Basic Log Home Questions: 11-15

Here are some more thought-provoking questions to help prepare you for the task of building a new log home.

5 More Questions to Begin the Log Home Building Process
Thought-provoking questions to help prepare you for the task of building a new log home.
by: Log Home Living editorial staff

11. How much will the home cost?
This is obviously one of the most important factors in buying a log home. Earlier, you were asked to consider your budget for the project, but here you are looking at a slightly different matter: ensuring that your budget is capable of accommodating the log home that you're planning. As you compare costs, be aware that several factors come into play when looking at total price and value.

For instance, good design will add considerably to the value of your log home. A producer and builder who use materials efficiently will help to keep costs down. And remember that the quality of components in the home should be equal to the value of the home. A log producer that takes these factors into account will help you get the most for your money, and come in at your budget.

12. What about purchase agreements?
Most purchase agreements are written by log home companies for their protection. The log home companies may amend a contract in segments where they already feel secure, so ask for changes if you need them. Comparing competitors' contracts will help you identify industry norms so you'll have a better idea of what to expect. Some specific points should be clearly explained in a purchase agreement: the purchase price and payment terms; an itemized list of everything you're buying; a written statement verifying all verbal promises and commitments; the provisions for canceling the contract; and the producer's warranty, as well as the warranty for any products included in the package.

13. What does your log package include?
The bill of materials is a key element of the contract. This portion should contain a very specific, detailed list of the materials and services you are purchasing.

The items you should look for on your bill of materials are:
  • Wood species for all components, together with the materials grade
  • Name of the specific log profile you want
  • Degree of pre-cutting of your logs
  • Moisture content of your logs as they leave the plant
  • Preservative treatment for your logs
  • Specific type and quantity of fasteners included with your package
  • Specific type, quantity and quality of sealing materials
  • Grading certificate for your logs
  • Specific quality or grade for all of the components you've purchased
  • Number of sets of blueprints included with your package
  • Cost of delivery, if it is included in the package
  • Cost of each of the items on the bill of materials, so you can compare these costs to the cost of components purchased locally.

14. How will the delivery of your logs be handled?
Some producers include delivery costs in their package price. Others will add it to the total cost of the package by charging either a flat fee or a fee based on mileage. You may want to know if the logs will be delivered by common carrier or the company's own trucks. You should ask if the driver will help unload, or if you must supply labor. You may be responsible for inspecting the trucks' route through your property, or on rural roads leading to your property, for bridge heights and weight limits. Ask how much notice you will receive of delivery date and time, and if the truck is late, who will pay for extra man-hours or equipment rental charges. You'll need to know what kind of equipment will be used to unload the truck and how it will be unloaded: Will the first logs off the truck be the last ones needed for construction? Note how much room will be needed to maneuver the truck and turn it around on the job site.

15. Are you comfortable with the people you've selected?
When choosing any professional to work on your home, you should feel sure you've chosen competent, honest people. Pay attention to gut feelings--and check references and talk to several former clients for reassurance. Remember, you'll work with these professionals for months. Make sure you can communicate well with them. Take the time to make informed, confident decisions.

Adding It Up

Having reviewed and answered all of these questions, you should form a fairly clear picture of where you stand on your log home building project. Any areas where you remain unsure merit further consideration. You've no doubt come a long way from those initial daydreams, someday envisioning this spectacular home. You've now researched the project and become an educated consumer, moving closer to making your log home a reality. Print this guide for future reference and reassurance. Good luck!

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