Should Luxury Log Cabin Homes Have the Drawings Engineered?

Sue | March 12th, 2014 - 7:05 am

One vital ingredient for luxury log cabin homes is the blueprints. Without detailed drawings it is best to not even start building a new log home. The blueprints are the road map which lay out the look of the outside of the home, the precise size and location of the rooms within the floor plans, and also details the foundation, roof framing, electrical, etc. When drawings are engineered the designs are taken to an even higher level.

Log home blueprints are the same thing as construction drawings or log home designs. These detail the floor plans and elevations for the home. The term “blueprints”comes from the bluish colored paper that draftsmen and architects used for designing.

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Preliminary Drawings and Luxury Log Cabins

Within a full set of log home plans are two sets of drawings. First the preliminary drawings are produced. The prelims show a floor plan for each level of the home (finished basements are optional, as just about any foundation can be used with a log home) and  one elevation for each side of the home. In this phase we make all of the changes you would like to see. Preliminary drawings are usually modified two or three times before the home owners are ready to move forward.

Construction Drawings and Luxury Log Homes

The second step is the construction drawings. In this stage all of the building details are incorporated into the plans. The designs include pages for the electric schedule, foundation, roof framing, subfloors, etc. The construction drawings for a luxury log home of 3,000 square feet may consist of 30 pages or more.

The final preliminary drawings are what the construction drawings are based on. It is important to remember that all changes to the floor plans need to be made in the preliminary stage. Be sure to thoroughly explore and review your prelim drawings before signing off on it.

Engineered Drawings for Luxury Log Cabin Homes

For some areas of the country engineered drawings are required. When this is the case the final construction drawings are submitted to a structural  engineer that is licensed in the state where you are building. The engineer reviews the drawings, notes any changes he/she requires, and returns it to the designer for the required changes. Then the designer makes all the requested changes. Finally, the drawings are sent back to the engineer for final approval. Once the designs earn the engineer’s approval it is stamped with the engineer’s stamp and dated. Usually engineered drawings are good for 18-24 months without having to be updated or redrawn.

Thoughts on Engineered Drawings for Luxury Log Cabin Homes

1. My first comment on engineered drawings is there are some areas where it is always required. States like California and Colorado always require the drawings to be engineer stamped. Also certain counties or cities within a state may require engineering while the balance of the same state does not.

2. My second thought is since engineering can vary by area, be sure to check with your local county or city before you move forward with building. If engineering is required it is imperative that you know that ahead of time. Don’t make the mistake of assuming anything. It is unwise to even dig for a foundation before all of the permitting and permissions have been obtained.

3. My third input into engineering log home plans – while it is an additional cost it is never a bad idea. Having a licensed engineer review the drawings provides that one more qualified individual has looked into every aspect of your home.

Engineering Costs

I have seen engineering costs range from about $900 for a 700 square foot log cabin to about $4,000 for 4,000 square foot log home. Engineering cost does depend on the size of the home and what firm is performing the engineering. Often an engineer has a minimum charge, so even if a cabin is only 400 square feet the engineer may still charge $900.

Log home plans are the first component of your house that is “concrete”. Having detailed drawings enable contractors to provide a more accurate bid for the construction of your luxury log cabin home. So don’t short change yourself and try to proceed with the build without first investing your time and money into detailed drawings.

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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