Step 1: Determine Your Needs
- YOUR BUDGET. Determine how much money can you afford to spend to build a log home. This is important to know as soon as possible as it will help you determine how much you can spend on your land, site work and utilities, as well as your log home. If you plan to finance a portion of your project (most homeowners do!), visit your local banking institution and utilize their mortgage pre-qualifying services. Determining what you will have available to spend on your home before looking at floor plans can save you from the disappointing discovery that your budget doesn’t fit the plan you love. We’ve included a budget checklist to assist you in tracking your over-all project costs.
- YOUR LIFESTYLE. It’s essential that you consider where you want to live and how many will be living in your home. Do you have a family that likes to entertain, or do you prefer a lot of quite time? Do you work out of your home? Do you like sunny open spaces with a lot of glass or do you prefer more private cozy rooms. Will your design need decks, porches or a sunroom for entertaining space?
- YOUR PERSONAL TASTES. A great way to spark your own likes is by finding inspiration from other sources such as Expedition’s home tours and floor plans. What kind of architectural style(s) do you like? Determine the specific style of log and corner you prefer (see log profiles and corner styles). These website pages, along with websites and publications like log home magazines may help you decide your preferences in interior space elements such as lodge look, cathedral ceilings and other specific details in windows, beams, porches and decks. How rustic or contemporary do you want the interior environment? You have choices for incorporating mostly wood or wood contrasting with drywall. Again, consider our lifestyle as you look at your interior and exterior options.
Step 2: Rough Out A Plan
- CONDUCT RESEARCH. It’s not as difficult as you might think. Search the internet – visiting photo specific websites like Pinterest, Houzz, Instagram and Facebook. Look through log home books and magazines. When possible, pin, link or save pictures of exterior and interior styles that you like. Attend as many home shows as possible, particularly those that feature log home development.
- PLAY ARCHITECT. Regardless of your drawing abilities, take a piece of paper, plain or graph, and roughly sketch out what you think is your ideal floor plan. Don’t draw a box and fit the rooms within it. Start by drawing the rooms you want and see how your floor plan can evolve into a unique design. As you are placing the rooms consider the home’s traffic flow. Picture yourself going about your daily routine and see how conveniently everything flows. Try to keep the sleeping areas well separated from the activity areas to provide a quiet retreat.
- YOUR LAND. Determine the position of the home. Do you want it to face a direction so that you maximize or minimize natural light at certain times of the day? Think about certain advantages you can take such as building an exposed basement on a sloped lot. As you look at the lot, find out whether your property is in an area with zoning restrictions and covenants. Many retirement areas have a height restriction – will your design meet that restriction? Find out whether your property requires a road to be built to allow the heavy trucks used during construction and material delivery to your job site.
Step 3: Decide How You Want to Build Your Home
- BUILDING IS A PROCESS: Decide whether you want to have a general contractor handle your building needs or if you will do this yourself. If you go with a builder, find out if the company is familiar with log home building and if it can take a log home material kit and construct the home. Are you or your builder familiar with the permit process for your area? Another basic consideration is your desired move-in date, this will help you determine how quickly decisions must be made.
- CHECK OUT YOUR BUILDER: Select your builder carefully, just as you would with any company working on your existing home. How many years of custom home building experience does the builder have and how many projects or homes does this company build at one time? Find out if your builder belongs to the local home building association and you’re your state requires it, if your builder is licensed. Are there any judgements in force against your builder? Request and check out his credit references. Speak with clients who have used this builder in the past. Ask which subcontractors the builder typically uses – find out if they are paid in a timely manner.
Step 4: Check Out Log Home Company Representatives
- LOOK AT MORE THAN ONE SOURCE. After you have gone through this checklist, find log home representatives in your area who can guide you through the process. We recommend that you talk to more than one log home company representative. At Expedition, we know the best way to serve you is to help you consider all your options.
Thank you for your interest. Best wishes for the journey ahead!