The Log Blog by Appalachian Log Structures

Order your Log Home Package – Step #10 in Planning for Success

Posted on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 @ 11:09 AM

finished log homeNow that you've successfully completed the previous 9 steps in Planning a Successful Log Home Project you are ready to order your log home building materials. 

Remember to contact your helpful and knowledgeable Log Home Consultant so they can assist you with this process.  They are a great resource of information.  If you do not plan on financing any part of the project most log home manufacturers require a 10% deposit to complete your construction set of plans and to start planning for your order.  Usually a 40% deposit is needed to begin the manufacturing of your materials with the 50% balance due upon delivery.  If you are planning on taking a loan, most financial institutions that have previously worked with log homeowners will require the borrower to put down at least 10% with the log home manufacturer and the 90% balance due will be released from the lender on day of delivery.  This is all subject to the loan closing before any manufacturing occurs. 

From this point it will take an average of 6 to 8 weeks for the materials to be manufactured, packaged and ready to ship.  This gives you time to clear and grade the building site, dig and install the foundation and ready the sub floor.  On the day of delivery all that needs to be done is to put the log bundles on the sub floor and start the installation process.  You can look back over the recent past, re-trace the steps you took and be satisfied with all of the planning you did to make your dream log home become reality!

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Tags: dream log home, log home consultant, log home manufacturer

Construction Loan Application - Step #9 in Planning for Success

Posted on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 @ 09:44 AM

log cabin homeThis step can take some time to complete and will take some patience.  There are several items that most financial institutions require you provide when you apply for your loan.  Listed below are just a few:

  • Last 3-4 years of tax returns and/or W-2’s

  • Last 3-4 pay stubs

  • Your address for the last 2+ years

  • Current statements from checking, savings, portfolios, etc

  • Employment addres for last 2 years

  • Copy of deed/title to the land you are building on or being purchased.

  • Set of floor plans and builder contracts/estimates

There is a lot more information that will be requested before the loan is closed so be prepared to keep digging through your files and have patience.  Our Log Home Sales Consultants assist folks everyday who are going through this process, and believe me, you are not the only ones who feel like they are going through the hoops as this process takes place.

At some point in the application process an appraisal will be ordered for your log cabin home building project.  The appraiser will take your log home floor plans along with the contractors contract/estimates and will determine a value of your home setting on the lot you have chosen.  This value will become part of the basis for the amount of funds the lending institution will loan towards your log cabin home.  Once this amount is determined, the draw schedule can be completed, papers can be signed and you can begin building your dream log home.

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Our next and final blog in this series is Step #10 – Placing your Log Home Package order.

Tags: log homes, log cabin home, dream log home, dream log cabin, log home floor plans

Choosing a General Contractor - Step #8 in Planning for Success

Posted on Thu, Jan 3, 2013 @ 09:07 AM

log home contractor

Unless you are building your dream log cabin yourself, you will be speaking with and interviewing several general contractors or if you plan to act as your own general contractor, numerous sub-contractors. 

In this process not only is it recommended that you ask for references, but also to call and visit those on the reference list from the contractor.  The references should contain both recent projects completed, within the past 12 months, as well as some older references, 2+ years old to see if the service after completion was performed satisfactorily. 

Ask for copies of licenses, certification of insurance and other coverage’s and check with the local building code office or Home Builder Association to get some additional insight of those you are considering.  For vendor references check with the local lumber yard or “big box” store to see if they pays their bills and sub contractors on time.  The folks at these places of business see and hear things that others may not. 

Remember, when choosing a general contractor, you will be working with this person for an average of 6 months +/-.  It is best to make sure that you communicate well, that they understand the scope of your log cabin home project and that all agreements (from BOTH parties) are put in writing so mis-understandings don’t arise.  Don’t be afraid to ask to see a recent or sample contract so that you know what to expect when yours in completed.

Ask questions; take notes on how long it takes to get an answer and just how complete an answer you get.  The more specific your questions and their answers, the better build project it will be.

Next time – Step #9 – Applying for your Construction Loan.

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Tags: log home, log homes, log cabin home, dream log cabin, log home manufacturer, log home design

Log Home Construction Costs - Step #7 in Planning for Success

Posted on Fri, Dec 28, 2012 @ 09:51 AM

log cabin kitNow that you’ve got your floor plans drawn by your log home manufacturer, you can start gathering more accurate construction costs.  Up until now any estimates or quotes you have received have been “any ones guess”.  Most quality contractors we hear from won’t provide any type of pricing until a set of log home floor plans has been produced and folks are ready to spend some time discussing their wants/needs and budget for their log home project.  Once a floor plan drawing is completed contractors now have something specific to associate bulding costs to.

For financing purposes, you will not only need a set of your log home floor plans to submit with the rest of your documents, but your construction estimates as well.  If you have chosen to have your home professionally built by a general contractor, they will provide to you the estimated construction costs. 

If you plan on being your own General Contractor or building the log cabin kit yourself, our Cost Estimating Worksheet will be of great assistance.  When I built my log home 19 years ago, we used this very form to gather our costs and budget our money accordingly.  Not only did we come in on time (we developed and executed a realistic construction time line) but we came in on budget as well thanks to this form.

Be sure to add in about 10% in cost overruns for unanticipated expenses, price increases, or in case you forgot to include an item you REALLY wanted in your new dream log home.  Don't forget to contact your local Log Home Consultant and use their experience as a great resource tool for your building project.

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Next up – Step #8 Choosing a General Contractor.

Tags: log home, log cabin kits, log home manufacturer

Purchase log home floor plans - Step #6 in Planning for Success

Posted on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 @ 02:00 PM

log home floor plans

Assuming that you have progressed through the first 5 steps in the Successful Planning series you have now completed your research, set a realistic budget, know where you are going to build your log cabin home, sketched some log home floor plan ideas on paper and are within the building/move in timeline you have set for yourself, it's now time to have your preferred log home manufacturer start drawing your dream log home design.  Whether it is a floor plan that the log home manufacturer already has pre-designed, there are some slight modifications you want made to that plan or if you have your own custom log home design, gather your ideas, sketches and other information and get with your Log Home Consultant to get underway.

For folks wanting one of our pre-designed plans we offer a Study Set of plans that will help you gather building costs and/or provide to your lending institution for appraisal purposes.  For those wanting to modify a pre-designed plan or customize their own plan we have a Preliminary Plan option that provides the same type of information as the Study Set of plans include.  Contact your local Log Home Consultant for more information and pricing on the Preliminary Plan option.

Over the year's we have found that those homeowners who start working on their log home floor plans early are the most confident and well prepared when construction actually begins.  You should be very relaxed and not rushed through this step as it is your dream log cabin home.  Both your log home manufacturer and your Log Home Consultant are very interested in assisting you through this process.

Coming soon - Step #7 Obtaining Construction Estimate.

$ave on Plans

 

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Tags: log homes, log cabin homes, log home design, log home floor plans

Timeline for a New Log Home - Step #5 in Planning for Success

Posted on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 @ 02:25 PM

log home constructionSome folks will set a date that they want to be moved in to their new log home like Christmas, Thanksgiving or a special anniversary or birthday.  Setting goals are a great idea but they need to be matched with realistic expectations.  If you’ve never had a custom home built before, now may be the time to investigate a bit further.

There are several factors that will affect how long a log home building project will take.  Here are just a few:

  •  Complexity and size of the house plan
  • Location of the building site
  • Availability of building supplies
  • Weather
  • Size/experience of construction crew

On average our homeowners have told us that from the time they started clearing their lot until the time they moved in, it took them approximately 12 months to complete.  Remember, this is an “average” so some folks building smaller, simpler designs may have spent fewer than 6 months and some with very large (7000+ sq ft) complex houses on difficult building sites may have spent 18 months or longer.

If you have a move-in date selected be sure to keep the time lines and what can effect them in mind so you know when you have to start.  To help you along, click here for a sample time line to help you along in planning.  For further assistance, use your local Log Home Consultant as a wonderful resource for insights in to the time line planning process.

Our next topic is Step #6 – Ordering Blueprints

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Tags: log homes, log home consultant, log home design

Designing Your New Log Home - Step #4 in Planning for Success

Posted on Fri, Dec 7, 2012 @ 11:50 AM

Step #4 in the Successful Planning series is Designing Your Log Home.

What style of home are you dreaming of building, a single story ranch style for retirement (or just to give your knees a break) or a home with a 2nd story or loft? Does one of our pre-designed models fit your wants/needs perfectly or would you want to make some modificationlog home designs to one? Have your own custom design with rooms sizes and locations exactly where you want them? Any of our Log Home Consultants can help you get started with any of these options.

When designing your log cabin home, remember what furniture you have now and what you plan to take with you. Is there room enough for the 9 foot tall custom made wall unit you will bring to your new log home? How about Grandma’s dining room table that seats 12 for all the family dinners you have – will the new design accommodate this precious piece of furniture? What is in your attic or basement now and where will it go in the new house? What features in your existing home would you want to duplicate in your new design. What features do you NOT want to duplicate?

Consider your lifestyles too. For 2nd story models with the master bedroom on the main floor – do you want a bedroom above yours? All bedrooms on one side of the house or do you want separate sleeping areas with you on one side of the house and kids/guests on the other? Need a large kitchen since you cook a lot or just a galley kitchen since you plan on ordering take out frequently?

Get your ideas together and contact your local Log Home Consultant. We’re a great resource for your log home project.

Next in the 10 step series is Step #5 – Developing a Timeline.
 
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Tags: log home, log cabin home, log home consultant, log home design, log cabin home design

A Perfect Log Home Setting - Step #3 in Planning for Success

Posted on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 @ 02:20 PM

dogwood log home
Having a successful log home building project requires lots of planning.  Last time we discussed the importance of prequalifying and establishing a budget.

Today we’re on to Step #3 – Selecting a Building Site.  If you already own the property on which you will be building your log cabin home then you are “one step” ahead of the game.  You may want to read along anyway to see if there was anything you may have overlooked or forgot to ask.

It usually is easier to adapt a log house design to fit your building site than to find land that fits your design.  One of the most important questions to ask when investing in property that is not on a city sewer system is if the land “perks”.  A perk test is required where a septic system is necessary and is important because the system will need to be placed on the property according to where the waste water will best be absorbed in to the ground.  This may require you moving the building site in order to accommodate the septic system. 

Other questions you may want to consider asking before purchasing:

  • Restrictions (if any) of the type/size of homes that are allowed to be built here?
  • Are there architectural review boards that need to review my plans before I build?
  • Are there any deed restrictions, easements or right of ways that affect the property?
  • Is there a homeowners association that I will need to join?  Annual fees?
  • Who maintains the roads (county, state, city, owners association)?
  • Is the land in a flood zone?
  • When was the last survey done?
  • What services are available (electric, cable, telephone, cell signals, DSL, water, sewer, garbage pick up, etc)

Asking now will save time and money in the future.  Don’t forget to use your local Log Home Consultant as a resource.  We’re here to assist you!  

Look for Step #4 – Designing your Home in the near future.

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Tags: log home, log cabin home, build a log cabin

Log Home Building Budget - Step #2 in Planning for Success

Posted on Fri, Nov 23, 2012 @ 10:34 AM

fair oaks log homePlanning is the KEY to a successful log home building project.  Last time we reviewed the first of ten important steps when planning your dream log home - RESEARCH. 

Step #2 – Prequalify and Establish your Budget.  Even if you are in a cash equity situation and do not have to have a lending institution involved in your building project it is recommended that you set a budget for the project.  Be realistic when setting your budget and like any goal you set for yourself – write it down.

If you decide to use a lending institution, start the prequalification process early.  Keep in mind that “prequalified” means that the dollar amount determined by the lending institution is their best guess loan amout based on un-verified information that you have provided to them (income, debt, liabilities, etc).  Once you choose a lender and submit a loan application fee along with all of the other documentation required (Taxes, pay stubs, bank accounts, portfolios, floor plan, cost estimates, etc) they can determine an exact loan amount.

Once you have been prequalified and have set a realistic budget it will be easier to start investigating the size of log home or log home kit you can build for the amount determined.  We suggest not getting your heart set on a floor plan before being prequalified and setting a budget.  Knowing how much you can borrow will help you budget accordingly and to properly size your log home floor plan. 

Your local Log Home Building Consultants have assisted thousands of homeowners through this process so when you have questions, contact one of them.

 Next time – Step #3 – Selecting Your building site.

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Tags: log home, log homes, log home kits, build a log cabin

Building A Log Home - Research is #1 Key to Planning Success

Posted on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 @ 10:16 AM

Modified RichmondIt’s true.  Planning is the most time-consuming and important part of building a log home.  Over the next few weeks we will be reviewing ten steps that will bring you closer to making your best move yet!

Step #1 – RESEARCH.  Magazines, books, web pages, seminars, factory visits, etc are all excellent ways to start your research.  Look at the different shapes, sizes and corner styles that are offered and determine which one(s) you like best.  How do you want your log home building materials manufactured, in random length where you/your builder cut and fits the product at the job site, or pre-cut where product arrives ready to be assembled (or maybe a little of both)?  What  building materials do you want in your log home kit?  How is the wood protected from wood digesting insects and decay?  Does the log home manufacturer offer a warranty against decay?  Are the building components grade stamped to meet local building codes? 

These are just a sample of the many questions our homeowners asked us before investing in an Appalachian Log Structures Inc. material package.  They also tell us that this is the step they spent the most time doing, taking up to 12 months to gather, study and finally decide on a manufacturer.  By choosing your log home manufacturer as early in the process as possible, you’ll save time and effort as you continue to take the rest of the steps.

When you have questions call your local Log Home Consultant.  We’re here to assist you along the way.

Next time: Step #2 – Prequalify and Establishing a Budget.

Tags: log home, log home manufacturer, log home kits