If you were asked to name a hot home design trend, you probably wouldn't guess log homes. And yet, new data from the National Association of Home Builders shows last year's sales of log and timber homes were 56% higher than in 2012. That's a big jump. So what's behind the increase? Well, for one thing, today's log and timber homes don't resemble what might come to mind when thinking of an old-fashioned “log cabin.” According to the NAHB, “Revenues from log and timber frame homes have risen at a faster pace than units sold over the past six years as floorplans for the homes have expanded and offerings more extravagant.” In other words, today's log homes are bigger and more luxurious than in the past. In fact, the average log home is 2,031 square feet. Still, the popularity of the homes is impressive when considering the fact that sales last year were only 7.8 percent below the number sold in 2006, while the rest of the single-family construction industry is down 42 percent. In short, log homes have been around forever and, based on their current popularity, they aren't going anywhere any time soon. More here.