Things to Consider When Choosing a Log Home Builder
With the myriad of possible log home companies to interview, how does a customer know if they are looking at all the elements of the bid in an "apples to apples" comparison? We have been building handcrafted log homes for over 20 years, and find this dilemma to be the most common problem consumers face. In an effort to minimize the frustration and potentially misleading information a customer must wade through, we have compiled a checklist to aide in the gathering and comparison of company information.
The following six areas should be questioned during the research:
1. Longevity: How long has this company been in business?
2. Reliability: Do they do what they say they can? Do they know their product? Is their time line accurate? Do they answer your questions to your satisfaction? Are they helpful and honest?
3. Past Customer References: Ask to speak to at least 5 past customers, get the information and then call them! Ask these past customers all of these questions.
4. Quality of Craftsmanship: What does it look like? Are the corners tight? Do bolts show? Does insulation peek through the cracks, or worse, does daylight show? Is the quality evident throughout the structure, from first round to roof system?
5. Bidding Information: Have you provided each company with the same bidding information? Do they know what you want? How will they interpret the information? Is it clear?
I. Type of Logs
II. Type of Log Joinery
a. Full Scribed
b. Chinked Style
d. Butt & Pass
e. "D" Log
f. Spliced Log Courses
III. Size of Logs
IV. Thru Bolt System
V. Type of Sealant Between Logs
VI. Delivery of Shell to Site
VII. Is the cost of the on site equipment for re-erection included?
VIII. Is the roof system custom built or is it "generic", meaning the custom scribed fitting or flat on flat of post to beams?
IX. Are custom stairs and railings part of the package?
X. What type of on site assistance is available before the shell is delivered?
XI. What is the expertise level of the company in the elements of building a finished log home? Do they understand how it all comes together? Are they general contractors or just distributors?
XII. If there is an unforeseen problem, how is the log shell provider going to help? Will they come to the site to consult and if necessary fix the problem?
6. Price: Does the price reflect the addition or deletion of some of these elements? Are you looking at all the factors equally?
Keeping track of the answers to each question, and your impressions of the company, will allow you to evaluate your options and make a more equitable choice. Call us with any questions! We are available by fax, email, phone and snail mail. Call us TOLL FREE: 877-299-0521