OK, you've been bitten. You stumbled across a couple of photos in a home magazine or you went to visit a friend in the country who owns a vacation log home or something like that, and it happened. You really can't explain it yourself but at that very moment you knew ... life in a crowded city in a tiny overpriced apartment was not for you nor was living in the "burbs" where every house looks like every other house, where you are really big stuff if your piece of property is barely a third of an acre.
Well, I'm one of you too, I want the real life, the country life, the log home life. My wife Marilyn and I have been looking for the right house to build now for about a year and although we have (we think) found it we have not as yet started to build. Why? Rule one; make sure you have the money or a source for money before you proceed. We need to sell our current house so we are currently at a standstill. But lets not digress. Continuing on to Rule two; know what the house is "actually" going to cost. Rule three is a good one too; make sure you own a piece of property before you start spending your hard earned money. You need a plan.
There are other rules too and I'll cover them in other blogs but in an effort not to overwhelm anyone, especially myself, I will cover a couple of points at a time.
Lets talk about rule one. Owning a home, any kind of home is 90% emotional and 10% good business sense (I know you are different). You will probably need to sell your current house (my situation) or have some cash (investments, savings a rich uncle that kind of thing). The point is, don't start spending money with architects, builders or log home manufactures until you are certain you have a source for moola (that's dollars in the event you never heard the expression).
Which, most naturally, brings us to rule two. Let me be the first to tell you, if not the 30th person, that the cost of a log home is not the cost of the Dri-In Package (a topic of another blog). Let me give you a few of the items you should include in your construction budget sheet. The cost of the property. Depending where and how much land you need could (will) be significant. Ok, you now own a piece of heaven what next. Uh ha. Build a house on it. What will you need to include in your numbers here. Let's start off with the house package. Most log home manufacturers generally offer three options, (1) they'll sell you the lumber and you pay for shipping to your site plus taxes, (2) they will sell you a Dri-In package where they will deliver the house to your site and erect the shell for you so that the house is basically dry (guess where the term dri-in comes from). You will of course pay for shipping to your site and will pay applicable taxes. (3) Is turn key. They will sell you the lumber, deliver it to your site, erect it and in addition will turn it over to you in ready to move in condition. In essence be your general contractor. You still pay for shipping and taxes although they may be buried in the total cost.
There are pluses and minuses to each package. In the first option you will need to hire a General Contractor who in turn will hire all the subs to complete the job. In the second option, you will still need to hire a General Contractor (unless you decide to be your own GC) to complete the house but the cost should be somewhat less because the log home people built the shell. Option three speaks for itself. Get yourself a lounge chair and camera, sit back for 6 moths to a year and watch your dream being assembled.
I know, my points are not in the same order I originally presented to you but unfortunately, that's how my mind works.
In subsequent blogs I will talk about all the other little construction things you must include in your building budget like: excavation, septic, well drilling, tree trimming, road construction, permits, attorney fees, architects fees, moving costs. Cost of the stuff that goes goes into the house like HVAC, cabinets, vanities, counter tops, fireplaces, flooring and other good things.
More headache stuff next time.