In short, yes, log and timber homes need to be maintained but it may not be as often or labor intensive as you might think. The main factor that affects the maintenance cycle of staining is the exposure to the UV. Look at the surroundings on your lot, tree cover and shade will help with limiting the exposure. Check out this picture of a couple projects that are well protected by trees, but still have an optimal view of the lake:
The other thing to consider is the overall design of the house. At Confederation we do a standard 2′ overhang on all our projects, and can do a 3′ overhang if the customer wishes. Basically, anything you can shield from the sun will be in your best interest for your maintenance coat of stain. Also, features like covered decks, porches, etc. like in this example:
Lastly, think about choosing our window clad option. This means the outside has a metal or pvc cladding but the inside remains wood, which eliminates any window maintenance. Window staining will be the most tedious part of staining because of taping, masking, and requires more attention to detail than just staining a log.
Having said all this, here is the process of staining and what you should expect for a maintenance cycle:
At Confederation we supply 3 coats of stain inside and 3 coats for the outside. Once the inside is done, it’s done for life. The exterior however will have to be maintained approx every 5-7 years; just one coat. We have seen longer cycles depending on the factors listed above but this is a good general ‘rule of thumb.’