I'm anxiously "interviewing" log home companies for our home that we're going to build next spring, 2013. I'm so overwhelmed with pricing,floorplans, options...etc. Being near Wisconsin, there are no shortage of dealers/contractors. How do you pick who to use? I thought with the current economy that building labor costs would be much lower than they are. The "log home package" companies are around $200 sq/ft for a basic floor plan and basic interior amenities. Then there are companies like Meadow Valley Log Homes who only build the shell...there total cost estimate is around $130-150 sq/ft....there portion is about 1/3 of that.
Should I be weary of a cheaper company like Meadow Valley?....they claim there air dried homes don't settle due to their spiking method....this claim worries me a bit. How do you know if they're good or not??
Just make sure they can give you references, reasonably recent. You need to decide what you want provided by your log package provider. You can debate all day long about kiln drying vs air dry. Depending on the size of the log and time allowed to dry, they may not settle a lot but I would be leery.
I didn't know there are still companies out there using spikes. But yeah, lagged or spiked systems typically don't settle any more than a conventional built home settles, especially if they are lagged in a stagger formation every 18" or so, certainly not enough to crush windows or to require settling maintenance. Instead of settling, you get gapping between the logs. The gaps range from 1/16th to 3/8th inch. It is important to have a proper internal seal in these homes.And I would recommend chinking/sealing them externally as well. (We leave a settling gap above windows and doors any way to be safe)
My turn-key bids range from $90 to $190. The price just depends on your taste. I would be happy to submit a dry-in bid for your project. My bids are free, and frankly, I don't feel like you are wasting my time, even if 10 other companies are bidding it as well.
There are some great companies in Wisconsin. To keep costs down (initially and on-going), consider a "stick-built" home with log siding, log siding interior walls, and tongue in groove ceilings. Do some google reserach and you'll find you can order these products wholesale, then work with a local builder. Some companies even pre-stain the wood.
Mark why recommend a stick built home with log siding? A log home milled or hand crafted if built right is far superior to a stick built home with log siding.
Glenn, both have advantages. Solid logs are superior in tensile strength. Great on resisting hurricane and tornados and floods. Log siding has great, cost, insulation capabilities, and environmental advantages.
Raymond, I question why Mark who it appears does not live in a loghome would refer someone who is looking for a loghome to log siding. I have built with milled logs and log siding, the only siding that compares to logs in my view is no way less expensive than a quality built loghome. I did not post to argue but posted to ask why someone would add to the confusion of building a style home they asked about. Glenn
I see what you are saying Glenn, I would consider this to be a non-hostile exchange of opinions (not an argument)
I agree with you that solid logs and log siding are not comparable, but each can bring a unique advantage that the other can not. It comes down to what virtues are important to the Home Owner. Aestheticly, we both know you end up with the same result. Unless you go with a scribed home, which can never be copied by machine.
Thanks for the help...I have definitely explored the log siding option and have found it to be the same price if not more than conventional logs. However, I did not look into purchasing the log siding from a wholesaler...very good idea.
I'm a little nervous about full logs settling and giving me problems down the road. I feel like the big package companies are ripping me off, and maybe companies like Meadow Valley are just fine. I just don't know what to do.
Ray...i'll have to give you a call.
You're right - I got off-topic from the original question.
I am speaking as someone is Justin's exact same position - building in 2013.
I have done extensive research and talked to many log home companies.
My personal conclusion (and it is only my opinion) is that the advantages of log siding far outweigh those of logs.
I honestly think siding is the future of the industry, but some people like the aesthetic and "tradition" of a log home.
I'll be ordering pre-stained northern white cedar and having a local contractor put up the house. I'm looking for the same long-term "peace of mind" that Justin refers to and this is the best choice for me.
Hi Mark, Please go to usaloghomes.com and get the right information on cedar logs. You're adding labor and materials to your budget needlessly. The construction will take longer and set back your construction time. Siding,sheathing,insulation,vapoer barrier,and interior finish take longer to install than log. Get a pre-cut, pre-drilled log home system and save time and money and still get cedar. Lower utilities is just one advantage you achieve with log. Jim and Pam Katahdin Cedar Log Homes
Hello Justin, Don't shoot yourself in the foot trying to get a deal on a log home. Determine your budget number and design your home to fit it. You can get cedar at pine prices, guaranteed on usaloghomes.com You can get pricing and a Dealer/Builder to help you at no cost or obligation. If a builder is willing to drop his price you should run. You can make your home more affordable by watching your "bell and whistles. After building over 60 log homes in 25 years I have been underbid numerous times and it did not end well for some of them. Log homes are custom structures and are built and priced accordingly. Don't forget the reasons you love log homes and don't be deterred
by opinions.But more importantly, have fun with it. Jim and Pam Katahdin Cedar Log Homes
You should do your research to see you feel most comforatable with! We would love the opportunity to work with you. We are located in Minnesota and have been in business for over 31 years! We are the log manufacturer (mill), builder and a licensed General Contractor. If you have interest please see our website at wploghomes.com or call us Mon- Sat 10am-5pm at (800)474-5647. Sincerely, Jacob and the Whispering Pines Team!