The Log Home Neighborhood

An online log home community for log home enthusiasts.

If any of you read the last blog I wrote it was about with using a builder for the entire log home construction project rather than buying logs from a log home manufacturer and then having them sub out the rest of the construction work. I still think this is the most cost efficient way to proceed but I have run into the most perplexing set of circumstances that makes me wonder if I'm losing my mind.

Let me start off by telling you that I own somewhat over 3 acres of land in the mountains near Waynesville, NC. A gently sloping property for the most part that would make building fairly doable. After contacting several log nome manufacturers, meeting with them and getting prices way beyond my budget, I decided to give the direct builder thing a fling. At first I thought I had gone to heaven. I met a builder who did a great job getting estimates for me. His pricing was way and I mean way lower than the log home manufacturing guys I had spoken with. He even gave me the actual pricing from Haywood Lumber Company. And I mean right down to the penny. Everything looked great except the people who were to buy my current house backed out of the deal so all bets were off. I immediately contacted the builder and told him that the project was on hold. That was the last I ever heard from this builder. He doesn't answer either his emails nor his phone calls. Well, I cleverly figured out ... that's all for him (even though I must admit I was disappointed).

Still believing in the "builder" approach and now with scaled down house plans in hand, I contacted two other builders. Frankly, I was astonished at the numbers they threw at me, (I use the word "threw" because of their attitudes), you would think that they were doing me a favor by building my log home. Needless to say, that has gone no ware.

I don't know ... Is there a recession going on or not. You would think that these people would be doing back flips to do business with us. Maybe I got it wrong, I'm in the recession and they're not.

All I'm looking for is an honest builder, without an attitude problem, that understands my problems as much as he wants the world to know his problems (or his ego). In these times, patience is a virtue. Are there any virtues builders in the Waynesville area out there?

Then, just maybe, I wont wind up in the funny farm.

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Comment by Ted on October 25, 2009 at 5:52pm
I hear what you are saying about doing the exterior in log siding and the interior in drywall. I agree that it would keep the construction cost down to a minimum but I think one would want a "few" accent walls in wood to give the home a rustic, cabin like feeling. That's where budget stretching comes into play.

PS love to hear you talk about Connecticut. I lived for 20 years in Katonah, NY and Ridgefield was just a few miles from us. I'm not sure as to where you are located. But you bring back great memories.

Comment by Randy Esposito on October 23, 2009 at 7:29pm
It's not just you. I sent out three estimates for windows for a client. Been a week and only one supplier has replied. Guess they don't need the business.

But to give a builder's perspective. We do get a lot of calls, especially for log homes. I think some builders just try to gauge a prospective client and qualify or eliminate them quickly to save time. Unfortunately, they probably lose a lot of business this way.

I take the approach that I am going to work with someone until them tell me they don't want to move forward or it is out of their budget. Then I will try to explore some alternatives to help them get what they want or will thank them for the opportunity and hope they consider me in the future if anything changes.

As to stick building, I do both. It can be less expensive and it can be more. Depends on type of log siding and more on the interior finish. The labor to hang pine liner on the interior and to hang siding might eat up all of the savings.

It usually runs less when you are just doing log siding and going with drywall for all interior walls.
Comment by Ted on October 23, 2009 at 1:48pm
I have met Mike and Tori Benitez. In fact they were one of the builders I went to when I was thinking of a larger home. Unfortunately, his price was way over my budget plus I still had a house I needed to sell. So we kind of left it at that. But he's still on my short list. Since the time I redesigned the house to be smaller and all on one floor, I haven't gotten back to Mark. I have sent out the plans to other builders though and we shall see what they come up with. Mark is the guy who told me that building stick frame with log siding would cost more than a full log home (about $10,000 more). I was surprised being that I had heard that stick frame would be cheaper.

By the way, thanks for the "how to sell your home" seminar. listening to you and watching HGTV I have become a believer in de-cluttering. If we see that the market in Sarasota is showing some real return to normalcy we will pack up (probably) half of our house and put it into storage.

I was looking at some of your pictures again last night and it's amazing how some of your property shots look almost exactly like our property. I wanted to attach a couple of pictures but couldn't figure out how it's done. Maybe I should put them on Facebook or Snapfish.

Whatever, let's keep in contact. By the way if you ever want to send me an email, my address is,

Comment by Terry & Shelley S on October 23, 2009 at 1:01pm
Ted, I can understand why you're frustrated! You're correct, you would think in these times, they'd be knocking down your door to get your business! We, too, were surprised by builders in the Bryson City area we interviewed in January. We gave them our plans and asked for bids: We received one bid within a month. We didn't hear from the other two until August wanting to know if we were still interested in hiring them! NO WAY! We ended up hiring our builder from the Waynesville area - Benitez Homes Inc. I'm not sure if he's one of the ones you mention in your blog, but I can tell you, up to this point, everything is as he promised. He was even able to help us with a situation where at the last minute, the bank we were planning to use for financing was having difficulties in their construction-to-permanent loan process; he quickly referred us to a couple other local banks he deals with and within a few hours, we were back on track again. Our loan officer told us we had one of the BEST buiilders in the Waynesville area. He's easy to work with and stays on budget - which is a plus!!! He knew from day one no building would take place until we sold our home in Fl; didn't seem to have a problem working with us on that respect.

Not sure if this helps you at all, but I do wish the best of luck to you & your family on your journey.

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