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Enlisting a Log Home Consultant

Worried about making this big investment? An experienced log home advisor can guide you through the process with confidence.

Written by Charles Bevier
Using a Log Home Consultant
Photo: Adobe Stock / ©stokkete
Choosing to build a log home puts you squarely on the path less traveled. And though it’s exciting, venturing into unchartered territory isn’t something most people are comfortable with. Wouldn’t it be great to have a coach who has intimate knowledge about how logs go from raw material to finished house, to help you choose the right producer, avoid costly mistakes and stay on budget? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have someone who is truly on your side?
You can — by engaging a log home consultant.

Bar IV at Your Service

Hiring a log home consultant is about spending a little at the outset that will ultimately save you thousands over the course of the project, according to Barry Ivey, founder of Bar IV Log Homes Consulting, a consultant with 25 years of experience in the log and timber industry.
“You only get one shot to get it right,” cautions Barry, who currently offers an initial one hour consult for free. “My job is to help home buyers achieve their dreams without fear, financial pitfalls or frustrating sales tactics. It takes away all the risks. We ensure clients work with only quality, honest companies.” 
For a flat fee of $495, Bar IV will help home buyers finalize their design and get bids for log home packages from three different companies. “The point of that effort is to ensure their budget will work before they commit,” Barry says. For an additional one percent of their projected building budget, his company will solicit bids from up to 10 producers, negotiate with them to get the best price and usher the project to completion, including vetting local builders to turnkey the client’s new dream home — a phase of the process that is often the most daunting to log home buyers. “At each stage of design and construction, we help our clients save money,” Barry explains.
“Ultimately the fees they pay us will be made back many times over.”

Log Home Hub Can Help

Jim and Belinda Elliott founded the Log Home Hub to help people save money during the buying and building process, using the knowledge they acquired building more than 1,000 log and timber frame homes.
“We do much of the leg work for gathering quotes from several manufacturers, advising on options available from one company to the other — even gathering budget details for all the missing pieces to complete the home,” Jim says.
According to Jim, the fees vary with the level of their involvement. “Typically fees are in line with real estate brokers fee. Roughly 7 to 8 percent, while helping our clients save anywhere from 20
to 40 on the cost of the home.
“We have 40 years of log and timber frame experience, including sales, manufacturing, drafting and, most importantly, real hands on construction experience,”’ Jim continues.  “The buying process is a moving target. We are consistently advising clients of real-time experiences as they happen, to ensure a successful purchase and overall project.”
One of their recent clients agrees: “The Log Home Hub has been a life saver, or should I say a money saver!” exclaims Melanie S. in North Carolina. “They had the resources and experi-
ence that I didn’t have. We saved a huge amount of money, as well as got upgrades we could never have gotten on our own.”

Caribou Creek Offers Planning Guide

For buyers interested in the special nuances of a handcrafted log home, Idaho-based Caribou Creek Log & Timber is selling a new “Planning Guide,” ($19.95) to help clients navigate the tremendous task of making their dream homes reality.
“We’ve created this guide to help our clients through the whole process,” says Lindsay Sutherland, office manager. This includes resources for locating land brokers, realtors, financing options, bank connections the company has used and much more. “If you’ve ever purchased wedding planning guides, it’s very similar in terms of providing from A-to-Z resources,” she says. “Our goal is to help you save thousands of dollars while giving you peace of mind during the buying and building process.”
Building a custom home is one of the largest investments you will make in your lifetime. You may not want to go it alone. If a log home is what you’re longing for, enlisting a consultant’s services may help you get it at the price you want and provide the reassurance you need.

Services to Expect

Randy Fudge, a log home pro for more than two decades, says as an independent consultant, his goal is to use his experience to help the buyer make decisions that are suited to their budget and their aspirations. The following points are an example of type of services you’ll get for your money:
  • Determining the needs and goals of the client
  • What to really consider before you buy
  • Establishing realistic expectations of log home ownership
  • Defining budgets and affordability
  • Understanding a company’s product line and services
  • Design elements and material specifications
  • Negotiating to get the best value
  • Understanding a company’s terms and agreements
  • Demystifying payment schedules
  • Assisting with contract specifications
  • Functioning as a liaison between the buyer and the company
  • Negotiations
  • Site prep and package delivery
  • Job site inspections and builder training
  • Structural component inspection
Looking for even more log home planning advice? Find it here!

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