It’s the best. Look at most of the log home industry and they use either Lodgepole Pine, Spruce, Southern Yellow Pine or Northern White Pine. It’s important that the trees grow at high elevations. That means the wood is tight-grained, low in sap, that grow in uniform long lengths. Low in sap means smaller cracks or checking. Tight-grained means less shrinkage and more strength.
What about Douglas Fir?
A very strong wood, but very high sap content if grown at lower elevations. Our Fir, and we stock quite a bit of it, comes from high in the Cascade mountains. It’s more difficult to work with dry, has bigger checks and doesn’t finish as smooth as the Pine. We use it often in some of the roof structures because of it’s strength.
How about Cedar?
We offer it as another choice of species, as it also grows here in southern Oregon. It is more resistant to decay, but is much softer and has little structural strength. We stock it and often will do the wall logs, posts, rails and siding in Cedar and use Fir or Pine for the structural ridge beams, rafters, joists and purlins. It’s only good for wall logs, because it has no strength to hold up a roof or a floor. Has more taper end to end.
Why use dry, seasoned logs?
Honestly, there is nothing smoother than green logs pre-assembled, as the bark easily is stripped away. A pre-assembled shell is bright in color with not a check in sight. But, just wait a couple of years and you’ll head to the store for lots of caulking. With dry logs you see what you get, all the great scribe-fitted log work will stay that way. Sure, you’ll still get an inch of settling in the log walls, but figure around a foot of settling with green logs. Even I wouldn’t know how to install a slider cap in a window for that kind of shrinkage. In a log home you see everything, so make the connections tight.
What’s a shrink-to-fit corner?
Even with dry logs, corners have to be fitted to allow for the wood to expand and contract season to season. Our saddle-notched, shrink-to-fit corner is a compression fitted corner that stays tight during settling. Each log is scarf-notched and scribed to fit the log below. Check it out, it is the tightest corner in the industry.
I’ve seen spikes, dowels, screws and springs; what’s the best?
Throughbolts. Solid steel 3/4 inch continuous top to bottom throughbolts at 6 foot centers, strategically placed, even in the log tails. We put “Log Boss ” self-feeding lagscrews on 2′ centers to compress the gasket material and hold the logs tight together, then drop in throughbolts in pre-drilled holes. This allows us to tighten the wall logs now and over the next two years as the home settles. No gaps, no leaks, no problems.
You pre-assemble the wall logs at the factory, is that important?
Yes. Log walls are the hardest part of a home to build. Corners need to fit, walls need to be plumb, and lots of holes drilled for throughbolts and electrical outlets. This is our guarantee of the high quality of log homes we produce, see it before we ship it. The bottom line is that you will save time and money. While your neighbors are stacking T-8’s and M-6’s to sort out their kit, you’ll have your wall logs put back together, gasketed and treated.
Let’s talk price, how much do they cost?
We’ve tried to make it simple and provide two materials packages and five building programs available to our customers, but we are flexible. Our price list is easy to read and apples to apples we have the best price. Some companies provide only log walls and a few joists and purlins, we can do that.The home building industry is priced by the square foot. Log homes are typically $150 to $180 dollars per square foot for a turn-key home.
Why such a difference?
Design of the home, materials used and labor costs.
Tell me about Design?
A simple box shaped design will be less expensive than an elaborate multi-cornered, multi-gabled custom home. Also consider that balconies, porches, decks, garages or a porte coche are not included in the square footage of the living space. If you are buying your home by the square foot, consider your priorities for your lifestyle in your design. Our brochure shows 34 home designs, most are middle of the road. But we can do simple cabins or extravagant large homes and lodges. Our design department has drawn over 900 custom log homes over the past 36 years.
This is really the most important item in terms of cost. Simply, a log home could be log walls and some log siding on the gable ends. If you finish the home like a cheap track home with lots of sheet-rock, a 15 year roof, drop ceilings, cheap carpeting, particleboard cabinets and bottom line fixtures, there you have it. Or vice-versa and include granite countertops, gold-plated fixtures, custom windows and doors, tile roofing, natural rock fireplaces, hardwood floors and antler chandeliers…. you get the point. You tell us, and we’ll build it how you want it.
And labor costs?
This is also important. Are you going to build it yourself with help from some of your beer drinking buddies from school, or have a licensed contractor oversee the entire project from start to finish. I’ve also seen homeowners act as the general contractor, sub-out most of the work and do some work themselves. The bottom line in saving money is time. Get it done quickly and built right the first time. Have your log home manufacturer pre-assemble the log shell at the factory and scribe-fit all the components correctly. A typical carpenter does not have the tools or expertise to fit round logs together, you’ll see a lot of head scratching.
Describe Homestead’s Assembly Programs?
We’ve found five building programs to help our customers get their log home built correctly and on time. Our “Package Only” is just that, pre-assembled wall logs with three days of jobsite supervision. The “Full Pre-assembly & Re-assembly” has been our most popular program, by getting the shell up in our factory for the owner to see and providing two of our carpenters to re-erect it onsite, with the help from the contractor. Our new “Decked-shell Plus” sends our building crew and crane to build the Standard Package at the jobsite, dried in with roofing felt. The “Closed-shell” sends our crew to build all of the materials in the Premier Package and “Turn-key” is just that, a finished home ready to move into. The last two are within 50 miles.
How long does it take from the time I order my home?
Typically, we work on an 8 to 12 week delivery schedule. Some customers will order 6 months ahead, some will plan up to a year in advance. Your 10 percent home deposit will guarantee the price for up to one year and set a pre-assembly and delivery date.
What about financing?
Twenty years ago, this was an issue. Not now. Just about every bank I know will loan on log home construction financing. Some will even loan money for owner/builders. We know them. Give us a call.
No Dealer Network, are you nuts?
Sometimes I think so, but the buck stops here and it saves you money. Pretty simple Philosophy. It’s worth your time to drive to Medford, Oregon and see what we do. Our builder network is our list of contractors that work closely with us. Chances are, there is one in your area.
Free Nationwide Delivery?
That’s what your competitor says. Hey, let me just adjust my price a little, Ok. I’ll give you free nationwide delivery, too. It’s just that your price list is the one marked “Retail”. Seriously, we have the best price on log home packages without those kinds of gimmicks. We will arrange delivery and even help out with unloading.
Why should we buy from Homestead Log Homes?
The best logs, lowest prices, highest quality craftsmanship, over thirty six years experience and good people.