We'd love to be getting a lab puppy soon. We've wanted one for about 2 years now, but with already having 3 dogs...and the selling of the old log home and the building of this one we put the idea on hold for awhile longer.
Dave...sorry for the misunderstanding...it wasn't cracked logs...it was the pine for the interior walls. The logs themselves were all perfect from Lok N Log.
I really don't know if the logs will crack in the future. I'm guessing some may, have no way of knowing until it happens. I think (to me anyway) it just adds character to the logs. With the kiln drying from Lok N Log it may not happen at all...
Funny, but it doesn't bother me at all. Our first log home had that happen for about the first year. You'd be sitting there watching TV and hear the "snap". Once, we were sleeping and it was the beam over our heads. Yikes...but by the time that happened we we used to it and just rolled over and went back to sleep!
One of our labs (the chocolate) is the champion swimmer in the family. We got her while we still had our boat and she'd hear a splash from swimmers at other boats and go jump in to play! Once she tried to retreive a fireworks display we were watching from the boat. We started pointing and clapping and she dove into the water trying to get them! It was so funny...
Our black lab is the most unathletic dog you will every see. He can manage to fall off a couch! You tell me how that can happen???
Our third dog (female black lab) is the sweetest most loveable creature and obedient from the day she arrived as a 6 lb bundle. She loves to swim now, but really avoided the water as a young dog. It was the chocolate lab who actually taught her how to swim.
The rest of your questions...if I remember them all from yesterday...
We have no experience with Beaver Mountain other than knowing where they are located and knowing they have quite a lovely village of models.
We went with Lok N Log because of the builder in CT. We had been using him for years for repairs around the old log home and trusted his opinion. We felt their logs most resembled the look and feel we wanted. We visited Sherburne, liked the Frasure (although that model of the Frasure is quite dated now...It was constructed back in the late 70's and I believe they have finished a new model village just down the road from the one we did business with).
We went to 2 log and timber home shows to check out other companies. We spoke with friends who were just finishing up a Kuhn Bros. home that they loved and were quite happy with.
At our second log show we spent loads of time at the Lok N Log booth with serious intent. We happened to meet a designer who talked knowledgeably about the $$$ impact of the modifications we were comtemplating. Score another for the company for giving honest answers to money questions. We were not ready to commit, but we needed answers and other companies were not really giving us anything to go on other than "it depends on"...(fill in the blank). We left that show with a really good feeling and a rough sketch of what our new log home "could" look like within our budget.
Next came a sit down meeting with the builder, (at his log home in CT) where we fine tuned the rough sketch decided on window placement, floor plans, the additional dormer, and placement of tubs, showers, vanities etc. He gave us ideas to save money from a builder's position. Being in a log home while making these decisions was great. If we didn't understand something, he would walk us through his home and point out exactly what he meant. It also helped that he knew our "old" log home so well. Again, he could just mention something from our orignial log house to clarify what he meant.
That plan was submitted for a quote which was pretty much "right on" what we had been expecting. We did change one or two things after that, but all in all it was a very good experience.
So far my experience with the company has been great. The only drawback was that they did not have a dealer/builder as far north as we are. We had to find our own local guy. But I think that has worked to our advantage. When our builder signed on for the project he called Lok N Logs, asked numerous questions on the interior/finish package and quality of the lumber provided. Our guy has built several log homes from other companies and had serious issues about the quality of materials provided. He was assured that anything that wasn't up to his standards would be replaced. So far Lok N Log has honored that to the letter. The most serious offense to date is that some (only some...not all) of the interior wall pine arrived with splits or cracks. Our builder called...Lok N Log immediately made arrangements to replace those pieces. They always return phone calls...they are always pleasant and helpful.
Our actual delivery went perfect (on a pouring rain/windy day). They were on time and did a wonderful unloading job under adverse conditions!
So far, everything has gone great and we have no complaints...The only thing I might add is that our builder was very hesitant to take on this project. Part of what convinced him to do it was the fact that we were so knowledgeable ourselves about the limitations and difficulties of building with the logs. He'd had past builds where the owners were unhappy with placements (either lighting, pipes, wall switches etc) and in general people not understanding why something had to be done a certain way. We get along great with our builder and love being out at the site watching (and helping) our home being built.
Oh wow to the pond for the dogs to swim in! They both must love that. I have 3 labs, and they all love to swim. We hike them down to the river for their swimming, which they love, but for us it's a rather steep path for the return. We've set up ropes from tree to tree to help. We end up getting as much exercise as the dogs!
The pictures on my page here in the "neighborhood" are of the old log home back in CT.
To follow our Lok N Log building as it progresses you go to:
The Schrader Landing Blog starts back in June...and we were posting as we could with pics from the beginning of April when we started clearing the land. I think at some point in July we hit "real time".
Keep in mind that the garage my husband and brother-in-law are building is not part of the house. They are doing a post and beam garage which is worthy of it's own blog...but hey...it's there and we love it...so you can follow the garage build at the same time.
I'm on my way out at the moment. But I will answer the rest of your questions either later today or tomorrow morning.
Dave...I am currently building a Lok N Log home from Sherburne NY...
If you need to know anything I'll be happy to answer if I can. I have NO connection to Lok N Log other than being a customer. And at this point a totally satisfied customer! We are not finished yet, but the logs are all laid and the roof is on. It's just the interior we are doing now. Our home has turned out to be better than we'd ever hoped. Much better construction than the models they show in Sherburne. It's the Frasure...but modified with a bump out in the living room, a front dormer, and we made one huge master bedroom upstairs instead of the two smaller bedrooms. We kept the loft pretty much as it was...maybe slightly longer, by moving the bathroom to the corner to stack it over the downstairs one.