Cowboy Log Homes in the News!

Sue | August 22nd, 2014 - 8:55 am

Extra! Extra! See all about it!

We would like to thank Log Home Living for selecting one of our construction photos for their September 2014 magazine. On page 60 we are featured as the lead photo for the article entitled, “Contract Conversation”, By Jim Cooper.  This photo shows one of our handcrafted log homes under construction. This photo was taken at the end of day 3 of our log stack. (Yes we got that far in three days!)

handcrafted log homes photo log home living

Log Home Living, Cowboy Log Homes Photo

This is an excellent article that details some very important considerations for both understanding contracts and things to think about if you are acting as your own general contractor.

A couple of things I would like to note for our readers includes the following–

On Point #1, final cost of your home— the two areas hardest to predict are the excavation and foundation. From our experience these areas which are very hard to predict costs for until the digging starts. There may be a huge boulder hiding a few feet under the surface. The other factor which is impossible to predict is if the owners change finish materials. Something as seemingly innocent as a kitchen counter top can go from $4,000 to $20,000 if you change mid stream and don’t go back and include the allowance overrun in the overall adjusted budget.

Original Photo of Bear Creek Plan

Original Photo of Bear Creek Plan

On Point #2, allowances– it was very smart of this writer to include the well. Most commonly allowances are applied to doors, windows, flooring, cabinets, and other finish materials. But the well cost is usually based on an educated guess from a well digger. We had a well come in 450 feet deeper than originally estimated.

On Point #3, change proceduresI can not stress the importance of excellent log home drawings enough. It is very important to try to envision your home as the drawings are being done. Try, and try again to make all of the changes and think through the flow of the rooms before you begin construction.

On Point #4, detailed contracts— Yes! This is very important. If the contractor tries to get you to just go along and ‘pay as you go’ you have no so solid idea of what your total cost will probably be. Without a budget and planning in place you may end up with the home costing far more than you originally intended to spend.

On Point #5, completion dates— when things are spelled out then you have the budget plus the time line in place. If you are building with a construction loan, the bank will usually require a timeline. If you are using cash a time line is important as well. Be reasonable with your builder, he is only human, but still push forward and try to only let your home take a few extra months, not an extra year.

On Point #6 and #7, acting as your own general contractor-– be very careful acting as your own general contractor, especially if you have no construction experience. One thing that the general contractor does for you is to solve any little or big problems that arise as you move from one contractor to another. Most home owners cannot or do not anticipate this. When we handle a turnkey contract Mike is on site constantly and has to act as the glue that makes the construction continue. Do you know how to box in around a light fixture when the wrong can light was installed? Would you know how to stone a small portion of a fireplace so that the framers can finish their work? How about relocating a chimney box because the lady of the home doesn’t like where it is falling within the floor plan once the home is built? Be careful if you are going to general contract yourself. Without sufficient experience you may end up spending more in the long run without a general contractor than if you had hired a good one from Day 1.

On Point # 8, detailed schedule for you as a general contractor– in this point Mr. Cooper refers to a bank loan. Just FYI I have never worked with a bank that allowed an owner to be their own general contractor. Banks have to protect themselves and their owners. Most commonly when using a bank you have to have a licensed general contractor handle your contract from Day 1 and provide his license, insurance, and sometimes personal referrals to the bank in conjunction with your loan application and documents.

On Point #9, time progression— What comes next? You do have to keep moving and keep the materials flowing if you expect them workers to build instead of waiting for the material truck to arrive.

On Point #10, changes– try your best to hire contractors that have a good reputation and come recommended. Sometimes you do have to hire someone else because your first choice of contractor is unable to do the job.

handcrafted log homes photo log home living

For those of you who are wondering, this is the Bear Creek Plan. It is shown here with the attached two car solid log garage, two covered porches, and the cathedral ceiling through the center great room (notice the two log king trusses in the log roof system).

January 1st log home exterior

Thinking about building a log home next year? Then now is the time to start planning!

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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