>Are you dreaming of a custom log or cedar home? With all the choices out there, it can be a confusing and overwhelming process. Here’s a few tips to help make starting a little easier:
- Pick up some log home publications. These are a wealth of information, including articles about the process, what to look for in a log home manufacturer, floorplans, photos for inspiration and information about upcoming events. A great resource in these publications is in the back of the magazine – the classifieds. There you’ll be able to browse through your state (and don’t forget to check the states around you) to find listings of home companies. Many of these publications also offer Home Shows throughout the US, which is another great way to start your research.
- Start browsing websites and requesting information. After you’ve found the home companies you’re interested in investigating, go online and check them out. Most will give you great information about the company, and will let you sign up for more information from the site. If you’re searching google, try keywords such as “log home new york” instead of the generic “log home”. Your results will be better targeted and you’ll find it easier to wade through those results than if you get millions of results from a more general keyword.
- Schedule and appointment with a sales consultant and visit the company. After you’ve received the printed information, it’s always a good idea to go visit the company (if you can make it to the company’s main headquarters, it’s well worth it.) Making an appointment is important, even if the company is open regular hours. This will ensure that you get the attention you want and time to ask all the questions that you’ve surely accumulated throughout the process. Some good questions you’ll want to ask are: “what exactly is included in your log home package?” “Do you work with any architects or custom designers to make sure my home is exactly what I want?” “How many custom options do you have to choose from for your packages?”
- Go through a Mill Tour and/or Seminar if the company offers one. As we mentioned in the previous point, visiting the company headquarters is important and very informative. But if you can get an invitation to a Mill Tour or Seminar, that’s even better! Walking through the company’s manufacturing facility will let you see where your home will be produced. Also make sure to ask to see things such as where the logs are stored after milling while awaiting delivery or if the company drystacks their homes before packing them for delivery.
- Make your decision! After you’ve done your homework, received pricing and done your homework, it’s time to sit down and spread all of the information in front of you. By this point you’ve usually been able to eliminate a few companys because they didn’t offer what you were looking for. Look very closely at pricing and packages – most of the time if a company seems too cheap or too good to be true, there’s a reason for it. Compare apples to apples to make sure that one company isn’t leaving out critical components in the package. Also make sure that the packages you’re comparing are comparable – for instance, don’t compare a package with linear foot logs to a package with pre-cut logs. The linear foot log package will be cheaper, but that work will have to be done in the field on site and can end up costing more than the pre-cut package in the end after you pay for the builder’s work on site. Think about the relationship you have so far with the company – do you feel comfortable working with them? Have they fostered trust? Do you feel confident that if there is a problem, they will fix it quickly? (And let’s think about it, with a home package composed of thousands of components, there will be minor bumps along the way).
Best of luck on your custom home journey! It’s something many people dream of for years and if you put in the research and time you’ll reap the benefits in the years to come!