The Log Home Neighborhood

An online log home community for log home enthusiasts.

I thought I'd throw this out there for general discussion and, perhaps, to invoke a bit of introspection among builders. But, first a little bit about me, lest you think I'm a complete nut: I've just been a participant here for a few weeks. I'm a reasonably educated guy--a retired Air Force officer with a professional post-grad degree--and have dealt with a variety of executives across a large array of industries.

My wife and I at long last find ourselves in the position where we can seriously consider building a log cabin. So, we've been exploring the options, doing a fair amount of research, reading up on the subject, and discussing our options with suppliers and builders. The last year, during which time I've devoted a lot of time to research, has gotten me up to speed as we approach the time when we're actually going to start building. However, we attended the Indianapolis show this weekend and it finally struck me why so many people who explore building a log home don't do so: it's because those in the business are apparently pretty sour on log homes in general.

Why do I say that? Well, it's because the pitch I've heard time after time seems to come down to this: "[Name the competitor]'s way of doing things is horrible. It's expensive, takes forever, and will leave you with a home you'll regret owning. It will warp, settle, attract bugs, develop drafts, and generally rot away beneath your feet. And that's if they don't walk away before your home is finished, leaving you financially ruined. Even if none of those things happen, you'll end up paying through the nose for an inferior product. My price? Well, I can't really say."

Just something for those of you in the industry to mull over: This leaves a guy like me with a number of choices, but the easiest is to just walk away from the whole notion of a log home. You and your competitors are certainly doing a bang-up job of instilling distrust of log homes and of those in the industry. I'm not suggesting that the answer is to gather in a circle and begin singing "Kumbaya," but it might be beneficial to the entire industry if it were to embrace an attitude of aggressive competition that didn't rely on bashing everyone else's way of doing things.

How you accomplish this, I can't say. But, I can tell you that my honest appraisal is that there's a deep rot in the industry, and it manifests itself in a pervasive sales pitch that most log homes should be avoided by the plague. It ultimately instills in many a serious fear of owning a log home.

Having said all that, I continue my search. But, guys . . . there's got to be a better way.


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Rob, A very thoughtful response and I especially like "This is the largest investment you will probably make in your life" but log homes have become a commodity.....sadly. Thanks for your input.

Tim Bullock

The sad thing is that log packages may be priced as comodities without the quality and service that accompanies a package which the buyer should expect.  And they don't realize it until it's too late if they are buying on price only.  If it's a comodity, it's pretty much the same;  corn, 2x4s, natural gas...  If everything was a 6x6 D log then it would be based on price.  But at the show, it sounded like desperate companies were trying to feed off each other.  That's one reason why we look for other venues to meet potential clients face to face.  Michael, don't give up.  Just find another way to shop for what you want.  thanks for your comments.  They needed to be said.


Rob Ridgway

Bob, It is the other "venues" that are elusive in this market. I would like to add some food for thought in that the "prospects" are driving the market and are becoming more difficult to educate as they all know that people are desperate and price seems to be their biggest concern. This is all "new" to myself as there seems to be a lot more "expert" consumers out there and they are not shy in expressing their newfound knowledge. This is not meant to "blame" the consumer for the market but merely one aspect of these difficult times.

Tim Bullock

Michael are you following this discussion?


Rob Ridgway

Bob, Michael seems to have left the discussion although his points were certainly valid and worth discussing.

Tim Bullock

Tim, et al--

I'm still following the discussion. I just don't have much to add, except to note that my observations are not universally applicable. However, these problems do seem fairly widespread. My apologies for not jumping back in sooner; I've been focused on a real estate transaction, in hopes of expanding the buffer around our building site.

Dear Sir,

 My name is Phil Florence and I am a sales representative for Tennessee Log & Timber Homes. I was at the Indianapolis Log & Timber Show and do not know if I had the pleasure of speaking with you. I can agree with you that there are salespeople out there that do want to speak poorly of the competition and I can only surmise that the economy plays a large part in that strategy, if you can call it that. It gives the industry a blackeye and that is not good for anyone. Myself, I can tell you that there are a number of log home companies that will provide you with a quality product and Tennessee Log & Timber Homes is one of them.


 It does not surprise me that there are unhappy customers with all companies. We have been in business since 1975 and have built many homes for many satisfied customers. I think that it is impossible to make 100% of everyone you deal with happy. I do try my best to make my customers happy with the end product and think that I have done that. You can supply the best materials to a bad builder and you will end up with a less that good experience!


 I would like to speak with you about your project and let you make the decision about our company. I think you will find that we have a lot to offer someone such as yourself. My number is 800-215-9218 ext.111. I will look forward to your call.

Phil, Proofread as a starter. Michael made some interesting observations about the industry in general but you chose this venue to hype your product which in essence is the darn problem. People want good unbiased information but you didn't offer any other than to hype your product....Can we not let Michael decide without doing an infomercial here?

Tim Bullock

Tim...........I`m sorry if you misread what I was saying. I did not hype Tennessee Log & Timber Homes. I did, however want him to know that not all salespeople in this industry choose to "dog" the competition and I would like to speak with Michael about his home. Sorry if this disturbs you.

Phil, Your post does disturb me as I offer information freely and try and not judge. I do NOT come to this site to "troll" as I have enough business and further offer people to look at my website and leave critical decisions up to them. They can look or go on....I don't really care.

Tim Bullock

You are so right Tim!!!  I get tired of manufacturers, using places like this and log home reports, for advertising.  I noticed on log home reports, there were a lot of customers, that in a two day span had all these wonderful 5.0 ratings for Tennessee Log Homes.  I believe they were around March 30th, in 2003.  Isn't it funny, how all these wonderful ratings were placed on log home reports, just after TLH had their annual dealer meeting. At the time when I checked, the wonderful ratings were from their dealers.  So apparently, someone at the dealer meeting, put the idea in the dealers heads to put a rash of good ratings to try and get sales!  I swear some people are so phoney!  Of course some of those dealers aren't on their current list on their web site.  Makes you think???

I can certainly understand where you come from on that subject. We are a restoration company

and our partner company sells log homes.  Every company has good points and bad points but in

the end it is you who they should care about and be sure you are happy and not financially broke.

I don't know of any home that is not expensive but it should be a pleasant experience and yes we

know there are some out there that don't have that experience. Try not to walk away from the

log home idea just because of a few. It truely is a wonderful experience and one you will always be

glad you did in the end. If ever you have any questions please feel free to email or give us a call. Dolly


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