First....you must go to at least one log home show. Ask questions, hear the hype & sales pitches.
Second.....Determine your expectations based on your economic ability to build. I would love to own a log home that is featured in all the magazines. If you can afford one of them you don't need to figure alot of these things out. You can afford to pay someone to do it all. If you really have the ability to do some work your self I can be a great benefit. If you can't don't convince yourself that you can.
Third, if pricing is a major part of the equation, do your homework of your contractors to know who and what they can and will do for you. I bought a kit. It worked out well for me( Southland). I'm trying to start a second log project and will NOT do a kit again. I know to much now. I happen to also build so I have alot more comfort.
Fourth, Look at things like electrical lighting fixture placement, master bath floor heating, need for heating systems in general based on your climate. Western NC very cold!!
Fifth, read alot of the previous discussions on this forum. You can gain alot of knowledge of problems that others have battled, who to stay away from, and what is just talk.
One thing we added was "sun tubes" on the roof. They really add a lot of light in the loft which otherwise would be sort of dark. Glad the builder suggested it. Good luck.
Hi Lynn, where in western NC will you build? We are west of Murphy, next to the Tennessee line. Some of our favorite things, although added expense but well worth it...are heated tile floors in the bathrooms, toilets in their own little room, and outdoor fireplace. Our home was completed in June 2011 and a dream come true so I know how excited you must be!
With todays design software, "things I'd do different" is not as common as it used to be. You can see 3d renderings, view furnished rooms, customize materials ect., leaving little to the imagination. Especially functuallity, and visualization. Also make sure you get a detailed contract from the General Contractor, this should include material description and brand names, as well as listing both parties obligations, such as, payment and performance. If you do these things and take the time to understand your contracts, you should not have any surprises. Good Luck
Lynn, Hi! We, too, built our home dream home in WNC. Honestly, there's not a whole lot we would have done differently. We took our time designing, planning, & researching (about 3 years) before actually building. During that time, we took into consideration what we wanted, needed, and could afford. Being empty nestors we really didn't need a ton of square footage, so we opted for a modest size home. Once complete, it was everything we thought it would be and more. Our builder, Benitez Homes, out of Waynesville/Maggie Valley (we're about an hour west of there) was awesome! Everything was as he said it would be. He and his crew were real easy to work with; he allowed us to be as involved in the project as we wanted to be. We would recommend him to anyone building in the vicinity. Hope this helps! Best of luck to you and can't wait to see pics once you begin!!!
We are almost in our log home that my boyfriend, a family friend, his dad and I built. We got a construction loan which is only for 12 mos. I would have researched a bank that would do an 18 mo loan. We are in default right now and Feb payment is goin to be outlandish. :( That is the only thing i would have done differently, other than just do a stick build.
I have lived in a log home since 1989. If you really want one, here are a few ideas: If you like porches, I would have all porches covered, (easier on maintenance), do a metal roof, and have all facia boards, wrapped. Get gutter guards!!! Try and stick with a ranch type home, (easier on maintenance). Gables, try and find a material, that requires no maintenance. My home is log sided, on the gables, looks nice, but it needs to be stained. I always have used permachink lifeline, (I love Permachink) and I clear coat. I'm in my 50's, and my husband cannot take care of the home, so its up to me. We built a ranch( which I am grateful we did). Log homes are work, need constant care, like I say, you really want to have one, be prepared. They are pretty and very relaxing. If I had to do it again, knowing that my better half, would be unable to take care of it, I would go brick. If you are healthy, young, and have lots of energy, go for log!!! Have several kids, and hopefully, boys, I have three, they can help!!! Now getting them to help is another story! hahahaha Oh and make sure you get that top notch zero turn riding lawn mower, and plenty of round up. I don't walk mow anymore, or weed eat!!! You have to save your strength, so you can treat your home every 5 to 7 years! Best wishes to you, and don't pay any money to anyone, upfront, Pay after the work is done. That is what we did and we got our home done and on budget!
Wanted to clear up something, I am Henry's wife writing in! Happy New Year everyone!!!