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Long-Distance Home Building Guide | 5 Tips for Building Remotely

Not building in your own back yard? Use our long-distance building survival tips.

Long-Distance BuildingYou've always wanted to build your own log home. And now, you've finally bought the perfect piece of land to put it on. Trouble is, your dream lot is in the shadow of Colorado's Rocky Mountains and you're living in the marshes of Florida. How do you make it work? Before you dive in, take a look at our top five ways to nip stress in the bud. If you think about these factors in the earliest stages of your home-building project, you can save yourself a lot of headaches (and heartaches) down the road.

1. Choose the Right People.

It's all about trust. When you're planning a home from a distance, you need to work with a log-home company and contractor that you trust completely. Those who take the time to educate themselves usually have the best experiences, and there are a number of ways you can research log companies and builders. Log home shows offer a wealth of educational opportunities, as do open houses, log raisings, magazines and books.

2. Communicate With Your Team.

Finding a builder and manufacturer who communicate well is essential for a long-distance project. Today's technology offers a plethora of ways to stay informed. Your builder can communicate via cell phone from the job site to update you about progress and ask about design decisions that arise during construction. Tom Crawford, sales manager for Appalachian Log Homes, suggests taking this technology one step further. "Find a contractor with good computer sense and a digital camera," he advises. "Your contractor can then take photos of the progress and email the pictures to you directly."

3. Pay Periodic Visits.

Most log-home experts recommend visiting the site at least once a month if at all possible. If this isn't feasible, try to get to the job site at crucial points of the process so that you're aware of how the house is situated and so there are no last-minute surprises when you unpack your bags on move-in day.

4. Keep Costs Under Control.

Many people who build a home from afar often wonder if it's more expensive than building locally. If you choose the right people for the job, it should work out to be around the same price. It may even cost less, depending on local labor rates and price of materials. If you choose a package with pre-engineered components, you may save money by eliminating some of the on-site construction costs.

5. Learn the Art of Patience.

It sounds simple enough, but practicing patience is a crucial ingredient to the success of any long-distance building project. Since you're not physically present at the job site, you may not comprehend various factors that cause your project to fall behind schedule. When you're building cross-country, you need to relinquish some control and put your trust in the people that you hired.

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