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12 Strategies to Get the Log and Timber Home You Want

Photo courtesy of PrecisionCraft Log Homes. ou can see more photos and this home's floor plan at: http://bit.ly/12v4XOG

Photo courtesy of PrecisionCraft Log Homes. ou can see more photos and this home’s floor plan at:http://bit.ly/12v4XOG


If your new year’s resolution was to finally build your dream home, then you’ve come to the right place. That’s why contacted the experts at the Log and Timber Homes Council to provide you with these 12 strategies for getting the home you want—your way.

1) Determining Your Desire

Is this home to be your primary residence, a weekend getaway, or a home to transition to in your retirement years? Planning how this home will fit in your future can bring some clarity to what can be a confusing number of options.

 2) Desire & Money

There’s always a link between what you want and how much it costs. That’s why you should meet with a lender early in process to determine a ballpark budget, say lenders who specialize in log and timber homes. Otherwise you may waste months of work designing a dream you can’t afford—or discovering too late that you can afford more home.

3) Narrow Your Focus

Since you’re investing your life savings into this decision and there are hundreds of log and timber home producers to choose from, you’ll need to narrow the field. We encourage you select from among members of the Log and Timber Homes Council, which is part of the National Association of Home Builders.

Because for decades now, log and timber homes buyers have trusted members of the Log and Timber Homes Council to make their dream home a reality. That’s because all council members must:

  • Abide by a strict code of ethics
  • Grade their logs and timbers to ensure structural soundness
  • Provide construction manuals to ensure correct construction techniques
  • Sponsor scientific studies that advance log and timber building technologies
  • Provide information to help consumers make smart choices

Check out our Calendar of Events to locate log and timber home shows, open houses, model tours and more in the new year

4) What Style Do You Want?

Determining which style you find attractive will help decide. Your options include:

* Milled: Machines cut logs to a specific profile (D-log, round log, etc.).

*  Half log: Milled into siding, corner sections are full log to maintain the illusion.

* Glu-Lam: Wood is glued together and milled into specific profiles.

* Handcrafted: Larger logs are tooled with chainsaws and other hand tools.

* Post & Beam: Also known as timber frame, horizontal or vertical beams are either handcrafted or milled.

* Mix & Match: If you want to mix and match these different styles, a few companies can help you create a new rustic style all your own.

5) Communicating Your Wants

If you and your spouse have differing opinions about what you want, emotions can run high. You’ll need to compromise, not only between what you two want, but also with what you can afford.  List your wants and needs and then prioritize them. Effective communication is the most important skill you can have during this process.

6) Tracking Your Wants

Since your log and timber home producer will likely only be supplying the shell of the structure, you will need to make decisions on a host of other materials—plumbing, electrical, cabinets, fixtures, flooring and more. By creating a schedule of tasks and a time frame to complete them, you can bring order to chaos and avoid feeling overwhelmed. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time, as the old saying goes.

7) Want to Sell Your Current Home?

A wild card in your plan is if you plan selling your current home to finance the construction of your new home. Experts recommends you should meet with an experienced real estate agent, make your home as attractive as possible and be ready to sell if a buyer makes an acceptable offer.

8) Land Should Dictate Design

If you don’t have the land yet, you’ll need to start shopping for the right parcel. It’s best if you have land in hand before you choose a floor plan, since your design goal is to have a home that seems to grow organically from the terrain around it. The terrain and the design should compliment each other.

9) Tour Model Homes

To help you decide what you want in floor plan, experts recommend touring model homes, staying at log resort homes and visiting developments. The variety will help you pinpoint what you like.

10) Gather Your Thoughts & Photos

Copy photos from the profiles of the log and timber home producers on this site, even if you don’t know why you like them. Save them into a digital file, with sections on kitchens, baths, bedrooms and more. These will serve as invaluable tools to express exactly what you want to your builder and home producer.

11) What Path Do You Want?

Speaking of builders, there are three different paths to get your home built. You can have a builder construct it, serve as your own general contractor (GC) or build the entire home yourself (latter not recommended.) By serving as their own GC, clients can save 12 to 15 percent of the project that would otherwise go to a builder. But it’s a full-time job. Make sure you have room for it in your life.

12) Remain Flexible

Be willing to adjust your expectations during the process and remain flexible to advice from your builder and log and timber home producer. They can provide advice on how to save money during the design and construction phases.

For more tips and tactics on how to make your dream home a reality, please visit our Buyer’s Guide.