Your Checklist for Building a Log Home: From Start to Finish

You’ve decided it’s time to bring the custom log home of your dreams to life, now what happens? The list of things that you have to do can feel very overwhelming. Don’t worry, you’re not in it alone. It’s important to build a reliable team with you to guide you every step of the way from breaking ground to “welcome home.”

There can be a lot of pieces moving simultaneously which for many people can become overwhelming. So, to help you stay organized, use this step-by-step checklist for everything you need to know as you build your custom log home.

Step 1: Organize your vision.

  • Just like buying an existing property, you want to have a solid list of must-haves and nice-to-haves for home features and location.This way, your project is focused and you save time by only considering options that you want.
  • Create a realistic timeline with a completion date. Remember: seasons impact building timelines as does your own schedule. If you have a big vacation or business trip planned, take that time into account.
  • Select a completion date. This is necessary to define when applying for financing. Your builder can help you determine a realistic schedule for completion.
  • Remember: projects go over time and over budget, so make sure to leave some space in your plans for both.

Step 2: Discover your financing options.

  • You’ll need to have a credit check done and provide a proof of income statement before applying for mortgages or loans.
  • Work with a mortgage broker, private lender, or bank and select a mortgage type that works for your needs. Most importantly, get pre-approved! You’ll know exactly what budget you’re working within and will be able to make informed choices as you build your home. For more information, see our article on How Do Construction Mortgages Work?
  • After you have your mortgage, determine the down payment and price range you want to build within.
  • Remember: leave some buffer room for unexpected costs. Who knows, you may even have some left over when it’s complete.

If you need help creating a budget for your home, use our Free Log Home Budget Worksheet.

Step 3: Select a location for your log home.

  • Where you decide to build may determine which service providers you can work with, as some only operate in certain areas.
  • Choose a location based on two considerations:
    • Your budgeted price range.
    • Your list of home must-haves related to location. These could include proximity to certain schools, your commute time, or the property’s access to wilderness.

You may already be working with a realtor or a builder. If so, they’ll be able to help you find a location that suits your needs.

Step 4: Build your dream team.

  • You will be leading the decision making, so think of the group you work with as your trusted advisors.
  • Thoroughly check testimonials, past work, and ultimately how you feel about them. You’ll spend a lot of time together making difficult decisions at times and you want a team that you feel confident in.
  • Depending on your log home design, your advisers may include:
    • Realtors
    • Builders
    • General Contractor
    • Contractors
    • Inspectors
    • Lawyers
    • Architects
    • Engineers

Step 5: Design your log home.

  • This is what you’ve been waiting for: bringing your vision to life! It’s time to get creative and organize your desires and budget with your advisors.
  • What style of log home are you looking for: a more rustic or modern design? How would you like the home to look outside? Inside?
  • What type of wood interests you: cedar, fir, pine or another? If you’re not sure, check out our article on Types of Wood for Log Homes.
  • What kind of architecture would you like? A classic “A” frame style chalet, open concept design or something different?
  • Do you have a specific vision in mind for any particular rooms? Many people dream of a kitchen with an island or a soaker tub. Let your team know.

For more information on the log home styles available, read: Full Scribe vs Timber Frame vs Post and Beam Log Home.

Looking for decor inspiration? View our article on Log and Timber Frame Home Design Trends.

Step 6: Finalize the paperwork.

  • This is where your builder, realtor, engineer and lawyer come in handy. You’ll need several sign offs from start to finish, including:
    • The land title proving that you own the property you are building on.
    • The building permit which allows you to actually construct your specific home on the land. This is a key piece and something we strongly suggest you obtain before you start building to ensure there is no regulations or problems with the property you have to take into consideration.
    • Insurance papers for workers, contractors and the property.
    • Utility hookups for water, power and sewers. If these are provided by the local government, you’ll need their sign off to connect.

Step 7: Applying final touches.

  • You’ve made it through the paperwork and now is the best part: adding the things that make the house your dream home.
  • You may consider hiring other professionals for:
    • Landscaping to add curb appeal or perhaps that garden you’ve always wanted out back.
    • Interior design to suggest decor such as lighting, faucets, and furnishings to accent your log home’s style.
    • Painting rooms. It’s time to select and apply colour palettes for each room. Want a romantic red or tranquil blue bedroom? Or, a funky green or fresh white kitchen?
    • Adding finishings. From hardwood floors to granite countertops, what final touches will bring out the character you want in your log home?

Step 8: Welcome home!

  • Your dream is a reality and it’s time to start living in your new log home.
  • What else might you need to do?
    • Hire a moving company.
    • Schedule your housewarming party.
    • Decorate with your belongings. Hang your photos and artwork. Bring in the drapes and furniture. See where your favourite armchair fits snuggly.
    • Start enjoying the spaces you’ve created. Light the fireplaces, sip wine on the patio, and cook breakfast with your partner in the kitchen. It’s all yours!

Bringing your log home to life requires a realistic schedule, responsive team and personalized design. With these considerations in mind, the whole process from start to finish can feel as dreamlike as your completed log home.

If you have any questions about the process or would like help getting started, please contact us.