I have been in my long home for a few years now. Just wanted to voice some of the issues that I had to face to get where I am today.
The process was strait forward. Having purchased a "kit" home and not knowing much about the process of building a home. Saying hindsight is 20/20 is a big statement. Just going to point out some of the obvious things that I have learned in hopes of helping someone else later down the road.
1. Either build/finance the house yourself or Get a licensed and Certified Contractor to build and finance.
The way I did mine was with a "recommended builder" they will make sure in the first draw against your construction loan they get their money and will not care if the house ever gets built. (I had to cut my fireplace out in order for the numbers to work.... Yes I have a log cabin without a fire place) This will leaving you holding all the cards. Since you have financed the project and pulled all the permits in your name. I will stop short of specifics b/c I think the fire place is a good example of what could happen.
2. Appraisal... Appraisal... Appraisal...
I am not sure if you can pay appraisers independently, but I would recommend it if possible. In the southern market I would not sign any contract with anyone b/c you will run across 2 types of appraisers. Ones that will put a price to the value and materials that went into your home and Ones that will appraisal your solid built log home as a Modular/Spec house or even worse a mobile home. You better have a good understanding you will run across the second appraiser more often in the southern states. Having a good understanding of this will have you better prepared for the financing of the construction, negotiation with the contractor and later down the road when you try to secure re-financing or lines of credit against you property.
The Main Complaint I have is between appraisers and insurance...
If my home is going to appraise comparable to a modular home, than please by all means quote me insurance along those lines...
I really wish there was more that could be done to combat this issue. In the south insurance companies say that log homes are not "conventional" construction. And a good number of appraisers will not assign value to the homes b/c the market is not strong. So you will be on your own when it comes to negotiating with these people.
You can not expect log home companies to lower the price of their kits to match "modular home prices" and you can-not expect insurance companies to insure a log home as it would a typical home.
I wish anyone the best when it comes to building a log home. I hope I have not deterred anyone from building one by voicing my personal issues.
I apologize b/c I know my typing skill are lacking, Thanks for reading,
I find your explanation very interesting and I agree 100%. In Colorado where we specialize in log home maintenance and repair we have worked on several insurance claims after fires. In all of the cases, the insurance in the beginning didn't want to pay as much as needed to repair / replace the homes. After negotiating, the insurance company in most cases will give more money if you explain it to them. The insurance will act like they never heard of chinking before, they have, you just have to remind them. A bid showing $3/ft for chinking will get accepted after 6 - 12 months of phone calls with agents.