Log Home Builders Availability

Sue | June 21st, 2024 - 9:43 am

While choosing a log home plan is a major step in the design and building process, there is also the sometimes daunting task of locating a builder. Log homes are a unique type of construction that requires either careful reading of the construction drawings or someone skilled in building log homes. A service that Cowboy Log Homes offers is to not only design your home and provide the log package or full dryin package but also to assist with the construction of your home to a dryin stage or to a full turnkey if the job site is located within approximately 80 miles of our building area.

Log Home Builders

Whether you are building in Montana or across the country from our location, we can still assist with the construction of your log home. Many companies will sell you a stack of logs or a log home kit, but are not equipped to offer assistance with the skilled labor necessary to build it correctly.

Before we were a log home company, we were log home builders and operated under the name Cowboy Log Builders LLC. Those years of our construction experience ranged from random-length cabin grade logs to premium precut packages. We built in a number of states and dealt with everything from expanding soil issues to high elevation, remote access to absentee owners.

From this background, we evaluated what constituted a consistently high-quality completed log home and infused that knowledge and expertise into designing log home designs and the subsequent log packages that created a beautiful end product – your completed log house.

Sierra Log Home Package Under Construction. We built this one in Silver Gate Montana in 2015 to 2016.

Quality Log Home Packages

The first step to ensuring that a log home is of high quality is to only place quality materials into it. While this may seem like common sense, many homeowners are attracted by cheap upfront package pricing only to discover the logs are less than ideal when they purchase them. An excellent log builder can make a nice-looking log home from even cabin-grade logs, but in the end you end up with a cheap material price coupled with a huge bill from the log contractor for labor.

Cabin grade logs are often riddled with bug holes, have a lot of twist and checking on each log, come in short lengths, may have a deviation of even 1/4″ from one end of the log to the other, and must be cut onsite.

Let me work through each of these and explain what they mean and how they impact a log home.

  1. Bug holes – dead standing logs are often dead because they were killed by beetles. Even if the bugs have long since left, the unsightly holes detract from the house and give the uneasy feel that a bug may emerge.
  2. Twist of logs – a higher quality log has a limited amount of twist in the log from one end to the other. The twisting is milled down to a consistent diameter, but this spiral translates into a weaker log.
  3. Checking of the log – all logs will check some, but premium grade logs check less. “Checking” is the V-shaped crack that runs the length of the log. Checking is natural but excessive checking can lead to water leaks and air penetration thorugh the log walls.
  4. Short log lengths – when short log lengths of 8 to 10 feet are used for the walls there are many more end joints within each wall. An end joint is where one log ends and the next begins within a log wall. Short stubby logs do not look nearly as nice as longer runs or even full-length wall logs, are more time-consuming to stack (hence driving up the construction costs), and create more opportunity air leakage if not properly sealed.
  5. Deviation of log diameter – this means that the log is thinner or at one end than the other. When a log is turned on a lave the log is turned round and round to get a consistent diameter, which really isn’t consistent. This leads to the logs being more difficult and time-consuming to stack into the log walls. It also may increase air leakage, especially in the corners.
  6. Random length (cut onsite) – this means that the logs are sold by the linear foot without any preparation ahead of time to fit them into the log shell. Random length logs are more time-consuming to build with a lot of waste to dispose of afterwards.

Cowboy Log Home Package Standards

As I mentioned before, we have personally built dirt-to-done with cabin-grade logs for a 3,000-square-foot home. Afterward, we said we would never do it again, and we have not. The short-range massive time requirements and aggravation of dealing with inferior logs for building materials coupled with the long-range difficulties of keeping the house properly sealed quickly erased any cost-savings in a cheap log package.

Precut Log Package Ready for Shipment. 8×8 D Log Double Tongue and Groove Stack.

Let me address each of the number items above.

  1. Our logs are not riddled with bug holes. While harvesting dead-standing timber is an ecologically sound practice – and one we follow, it does not mean that those logs need to be used for homes. They work well for firewood.
  2. Log twist – our logs are sorted ahead of time and graded depending on the quality. To meet the grade stamping requirements the logs must not exceed a certain threshold for spiral. Even if you do not pay for TPI grade stamped logs, we still include only high-quality premium-grade logs with each package.

    Inspected and Grade Stamped Logs, Length Marked

  3. Checking – checking is part of the natural curing or dryin process of a log, but higher quality logs do not check as much.
  4. Log lengths – the log lengths included in our packages range between 15 and 20 feet. These longer base lengths mean less end joints within the wall, easier construction, and a better quality home.
  5. Consistent diameters – for all logs up to 12 inches in diameter, we process our logs through a log profiler instead of turning it on the lave. This leaves a very consistent diameter to the logs from one end to the other.
  6. Pre-cut log packages – the vast majority of the log packages we sell are pre-cut. When we make the final construction drawings for your home we also make a log cut sheet that details the placement of each log within the log shell. The door and window openings are planned for and the logs are cut to length for these openings. The corners are also presaddle notched. We also flatten places like the top wall log and pitch cut roof members. Log trusses are also cut to length for ease of assembly.

TP Grade Stamp Hammer

Quality of Log Cabin Builders

Log homes are more complicated to build than conventionally framed homes, but they are not ‘rocket science’ – as we often are caught saying. If a log home builder wants to stay booked building exclusively log and timber homes, then they pretty much have to be willing to travel. These crews are so accustomed to working together and have all the necessary tools, specialty jigs, and experience. An experienced crew can cut entire weeks off the construction process because of their efficiency. Construction details included in our blueprints like slip joints, shrinkage channels, and selectively attached wood trim are all part of the science behind building quality log homes that do not face future issues of doors and windows binding due to log shrinkage and other anomalies unique to log homes like separation between the log rows. Log homes are built from ‘living’ materials. The thermal mass of a log expands and contracts some throughout its life depending on humidity and temperatures. This is normal not to be feared with a log home if the log home is built correctly.

Assembly of Log Package

Beginning with a premium grade house log that meets TIP grade stamping requirements means that only quality materials are going into your home. Choosing the precut Architectural Series means that you pay more for your log home package but you save on construction labor costs and time. For some owners who have a lot of time and want to delve into the world of building their own home a random-length Woodcrafter log package is a good choice. If you are hiring us to stack your log package and dryin it in we only quote labor costs based on the precut log packages. If hiring a builder with the purchase of a random length package, often the builders will only quote an hourly rate and will not provide a set bid estimate since estimating accurate construction time is not difficult at best.

Log Cabin Building Companies

Whether you decide to build the cabin yourself, hire a log builder, or contract with us to do the entire log package and dryin is entirely up to you. Yes, we can provide log home designs, the log package, and the labor needed to get it to the dryin stage if you are anywhere within the continental United States and most of Canada. Sometimes we build the package ourselves. Other times we contract with another log building company that we have a working relationship with. Choosing a precut log package greatly improves the ease of building and is the best investment overall.

Stepped Log Tail Corner

Log Cabin Homes Built on Your Land

Having your log cabin home built on your land is not an unattainable task. With our help you can see that cabin you have dreamed of standing on the property you have purchased. It is unwise to get started with anything more than initial ideas until you have purchased your property because some of the design ramifications will be dictated by the slope of the land you purchase, the surrounding views, soil type and condition, and many other factors.

Job Site Before Cabin Built

Log home builder availability depends on what projects are already in the works. The best way to ensure a less stressful build is to plan ahead. Sometimes we are booked or our contractors are booked even 18 months out or more, so going ahead and purchasing drawings and purchasing your land are the two ingredients that help to guarantee that you will have the home that you want built within the timeframe that you desire. So if you find your self wondering, “Is there a log home contractor near me?” be assured that there is. Our log homes can be found throughout the United States and Canada and often we have been instrumental in coordinating both the log package and the dryin thereof.

Job Site After Cabin Built

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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