Construction Time Line for New Log Homes

Sue | March 22nd, 2018 - 10:29 am

A new log home holds the allure of being decidedly yours from day one. Having the opportunity to make all the selections, from wall log size to the complete kitchen layout, insures the home is custom tailored to meet your specific wants and needs. But one drawback is the time required to build the log cabin of your dreams. So let’s look at the time required to build a home and what some common issues are that can bog down the progress.

For a new log home of up to about 4,000 square feet, it is a good idea to allow about nine to twelve months from when the dirt is first broken to when the home is ready to move into.  But as always with construction, there are many other factors that will dictate how quickly your project is able to progress. 

Construction Preliminaries

Before the construction time line begins to tick, there are some preliminary items which usually take place. Often owners already have their land purchased. They have put considerable thought into what type of home they plan to build. And they may have even began to do some site work, such as drilling a well or installing a septic.

One Caution: if your project is going to require a construction loan then it is important to not to break ground until the bank loan is secure. Once in a great while an owner has been able to get a loan during construction, when they begin to run short of funds.  But this is the exception instead of the rule. It is important to have all of your costs estimated before any dirt work begins and also have a cost over run plan in place.

Also before the construction commences  we need to work with you to finalize all of your floor plans, make the construction drawings, and have all of the construction costs estimated. These are all details that have to be completed before a construction loan can be written as it is the facts that your appraisal value is based on and dictates the amount you will need for construction.

Construction Step #1

The first step in building a new log home begins with staking out the foundation of the house. Even if your property looks level, it is a good idea to use a laser transit to determine how much slope exists across the footprint of the house. With even a foot or so of drop a daylight basement might be possible. Having big windows and an exterior door open into the basement increases the appeal of this lower level as living space. Of all the rooms of a house, a finished basement is one of the least expensive ways to increase the living space.

Rebar with florescent surveyors tape tied to it is an effective way mark the corner. When  doing the job site layout, it is wise to also stake out any outbuildings such as a garage or shop. Once it is marked out revisit the job site another day and see if you really like where everything is. It is much easier to shift the footprint of the house before the footers are dug than once the backhoe has started moving the dirt.

Construction Step #2

Digging the foundation is the next step of construction for your new log home. While the backhoe is on site often the septic is also installed, the hole for the propane tank is dug, the water line from the well head to the foundation is trenched, the driveway is roughed in, and top soil is moved to save for later use.

Construction Step #3

Next, the foundation is installed. A log home can be built on a full basement, crawl space, or cement slab. Regardless of the choice of foundation, cement footers must be poured under where the log walls will sit, under any support posts for the a porch, and also under any support posts inside the house.

Construction Step #4

After the foundation work is completed the sub floor is installed and the log stack begins. The logs are freighted to the job site and the log builder begins selecting logs and stacking them. Rows of logs are completed all the way around the house, row by row. A handcrafted log shell stacks in a few days while a milled log shell may take a month or more to stack and to be prepared for the exterior doors and windows.

Construction Step #5

The dryin of the log home follows the log stack. This is when the exterior doors, windows, roof framing, roofing, exterior door and window trim is completed. Some log home builders also include the installation of the interior framing for the partition walls as part of the dryin. Also in this stage the logs are often stained on the inside and out and the subcontractors come and do the rough-in of the electric, plumbing, and HVAC systems.

Construction Step #6

And the last stage of construction is the finish work. During this stage the final flooring is installed, the kitchen takes shape, plumbing and light fixtures are installed, and finally the appliances come.

Construction Delays

The general stages of construction typically follow this above sequence. One major factor that can delay the progress of a home is the weather combined with the location. A remote access job site may only be reachable during the peak summer months.

Another factor which causes delays are if the funds are not available on time. Each time your builder submits a bill he needs paid within the agreed upon time frame. Often a builder works for about a month and then submits a bill for the work accomplished in that time frame. The owner usually takes about a week to get a disbursement of funds from the lender. If a builder is not paid in a timely manner he may walk off the job or have to take another job in the meantime in order to meet his bills.  A builder can’t be expected to work unless the funds are paid in a timely manner. A stoppage of the work flow will be to the detriment of your home’s completion.

The construction of your new log home can be such an exciting and fulfilling time. But it can also be very stressful if there is not enough pre-planning. The owners that are typically the happiest are the ones who build within their budget, stick to the blue prints and the details in the construction agreement, and keep invoices paid in a timely fashion.

Cowboy Log Homes

Any projected costs, cost estimates, material costs, and estimated construction/ building costs, are only the opinion of Cowboy Log Homes and are drawn from our experience. Every home is custom tailored to meet our individual client's wants and desires. The construction of a log or timber home is based on two primary costs: material provided by the log home company and construction costs contracted with Cowboy Log Homes as the builder or another builder of the customer's choice. Final costs are obtained and contracted with each respectively. Cowboy Log Homes is simply the "glue" that helps bring these two together to provide a final culmination of a customer's project. * Please note photos and elevations may differ some from accompanying floor plans.
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