The Log Blog by Appalachian Log Structures

Comparing Log Home packages

Posted on Thu, Nov 3, 2011 @ 04:27 PM

price is right log home

 

If you’ve done any research at all comparing log home companies one of the first things you realized is that they all offer different types of packages.  When trying to compare “apples to apples” you soon learn that it is a virtually impossible task since the material packages are different as well as the quality and type of materials. 

                      Some examples:

  • Log wall material is pre-cut or linear foot?
  • Roof system -  2x convention frame, pre-manufactured truss or heavy timber?
  • Thickness of log, nominal or actual?
  • 2nd floor system - 2x, conventional frame, pre-manufactures truss or heavy timber.
  • Quality of windows/doors – wood, vinyl or clad?
  • Quality of sealants/fasteners?
  • Written warranty against wood digesting insects and decay?
  • Engineered for settling?

Assuming that each manufacturer offers the same products is incorrect.  It is not uncommon to discover that you have requested pricing from a producer that supplies only log and beam materials that are random length and pricing from another that includes materials that are extensively pre-cut and supply a dried-in structural shell.  With the pricing between the two log home producers being several thousands of dollars apart, we often find that folks think the lower priced estimate is better – until they discover the difference.  Sometime folks don’t “discover” the difference until it is too late!

When asking log home producers to provide an estimate for a certain floor plan it will be in your best interest to also provide the list of materials you would like included as well as the type and quality of materials you are expecting.  This will get you as close as possible to that “apples to apples” comparison you are looking for.

 To help you along, here is our Request for Estimate Checklist.  In addition our Packages and Pricing flyer is linked so you may see both the material list and pricing for our pre-cut and random-length materials.  For more detailed information please call on your local Independent Log Home Sales Consultant.  They are a GREAT resource for you to use throughout your log home building project.

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

Why invest in an Appalachian Log Structures log home?

Posted on Thu, Oct 27, 2011 @ 07:19 PM

Happy Log Home Owners

One of the most frequently asked questions we get is “why should I buy a log home from Appalachian Log Structures Inc.?  It’s a GREAT question and one that we easily address. 

After we deliver a log home package we survey our homeowners to ask not only this question but several others as well.  Just like yourselves – our homeowners have done the research, read magazines, hit the web sites, visited model homes, toured log home manufacturing facilities, attended seminars, gone to the log home shows and basically shopped around.  In the end they tell us they chose Appalachian Log Structures Inc. for these 5 reasons:

  1. Product Quality

  2. 25-year Warranty against wood ingesting insects and decay/rot

  3. Borate Pressure treated materials

  4. Extensively Pre-cut building system

  5. Engineered for settling

 Some of the other reasons they’ve mentioned are:

  • Full 6 inch or 8 inch thick logs

  • Sales Consultant’s help

  • Excellent reputation in the industry

Start the process to join the thousands of satisfied Appalachian Log Structures log home owners by giving us a call today or scheduling a time to stop by and visit your local sales consultant and view one of our model log homes.  After doing all your research, you’ll come to the same conclusion as our other homeowners – Appalachian Log Structures is THE right choice!

Tags: log home, log home owners, log home package, log home manufacturing, log home shows

Log Home Construction bids - How do builders charge?

Posted on Thu, Oct 20, 2011 @ 02:03 PM

log house under construction

Sorting out the differences between ‘fixed bid’ and ‘cost plus’.

Even if you plan on doing some or all of the work on your log home yourself, you will still need specialty contractors, including plumbers, electricians and HVAC installers. This is why you need to understand how these trade professionals charge for their services.

You will be contracting with a builder or subcontractors to provide labor and materials in one of three ways.

1) Fixed bid
2) Cost plus (also known as time and materials or an hourly rate)
3) Combination of the above two

Which is better? Read on to discover what to expect when you are making that dream log home a reality. This information is provided by the Log Homes Council, an association of log home manufacturers. Their goal is to enable you to make the most informed decisions when buying and building your log home.

Fixed Bid

Builder or subcontractor furnishes you with a bid that tells you exactly how much you will pay to have a finished home by such and such date. Sounds straight forward, right? You get what you want, the contractor gets what they want and everyone goes home happy. Just like the rest of life, it’s more complicated than you might think.

Fixed Bid Advantages:

• If there’s no surprises, fixed bid can be a good option
• To keep their bid competitive, contractor will be looking for the best deal on all materials
• The contractor will try to get the job done as fast as possible, so he can move on to the next job
• Fixed bid employed by trade contractors, such as electricians, HVAC installers and plumbers
• Common contract clause is “per the plans, in place and to code”
• Once it passes inspection, the trade contractor expects to be paid
 
Fixed Bid Disadvantages:
• The contractor has to ensure he or she doesn’t lose money on a wide range of challenges that may—or may not—come up
• Example scenario: Mountainous terrain.
The builder may need to factor in the blasting of bedrock and excavation to install the basement. This can increase yours costs by thousands of dollars—and that’s all before concrete is poured for the basement.
• You may not get the most competitive price with a fixed bid, because the contractor will have to add in contingency funds for what-if situations

Cost Plus

• A contractor will base their estimate on the amount of time and labor it will take to construct your home, plus a percentage markup on all material that goes into your home
• This tactic is used on projects where costs are harder to predict
• Many log home builders use this formula, largely because there are so many unknowns in log home construction

Cost Plus Advantages:

• If you and your builder keep track of your budget and avoid change orders, this can be the most competitively priced way to get your home built

Cost Plus Disadvantages:

• No incentive to do the job as fast as possible
• No incentive to wisely purchase materials, since everything that goes into the home is marked up

Combo Deal

A combination of these two is increasingly common in log home construction. Some parts of the house are done on a fixed bid, some on an hourly rate and other parts on a time and materials basis, plus a percentage.

Combination Advantages:

• If you invest your time in choosing cabinets, why should a builder take a percentage for ordering them
• A combination bid can help make the process easier for both builder and buyer, while building trust

Combination Disadvantages:

• Not all builders will offer this
• Log home builders are specialists
• If you find a reputable one who is available, you may need to compensate them for their expertise in whatever manner they see fit 

This is a re-printed article from the Log Homes Council library (http://loghomes.org).


Tags: log home, log homes, log home construction, log home manufacturers, log home builders

BIOLOGY OF A LOG HOME

Posted on Wed, Oct 12, 2011 @ 03:37 PM

log home cell structure

 

Craig Wilger, Certified Building Biology Environmental  Consultant and Chemical/Environmental Engineer wrote the following after a visit to our log home model in Ripley, WV.

Briefly, the aspects of log homes that make them so attractive are as follows: 

1.   They incorporate in large part, natural and unadulterated building materials from a renewable source that is many times, very near to the building site.
2.   Wood by its nature is "hygroscopic" meaning it has the ability to absorb moisture and then release it to the indoor environment, thus providing an even relative humidity for the occupants - a health promoting property.
3.   The natural wood surfaces minimizes the adsorption of ionic charges in the air thus making them available to remove particulates by agglomeration and increasing the absorption of oxygen into the blood (negative ions particularly).
4.   The thermal mass of a log home retains heat and thus provides a relatively stable indoor temperature.
5.   Wood has good sound absorbing properties and a pleasing natural     appearance and color.
6.   Log structures have relatively good thermal insulation properties.
7.   The transmission of natural earth and cosmic radiations that human beings have evolved under are disturbed to a lesser degree by natural wood materials.
8.   Wood materials are recyclable and therefore ecologically sound.
 

"Aside from these very positive aspects of the log homes you provide, they simply look and feel terrific!  That alone is very uplifting to the entire human being and promotes optimal health. The additional fact that your company pressure treats the logs with a borate solution makes them pest and mold resistant and more fire resistant as well."  Environmentally friendly and a beautiful natural appearance. Everything a new home should provide for a lifetime of memories.

Tags: log homes, log cabin kits, log home cabins

Making the grade - log home buying basics

Posted on Mon, Oct 3, 2011 @ 01:55 PM

log home gradeAll building codes require grade stamped materials for structural members that are used in residential and commercial construction. A new construction standard has been developed that is specific to log home wall construction. The International Code Council (ICC) 400-2007 Standard on the Design and Construction of Log Structures, states that “all logs used in the construction of log homes shall be stress graded and identified by the grade mark issued by an accredited log agency.”  The slope of grain, knots per foot and soft knots can weaken a log's structural strength. You may be able to get less expensive logs from a sawmill or log home manufacturer that doesn't grade, but you don't have the assurance that these logs will perform under the stress load of your completed home. Grading also looks for issues such as decay, checks and insect issues. And it's important to keep in mind that these criteria should not only apply to logs used in the walls, but for ridge beams, purlins, rafters—all structural wood components.

This grade stamp assures buyers that the logs that they are purchasing have met the code requirements and are allowed to be used in the construction of that residential or commercial log home project. Using graded logs not only assures you that you are building "legally" anywhere in the US, it gives you the knowledge of the likelihood of the performance of your logs over time. And, it gives you the ability to determine the value you are getting-the price versus quality comparison.

Appalachian Log Structures, Inc. (ALSI) has been providing quality grade stamped logs to our customers for 30 years.  Our graders have been certified and trained by Timber Product Inspection (TPI), the industry leader in inspection services.

Insist on a visual grade stamp to insure that your logs will meet this Standard when building a new log home!

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

Order you Log Home Package - Step #10 in Planning for Success

Posted on Thu, Sep 15, 2011 @ 09:35 AM

Now 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 Custom PlanConsultant 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!

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

July is National Log Cabin Month - Let's Celebrate!

Posted on Wed, Jul 13, 2011 @ 09:00 AM

log cabin home monthFor a home with its heritage in the past, today’s log homes are light years away from the rustic one room log cabin of Abe Lincoln’s era. The antiquated vision of the 1800s log cabin reflected the hardships of life on the North American frontier. Today this vision has been replaced with modern log homes that are architecturally aesthetic, energy efficient, and provide all the conveniences that are available in other types of housing. Log homes represent a lifestyle that reflects warmth,comfort, security, relaxation, family, and the love of nature. Log home enthusiasts come from all walks of life, but share a common attraction to these enduring attributes. With a variety of log profiles, corners styles, and log home floor plans, and packaging, building a log home to meet your needs is easier today than ever before.

To celebrate our nation’s love affair with log homes, July 2011 is being heralded as National Log Cabin Month by Log Home Living and County’s Best Cabins magazines. Appalachian Log Structures is joining the celebration to honor the vital role that log cabins have played in American history by offering a promotion to all log home enthusiasts. We invite you to visit our website at www.applog.com to learn more. Feel free to contact one of our log home consultants to help guide you thru the process of owning your own part of this great American tradition.

Tags: log cabin home, log cabin kits, log home cabins, log home floor plans

LOG HOME BLOG - COMING SOON

Posted on Fri, Jun 10, 2011 @ 01:31 PM

Welcome to our new log home website. We are working on some great information to post on our blog and are excited to share it with you. The purpose of this blog will be to provide current tips and trends in log home construction including:

  • Designing a log cabin floor plan to meet your needs
  • Financing a log home
  • Building a log home and the construction process
  • Maintaining a beautiful log home
  • Pictures! Pictures! and more Pictures!

So check back soon and we will keep you posted on Facebook and Twitter!log home under construction

Tags: log home, log home cabins, log home kits