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Old 07-17-2021, 05:06 PM
btyreprich btyreprich is offline
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Green Bay, WI
Posts: 868
Default Log homes advise & input

I'm going to turn in my retirement notice next week Tuesday - my 64th birthday.
Home here in Illinois is sold and we have an apartment in the Green Bay area from which we will look for our retirement home on a lake.
Lake homes are selling fast and at a premium. Real estate agent said that it could take 18 months for the real estate market to slow down / correct itself.

At any rate, I was thinking of building a log home and getting the features I want.
I'd appreciate hearing from you that have first hand experience with log home builders in northern Wisconsin as to which builders are reputable and worth looking at.

I thank you in advance for your help.
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Old 07-17-2021, 06:34 PM
Yellowfin123 Yellowfin123 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 646

are you talkin a "real" log home? englemen spruce, lodgepole pine, doug fir, western red cedar 9-14 inch logs type?? not milled but hand scribed type?? i've been lookin real hard too.. i bought a lot in idaho an d have been talking with a place in gunnison co and british columbia.. they build on their site then take them apart and put on 2 semi's and go any where in america.. you supply the crane and some muscle on your site.. check out greatland log homes in gunnison co.. i really like the roof panel option they do.. the whole deal might be cheaper than finding local too and way more custom
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Old 07-18-2021, 06:08 AM
Skywagon's Avatar
Skywagon Skywagon is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NW Ontario
Posts: 926

I like the log look, we had planned a decade in advance to build a log home eventually, thank goodness for all the lead time to decide on exactly what we wanted. During the time before we were ready to build, I had an employee that ordered a log home, I even helped him put up the outer walls after it was delivered. During the build, he would talk at work about what he was going through and all the unique issues involved in building and planning the layout of a log home. During that same time spam I had two other close friends that built log homes, they reiterated the same issues, when you setup the layout of the home, there is no good way to change it later, wiring and plumbing are a major consideration, any changes in the future are going to be cobbled in, once you build your (forever) log house you live with it. These three log homes have been build for close to 20 years now, I don't think any of the owners would build log again, too much maintenance and lack of options for any changes they would like to make.

With all the input from friends and others we had talked to (that had gone with log), we ended up changing course and chose a more conventional style. It incorporated a lot of the basic rustic features we like, open concept, lots of natural wood, some beams, along with drywall, without limiting any changes we might possibly want to make in the future. I ended up putting up a stick built outpost cabin recently, same reasoning, logs are too limiting.

It sounds like you have plenty of time to do your research, I would highly suggest you try to talk to a number of people that have lived in a log house for some time before taking the leap. A log home may be be perfect for you, but something worth investigating. Good luck on whatever you end up with.
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Old 07-18-2021, 07:03 AM
chysteve chysteve is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Cheyenne Wyoming
Posts: 639

I live in a log home and have done so for 20 years. The home is now 30 years old. Would I buy another--maybe! There certainly are unique issues. First one is insurance- not all companies will insure a log home due to the expense of repair. You can't just take out a little siding or sheetrock since it's structural. Secondly is the fact that over time there will be some settling of the logs due to their nature which will cause drafts around the windows to be dealt with. Then, at least here in the west where we get lots of sunlight, they can be noisy if you have a metal roof (which I do). You will hear the metal expand/contract with the sun and temperature. As someone mentioned, once built, you won't be able to change the configuration much. The maintenance aspect is there, but not terrible. I re-stain the exterior every 5 to 8 years which takes about 2 days with a sprayer.

I still enjoy the look and the interior height (about 22 ft. to peak). Finally, if you do it, I'd suggest a 'D' log which has a flat interior to avoid the dust collection issues on a full round log. Good luck on whatever you decide.
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Old 07-18-2021, 09:53 AM
REW REW is online now
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: .
Posts: 38,811

Btye -
The best thing with a log home is to run away as fast as possible.

Pros - nice to look at.

Cons -
Very expensive to build.
Very very high long term maintenance costs.
Very very difficult to make any interior changes.
Tough to wire and plumb in a reasonable way.

But, your money, life style, wishes and desires.

Rather than a log home build a slab home as long as you wish with one continuous level with no steps anywhere, hard surface flooring everywhere, 4 foot wide doors and wheel chair access rooms every where and the ability to work from a wheel chair in a kitchen and then you will have a home that will take you from where you are now to the grave with no changes if you wish.

Have maintenance free siding, maintenance free steel roofing, and triple paned windows and you will have a really nice home with very low maintenance cost and one that will be usable for many many years.

It is remarkable how a body changes in the years from age 60-90.
If you have a home with 50 steps of stairs in it, you will curse it every day of your life from age 80 on.

But, by all means - if you have the means and the wish -by all means build your beautiful log home and enjoy it.

Take care
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Old 07-18-2021, 10:55 AM
Dave G Dave G is online now
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Rochester, MN.
Posts: 449

You are 64 years old. I am 77 years old. Our bodies can really age from 64-77. Talk to your friends and relatives who are a decade older than you before taking on a project that requires potential high maintenance. Listen to how aging has changed their views. Any kind of injury or illness to you or your spouse can have a dramatic change in your lifestyle. Your energy, desire, and capability to do things a dozen years from now will probably change significantly.
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Old 07-18-2021, 10:55 AM
Yellowfin123 Yellowfin123 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 646

some good points from above posters... you should take a road trip out west and look around to get some ideas, there are thousands of log homes out there.. i was wondering about settling issues and think i'm gonna go the "post and beam" route, then frame in the walls.. heres a couple example pics.. rew made some goods points but just do the opposite, i didn't see the op saying build a trailer.. you can have just as nice of structure if you simplify your design and cut down on cost
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Old 07-18-2021, 11:49 AM
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David Anderson David Anderson is offline
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Dayton, "Where nothing is allowed" MN, USA.
Posts: 1,779

I have been looking for log homes as well for a retirement place. Lots of discussion's some good, some not so good. I have a retired friend who built a log home on the Northshore and we talked. He claims in 18 years he has only spent about $9000 in outside maintenance. Asked him his secret, basically said to buy the right one. He told me to check out this company, and it's just west of your Green Bay place. https://www.goldeneagleloghomes.com/
Claims they pre dry the logs for 1 year then use them to build the house. Great website. Technology has changed from 20 years ago. My previous business partner put an elevator in his house, there are a lot of things one can do to help enjoy those last years! There is nothing that says you need a multilevel one either. Plus if your going to build new, maintenance is just part of the price of ownership, they are not cheap to begin with.
"My Biggest worry is that when I'm dead and gone, my wife will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it." - Koos Brandt
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Old 07-18-2021, 02:39 PM
Posts: n/a

When I first started dating my wife her father had just built a large log home. He called it the biggest mistake he has made and vowed to never build another. Your results may very. My wife's uncle has one in NC that he also built himeslf. He does work on it alot but he is a master carpenter so no big deal for him.
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Old 07-18-2021, 02:42 PM
LV guy
Posts: n/a

Bought a log home 5 years ago that was 8 years old and completely refurbished inside before we bought it. The original owner ran out of money and energy before the inside was finished. The cabin was built with Norway pine logs harvested on this property and flat milled. All the settling was done. It was freshly chinked and totally remodeled inside including, kitchen remodeled with new cabinets and granite counter tops, bathrooms redone with tile floors and showers, new wood floors and a commercial-grade steel roof. I just stained it this year and it should be good for another 5-7 years. It is cozy, energy efficient and beautiful to look at. I have a matching log boat house. I would not trade it for any stick built structure anywhere on the lake. All that said I agree with those above that have referred to challenges of the build and the settling issues with new lo construction. We were fortunate someone else had to deal with that.
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