Picking the Right Log-Home Company
Log Home Diary Entry # 4
There is not necessarily a right or wrong decision to be made here. To be sure, there are a multitude of log-home companies. Each provides a different level of product/service. Some provide precut logs only; if you have essential construction trade skills, or have a lot of friends with those skills, and have the time, then this is a viable alternative. Other companies provide home design, precut logs and all the materials to put the house under roof. Still others provide a complete turnkey log-home package, including, literally, the kitchen sink.
Frankly, most of the decisions are more about knowing yourself. What are our construction capabilities? How much time and budget do we have for this? Should we act as the general contractor, or do we need help with that as well? What kind of logs that appeal to us are we willing to consider? Do we prefer to deal with a big company or a small company? How practical do we need to be (and what does that mean)? Well, if we want to build in the Southeast and we want a West Coast species of log, it’s going to cost a lot in transportation, and we may have difficulty getting local skilled workers who know how to work with a wood species they have not used before. This would increase our budget and our risk.
So, this becomes a personal decision versus a right/wrong decision. In the end, we chose Southland Log Homes. Our reasoning included:
- priced competitively
- a well-established company with many years of experience
- comfort with the sales people (low key, not pushy)
- don’t jack prices up so they can run a sale
- many models to examine the quality of their product
- no outward signs of financial distress
- ability to customize in any way we choose
- a visit to the mill in South Carolina
- our land is in the heart of where they do business
- references for qualified builders in a geographical region where we have no contacts
This is not to say there are no other log-home companies who have some of these benefits — there certainly are. But, for us, the unique combination of traits that were important led us to Southland.
While we were going through this process — it’s not an event — we put our home in North Carolina on the market. With a good home and location on Lake Norman and a bit of good fortune, we sold our home and were able to rent it back from the buyers. This positioned us for our next move, which was to develop a floor plan and find a builder. Now, the fun really begins.
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