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Went down a bad road with Southland log homes.  I believed in their sales pitch, signed a contract with an $11,000.00 deposit paid in February 2017, BIG MISTAKE.  I have yet to receive building plans and my efforts to contact their recommended builder have been a challenge.  After many e-mails and phone calls (not a good sign) I did receive a total project cost estimate however it was over 30% higher than budget.  The total project budget is based off the cost estimator tool on Southland's web site which I was told is very accurate and good tool.  An example of the price gouging from GC is an estimate for at chimney at $28,000.00!! 

The builder is now pushing me to sign contracts but refuses to answer any questions regarding his quotes. I cannot move forward on this project with this builder; unprofessional, unethical and I have a feeling he will not finish the project- when I asked for references he stalled and has yet to answer.

I don't think I can get out of this contract without losing my deposit but I do need a builder.  Does anyone know of a builder / General contractor in the North Shore area of Massachusetts, Essex county?  Any help would be greatly appreciated.



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Sorry to hear about your frustration.

A couple options for you:

1) Give a call to I-Wood-Care. They're a retailer based in central NY but do business with several contractors throughout New England. Their # is 800-721-7715. 

2) Give a call to Dave Hoffman with Log Building Maintenance and Restoration, 800-284-6520. He used to work with several builders before he got into the maintenance business. He may have some good recommendations. He's based in PA but does work all over PA, VA, NY, etc. 

Hope that helps some! Let us know how it turns out!

--- Charis w/ Sashco - -

Sorry to hear this. I had a very good experience with Southland but I am a builder and knew what I was looking at and understood costs. Charis has offered some good options. I would guess you would need a budget of $150 minimum per sq ft(NC & VA ) and maybe higher depending on options and expectations. I don't necessarily think $28,000 for a fireplace is out of line. I have a 32 foot high brick and rock fireplace that cost me around that. 

Thanks Scott, my cabin will not be that high maybe 20-23 feet, Rockingham model.  I am working on own for quotes but unfortunately I have absolutely zero experience- the home builder web site is helpful and once (if ever) I receive the building plans I think I should be able to find an ethical mason who can provide a competitive quote for a brick fireplace / chimney.  I appreciate your insight!

Good luck. I know Southland's business approach is selling logs and not building and they "refer" you to a "builder". ALWAYS check references and local reputation. There are a few very good builders on this site. Rather than recommend someone do some research for posts on this site on restoration, staining, building subjects and you can read and gain insight of who is and isn't a qualified builder. I would also assume that building cost is Mass. is considerably higher than in the south. I would be careful that using a qualified stick frame builder might not be qualified as a log builder. Also there are many who will erect your logs to a dry in stage and then a local builder can complete the remaining tasks. If you can attend a log home show that could be helpful. Hochstetler Log Homes offer a builder and DIY builder show to learn. 

Thanks Scott.  I appreciate your help, right now I am looking to find a log home builder to put up the (dry in??) shell and then use another local GC for finish work.  I think Maine is my best option, there are couple log Home providers in that state so I might be able to find reputable GC.  If I could do it all over again- and I might just walk away from Southland forfeit the deposit and go with Katahdin.  What a shame.


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