Tips for Building the Best Log Cabins

Building a log cabin may be your best idea yet. There are so many great things you can achieve with this. There are tricks and secrets that can help you come up with the very best construction for all your needs. Some of the things to consider include:

Keep logs dry

It is important to ensure that you use materials that are dry to a certain level. When the moisture content is lower, then settling is not an issue and you will not need the settling jacks. The design should also include roof overhangs that are long, good landscaping and decks need to be covered soon after construction. The overhangs need to be around 3 feet. Also, avoid sprinkler systems being too close to the completed cottage.

Design

This is another important thing to consider. The design allows you to get the most out of the home. It also aids in any future maintenance needs as well as energy efficiency. As much as this is important, you need one that you can afford. Consider this as you make a choice. You need a design that is prudent. The overhangs should be large. In addition, the very first course needs to be some feet from the ground. The grade should slope from the house.

Plan

Everything has to be planned well, so as to ensure all factors are considered. When you make all considerations early, maintaining the home will not be that hard. If the house is exposed to the sun too much, then it may need re-finish/re-stain more often. When exposed to a lot of moisture, then you will have to deal with wood decay sooner than later. It is, therefore, necessary to plan, so as to protect the home from the elements. Moisture and sun should be kept off, by all means if you want a house that will serve you for a long time.

Choose the right manufacturer

One of the things to consider is who will make the house for you. As you are choosing, do not think of the price alone. Each company has its own quality standards as well as completeness level. It helps to know exactly what you are bargaining for by getting a very detailed quote/estimate. You should then make a decision based on this.

The company should have the highest level of integrity and they should deliver on all the promises that they make. They should use materials that are of the highest quality and they should also be able to offer you advice based on their personal experiences as well as knowledge. The information provided should also be articulate enough for you to make the most sensible decision and achieve your dream home. Reputation is very important.

The site

It is important to select the best site for the construction. As stated earlier, protecting the cabin from the elements is important. Therefore, you need to select the ideal site for the construction. Determine the direction of the sun and wind.

Always go for a home that fits your lifestyle. Make it unique as possible. This is one of the best ways in which you can define yourself.

5 Tips to Find Home Builders That Are Worth Investing

When planning to build your dream home, one of the first consideration is working with a qualified and experienced contractor. Choosing a home builder may be one of the most important decisions of the building process. Basically, there are three most popular types – the high-end custom home builder, the production builder, and the small builder. The trick lies in identifying which one is the perfect match for your requirements.

Here are a few tips designed to help you find best contractors to build your dream home:

1. Plan in Advance: To get the results of your choice, planning beforehand and knowing what exactly you want may help a lot. It may also involve deciding on whether you need a specialist or just a general contractor. This will also help you communicate with your builder in the best possible way as you know your requirements as well as limitations. Also planning on what services you expect from your builder such as the warranty period, record of dealings, and post delivery services can help getting the best results.

2. Research for Reputed Firms: Once you are aware of what exactly you want, you may consider going through the newspapers, journals, advertisements and online portals for more information. Searching for reliable home building companies through surfing online and registering for electronic messages can be of great help. You may also consider visiting seminars and home shows to get to know about some experienced as well as new home builders.

3. Ask Questions: After finalizing on certain home builders, assessing them to make sure they meet your specific needs can prove very beneficial. In order to assess them, you may consider asking a few questions such as how many years have they been in business, are they licensed and insured, what unique features they offer, can they custom build or change current designs, what type of material they use, how long the entire process will take and prices etc.

4. Do A Quality Check: Looking beyond the photographs and checking the quality of materials can help you make sure that it is worth investing. This may also require both research and site visits to have a clear idea whether or not the home builder holds a good previous record. You may also consider showing interest for any awards or recognition the company has got for providing outstanding quality to its clients.

5. Be Specific: Having things finished on time and within budget sometimes requires you to be specific. Keeping everything clear with your builder and having the structural calculations done by an experienced engineer can prove beneficial. Keeping an eye on who is going to supply the things like hardware, faucets, tiles, and other accessories, is good for your project. Being specific regarding what you need and how you want things to be done helps in long run.

Last but not the least, take the time to do your homework when it comes to choosing a home builder as every extra second spent will pay off in the long run.

Find A Great Custom Home Builder: A Step-By-Step Guide

Building your dream home can be both a simultaneously exhilarating and stressful experience. Many first-time builders can feel at a loss when it comes to beginning the process. When you find the right custom home builder, however, most of the battle has already been won. Finding the right fit for you can be tricky, but not impossible, if you do your homework. It can require a little research on your part, but when you eventually step into a home made just for your family, it will be all worth it.

Determine your style

Know what you are looking for. Are you looking for a traditional farmhouse? Country living? French classic? Take every opportunity you can to learn what you want. Flip through magazines, drive through old neighborhoods and do your online searches. If you are uncertain as to what your style is, then consider your environment and your needs. Determine the size of home for which you are looking and the physical area in which you will build. To find a custom home builder that fits your needs requires you to connect with someone who specializes in the style you desire. It would not work out if you are looking for a classic mid-century style, while your builder specializes in modern urban homes.

Look online for contractor’s previous work

The best predictor of the work your contractor will conduct for you is the previous work of the builder. Ask for portfolios and models of previous homes. Look for ongoing projects in neighborhoods close to where you would like to build. Do not be afraid to request more examples of previous work. This is essential to the first step of feeling a connection.

Discern the reputation

Not all builders are equal: some are notorious for falling behind schedule while others shine in their ability to make homeowners feel like they are being heard. Of course, check with friends, neighbors and relatives for recommendations. Pay special attention to the complaints and praises of your acquaintances and be mindful of the critic’s own personality to determine whether the criticism is reasonable and legitimate. Check online sources, as well, including review sites. There are some good sites available that allow homeowners to rate builders.

Do your research

First, it is very important to check the licensure of a builder. To find a custom home builder that is reputable, you need to ensure that he or she is qualified. State regulations can play a part and certifications can indicate an adherence to high standards. Additionally, do not neglect to inquire after the insurance coverage. Home builders employ individual workers and outsource various stages of the building process. It is important to ensure that they are covered in case of liability, so that you, too, will not be financially at risk. The Better Business Bureau and local chambers of commerce can be good places to start for information.

Request your first meeting

Finally, just meeting in person can give you a good idea what sorts of things to look for. The process to find a custom home builder demands a great connection. You need to trust your contractor and feel at ease with the decisions you will make together. Never be afraid to ask questions and continue your search if you are not completely satisfied with your in-person experience.

Home Building Contractors – Why Do My Clients Hate Me?

Most Building Contractors I know get it wrong. They place their priorities on the project, rather than on their clients.

 

Why is that? As simple as it seems to say that the customer comes first, in home building, it’s not an easy task. I can definitely empathize with the builder. The more complicated and personal a provided service is the greater the risk that clients will become confused, emotional, and eventually accusatory.

 

A Home Builder or Baby Sitter?

 

A complaint I often hear is that builders want to be builders, not baby sitters. Builders want to do what they do best … build! Isn’t that the job after all? And by doing their best to build a beautiful home, won’t that satisfy the customer? Whether or not that makes sense, the fact is, it usually doesn’t work.

 

The reason many builders think like this is they learn their building craft and rarely do they learn the “people craft”. And when people are treated like they need to be baby sat, they’re eventually going to cry like babies … and hate their “parents”.

 

Use These Three Problems and Alternate Strategies to help you craft a better approach to your business and turn “hate relationships” into love affairs.

 

PROBLEM: Traditional General Contracting promotes an imbalance of power that lacks respect for the client. The contractor is perceived to be calling all the shots.

 

STRATEGY: The client becomes an Owner Builder and the Builder becomes the Coach. This serves to level the playing field, put more power in the hands of the client and the relationship has an “even keel” feel.

 

PROBLEM: There’s often very little effective communication between the builder and the clients.

 

STRATEGY: Preset communication schedules so that clients are “in the loop” at all times. The clients are coached through the process, educated about the process, always aware of what’s going on.

 

PROBLEM: Most of the time, clients feel like the wagged tail. When a client feels pushed around, they’re eventually going to push back.

 

STRATEGY: “Owner Builders” are involved. The Coach gives them decisions and duties to perform. The clients are motivated to save money and get more of what they want and see the value of their involvement. Involvement breeds personal responsibility which breeds more respect for the coach.

 

Know, Like, and Trust

 

Business more easily flows to those who people know, like and trust. By incorporating these strategies, as a builder, you can earn the respect of your clients. You are literally placing the client first! They will get to know and like you sooner and trust builds quickly.

Building an Energy Star Home

Anyone building a home should give serious consideration to building an Energy Star home. There are several reasons why this financially benefits the homeowner.

– Compared with standard homes, Energy Star qualified homes use substantially less energy for heating, cooling, and water heating-delivering $400 to $600 in annual savings. Over the average 7 to 8 years you may live in your home, this adds up to thousands of dollars saved on utility bills.

– Additional savings on maintenance can also be substantial since better quality appliances & equipment is installed.

– Financing your home purchase using an energy efficient mortgage can also lead to savings.

– Some utilities offer a reduction in electricity rates for homes that qualify as Energy Star.

Building an Energy Star home increases its initial cost about 4-8% (depending on materials/equipment installed) compared to a comparable home which adds some to your mortgage payment, however the reduced utility bills usually will offset any increase in your mortgage payment, therefore your total cost of home ownership does not increase. And as energy costs rise, your savings increase and Energy Star homes also have higher resale values.

So the real question is: Can you afford NOT to build an Energy Star home?

Other benefits of an Energy Star home include:

– Increase comfort/temperatures in your home

– Reduced emissions for the environment

– Efficient construction techniques and high-performance, better quality products

– Improved indoor air quality

Features of Energy Star qualified new homes are:

Energy-Efficient Heating and Cooling Equipment – More efficient and properly sized heating and cooling systems use less energy, which reduces utility bills. These systems also turn on and off less frequently, removing more humidity and providing better comfort.

Effective Insulation – Properly installed insulation that meets or exceeds national code requirements helps achieve even temperatures throughout the house while using less energy. The result is lower utility costs and a quieter, more comfortable home.

Tight Construction and Tight Ducts – Attention to detail by sealing all holes, cracks, and seams in ducts and construction assemblies helps eliminate drafts, moisture, dust, pests, and pollen. This improves comfort and the quality of indoor air, while lowering maintenance costs.

Efficient Products – Energy Star qualified homes may also be equipped with Energy Star qualified products – lighting fixtures, compact fluorescent bulbs, ventilation fans, and appliances, such as refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines.

High-Performance Windows – Advanced window coatings help keep heat in during winter and out during summer. They also block damaging ultraviolet sunlight that can discolor carpets and furniture.

Third-Party Verification – Utilizing independent Home Energy Raters, Energy builder partners choose the most appropriate energy-saving features for their homes. Additionally, raters conduct onsite testing and inspections to verify the energy efficiency measures, as well as insulation, air tightness, and duct sealing details.