I want a Log Home or Business... Now where do I start?
This Is where your Perfect Log Home project begins...
As Carol Sandburg said... "Nothing happens without first a Dream"
If you have a Dream big enough then the obstacles will never stop you. Starting projects like building a home or business can be daunting. This is where we are there to be your guide. You have the best ideas to make your home perfect and we have the best ways to make it enjoyable, with-in budget, and above expectation.
If you haven't already, explore this site PerfectLogHomes.com to get to know us as Contractors and Log Home Dealers as well as Expedition Log Homes LLC itself. We love to work with people and end up creating lasting relationships with all of our customers.
David and Jennifer Aurbeck's Goal as Dealers for Expedition Log Homes LLC is to keep you updated and informed on Model Open Houses, site analysis and planning ideas, package materials and cost details, list of contractors/builders, design changes, order placement, scheduled payments, budget and turn-key estimations, on-site delivery assistance, and follow up service (we want to take pictures when it's done!!).
David is also owner of Perfect Log Homes LLC. They provide General Contracting, homeowner and builder Consulting, and specialized custom services.
For ideas and information on projects happening now in your area click here!
Log Home Building Guide
Here is a step-by-step checklist with time frames to structure your planning.
This is a process that can take 8-13 months from start of planning to moving in so don’t be afraid to start early. Taking your time will ensure your happy with the end result. The number people working on the house at one time also make a big impact on time frames.
1) Aquire Land (weeks to months)
-Can you and large truck/trailers get to the site?
-Is there water access or will you need to drill a water well?
-Is there electricity running to your site or will you need to run lines to the site?
-Our Representative and your General Contractor will want to see your build site.
2) Choose or customize a floor-plan according to budget (3 weeks)
-We offer free initial floor plans and materials package proposal to find a ballpark Price of your estimated turnkey project. Upon the execution of this Agreement (signing of and receiving your proposal when your ready), Customer shall pay a calculated amount of the Purchase Price to the Company to complete preliminary Blueprints. Balance of 10% prepayment to complete final construction plans. Ninety (90) days prior to estimated shipment date, Customer shall pay an additional amount to equal 50% of the Purchase Price. Payment of the remainder of the Purchase Price is due on the day of or prior to shipment date.
- We then provide you with two more very large copies with detailed information relating to how our materials are used in the building process. These prints are primarily use by the Contractors/Builders.
-It is important to be honest and open with your budget. We are on your side and can not deliver our best for you without your honesty. Our promise is to be honest with you as well. Our material prices are predetermined and not based on your budget. We do not try to trick you into a contract.
-Be leary of log homes companies that post prices for their log home packages. These tend to be misleading with low prices and materials with lower quality than expected. Often times these low prices lure people in to make down payments for minimally detailed floorplans only for them to realize the options they want to swap out for are over their budget. This results in companies having significant cancelation rates where clients back out despite losing their down payment at the last minute. Some people have even experienced losing huge amounts of money due to companies going bankrupt or owners running a shady business that may have even looked great on paper or on their website. Know the Owners of companies!
-Once we know the lay of your building site we will utilize hillsides, water features, landscapes, geographical orientation, and direction of access to match your home with the land. This is VERY important. It will save you money and make every dollar count.
-Give us a napkin drawing, magazine clip-outs, Pinterest pins, or a handful of our pre-existing floor-plans and we can formulate the perfect log home for you.
-We will walk with you and help you make decisions throughout this process.
-Click these links below to view and download options you have in building a Log Home...
- Be prepared to have at least Preliminary Plans before expecting a General Contractor to give approximate building estimates and time lines. EVERY CHANGE in plans can cause delays in finishing time lines and costs.
3) Choose a (GC)General Contractor (3 weeks)
-A GC orchestrates the build process from start to finish. He works with you and us at Expedition Log Homes before and during the build to ensure the end product is what you envisioned. After organizing your floor-plan with us the GC is the most important person to stay closely connected with.
-We can connect you with independent contractors that work with us or you can choose your own and we can connect with them to ensure they are qualified for your project.
-Perfect Log Homes LLC is a General Contracting service that utilizes skilled sub-contractors and top quality materials only. We also offer custom products including but not limited to Reclaimed Barnwood and Log doors, furniture and decor.
4) Finalize Budget (2-4 weeks)
-After getting numbers from us on Log Home Building materials and Building Costs from the GC, you should have a firm foundation to establish a concrete number the banks will need to finalize a loan. Make sure that your Bank is familiar with your build process, time line, and Log Home construction. They shoud help you through the loan process.
5) Order Log Home Package (at least 90 days prior to estimated package delivery date)
- Quality log home companies don't have logs stacked and waiting to be delivered. Once we have established a floor-plan with you we ask for a Down Payment for the blueprints to be finalized and certified to code in your area. Expedition Log Homes then manufactures every log special to order. All logs are whole heart True logs not "rounded off square left-overs." ALL logs are Hand-Pealed, Hand-Crafted, and Graded by certified graders to ensure quality regardless of log's structural duty.
- Once blue prints are printed and Ninty (90) days prior to estimated delivery date we ask for 50% of the remaining payment as a Cashier's Check for the package before we start manufacturing the logs and assembling your package. The remaining 50% before the trucks are unloaded on your building site. If you project requires more than one truck to deliver the package the payments for the remaining 50% can be split among deliveries.
- Due to demand of our products, Expedition Log Homes works year around filling client's orders for Log Home Packages. Pre-planning and ample communication with us enables you to keep your place in line so that we have time to have your package ready to ship when you will need it.
- REMEMBER, Your builders are not sitting around waiting to build a house. They are busy and so are we. Lack of communication and planning can delay your build anywhere from 4 months to a year.
6) Stake the house and lot out (1 day)
- Its a good idea for you or your GC to get ahold of your Excavator and have them meet you at the site to stake out each point and corner of your house so they know where to clear trees and dig. You need to have your final blueprints, a compass, and large tape measure(100ft) in hand to show exact measurements and depths of house and or basement.
- If electricity is already run to the site then plan ahead to have the underground wires and water lines marked prior to this meeting so that lines can be avoided by machinery. If there is not electricity run you will need to Schedule Electrical Installation ASAP. Having power on the site during the build process saves you money by enabling builders to use your Temporary power outlets instead of charging you to run their generators for power. This also make the construction a bit less noisy. If you are building a basement, the power should be accessible when those contractors are done. Concrete workers will not need it but framers coming behind them will. Some basement work may need to rest or cure for a time so make sure that your GC is very involved by this time if he/she isn't already.
7) Clear and Excavate driveway and build site (1 week)
- Depending on complexity of access, your driveway may need to be built first then your site cleared or dug.
- Hint: Have your Excavator place tiles and culverts under your drivway in areas where future water build-up may occur. Money you spend on water management will save you in maintenace cost regardless of driveway top finishings.
- Test and Treat soil at this stage to control termites etc and know your soils' ability to hold a lot of weight of a log home.
8) Install footings (3 days)
9) Install basement walls or first floor slab (days to weeks)
- A concrete slab may only take a few days depending on whether you install in-floor heat.
- Basement wall installation time depends on what system you're using. Depending on the weather and type of system, a wait or cure period may need to pass before framers can start installing first floor system or excavators start to back-fill.
- Knowing the time you can start building will determine when you need to call Expedition Log Homes and have them deliver your first shipment of Materials.
- Waterproof foundation walls and install exterior footing tiles to prevent basement water damage and excess home settling.
10) Rough in basement plumbing and septic system if needed (5 days)
- Double check locations of drains for showers, sinks, toilets, water softener, HVAC system, wet bars, and inner footing tiles as well as possible radiant heat locations and depth of soil under upper story point loads. Concrete needs to be thicker than regular basement floors under areas where steel columns or large fireplaces will need to be supported upstairs.
11) Pour basement/garage floor and footings for porches etc (1-2 days)
- Once the exact location of the foundation is know now, the footings for porches, pillars, and stairs etc can be poured so that posts and stair runners will be set down accurately.
12) Unload Logs and Materials from Expedition (1/2 day)
- This is where you will need your second and final Cashier's Check for the building materials from Expedition. Our Rep will need the check before the trucks can be unloaded.
- An heavy duty forklift with off-road tires (preferably with an extending boom) will be needed to unload trucks. Be sure the semi-trucks have a flat and level place to park with about 30feet of room on the left and right side of the semi trailers so the forklift has room to lift move and turn around while unloading.
- Our Representative will be there to check to make sure all of your materials are there and stacked in order on the building site. Your GC should be there to work with you on the best location to stack certain loads in areas they will be needed first.
- Hint: Laying down straw under the pallets of logs help to reduce moisture build up before they have a chance to get used. That same straw can later be used in landscaping.
13) Complete Framing and Dry-in (3-5 weeks)
- If your home will be Full Log, this is where the logs are stacked or erected.
- The race to be "Weather Tight" is on. After the first floor system is on the basement walls you can back-fill around the foundation. It is best to wait until now so that the weight of the dirt does not push the walls in!
- You will now get a chance to see what your home will look like with doors and windows! (Don't skimp on the sealant and flashing tape when installing!)
14) Complete Exterior construction (at least 2 weeks)
- If the Log Home is Insulated Log/Energy Efficient Log/True Half-Log then this is where your house come alive! Logs are being stacked from bottom up. Make sure you GC knows what type of foundation coverings you will have. If you have large rocks being mortared onto the foundation walls then you need to have a flashing or rain drip edge installed before logs are stacked so that water stays on the outside of the rocks and not getting between the foundation and applied stone.
- Porches and decks will be finished
- Final roof coverings then soffit and facia will be installed
- This is also when the logs will be prepped, stained and clear-coated. Going cheap on this step will cost you more in the end. Follow application instructions Exactly! Trust me or your looking at big $$ to fix.
- After the logs are stained the gutters can be installed. If down spouts will be directed into drain tiles then prepare trenches and connect them asap to avoid erosion. Refer to your landscaper at this point, they should start to be on scene at this point.
15) Rough in Electrical (5 - 10 days)
- This is the last chance to meet with GC and review where outlets, light fixtures, light switches, kitchen appliance, and home theatre systems etc will need to be. Now that the walls are up you can get a better real life view of where the tv will stand or wall-mount will be, the refrigerator with sit, and kitchen table will need that antler chandelier, etc!
- Knowing what kind of fixtures you will have also dictate their location. Be prepared at this point to have all the light fixtures and interior furnishings picked out so that they can be installed correctly when time comes after paint.
16) Insulation (3 days)
- This may have to be done in two phases, before and after drywall.
- Flat ceiling insulation will need to be installed after ceiling drywall is up.
- Wall cavities, cracks under and on top of sill plates, around windows and doors, and electrical outlets need to be caulked with long life silicone caulk to seal from wind, bugs, and water getting through the walls.
- Insulation Type is a VERY IMPORTANT decision you have to make and should have been determined during budget talks prior. Tearing your house apart while you are living in it to fix things behind the walls like mold or drafts are something I pray no one has to go through.
- Spend the money to insulate rooms you would like sound privacy and temperature isolations, ie. master bedrooms, bathrooms, and theatre rooms.
17) Hang dry-wall or install wood coverings (1-3 weeks)
- Now is the perfect time to by an empty SD Memory Card and take pictures of every wall and corner of the house. This is HUGE 2, 5, and 30 years down the road whether your hanging a picture or planning a remodel and need to see where studs and electrical are.
- If at all possible, stain the Knotty Pine tongue and groove boards prior to installing them. It is easier than trying to stain on the walls and ceilings way over your head. That way you wont see instained cracks when wood dries and moves.
- Dry-wallers can do a good quick job. If you want to tackle it yourself it can be done but expect it to take 3x as long. Hint: Cover your HVAC registers and return air ducts and try not to have the system running at this time. If you have to run it, you will need to have your ducts cleaned before you move in finishings or they will be covered in dust for MONTHS.
- Don't go cheap on using the mold-resistant drywall in bathrooms and wet areas in basement. Again, once a wall is up you really don't want to take it down the address issues you can't see.
18) Prime kitchen walls, install cabinets (3-5 days)
- Priming the walls first helps preserve the walls if water happens to get behind the cabinets.
- Make sure to use a level to pencil a line where the bottom of the upper cabinets will sit for they will be installed first. Mark on that line all the locations of studs so you can clearly see them while the cabinets are on the wall and your wondering where to screw them in. It is also helpful to first marks on that line where the widest point on the face of the cabinet. This will ensure you that your cabinets will fit BEFORE you screw them all in wrong! For more information refer to manufacturer's directions if you plan on DIY installs.
19) Paint and install interior trim ( 2-4 weeks)
- Whether you paint or your contractor does, make sure that you wipe down the drywall or any other surface to be painted with a dry cloth until the cloth wipes clean. Any dirt or drywall dust between the walls and primer and or paint will pull or rub off the first time you wash your walls or take off adhesive tape.
- Primer should always be used LIBERALLY if not applied in two coats. This is your defense when you can't get every speck of dust off the walls. A quality primer is more important than a quality paint. Quality contractors will apply a thin skim coat of drywall mud to seal the pores in the drywall prior to priming. After priming you can take a flashlight into the dim lit room to check at all angles if the drywall mud makes a smooth transition out onto the wall. If there is a small ridge, now is the time to sand more and or re-apply mud and re-apply primer. It seems like a lot of work but pays for itself when re-selling the house.
- Pre-stain or pre-paint trim if possible for DIY projects. Use a pneumatic air trim nailer using 1 1/2in 16ga nails or adhesive glue to save time of filling in nail holes (which takes a LONG time). Hint: Make small permanent marker dots on the floor where the center of the studs are in the wall. Dot out from the wall just far enough so they can be seen after trim is up.
20) Install Countertops, Tile, Plumbing, Electrical Finishes (2-3 weeks)
- Countertops should be measured and installed by professionals...Period. Re-cutting, fixing bad cuts, and beating up your walls will make you wish you didn’t do this yourself.
- Study prior to installing any of these tasks if you plan on DIY.
21) Install Flooring (1 week)
22) Finish Driveway and Landscaping (1 week)
23) Final Home Inspection and checklist items ( 2-3 days)
- Do Not move in until everything is checked as done. Moving in prematurely will ensure a very long finishing date if things ever do get finished. A home inspector will also give your build a fresh eye to all the projects completed and give you time to get your contractors back to fix something before they get too caught up in the next job.
24) MOVE IN!!!!!! (Asap)
- Get settled in and take pictures because the house will never look this clean again!
- Finalize drivers license's, credit card addresses, loan status, insurance, and send out the invites. EVERYONE is going to want to come to the Open Log Home party!
Would you like to see how some of the process went on our True Half-Log Home?