Katahdin uses Northern White Cedar exclusively for construction of its log homes. For us its a good choice since Maine’s Aroostook County – where our mills are situated – holds one of the largest stands of Northern White Cedar in North America. It is an abundant, sustainable and naturally renewable tree.
Cedar produces a chemical that is naturally resistant to rot and mildew, and acts as the tree’s defense against insects. This means that cedar provides a long-lasting material for your log home that requires less maintenance, no harmful insecticide treatments and sustains its natural beauty over the life of your home.
Cedar naturally has less moisture, so our logs can be air dried, reducing the carbon footprint needed to produce high-quality log stock. Katahdin is able to produce a log that is an average of 12-14% moisture content at time of shipping, the driest log in the industry. Pine requires kiln drying using primarily carbon-based fuels to kill any insects, to “fix” the resin, and to remove the extra water content to produce a usable log. A drier log also has a big impact on applying stain and topcoat. Katahdin Cedar Log Homes are ready to stain once the exterior construction is complete, saving you time and money, as well as maintaining the beauty of your home from the start.
Unlike Northern White Cedar, plantation grown pine requires intensive application of fertilization and toxic insecticides to produce harvestable logs. In addition to the petroleum-based additives, pine plantations use a lot of fuel to maintain these trees until harvest. Northern White Cedar is able to regenerate forest growth without human interference and because of its natural oils needs no insecticide to protect it from damage. Katahdin recently has been able to document the responsible harvesting of Northern White Cedar from nearby forests through the Forest Stewardship Council and is the only log home manufacturer presently SmartWood Certified by the Rainforest Alliance.
Cedar’s superior insulation properties give homeowners an advantage in lowering heating and cooling costs, thus reducing lifetime fuel consumption. Northern White Cedar has an R-Factor of 1.41 per inch of thickness – the highest of any species used in log homes. For a six-inch log wall, that translates into an average R-Factor of 8.46 before any additional insulation is applied to the structure. Pine has an average R-Factor of 1.12 per inch or only 7.26 for a six-inch log wall.