Top 10 Worst Things To Do When Building New Log Homes

Sue | July 13th, 2013 - 11:58 am

Building a log home is a journey. New log home owners are always enthusiastic to ask questions, but sometimes they don’t want to hear words of caution. It is a major undertaking of time, energy, and funds coupled with dedication and endeavor to see a log home project from the seed of an idea to turnkey reality. The normal stages of purchasing a perfect piece of land, exploring log home styles, and even purchasing drawings seem to progress smoothly. But then there are some obstacles that almost always come up that you as a homeowner have to deal with. HOW you deal with each of these instances will dictate if you actually build your log home or not. So let me explore what we feel to be the top 10 worst things to do when building new log homes.

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1. Budgeting the Log Home Build ~ The first mistake of building can be to not honestly evaluate your budget. If you don’t look at your finances closely you may end up over budget. Before you ever purchase drawings, you should carefully review your resources. If you plan to finance your build then you should visit and get pre-approved for a loan. Like it or not, you have to have an idea of what you can afford from day 1.

2. Cost Estimates ~The second mistake with planning a log home is to not believe the cost estimates your log home company gives you. When customers ask us how much a certain log home will cost to build we can give you a pretty accurate estimate, because we do it all the time. We are constantly talking with builders from all over the United States and gathering costs.

3. Modifying a Floor Plan ~ The third mistake can be to not be willing to make a floor plan smaller. If the initial cost estimates are above what you can afford then you need to prioritize. Make a list of things that you really want in the home. Be willing to trim some square footage.

4. Changing Floor Plans ~This is an extension of #3. Another major problem can be solved by simply changing floor plans. If a cost estimate is way over your budget then consider a floor plan that is more inline with your budget. If based on your turnkey budget you can afford to build a 1,000 square foot log home then don’t set your heart on a 3,000 square foot plan.

5. Build It Yourself ~ Another down fall can be to try to general contract your home when you don’t have enough experience. To save some cost one couple tried to act as their own general contractor. They purchased their log package from one company. Hired a log home builder to dry in the home. And then a third company to landscape the lawn. The landscaper did not take precautions to keep the ground line several inches below the bottom row of logs. Instead the logs were almost even with the finished grade of the yard. In next big rain storm the water came right under the bottom row of logs and soaked the interior of the home. If there would have been a general contractor overseeing all of the project he probably would have made sure the final grade of the ground was done correctly.

6. The Wrong Contractor ~ It is never wise to hire a builder just because you have known them a long time. Instead you should unbiasedly interview the builder and see some homes they have built. It is also a good idea to get a builder referral from the log home company.

7. Stain It Yourself ~ I can’t tell you how many times people have tried to save by staining the log home themselves. It sounds like an easy job, but it isn’t! Costs that you never think of are things such as having to rent or buy scaffolding or ladders, taking time off work, working around poor weather, etc.

8. Making Cost the Final Bottom Line ~ Looking around some and pricing a few different log home packages is a normal step for new log home owners, but remember you get what you pay for. Just because a package is very cheap doesn’t mean that it is equivalent to another one.

9. Cabin Grade Logs ~ If a log price strikes you as very cheap beware. It may be a cabin grade log instead of a premium grade log. A cabin grade log can be bowed, have more twist to it, and not be cut accurately. For some things a cabin grade log is suitable, but not for everyone’s expectations.

10. Random Length Logs ~ And the last of our top ten worst log home mistakes is thinking random length logs will build you just as nice of a home as a precut log shell package. You will always get a nicer finished product if the cutting of the logs is done ahead of time by the log home company.

Don’t be fooled. Keep and open mind. Be honest with yourself. I would encourage you to re-read this article and make notes next to each point that applies to your new log home. Allow this article to challenge you to face these obstacles instead of overlooking them. These obstacles won’t go away.

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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