About Avalon Log Homes
Avalon Log Homes - Blending Luxury with Nature Avalon Log Homes is your Log Home connection all over the USA & Canada. Our expert team provides the finest quality log products and planning services to make your dream home become a reality. Log Homes, Custom Homes, Custom Design Services,
Avalon Log Homes was founded by industry veterans and seasoned business
Professionals with close to a century of collective experience and more than 1000
log & conventional homes built. While Avalon Log Homes is certainly not the oldest log home manufacturer in the business, or the biggest, we are absolutely committed to becoming one of the world’s premier log home manufacturers.
Since our inception, we've built our business and strong reputation on a few basic
Core Values that guide everything we do. These include Integrity, Pride, Service,
Stewardship and Quality. Operating in this fashion has helped us grow Avalon Log Homes to be one of the fastest growing, most well respected log home
manufactures in the business.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Saving Money When Designing And Building Your Dream Log Home
Saving Money When Designing And Building Your Dream Log Home
Consider log home design options:
You have a wide variety of log home design options to consider.
At the top is a handcrafted log home or a timber frame log home. From there you can go with a milled log home and even a conventionally framed home with log siding and log accents for those on tighter budgets.
The savings start with the design of your log home. - The best way to begin your design is to find a floor plan that is close to what you are looking for, mark it with your changes and send it to one or more log home companies of your choice. Most log home companies will gladly advise you on your custom log home design, where to save money, and then quote a kit price. Don't be reluctant to begin a design with your unique requirements. Rarely (and I do mean rarely) does a company ship the same log home kit twice. If you are having difficulty finding a plan that fits your life style, go to a search engine (e.g., www.google.com , www.yahoo.com, etc.) and search on “log home plans.” You will find many log home companies listed; most of which have extensive libraries of standard floor plans. Another option would be to search on “house plans” where you will find a mind boggling number of companies that sell conventional house plans, including a few also offering log home plans. Remember, most log home companies will gladly convert a conventional house plan to a log home plan. Remember, the more corners in the foundation, the more complex the roof system, the more windows called for, the more exposed rafters called for (as opposed to locally manufactured roof trusses), the more the home will cost.
Do the log home labor yourself. - This is the opportunity for the greatest saving. Of course, most of us work full time at other jobs and do not have the time for such an undertaking. However, if your heart is set on researching this option, visit any of the online book sellers, search on “log homes” and order one or more books that focus on the construction of log homes. But perhaps the wisest choice would be to contact a nearby log builder and negotiate an hourly rate for consultation or have them give you a proposal to be a construction manager for you for a fixed fee or percentage on the costs. This method allows any savings to be passed back to you. It is best to spend time and money up front to get the job done right, rather than deal with problems later that never seem to go away.
Act as your own builder. - This is your option for the second greatest saving. Many log home buyers decide to be their own general contractor. However, be aware, this choice is not without its headaches. That is why you save all those bucks! Local building officials can be difficult to work with; subcontractors will be late or never show up; deliveries will be late or the wrong materials will be delivered; the weather is unpredictable; subcontractors and suppliers may take advantage of your inexperience. And the list goes on. Regardless of the pitfalls and stress, acting as your own general contractor will still save you about 15% - and that is big bucks. If you elect this option, again visit online book sellers, search on “log homes” and purchase one or more books that deal with log home construction. Contracting with an experienced builder to serve as an advisor or construction manager is highly recommended.
Shop for financing the same as you shop for building materials, appliances, etc. – If there is no local lender experienced in the financing of log homes, go to the search engines and search on “log home loans” or “log home mortgages.” Lenders will not charge you when you apply for a loan. File applications with two or more lenders and then select the best deal. Sometimes it’s good to look at a national log home lender with log home experience.
Select your building lot with caution. - How long will the driveway be? If you must install a septic system, a health permit is a prerequisite, and then, will it be necessary to pump to the drain field? Will it be necessary to cross a creek? How much grading will be involved? Is tree and stump removal going to be a problem? Will there be a rock problem when the foundation is excavated? In other words, a "cheap" lot can quickly become an expensive lot. If you are having difficulty finding a lot, contact a local real estate agent. Give the realtor your lot selection criteria (price range, location, size, etc.) and tell him/her to search the Multiple Listing Service data base. There is no charge for this service. The true price of the lot should include all those things necessary to have it ready to build on including driveway, sewer, water, & power systems on-site.
Select your log home builders with caution. - When talking to builders ask for references and visit log homes he/she has built and talk to the home owners.
Select carpet as your floor covering rather than hardwood floors. - Yes, hardwood floors are a "natural" in log homes. But we are looking for opportunities to save money. Perhaps you can compromise. Put hardwood in the great room and carpet elsewhere. Remember, at a later date (after you have received a job promotion or two) you can always replace carpet with hardwood.
Use Cultural Stone for wall accents and fireplaces attached to plywood and studs in lieu of a full masonry or stone. - Don't tell your friends. It's impossible to see the low cost plywood and studs thru the cultural stone. Real Stone also weighs a lot and can require additional structural support. This decision can save you a lot of money
Consider an efficient wood stove over an inefficient and more expensive fireplace. - Select black flue pipe instead of a masonry chimney. The black flue pipe looks great in a log home.
Build your log home on a crawl space rather than a basement. - Again, we are looking for opportunities to save money. Sure, a basement is cheap floor space and many buyers opt for the extra storage, shop and/or recreation room space; never-the-less, eliminating the basement will save $15,000 - $30,000 in a typical home.
Have your custom fixed glass manufactured locally. - Yes, your window supplier will want to order your fixed glass from the factory. While he/she is getting a quote from the factory, visit a local glass shop. You may be pleasantly surprised. Locally manufactured fixed glass windows are available with double glass and/or tinted glass.
Select your windows and doors with care. - This is a major opportunity for savings. Compare the quality and cost of several manufacturers before making a decision. If you expect to have a large number of windows and exterior doors, ask the suppliers if you qualify for a truck load discount.
Select your plumbing fixtures, electrical fixtures and kitchen cabinets with care. - These are also major opportunities for controlling your costs.
Start shopping early. - Whether you hire a builder to do a "turn key" job or act as the general contractor, you can save money on individual items in the house - for example, appliances, floor coverings, windows, doors, plumbing fixtures, kitchen cabinets, counter tops, etc., etc. The earlier you start shopping the more likely you are to find items on sale. Just let your "turn key" builder know in advance that you plan to shop for sale items and BE AWARE, if you slow down or inconvenience the builder, you will quickly lose what you saved and probably much more.
Best wishes as you embark on an exciting journey.
Check out our Log Homes, Log Cabins, Luxury Log Homes, new log floor plans, client photo galleries, new articles, and videos at http://www.avalonloghomes.com/