How and how much does a log house shrinks?

An inevitable process

Shrinkage is a natural and unavoidable phenomenon in a wooden house. It is caused by the drying of wood. The drying of walls, beams and joists are uneven, because the sun heats and blows the wooden structures differently on each side.

What causes house shrinkage?

Erection of a log house

  • Method of corner notching
  • Tightness and density of logs
  • Materials for joining of logs: wooden or metal pins


If the structure is assembled from very wet timber, drying will cause significant deformation of the timber. Therefore, all logs must be properly dried before the start of the erection.

Construction methods

The preparation and assembly of the logs during construction can affect shrinkage of the house. If the logs are not properly prepared, treated or assembled, movement problems can arise.

Erection of a log house

The amount of shrinkage also depends on how the structure was erected
  • Method of corner notching;
  • Tightness and density of logs
  • The material laid between the crowns
  • materials for joining the logs: wooden dowels or metal pins;
  • whether adequate technological gaps are left.

If these factors are not taken into account, the house can be severely deformed:

  • the window frames will warp
  • doors will be difficult to open
  • problems with the floor covering
  • Damage to the interior wall finishes.


Moisture content of the log is very important for the shrinkage process of log houses

Moisture content of the material during erection: When logs are initially used for construction, it is essential that they are properly dried. This process involves kiln drying the logs to achieve a moisture content of 18%-20%.

Moisture content of the material after living in a log house: Once a log house is built, the logs gradually adapt to their environment. This natural process is influenced by environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, and air circulation. As the humidity decreases, the logs shrink.

Shrinkage and movement: Logs shrink and move as they adjust to their environment, with this process being more noticeable in the first few years after construction. This is a normal part of a log home’s maturation. The amount of movement depends on several factors, including the type of wood, the initial moisture content, and the environmental conditions.

Seasonal variations: Seasonal changes in moisture content also play a role. During dry and warm seasons, logs lose moisture and shrink, causing them to move. Conversely, in wet and humid seasons, logs can absorb moisture and expand slightly, counteracting some of the shrinkage.

Reducing moisture-related shrinkage problems: To minimize shrinkage issues related to moisture content, we use dried logs. Properly dried logs shrink less. Additionally, we equip the house with compensation mechanisms to further reduce movement.

It is important to note that while some movement is an expected and normal phenomenon, drastic or uneven shrinkage can be a sign of problems. Proper design, construction methods and ongoing maintenance are essential to ensure that shrinkage is within acceptable limits and that the structural integrity of the log house is maintained over time.

Construction methods

The preparation, processing and assembly of logs during construction can have a significant impact on the movement of a log house

Selection and preparation of logs:

  • We only use logs that have been sawn in the winter and then dry them properly.

Log house design:

  • During the design process, we immediately take note of any structures that may prevent the house from shrinkage and address them with the client.

Log structure:

  • We inspect every detail and cut of the log house during production and adhere to our production standards.

Care practice (client):

  • Please carry out regular inspections and let us know if additional post-construction remediation is needed.
    This point is also important because it will help to reduce movement problems and ensure the long-term stability of the log house.