[This is the Special Report 30 in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. Our
electronic products download immediately to your computer upon
of our readers has done it. Read the story of this family's approach
and understand just why most custom log homes have gotten so expensive.
Six pages, revised and updated with new reader tips, web links and
comments. Topics Include:
- Shell components
- Wide bid variations
- Hidden costs
- Bundling and unbundling
- Grade-stamped logs
- Challenging homesites
- Log home shows
Excerpt from Report:
"...What's In a Shell
Phil Smith of Spencer, New York, whose log home we'll examine later, told me what was in his log shell:
gasket, caulk, lag bolts, washers, log siding for foundation, log
paneling for interior gable, doors, anderson double hung windows with
screens, trusses, CDX plywood for roofing, felt, shingles - 25 year,
drip edge, facia, soffit, ridge and soffit vents, window and door buck
framing, exterior window and door casings, cathedral ceilings of 1x6
tongue and groove pine, 1x6 southern yellow pine flooring. (Could have
done oak for $2,500 more) all the nails, 10 gallons of wood guard
preservative with insect repellent, Symphony clear gloss for interior
Phil's house is a cozy starter log home of 834 square
feet. What did he pay for his shell? $18,000, though he got bids up to
around $30,000 for the same thing. Phil owner-built his log home: 'I
borrowed the money from a bank after an erector or general contractor
put his name down with the bank. He had to do that to get work. We
saved $15,000 on contractor fees. Wood supplies, sheetrock, we went out
and bought through our draw schedule, as well as countertops, plumbing,
etc. We then hired the tradesmen. The plumber only supplied pipe. We
paid for labor only. The only work we did was staining and painting. We
did the cleanup, dealing with the bank, purchasing, running errands.
Bank draws were made out to me.' His total construction cost was
$60,000. Total. What would it have been if he had a log home company
build the house? 'We had bids of up to $135,000 for turnkey,' Phil told
me. 'But there was no way we were doing that. We shopped around for
shell costs. That's the secret..."
Sample Reader Tip Excerpts:
"Our friend built 1,200 sq. foot cabin for $18,500. Bought windows on closeout. Only regretted not doing 2x6 exterior framing."
Ken & Connie W.
Salt Lake City, UT
went to Michigan and selected my handcrafted log home. 11 inches to 14
inches thick. Maple Island in Twin Lakes, Michigan. Mapleisland.com."