Planning a log home – Where to start

It has been a busy week here at Wild River Log Homes, how did it get to be friday afternoon already? We have permits issued for some new projects with one starting next week, looking at a couple of extensive Minnesota log home remodels and looking at next spring as well.

Are you thinking of building a log home? Are you a bit overwhelmed at the planning process and log home packages? Don’t worry, we are here to help you. Many ask where and when do we start. Even though the calendar says September 30th today the planning process is underway for those that are considering a spring start for their log home. Time goes pretty quick in planning. We start with your sketch and run some preliminary estimates. From there we take that sketch and turn it into a plan. Once the plan is drawn there will more than likely be some changes and modifications to it to make it “just right”. That plan will be used to get both material and build costs gathered. Once we have all costs put together we will meet with you and go over everything with you. There may be some more tweaks at this time to fine tune everything. Depending on your time to devote to planning your project around work and family events the sketch to build cost stages can eat up a few months pretty easy. Once everything is finalized we have to get the plans engineered and buildable which can take close to four weeks. During that time permits are applied for, jobs are scheduled and before you know it spring has arrived and your log home has gone from a dream and a sketch to actually getting started! It is very exciting to see this happen.

Do you have land? If you do, that helps us help you in planning. We know the lot dimensions and set backs from the boundary lines and/or lake we have to work with and you know your budget.  You don’t have land yet? That is fine as well. It is never too early to start your research and planning. However, don’t get too caught up in the “perfect” log home plan too early. I’ve seen people get their hearts set on a plan and then end up buying a piece of land that just won’t work with that plan. Clip log home photos out of magazines, bookmark websites and make notes while you are researching. The more information like that you can give us ahead of time can really help the planning process.

Log home researching can be done in many ways. The most popular is the internet. Googling around for Wisconsin and Minnesota log home companies can yield some great results. Magazines are another great source and don’t forget to cut out the pictures you like! Log home shows are another great way to continue the log home research process. There is no other way to talk to several log home companies under one roof on the same day. Beyond that, visiting models is the next step once you have narrowed your choices down to a few. A model visit to either the dealer or the main model will give you a feel of the product, workmanship and personality of the people you will be working with. Keep in mind this will be a relationship that will last for a long time so you want to make sure you are comfortable with the people you are working with and that they can deliver the log home you desire.

My next blog will have more planning tips and log home package information. Until then, have a great weekend and head to my website for more information on Minnesota log homes.

Log Home Addition and Remodel Project in Central Minnesota

September is moving right along and the weather has been cooperative for keeping things moving along at the log home remodel project that is underway in Minnesota. Like I have said before, this project is a great example of how an existing home or cabin can be converted into a log home. Even if a remodeling project isn’t need for an addition to your home, our rustic half log can be added to achieve that log home look. The rustic half log we offer comes in 7″, 8″, 10″ and 12″ heights. Keep in mind these heights are actual measurements unlike some of the other log home companies that round up a half or three quarters of an inch.  Log posts and log railings can be easily added to decks and porches to take things a step further. This project is going to have log railings and posts at the front entry as well as on the deck on the lake side of the house. Stone is going to be added on the exposed foundation areas of the exterior as well. It won’t be long and those stages of the project will be taking place. Below are the most recent photos and for more information on log home remodels and Minnesota log homes just head to the Wild River Log Homes website.

Minnesota log home additions
Framing is underway


log home remodel in minnesota
The view from the lake
Minnesota log home additions
Tie logs in place
log home additions in Minnesota
The view from the road


Log Home Remodeling in Minnesota

Well, September is doing its best to hurry itself right along. Things have been busy here the last few weeks with some fall projects soon to start. Speaking of a few weeks ago that reminds me that earlier in August I posted a few photos of a log home remodeling project in Minnesota. Part of an existing home was torn down to have an addition added on to it. When completed, the new portion of the home along with the original portion of the home will have 12″ rustic hewn half log from Stevens Point Log Homes. This is a great project that showcases the flexibility of half logs and transforming any home or cabin into a log home. Stevens Point Log offers their hand hewn “true log” half log in 8″, 10″ and 12″ heights. Their half log is one of the most rustic appearing log available. Like I mentioned before, some log home companies offer a peeled log but unfortunately they run their log through a peeling machine and it comes out the end of that peeler with a repetitive peel pattern to it. Our logs are peeled with “machine assistance” by the guys in the shop. The machine is ran by hand with a person “at the wheel” so there is no repetitive peel pattern and the rustic hand hewn look is achieved. You can read more about log styles and things to look for at an earlier blog on rustic half logs.

Getting back to our Minnesota log home remodel project, the following photos show a few more stages of construction.

Minnesota log home foundation
The foundation is capped and framing is soon to start


Framing underway
rustic half log
Log posts, beams and half log being delivered

To see my earlier blog you can go to this link on Minnesota log home remodel and for information on log homes in Minnesota just head on over to my website.

Log Home Open House in Wisconsin

We will be part of a log home open house in Stevens Point. WI at Stevens Point Log Homes on October, 15th, 2011. Their model will be open from 10am to 2pm that day. The tour also includes two log homes in the area and a mill tour. Touring the mill will show you how they achieve the hand hewn true log look that other log home companies can’t get with a machine. There will be a lot to see for everyone that attends. Fall log home open house events are a great way to get your planning underway if you are thinking of starting construction in the next year or so. By touring a log home or two you can get a feel for square foot, room size and some great log home decorating ideas for your own log home or cabin.

We are happy to be part of this open house event at Stevens Point Log Homes. Stop in to see the range of half log, full log and log accessories to choose from for your project. With us here at Wild River Log Homes we are able to offer you a flexible and affordable completed log home or log cabin using Point Log. We will be on hand as Minnesota log home builders to answer any questions you may have so stop in, take a look and hopefully we see you there.

Minnesota log home open house

Labor Day Weekend

Wow, another Labor Day weekend is here. It is unreal how fast the summer of ’11 has gone by. Granted, there is still some summer to be had here in Minnesota but trips up to the cabin come to an end for many once Labor Day passes. School starts, the state fair ends and cooler weather starts to make an appearance. With fall soon to be here and winter to follow there is still time to get some projects underway be it new, remodel or restoration. We will be offering restoration and refinishing services until the weather doesn’t allow us to apply stain due to cold. As far as new construction goes, we have some soon to start. Many ask if we build all year. Yes, we do build all year. It is an advantage to get started before freeze up to save a few dollars on excavating and concrete work but we have gotten projects underway in every month of the year it seams. It is always nice to get the foundation in and capped before things get too cold though.

If you aren’t quite ready to get a fall start underway now is the time to be thinking of next spring. Even though September is just getting started, the more time allowed to get your plans started, modified and buildable makes it easier on everyone involved.

Once January shows up then it is log home show time. The shows start early in the year and February brings us the Lake Home and Cabin show at the Minneapolis convention center.

Have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend and feel free to call or email for more information. Or, just head to our website for more information on log homes in Minnesota and Wisconsin.