As noted by several folks above, the notion of "turnkey" varies quite a bit. I was pretty far into discussions with Blue Ridge Log Cabins and finally got to the point of figuring out where the pricing would come in on one of their homes. The price per square foot came out to just under $150/sq. ft., but that didn't include the foundation, HVAC, decks, etc. Realistically, the cost of the home was going to end up at roughly $200/sq. ft., not inclusive of the well, septic system, etc. (which we have already installed in anticipation of starting on a cabin next year). BRLC markets their home as a "turnkey" solution and that's almost correct, but only if you look at the home just from the floor joists up. Realistically , there's much more to a home than that and we can't fashion a solution within the constraints of their pricing. As much as I admire the company and the quality of its products, I do believe that their marketing material seriously understates the realistic cost of building one of their homes.
We're now in the "reset" mode, as it appears that a quality log home meeting our size requirements and budgets is not feasible (at least from BRLC). The distance of the site from our full-time home and the constraints of time mean that I can't tackle much of the work on my own, so we're reevaluating our approach. The bottom line is that a turnkey log home is substantially more expensive than conventionally built homes. The people who end up building at next-to-nothing prices generally have need to invest a substantial amount in sweat equity, not something that's realistic for those of us seeking a "turnkey" building experience.
I wanted to follow up and note that after posting this I was contacted by BRLC, who asked if there was anything further they could do to advance our discussions. I don't think it's feasible, given our desires and their cost structure, but I did share with them some ideas as to how they might better convey the true, full cost of their product. Speaking as a lawyer, someone who's spent the better part of thirty years dealing with often obtuse legal documents, I found that my understanding of their pricing was waaaaay off. Perhaps they'll look at this and update their approach, something I think would give them a further competitive edge, since very few companies seem capable of or interested in providing useful pricing tools for potential customers.
This is a quality company with people who strive to get it right. I don't have deep enough pockets to build the BRLC cabin I'd like to, but I have nonetheless had positive experiences with them. They're certainly worth looking at . . . and if you end up building a BRLC home, I'd be happy to spend the night in your guest room.
Contact with log homes builders and specify all details.
Contact with log home builders and specify all details.
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