This is how it all started; choosing a home site and
clearing the land.  We purchased the property from a
timber company and the only access road to it was a
short distance where the logging equipments entered the
property.  My initial plan was to build the log home on
top of pillars of cement blocks.  As you can see in this
picture, I had made the pillars for all the corners and
had begun laying on the first logs.  But before I get too
much into the process of log home building, let me
explain that building a log home from scratch, aside
from the property and trees, require a lot of time,
patience and planning and little money.  Contrary to
popular wisdom, you don't have to be a lumberjack or a
person of great strength to build a log home; I am 5'6"
and weigh 160 pounds. When I began building my
home I did not have any helpful skills but focus and
determination kept me on task.  
Plan on felling your trees in the fall season when the sap
is in the roots, making the trees lighter and less
susceptible to insect damage.  You will also have plenty
of time to peel the bark before the bugs and the hot
weather show up.  Some folks peel a 3"-4" strip of bark
lengthwise on opposite sides of each tree and wait until
spring for the logs to shrink and shed their bark.  That
process did not work with oak trees and in general does
not work all the time.  Following that train of thought, a
person is better off felling the trees in early spring, cut the
two strips of bark, let them shrink and begin peeling the
logs in early fall.  Seasoning the logs will make them
lighter and easier to handle.  Having been short of time, I
just peeled the trees as I put them up.  If you don't have
the trees in your property then a sawmill maybe a good
alternative.  Hardwoods are heavier and some species like
oak are almost impossible to drive a nail through without
drilling it first.  Soft woods such as pine and cedar are a
more common trees used for log homes since they are
lighter to handle and less expensive.  One of the things
that can help you a great deal in building a log house is
quality tools.  Be sure to purchase the best hand tools and
by that I don't mean the most expensive ones.  You can
save some money, if you have the time and the
knowhow to look for tools in pawn shops and other
secondhand places.  Also, some hardware stores sell for
example the chisel blades for a fraction of the cost but
you have to make the handle yourself; a rewarding
In deciding the length of your house,
it's best to check and see how long of
logs you can find and make
appropriate modifications.  You can
half lap logs and nail or notch them
together to create a longer wall, but I
have never seen an attractive one.  
Depending on your taste, a log
dwelling can either look modern or
rough or both.  For example, a log
home with partitioned walls made of
timber or 2x4's and drywall would
have more decor possibilities than one
that is made out of logs alone.  In
order to save on having to buy full
length logs, you can plan for your
doors and windows ahead of time and
figure out the length of logs you need
on each side of the openings including
the required length for the notching
and extensions and few extera inches.