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Log Homes for Beginners - 10 Steps to Success

For those who may be thinking of building a new log home and enjoying the lifestyle that comes with it, there are a number of steps you should take to make the process smoother.

1. Decide on a home style by reading log home magazines and visiting log home shows in your area. Attend log home company seminars. Do you want a single-story, one-and-a-half story, or two story house? Do you prefer a traditional cabin style, or a more contemporary look? Do you like round logs or square logs?

2. Decide on a rough floor plan. Based on the plan, determine how many square feet of living space you'll need. Find standard floor plans at log home shows and on log home company web sites. Standard plans can be customized if needed.

3. Narrow down your choices of log home companies you think you would want to work with. Contact their representative in your area and discuss your plans. Visit model homes build by each company.

4. Based on the plan you choose and the number of square feet of living space, determine the rough turn-key cost of building your home. Remember, the cost of a log home "kit" is only part of the overall cost of your home. Cost estimator calculators are available on some log home company web sites, and on the Log Home Advisor web site.

5. Based on the estimated cost to build your home, determine if the cost is within your budget and your ability to be approved for a mortgage. If not, go back to Step 2 and make changes to reduce cost.

6. If you're OK on the financing, locate and secure property. Make sure that there are no problems with road access, zoning, building restrictions, utilities, or services.

7. Arrange your financing with a bank or finance company that understands log homes. Many banks don't offer log home mortgages.

8. Get a contractor/builder who has log home experience, preferably experience with your particular log home company's building methods. Sign your log package contract with your chosen log home company, and arrange for delivery.

9. Monitor the construction process closely to make sure everything is going smoothly and correctly.

10. Move in and live your dream.

Al Hearn is owner and operator of Log Home Advisor, a web site dedicated to the needs of log home enthusiasts.

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