Building on a Budget: Six Money-Saving Tips for Building a Log Home

 

Are you thinking about building a custom timber or log home, but don’t want to break the bank?

Do you have a specific budget in mind and want to ensure there are no surprises once you start building?

The construction industry is unfortunately known for the statement “It will cost twice as much and take as twice as long build”. Although sometimes things happen and circumstances can’t always be avoided there are some basic steps that you can do to help ensure you don’t blow past your budget. Here is our list of 6-money saving tips for building a log or timber home.

1. Plan Ahead When Building a Home

If one of your goals is to build a custom log or timber home in the future there is nothing stopping you from starting to plan now. We find clients that have given themselves 2 or 3 years to plan before they need their home completed tend to enjoy the process a lot more and end up saving money. By planning ahead you shop around for the best prices on products, purchase things over time, and most importantly you won’t feel rushed into making decisions.

2. Budget Properly

We all like to enjoy the finer things in life, but sometimes that comes at a higher price. It’s easy to get caught up in add-on’s and upgrades, but is it something that you really need?  A good log home builder and designer can help you identify what is really important to you and what is “nice to have”. Plus if they know their stuff they will adhere to everything you’ve asked… which means sticking to your set budget.

In many cases, we work with clients that think they want all of these exotic materials, top of the line hardware and extra rooms and spaces, but when they sit down and really look at what they would use many of those add-ons aren’t really needed. By being realistic with expectations you’re going to potentially save money and reduce the cost of unnecessary add ons.

Two of the biggest concerns when building a custom home is will the project be on time and on budget. To help you ensure that your project stays on a budget it’s important to be in constant communication with your general contractor and trades to keep an ongoing budget. To help you out we designed a FREE budget worksheet to help you plan, project and manage your build.

Over the years we have talked to numerous people that were quoted one price for the entire project, but as the project moved on they realized that certain things were not included. Our free budget worksheet will help you go through the possible costs so you don’t have any last minute surprises.

3. Do your Research

Before you run out and hire a log home builder to build your custom home you want to do a bit of research on both.

Spend some time looking online for ideas and inspiration. Houzz and Pinterest are great options to see what designers and builders have done to make homes unique and make good use of space. Plus, Pinterest is a free tool so why not utilize it?

If possible it’s also a great idea to tour some open-houses, this is a great way to see how different spaces and transitions are being used and maximized. What you might like online might not be what you love in person. Many log home builders have show homes or previous clients that will open their door and show you around, this will give you first-hand impressions of their style and build quality. Plus you’re able to ask questions when you see it first hand and can access your needs based on what others have done and the price point. You may come to realize what they’ve spent on their custom home is far outside of your budget.

It’s also important to do your research on log home builders and not just the style of home. Price shouldn’t always be the deciding factor when selecting a builder, designer or contractor. Finding a builder that you can trust and that can build your style of home and work alongside you to stay on budget and on time.

5. Minimize Changes

Plan, plan and plan a bit more.  One of the biggest and most costly aspects of building a home is making changes to the design after the plans have been finalized or construction has already started. This is why we have a team of professional designers who work with you to discuss your plans and provide you with 3D renderings so you can get a sense of the layout and flow before construction starts.

For all clients, we also invite them to our log yard where they can see their log home being constructed and put together before it arrives on site. If there are going to be any last minute changes it’s best to do it in the yard where we have the tools, resources and time to make any adjustments needed.

6. Ask Questions

No question is a bad question if it helps you feel confident about your builder and helps the process go smoothly. A good log home builder and design team will sit down with you and address any concerns or questions that you have. If you are not sure about something, feel free to ask and get clarity. The more you know and understand the more confidence you can make decisions and ensure you end up with the home of your dreams!

7. Hire Professionals

Two out of every four inquires we receive from prospective clients asks us “how much to build…”. As mentioned earlier, the price should not be the only deciding factor when determining the team to help design and build your custom log home. More importantly, you want to hire a team that has expertise in building your style of home for your desired budget.

One of the key people you want to have for your project is a general contractor. The role of this person is to hire all the sub-trades, ensure all of the site prep is completed, concrete is poured and oversees the entire project from the ground up. In many cases, clients decide to take this role on as a way to “stay in the loop”, although it may save you a few dollars on paper, in reality, if you don’t have any expertise in this area it may cost you more in the end. We have seen situations where the concrete is poured incorrectly, the wrong type of crane is booked, incorrect permits being pulled and the list goes on. Which intern will cost you more and potentially go over your budget? Having someone that has expertise in this area can save you a huge amount of time and money. A good general contractor will be able to keep you in the loop and advise you along the way.

At the end of the day, these are some simple and know how ways that you can save on building a custom log and timber home, by planning, budgeting and pulling together the right team will ensure you aren’t sacrificing price for the quality. After all, you’re building a home, it’s not just any house.

You can download our FREE log home budget worksheet here. If you have any questions as always feel free to reach out to us!