The Log Home Neighborhood

An online log home community for log home enthusiasts.

I thought I'd throw this out there for general discussion and, perhaps, to invoke a bit of introspection among builders. But, first a little bit about me, lest you think I'm a complete nut: I've just been a participant here for a few weeks. I'm a reasonably educated guy--a retired Air Force officer with a professional post-grad degree--and have dealt with a variety of executives across a large array of industries.

My wife and I at long last find ourselves in the position where we can seriously consider building a log cabin. So, we've been exploring the options, doing a fair amount of research, reading up on the subject, and discussing our options with suppliers and builders. The last year, during which time I've devoted a lot of time to research, has gotten me up to speed as we approach the time when we're actually going to start building. However, we attended the Indianapolis show this weekend and it finally struck me why so many people who explore building a log home don't do so: it's because those in the business are apparently pretty sour on log homes in general.

Why do I say that? Well, it's because the pitch I've heard time after time seems to come down to this: "[Name the competitor]'s way of doing things is horrible. It's expensive, takes forever, and will leave you with a home you'll regret owning. It will warp, settle, attract bugs, develop drafts, and generally rot away beneath your feet. And that's if they don't walk away before your home is finished, leaving you financially ruined. Even if none of those things happen, you'll end up paying through the nose for an inferior product. My price? Well, I can't really say."

Just something for those of you in the industry to mull over: This leaves a guy like me with a number of choices, but the easiest is to just walk away from the whole notion of a log home. You and your competitors are certainly doing a bang-up job of instilling distrust of log homes and of those in the industry. I'm not suggesting that the answer is to gather in a circle and begin singing "Kumbaya," but it might be beneficial to the entire industry if it were to embrace an attitude of aggressive competition that didn't rely on bashing everyone else's way of doing things.

How you accomplish this, I can't say. But, I can tell you that my honest appraisal is that there's a deep rot in the industry, and it manifests itself in a pervasive sales pitch that most log homes should be avoided by the plague. It ultimately instills in many a serious fear of owning a log home.

Having said all that, I continue my search. But, guys . . . there's got to be a better way.

/rant.

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Michael,

 

Pretty common, but there is a better way.

I would be more than happy to help in any way I can.

We would need to know your likes, area you are building (it does make a difference)

when choosing the log profile. We can provide what ever you want.

From reading all the responses it appears that even the home buyers have varing opinions.

The key is not to be pressured, and do the research.

 

Blessings!

Jim

I know exactly what you mean.  You go to a log home show and one guy tells you his method is the best and at the next booth that guy tells you his method is the best and that all other reps are lying to you. Then you go to the third booth and he tells you that the first two guys were lying to you.  Then you talk to builders and you hear a similar tune from just about all of them:  "If you don't go with me you're sacrificing quality."

 

I'm not sure I can offer any advice for builders, but one thing that seems to make sense when licking a log home company is to stick with companies that have been around 25-30 years.  If you do that I can't say that you will be guaranteed of not getting jacked around, but I think that many of the companies. who aren't reputable will have fallen by the wayside by then.

Well we really hit a nerve here. I recommend hochstetler milling.419-994-4758 AMISH get away from the usual.

What you have said here is very true.  Talking about your experience, on this forum, now has opened you up to pesty sales people.  Sales people who use this forum to pitch their log home system, (which each says theirs is the best)  LOL  Sales people who use this forum (FOR FREE ADVERTISING) which I feel cheapens their businesses even more, then badmouthing their competition.  My advice to you is:  Check the BBB, court records, attorney general sites, bankruptcy records, etc..... before you do business with anyone.  And always remember, never pay anyone, not even the log home manufacturer, until you have the product on your property and you have inspected it.  If a manufacturer wants you business, they will work with a letter of commitment from your bank.

I would also check out EZMARY. She thinks she has expertise in all areas. Take what she says with a grain of salt. Talk to a professional if you want good advice.

So this is still going on after 12 years???? You're kidding me! Because my husband and I had been talking about building a log home 25 years ago, so it would have been for 13 years 12 years ago. We were at a point that we were finally ready to put our house on the market and move forward. I had subscribed to log magazines and we had even ordered a package of log home plans. We both REALLY wanted a log home. So when a log home Expo came to Greenville, SC we were there with excitement and anticipation. However, we walked away disillusioned. When we got in the car, my husband said, "Well, my mind is made up. We will not build a log home." And I just cried. WE GOT THE SAME PITCH YOU GOT!!! AT A LOG HOME EXPO, where we should have walked away convinced and excited. Each company told us something negative about log houses that their company could "fix." We were so disillusioned that we just stayed put, in the same house, where I sit here still. The good news is that we are now building our log dream home; but it took 12 years of going to no log expos, talking to log home families, doing our own research, and finally meeting a wonderful, sincere, down-to-earth sales rep. But even 15 months ago we were very close to building a brick home. I am so happy now that we chose logs, and I will not look back. I just read your letter to my husband, and he kept saying, "That's exactly what happened to us." So if any log companies are reading this, Michael is right! You are talking yourselves right out of the business! 

Ha ha! I'm brand new to this forum and was perusing topics, so I impulsively replied. I just realized that this discussion occurred over 4 years ago! Oh well, maybe things are better now, but I'm still staying away from the expo...maybe. 

I think a lot of hate from log home owners and those desiring a log home comes from people that hate maintenance in general.  No one likes going to the dentist either, yet we trust our dentist because they are a doctor.  If you went to a dental convention, assuming you are not a medical professional, you would say the same thing "I don't want to get my teeth cleaned, it's so confusing".  Of course you do go to the dentist and trust your dentist, but for some reason you can't achieve this level of trust with a log contractor.  Instead of searching for a 'salesman's pitch' as you say, search inside yourself and try to understand why you don't trust people.  I've worked for a lot of log home owners and the ones that are happiest are the ones that hire me because of how I would repair their log home, not the ones doing it the opposite way, fighting me every step of the way.  So sit back and enjoy the ride sometimes and don't try and grab the wheel away from the bus driver all the time.

I find your comment in this thread to be appropriate.  Talk about self destructive behavior.

Blame the consumer?  Really?  Yeah, that's not self destructive at all.  Here's where your comment fails for me, a person looking into building a log home, at least.

1)  Who really likes maintenance?  I bet if you ask any log home owner if they could get a true maintenance free log home they would jump on it in a heart beat.  I know, such a thing does not exist but really?

2) Yes I go to a dentist, and I trust my dentist.  I did not have such trust in the first visit as the last visit.  However, that first visit didn't cost $15k-$40k or $100K's if building, to build that trust. 

3) Search inside myself for why I can't trust people?  You read about horror stories in log home construction, log home maintenance all over this and other sites from bad, poor, good and great companies alike.  I am not an expert and can have 5, 10, 15 people in the industry telling me 5, 10, 15 different ways things should be done.  Whom, should I trust?  How would I know?

4) Your work is in log home restoration as best I can tell so I would EXPECT that those happiest with you would be the ones who hire you to repair their log homes.

5) No, if I'm spending upwards of $450K on a house I don't really want to be happy because the company will fix problems that occur.  First I would hope for no problems to occur at all and second if they did I would EXPECT them to fix the problem if they are responsible for its cause. 

So yes, many people like me have a hard time achieving a high trust level with log contractors because it's most likely a once in a lifetime occurance and if it goes south the potential for folks to be stuck in financial ruin is very high.  Trust is earned, and through the building process it builds, but at the costs we are talking it doesn't start out high, just like a new dentist.

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