Log Home Designs and Design Contracts

Sue | June 4th, 2013 - 6:54 am

From your very first conversation with a log home company one fact may seem to fill your mind, “There are so many details unique to log homes!”. If that is your impression, then you are right. Log homes are two fold — beauty and cost. Or maybe — details and cost would be more accurate. Once you have decided you definitely want to build a log or timber home and you know the general square footage, the next step is a log home design contract.

Trapper HC Log Shell with Log Trusses

Our designs include a set of preliminary drawings and a full set of construction drawings. The preliminary drawings are anywhere from 1 to 8 pages, depending on the size of your home. When you receive the preliminary plans they are only intended to get the client satisfied with the aesthetics of the design, not for plan review by a county or planning board.   This is design phase 1.

In the preliminary design stage it is very common to begin with a stock floor plan. We mark any desired changes on it. From there we begin the preliminary drawings. Usually with the preliminary designs we work with you the customer to make 2 or 3 rounds of changes to the designs. Things like exact room sizes, flow from one room to the next, and window placement is refined in this stage.  Once the owners are happy with everything then they sign off on the designs and we begin the construction drawing phase.

Phase 2 (the construction drawings) in turn are what the county wants to see.  Once the preliminary log house plans are approved by you for layout and looks, 5 pages of plans become 25 pages (sometimes more.  Sometimes less).  The construction drawings include the elements your county wants to see:  Floor plans, elevations, cross sections, foundation plans and details, subfloor framing plans and details, wall details, loft framing plans and details, roof framing plans and details, cross sections with details, window and door schedules, etc…

During the construction drawings phase of the cabin designs the main item the owners need to be involved with is the choice of lighting, placement of outlets, location of TV jacks, and phone jacks. The rest is the behind the scenes information that is required for making the log home designs structurally firm.

Alaska Floor Plan 864 sq ft
Our designer has dealt with many counties across the country, including many areas in Utah, California, Washington, Colorado, etc. The plans, once they are completed, are generally approved quickly by the county, with the possibility of some revision requirements for the specific inspectors clarification.  As an example, we just went through the process for a client in San Diego County, California, which we deem to be the most difficult county in the country to get approved in. We had 6 items for clarification, and then the drawings were approved.
If an engineered stamp is required for your area we can also assist with that. We have a structural engineer in California that is also licensed in several other states who is well versed in log homes. There is an additional fee for this service. ( Please email us with any questions).  Half of the battle of the build for many people is deciding on the log home design. So beginning with just a design contract is not a bad idea, especially if you are unsure of the general outside look and feel to your log home floor plans.
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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