Choosing a Log Home Builder

January 21, 2011

In this months blog we will be addressing the selection of a log home builder. Keep in mind that many of the areas we discuss will pertaining not only to log homes but also to any other style of home you are building.

First and foremost you must feel a sense of peace and confidence with your log home builder. We’re not talking about some mystical feeling but rather a sense of comfort and trust. Is the builder interested in your questions and concerns? Does he respond to your questions in an acceptable time frame? These are typically very good early indicators of what working with this builder will be like.

Once you find a log home builder that cares more about the quality of construction and your satisfaction than the bottom line, it’s time to start checking references. Most builders and salesmen in general only provide you with phone numbers of happy customers they know will give a great review. Check around online, there are a number of websites where people can leave reviews that aren’t canned and haven’t been handpicked by the builder. While most successful builders strive to do the best we can, the truth is that there are always situations in a build that have to be worked through. This is where your decision in the builder you choose becomes very important. If the builder truly cares about your project, they will communicate and work with you to resolve the issue to your satisfaction.

Choosing the right builder follows the steps of our last blog, How to Choose a Log Home Supplier. Talk to their clients past and current. Visit a home or two they’ve built and pay attention to the details. Ask about who they recommend as a log home supplier and see if they can give you their supplier’s contact information. Many times you can ask the log home supplier questions like:

  • Did they handle the delivery properly?
  • Was the material kept in good condition during the build?
  • Did they waste material?

Most log home suppliers want happy customers and if they have a bad experience with a builder, they provide you with other options or recommended builders.

For those of you that may want to build the home on their own, think about a trip to the doctors. If you went to the doctor and he says you need an operation, would you look at the cost and think, “Well if I do it myself I could save some money”. Or alternatively, would you find a first year med student and say, “I’ll ask him to do it, it’s cheaper!” Now, we all know that doesn’t make much sense and trying to manage the build yourself doesn’t either. A successful GC has years of experience and a deep pool of trusted subcontractors to draw from. Often times the subs will charge 15-20% more than they would a licensed GC. The savings you think you’ll retain may actually end up costing you much more in the long run.

Last but not least, shop VALUE not price. Usually if a builder is cheaper than most others there is a reason. With logs, a poorly constructed home and the associated problems may take one, two, or even three years to show up. There are many good builders out there, but only a few great builders that you can trust to do the job right. With such a significant investment, do your research and invest in the builder that treats your home construction like he was building his own.

Our next post will cover how to select the right log home lender.