Construction of houses

Carriage houses: features and construction technology

It is well known that Russia has long been famous for the strength of the traditions of wooden housing construction, but this is not the only state where wooden buildings were historically preferred. For example, the traditions of Norway, where their own technology for the construction of wooden houses from a two-edged bar was invented, is in no way inferior to Russian technologies, and in a number of parameters even surpasses them. This becomes especially noticeable when combining a two-edged beam, also called a gun carriage, and a special “Norwegian lock” – a special smooth corner wedge-shaped connection that thickens over time and prevents the penetration of wind and water. Thus, having carefully studied this technology, experts came to the conclusion that with an increase in the shrinkage of a log house, the strength and reliability of fastening increases. Initially, the carriage is considered not only a log, but also a special style of manual felling, which developed in Scandinavia in antiquity and still remains one of the most beloved in Norway, Finland and Sweden. Initially, the construction of houses from a gun carriage was developed as a means of reducing the cost of a log house without compromising the thickness of the log and, as a result, the warmth of the house. The solution was so simple and, at the same time, original that it was soon borrowed by neighboring countries, and then completely spread all over the world. Its essence was that a pine log was cut on both sides, and the resulting cut was used to equip the roof and floors. The purpose of this solution was to use the entire array in the process of operation and to refuse additional materials, since the manufacture of the rafter structure and internal partitions was also carried out from a gun carriage. In this article, we will consider the main advantages and technology of building houses from a gun carriage – the most advantageous Norwegian alternative to traditional Russian buildings from a round log..

Carriage houses – a technology proven for centuries

Everything new is well forgotten old, and the construction of wooden houses is no exception. Despite the fact that the history of this technology goes back more than one hundred years, this trend, forgotten for several hundred years, is on the verge of its “second youth”. Industrial development contributes to the fact that many well-known technologies are used in the construction of wooden houses, including profiled beams, and rounded logs, and frame construction. However, none of them can be described as “proven over the centuries.” As for the technologies that have been tested over the centuries, one of them is the technology of building one-story houses from a gun carriage..

A carriage, also called a two-piece bar, is a log processed by hand cutting so that it takes on a semi-oval shape, in which two mutually parallel planes intersect. In other words, the technology for processing logs in this way involves obtaining logs cut from both sides so that it acquires two flat surfaces. For the manufacture of a gun carriage, cedar or pine logs are used..

Carriage humidity levels: dry and wet carriage

The construction technology of Norwegian houses involves the use of both a wet and dry gun carriage, but the latter is the most optimal material. Houses built from a dry gun carriage are characterized by reliability, high strength and the absence of see-through cracks, which makes it possible to build an environmentally friendly house that will keep warm even on the coasts blown by cold winds, which was a familiar habitat for freedom-loving Vikings who choose houses from a gun carriage. Despite the impressive thickness and weight of the carriage, it can easily be dried in specialized drying chambers, where they acquire an optimal moisture content not exceeding 18-22%.

A damp gun carriage, the humidity of which is 35-55%, can also be used for the construction of Norwegian houses from a gun carriage, however, they must undergo long-term natural drying and shrinkage, which for some time postpones the terms of putting the building into operation. In most cases, this process takes one to two years. To surely convince you of the advisability of using a dry gun carriage, consider its main advantages..

Advantages of a dry gun carriage:

  • In the process of comparing the shrinkage times of houses built from dry and wet carriage, experts came to the conclusion that the natural shrinkage of houses built from a carriage, characterized by high humidity, takes three times longer;
  • If, before building a house, the material used is dried in specialized drying chambers, the number of cracks that appear during operation is significantly minimized in it;
  • The wood of the dry carriage, in contrast to the wet material, is characterized by a higher quality. This is due to the fact that all potentially destructive microorganisms, including mold and bacteria, die during the heat treatment. This significantly improves the quality of the material;
  • It will take half the time to erect houses from a bar of a gun carriage than when erecting a building from a wet gun carriage.
  • As for the disadvantages of a dry gun carriage, its only disadvantage is its high cost compared to wet material..

Houses from the gun carriage photo

Important! During the operation of the log house from the gun carriage, the moisture level of the wood is regulated. This parameter does not depend on weather conditions and reflects the processes of self-regulation and stabilization of the humidity level..

Chopped carriage houses are a classic version of Scandinavian timber construction. The carriage is a special material representing a log, which is characterized by the presence of chipped side surfaces, the so-called cheeks. Despite the fact that carriage houses retain all the advantages of a classic round log house, it will be almost flat on the outside and inside. This ensures a tighter fit of the logs to each other and increases the thermal insulation characteristics of the building..

Chamber drying gun carriage: pros and cons

Forced drying is one of the main components of the woodworking industry. It is equally often used for both boards and beams, however, drying round wood is a much more complicated process (in most cases it concerns woods with a diameter of 28-30 cm). The most common version of chamber dryers are convection-type structures, the deformation of the log and the appearance of cracks are considered a significant disadvantage. Despite the fact that innovative technologies for wood drying are constantly being developed, such as drying with ultra-frequency radiation, vacuum-pulse drying and others, it is still one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish..

However, if we talk about a semi-beam – a carriage used in the construction of houses using Norwegian technology, in this case the situation is different. Due to the fact that it is characterized by a smaller diameter, it is easy to dry. At the same time, it is not at all necessary to dry it to a furniture humidity not exceeding 8%, since this is quite expensive and impractical. It will be quite enough to dry the carriage to 18-22%. When the specified moisture level is reached, most of the bound and almost all free moisture is removed from the wood. Despite the fact that the drying of the carriage is quite an affordable process, it is much more laborious than drying the board. This is due to the characteristics of the material that do not allow the use of a hard drying mode, as this will lead to cracking of the wood. If the mode is too soft, a different picture will be observed – upon exiting the drying chamber, the moisture content of the wood will remain at a high level. The drying feature, which will lead to the optimum moisture content of the carriage, is the short stay of the material in the drying chamber, which leads to drying of the surface layers of the wood, while the core is still wet. The use of wood of natural moisture is an integral condition of the technology of building houses from a gun carriage, since the material dries directly in the frame.

Important! The ideal building material for the construction of houses using Norwegian technology is the boreal forest, which provides the maximum thermal insulation characteristics of the building. In Russia, such material is considered to be Karelian and Arkhangelsk timber, as well as forest from other northern regions characterized by cold, long winters. Wood from Finland is in no less demand.

Projects of Norwegian houses from the gun carriage

Design features of houses from a gun carriage

A distinctive feature of the Norwegian log house is the specific way of fixing the logs, which is called the “Norwegian castle”. The relatively small distribution of this technique is due to the fact that the technological features of this method are difficult to describe in words, just like learning it from books. In order for this connection to meet all the requirements for it, it is necessary to make a long and careful adjustment of the structural elements. What is the reason for such a complication of cutting? According to experts, it pursues five main goals, the essence of which will be described below..

Due to the fact that this method involves a greater number of cut corners, this indicates its high reliability;

  • Between two adjacent structural elements, the contact area increases, and, accordingly, the friction force also increases;
  • This technique assumes a bevel angle, which determines the effect of gravitational force on the structural elements. This contributes to the distribution of the load into the ligament, due to which it is strengthened and compacted. In this regard, it is possible to draw conclusions about the direction of the load on strengthening the connection between the crowns;
  • Due to the fact that this technology provides for the rejection of foreign fasteners, there are no points of excessive stress, which contributes to an even distribution of the load through the tree, which is characterized by relative softness;
  • This method of fastening is characterized by the presence of a multi-plane interface and stepped drops contributes to blocking or, at least, a significant reduction in drafts..

After analyzing these data, we can come to the conclusion that such a multidisciplinary approach to the construction of houses using the “Norwegian castle” method is fully explainable by the operational characteristics of a structure that can be erected by skillfully combining intelligence and technology..

Advantages of wooden carriage houses

High thermal insulation characteristics of the carriage determine its competitive relationship with laminated veneer lumber. At the same time, despite the use of even imported material, it costs almost half the price. In addition, the ecological characteristics of the building, erected from laminated veneer lumber, are in many ways inferior to those for Norwegian houses from the gun carriage. Consider the main advantages of one-story carriage houses, thanks to which they became popular in Russia..

  • Thermal insulation characteristics – one of the main advantages of Norwegian log cabins, the assembly technology of which assumes a reduction in heat loss. This is due to the peculiarities of the material (the use of round logs with a diameter of 28 to 60 cm), which helps to reduce the number of crowns per unit height of the structure, the number of which does not exceed 8-12 for one floor. Moreover, in contrast to the traditional Russian log house, characterized by a decrease in the wall thickness at the joints of the logs, the Norwegian log house is characterized by a uniform wall thickness of at least 20 cm.

Important! If we talk about the thermal insulation characteristics of a house with brick walls, its thermal conductivity cannot argue with this indicator for wood. For example, the thermal conductivity of perforated bricks is 0.63 W / mK, while the thermal conductivity of wood does not exceed 0.15 W / mK. Thus, if we compare a brick house with a wall thickness of 1 meter, and a Norwegian log house, the wall thickness of which is 20-25 cm, they will be characterized by the same thermal conductivity;

  • Additional living space, which appears due to the hewn part of the logs, acquiring a flat surface. Moreover, an increase in the internal volume of the building is facilitated by the small diameter of the carriage – no more than 20 cm.This favorably distinguishes the houses from the carriage, the projects of which are presented in this article, from the bulky log walls that steal a significant amount of living space. At the same time, in terms of thermal protection, the 20-cm carriage is not inferior to the 30-cm round log walls;
  • The features of assembling houses from a gun carriage require careful selection of building material, which undergoes multi-stage processing, combining the use of the most modern equipment and manual labor. If the chipping of the lateral surfaces of the logs is carried out on a sawmill, then it is planed only by hand. This ensures that maximally flat and smooth wall surfaces, which greatly simplifies and minimizes interior decoration;
  • The sophisticated system of connecting the crowns ensures that the houses from the carriage are not subject to deformation. The peculiarities of the “Norwegian castle” provide reliable fixation of the logs in the nests, as a result of which they do not change their position. In addition, due to the uniqueness of the construction of the “Norwegian castle”, the shrinkage of the structure and shrinkage of the wood contributes to even greater self-wedging of the frame crowns under its own weight. This system guarantees an absolute absence of cracks and 100% thermal protection;

  • Long operational life of the building provided by the design features of the building. The roof and walls of the carriage house are a single whole, that is, the wall is a continuation of the roof, which is so dense that it can reliably fasten the walls of the building;
  • High aesthetic characteristics. The carriage is recognized as the ideal material for those who are true connoisseurs of the beauty and environmental friendliness of natural wood. Carriage buildings are characterized by an ideal appearance and are rightfully considered the pride of their owner. Thanks to their solid and reliable look, Norwegian homes are gaining widespread popularity among consumers. At the same time, the owner of a house from a gun carriage does not have to worry that the structure will lose its thermal insulation characteristics;
  • Savings on building and finishing materials – another advantage of the houses from the gun carriage. Unlike a log house, fewer elements are needed to build a reliable carriage house. Moreover, the construction of the gun carriage allows you to refuse additional insulation and sound insulation, since they are obviously at a high level. No need for external and internal wall decoration with clapboard or block house, which also helps to reduce construction costs.

Important! One of the interesting types of carriage buildings are semi-plank houses – logs that are constrained only on one side (the inner side of the building). The use of such material will not only facilitate the process of finishing the house, but will also allow you to create an original interior of the home. The exterior of the building from the outside will resemble a traditional log house, while the chipped inner surface of the logs will contribute to the expansion of useful living space, which makes such a structure twice as profitable..

How to build a house from a gun carriage: assembly features

After familiarizing yourself with the projects of Norwegian houses from the gun carriage and evaluating the size of the construction budget, you can safely start the process of building a house. In the process of erecting such buildings, northern pine is used – an affordable and relatively inexpensive building material. If the trunk diameter is 28-36 cm, then after processing the diameter of the finished material will be 21-22 cm.

Important! As for pre-processing, it includes the following steps:

  • Carriage manufacturing using specialized equipment;
  • Sharpening a log followed by marking it with markings, which should only be performed by an experienced craftsman, since the quality of the connection of the logs and the subsequent operational characteristics of the building depend on its correctness.

Subsequent stages of work:

  • After marking the log with a line, which is performed by a carpenter using special tools, it is necessary to cut out a lock – a Norwegian bowl. This stage of work is quite complex and delicate and should be carried out with a certain amount of experience;
  • Using the line, mark a longitudinal groove, which is selected with the help of an adze – an ax characterized by a special shape;
  • Next, grind the gaps, which is necessary in order to ensure the maximum density and smoothness of the joints;
  • The final stage in the preparation of building material is its treatment with an antiseptic. To do this, use specialized formulations that have antiseptic characteristics and prevent wood from rotting and the appearance of mold spots on it..
  • Having prepared the material, they begin to erect the building. The basis of the structure is a strip-type foundation, which is a monolithic concrete base. Before proceeding with the assembly of the house, a waterproofing layer is laid on the foundation to prevent damage to the lower rims.
  • After that, the assembly of the building is carried out, which takes a long time, since it requires the most durable fitting of parts, which guarantees the exact connection of the elements of the house. In door and window openings, a groove is selected, the width of which is 50 mm, which must be inserted into the guide bar, which is the basis for fastening the window frames and the door block. This contributes to the safety of doors and windows during the shrinkage of the log house – after that they will “fall into place”, finally dry out and will be tightly pressed against the logs, which guarantees the absence of cracks.

  • In order to carry out the installation of the ceiling, wooden beams are used, characterized by a cross-sectional size of 150×200 mm. In order to give the interior of the house an original appearance, in most cases the ceiling is left open..

  • As for the finishing of a Norwegian house from a gun carriage, it can be carried out using various stylistic solutions. In most cases, the masters recommend giving preference to the classic version, which involves treating the walls with translucent protective compounds, preserving their natural beauty. The use of various tinting is also encouraged, since processing with various paints and varnishes will not only increase the degree of protection of the building, but also make it as attractive as possible..

In conclusion, we note that carriage houses are one of the most reliable construction options, which will be the best choice in regions with cold climates. The unique technology of joining logs makes it possible to erect reliable structures, the operational life of which exceeds tens and hundreds of years. The growing popularity of such houses in Norway and the northern regions of Russia proves this once again..