard in every Ward Cedar Log Home. Built to the highest standards of accuracy, all Schlage materials are designed to deliver easy operation for life. Both lever and knob designs are offered in a brass finish designed to last a lifetime.

Owens Corning? Roof Shingles

Owens Corning shingles combine consistent quality with long-lasting beauty and maximum protection. All styles offer these key features: Fiberglas? mat for weather protection, greater fire resistance and longer life; weather-grade asphalt, which protects the roof from water; colorful mineral granules that help reflect the sun's rays; and a heat-activated adhesive strip that bonds shingles into a single, watertight unit. Many styles also carry a Wind Resistance Rating for winds and gusts up to 110 mph, and all have a Class A Fire Rating, the highest available for residential applications. Ward's standard shingle is Owens Corning 25-Year Supreme.

Can I have second floor living space?

Don't let sloped ceilings stop you from having the room you need. Add dormers to increase the height of the outside wall and create more second floor living space. Choose either shed or gable roof dormers to provide the exterior style you prefer.

What can my home look like on the inside?

Interior walls can be finished just like any traditional interior wall -- tongue-and-groove paneling, available in either pine or cedar, comes standard for a solid log wall look. Another popular choice is drywall, which gives you the flexibility to paint or wallpaper areas of your choice. Some of the most beautiful Ward Cedar Log Homes use a variety of interior finishes to achieve an attractive and balanced combination of color and texture.

I want air conditioning and have many electronic systems -- how easy is it to install house mechanicals?

Ward homes utilize a conventional flooring system and studded partitions, making the installation of wiring and plumbing just as easy as in a traditionally framed house. In addition, any type of heating, ventilation or air conditioning system can be used. Interior wall switches and outlets are also installed in a conventional manner. For exterior walls, wires may be run through holes drilled in the logs or in channels that will be covered by support posts and door trim. Outlets and switches are mortised into the exterior walls.

Can I get help with the design of my log home?

Representatives can help you design a home that meets your specific requirements. Supported by our in-house design team in Maine, they will work closely with you throughout the finalization of the complete set of working plans, which includes floor plans; foundation dimensions; a floor, ceiling and roof framing plan; elevations; and related details.

Can I custom-design my log home?

One thing that Ward has learned over the years is that log home buyers have very definite ideas of what they want in their log home! Most of the homes Ward sells are customer-designed for each family. Ward's materials packages can also be custom-designed to fit your needs.

Custom designs are expected at Ward and there is no extra charge for custom designs! The ideas for your home can come from any source. You may want to modify only slightly a standard Ward design or design your home completely from scratch. It doesn't matter which, there is no extra charge for custom designs at Ward Cedar Log Homes.

Can I get help finding a contractor to build my home?

Your representative is factory trained to guide you and your crew through the unloading and construction process. He or she may be a professional builder or will be able to recommend competent contractors in your area.

How do I get through the maze of building codes and regulations?

The ability of a manufacturer to meet your local building codes is a very important issue. Ward Cedar Log Homes is a member of the International Code Council (ICC). Ward's homes are designed to meet criteria based on the International Residential Code (IRC). It is ultimately the responsibility of the purchaser to obtain building code approval in the form of a building permit being issued. As a purchaser, you may pass this obligation on to your builder, if he is agreeable. Ward and your Ward Sales Representative will work with you to make certain all building and energy codes are complied with and permits issued.

What if I need financing?

Ward, as a manufacturer of log homes, does not finance homes. But financing a log home is very easy today. Ward will either directly or through your Sales Representative provide assistance in obtaining local financing. Your representative will be familiar with the lenders in your area or national lenders that can help you obtain financing if necessary, saving you much time shopping. Your Ward Sales Representative knows the lender's requirements to qualify for both construction loans and final mortgages and can help you to qualify. Some of our Representatives are also builders who may also finance the construction of your home themselves, simplifying the process even further.


Mike Pintz
Division Manager


Ramona Florea