When it comes to building a log home, the question of who constructs the log home package can be as important the quality of the product itself. It can be argued that a poorly manufactured kit can be salvaged by a good builder who knows how to work with the materials.
However, there is no question that even a high quality log home package can be butchered by a poor craftsman. In other words, the end result is only as good as the quality of the workmanship. In log home package construction, there are three scenarios that most often occur.
Many log home products are designed with the do it yourself type in mind. Oftentimes a homeowner/builder does a wonderful job because he pays close attention to every detail. If you are the DIY type, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Do you have adequate time to devote to the project? This is not a weekend project with a few friends. It will require a significant time commitment to be done correctly.
- Do you have adequate help? Even though a log home may be pre-cut, it still involves many challenges including lifting heavy material. It is best to have one or two reliable helpers that you can count on to be there throughout the process.
- Do you have the skill? Building any log home, even from a kit, requires some prior carpentry experience from the homeowner or a helper. You don’t want to get in over your head with a project so important.
Hiring a local contractor
Can an experienced local contractor build a log home? In most cases the answer is yes! Assuming a good carpentry background, a local contractor should be capable of building a pre-cut home. However, if you hire this way, a thorough background check is extremely important. This contractor will be the most important hire you will make! Visit current and past jobsites, talk to prior customers, and carefully check references to be sure this is the right contractor for the job.
Consider how well you communicate with this person. When questions and issues arise during the construction process, and they will, there is no substitute for good communication between the builder and homeowner. You can learn a lot about a contractor just by seeing how promptly he returns phone calls.
Hiring an experienced log home builder
All of the above checking should be done with an experienced log home builder as well. It is always important to speak to past customers. And gauging the builder’s ability to communicate with you and understand your ideas will be important throughout the job.
Experience doesn’t guaranty quality work. But it should be comforting to know that this person has built log home kits before and should have a good understanding of the correct assembly procedures. And if problems come up, the log home contractor will know how to handle them and keep the job moving forward. He won’t be learning on your home, because he has probably been through it before!
Keep in mind, however, that because there are fewer log home builders, the one you hire may have to travel a longer distance to your job site. This will affect the construction cost.
Who builds your log home can be one of the biggest decisions you make. Consider all of your options carefully to make the right choice.