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## Calculating Square Footage

“My log home is around 2000 square feet. How much stain will I need?”

Often that’s all the information a customer has available when they first call Perma-Chink Systems. When people talk about the square footage of their home, they are usually referring to the floor area that may or may not include a garage. But does this number give us enough information to make an estimate of how much stain and topcoat will be required to finish a home?

Look at the outlines of three log homes with approximately 2000 square feet of floor area at the bottom of this page. Home A is just about square, Home B is long and narrow and Home C has two extensions on the ends. Even though the floor areas of these homes are nearly the same, the perimeters of the homes are significantly different and the perimeter is a significant factor in determining total exterior wall surface area.

For example, if we have flat log walls that are 12 feet high and ignore window and door openings, the exterior wood surface area of Home A is 2136 square feet whereas the exterior wood surface area of Home C is 2880 square feet, a difference of 35%. That’s why knowing the floor area of a home does not really help us determine the amount of finish required to stain a home.

### So how can you determine the square footage of your exterior log walls?

It’s easier to work up the numbers one wall at a time then add them together. Start by measuring the length of the wall with a tape measure. Then either measure the height, or estimate it by counting the number of log courses and multiplying the number of courses by the diameter or height of the logs. Just remember that the diameter, or height, is in inches, so you will need to convert inches into feet. For example, if the logs are 6 inch high logs, they are 6/12, or 0.50 feet, in height; and if they are 10 inch logs they are 10/12, or 0.83 feet, in height.

So if we have a wall that is 25 feet long and has 16 courses of 10 inch logs the calculation is:
25 ft. x 16 courses x 0.83 ft. = 332 square feet.

Now this assumes the wall is flat, but what if the logs are round? A rule of thumb is to add 25% to the square footage of a wall to compensate for the increased surface area created by the curvature of the logs. So in the above example, if the logs are round you would multiply the 332 square feet by 1.25 resulting in 415 square feet of wood surface area. 