The Log Home Neighborhood

An online log home community for log home enthusiasts.

The search for a qualified contractor should begin as soon as you have a building site and preliminary drawings, even if you don’t plan to break ground for several months. It may take time to find a contractor who suits your requirements, and once you find the right one, you’ll have to be worked into the contractor’s schedule. Those who are good and in-demand, and those in areas with a short building season, often schedule projects up to a year in advance.

Once you have several names in hand, obtain references and interview each builder. Ask for bids from the contractors you feel comfortable with. Remember, the bids will only be as good as the plans you submit. You should use the same drawings you submitted to get your building permit. Any changes to the plans should have been made by this time. Do your homework and make as many decisions as possible before you ask for bids. Give each contractor exactly the same information so you’ll be able to obtain a fair comparison, and be certain you ask for the same level of detail from each bidder.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is to base their decision on price alone. Even though bidders are getting the same plans and information, they can build with varying degrees of quality. You should not only feel comfortable with the price, but with the quality of workmanship, organization, the schedule, the contract, and the person in general. He/she will be your new business partner for the next few months. If you seek the same level of workmanship, organization, and can trust one another, the construction process will flow much smoother and you’ll be able to relax.

Since the 1970’s, Wisconsin Log Homes has understood the need for complete design and build services. Finding a qualified builder to construct their log or timber home has always been a big concern of our clients, and one we’ve addressed right from the start. Wisconsin Log Homes has its own building crews and National Builder Network full of qualified builders around the world who we work closely with to provide “rough up and log” and turn-key construction services for our customers.

Each client is assisted with the construction of their home in one form or another during the log or timber home process. Some may decide to use our in-house construction services, while others want help qualifying or selecting a builder in their area. Whatever the client chooses to do, Wisconsin Log Homes stays involved throughout the complete design and build process to ensure quality and satisfaction. Our in-house construction services maximize efficiency and accountability, and simplifies the process for the customer. By combining real-estate services, architectural design, construction, site visits, interior design & décor, and an in-house cabinetry line and design services, we become the single point of contact for the customer and are able to eliminate problems and miscommunication that can occur with having multiple providers.

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Comment by on September 28, 2008 at 1:49pm
Great advice Stephanie. I would like to add even a little more insight to it. Part of any builder 'partnership' is knowing where and how they make make their money. There are many products, vendors, subs, 'pieces & parts' to a house. Are they being marked up by your builder? Are they being making money on your money or being paid to build? All builders get wholesale contractor discounts. Are these discounted prices being passed on to you? Depending on the size and difficulty of the project, one might consider a strict cost plus formula. Agree to a fee or percentage with your builder but pay all the materials/subs invoices direct at sticker price so you know they are not being marked up. I cannot imagine a builder would not do this - we always have.

Another reason for paying the materials/subs direct and not running it through your builder is how do you KNOW for a fact what was paid? These are some tough economic times. Many builders haev gone out of buisness and found their lines or credit dry up so 'Peter gets robbed to pay Paul'. If you (or your bank) pays the sub direct and then pays the builder separate when they have completed certain stages of work, then you KNOW they are paid. Did you know that a sub that was not paid (even if you paid the builder) may have the right to file a lien on your house and pursue for paymnet?

Building your dream house is suppose to be a fun joyous time. Sure its a 'pain' but how wonderful to watch your long planned for home get built and actualy move in. But it is a buisness process with lots of moiney changing hands. Don't let your gaurd down and make sure you are protected. Thank you.

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