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What are some options for removing these decorative log ends on the exterior of my house? The stucco is traditional (real) stucco. There is a possibility that the logs may penetrate the sheathing and be secured to the framing somehow. However, they also appear to be located right around where the top plate in the wall framing would be, so I'm not sure how that would work. That would also be a lot of extra work for the sheathing guys, so maybe I am wrong on that.

The house is in Florida.

I am looking for advice on how to:

  1. Remove the logs in the easiest and least destructive way possible. Possibly flush cut somehow?
  2. Repair the sheathing if necessary and ensure proper waterproofing.
  3. Install a new horizontal trim board where the logs are now, and install cement board shakes in the gables on top of the existing stucco if that is feasible. Similar to the shakes in the example below.

Logs 1

Logs 2

Logs 3

Example of the shakes I'd like to install: Finished Example

  • I would parts of #3, new trim board and then flush cut them. – Micah Montoya Jan 10 at 18:41
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I have removed similar but square beams using a hatchet and a hammer, with quite a few the split right at the anchor and I was able to remove the anchor with vice grips. There were a few that I had to split several times both horizontally and verticly until I found the anchor. The beams were embedded. Over the tar paper but the metal mesh had been cut I am guessing so they would be tight. We did restucco prior to painting and it looked fine but your slate shake/ cement board will look very nice and you wouldn't need to fill the holes.

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    Were they anchored with a stud like I posted in my answer? Good idea splitting with a hatchet. – CoAstroGeek Jan 10 at 23:41
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    Yes they were, the problem I found was they were not all centered in the beam but many were. – Ed Beal Jan 10 at 23:53
  • That's a good idea with the hatchet. I really hope the are just attached on the surface of the sheathing like that. – jmpreiks Jan 11 at 0:12
  • "least destructive way possible" - nope. Pick one and destroy it; you'll figure it out. +1 – Mazura Jan 11 at 9:19
  • @Mazura I was referring to not destroying the surrounding stucco. I am definitely ok with destroying the logs! – jmpreiks Jan 11 at 13:29
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That really is an unfortunate design choice - I can understand your motivation! And the plan to cover it with trim & shake is a good one - you'd never make it look good trying to patch & match the stucco.

They might be attached with a stud like this, screwed into the top plate on the house side:

enter image description here

But with the stucco tight around it, you won't be able to turn it off easily. And may be glued/caulked on the back side as well. If you think this is what they did, you might try a big chain wrench to break it loose:

enter image description here

But it will damage the stucco in the immediate vicinity. This could make the flush cutting option more difficult as well.

Given that you're going to cover this area anyway, I think I'd just go up with some tools - hammer, big screwdriver, prybar, etc. and poke at one and see if you can figure out what's going on. There's probably a half-rotten one anyway.

  • I hadn't thought of the screw in option like that. Seems possible. Any ideas on how to actually flush cut them if I have to go that route? – jmpreiks Jan 10 at 23:09
  • Sawzall with a big blade: homedepot.com/p/… You can flex those blades pretty well to get the cut relatively flush. – CoAstroGeek Jan 10 at 23:13
  • I was going to say pipe wrench; no matter what the fasteners are it'll break 'em (but it's unlikely you own one big enough; not even sure I do). A ten foot pipe on that strap wrench would break anything too. 'just go nuts with w/e' +1 – Mazura Jan 11 at 9:27

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