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Thread: Why is the LHBA method the best way to build a log home?

  1. #1
    LHBA Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Roy, Wa

    Why is the LHBA method the best way to build a log home?

    I am currently researching various methods of building log homes, and I heard that I should check out the LHBA method. Attending a seminar in vegas is a big commitment for a college student and I am posting here today to receive feedback on this potential investment. Why is this method superior to others? I live in Washington State, and there are a decent number of local seminars and two week courses that are offered at a much cheaper rate than this 2 day seminar. Is pursuing this seminar going to be worth the price and added travel cost? I appreciate all feedback and would love to hear from you.

    thank you,
    -Matthew Dugan

  2. #2
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Grants Pass, Oregon.
    Blog Entries

    If you want to build your own log home with your own hands, and if you want to let your Grandchildren pass it on to their Kids, then the LHBA way may be right up your alley.

    The LHBA system is simple enough for any fool to work through those problems that arise. It is low maintenance. There are no settling issues to contend with... ever. I believe it is the most rot resistant system out there. You can build your log home with tools that fit in the trunk of your car, or you can buy a machine or two to help out. You can use huge logs or logs that have so much taper that they would be hard to use with other systems.

    Most of us build without a mortgage. If you own your land, you can pay for your home as you build it. Thirty years is a long time.

    If you use the LHBA plans, you will probably save the cost of class right there.

    Once you go to class, you gain access to the members side of the forum. That's worth the price of admission many times over. At any time there are a bunch of us building our own LHBA style homes. We are spread out all over the globe and we are helping each other with ideas, solutions, moral support, and labor. You'll love it and you'll be a member til you die.

    I took the class the first time when I was college age. I am now 6 weeks from 60 years old and building our last home. I have never regretted going to class.

    Last edited by loghousenut; 01-02-2014 at 04:23 AM.
    Every time I have strayed from the teachings of Skip Ellsworth it has cost me money.

  3. #3
    LHBA Member eagle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Conroe, Tx/Building in Franklinville, NY
    I looked at kit homes a few years ago when I decided it was time to start my journey, after seeing the price tag and more importantly the "fakeness" of them I knew it was not for me. I wanted the real thing, full logs, rough rustic look and feel. So once I learned about the way to build without shrinking from the website, I knew I had to take the class. after the class I would never ever recommend any other way to build. Cheaper, stronger, better all around. My only regret is not finding LHBA 10years ago. The money spent on the class will save you multiple times that going forward.
    Ken and Audra Dinino
    "Determined to build my log home before I leave this world"
    "living in Texas but building in NY. Dragging my logs one trip at a time..."

  4. #4
    LHBA Member blane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Clyde, NC

    When I took the class back in 08 I had no experience in building whatsoever and one week before Christmas I got my CO for our 2300 square ft. log home. And I did this for significantly less money than you could buy a modular home with the same square footage and best of all I have no mortgage. I have had so manny encouraging comments ranging from the esthetics to the superior quality of my LHBA style home. All the knowledge I gained from the class and this forum gave me the confidence I needed to do what I thought I could never do.
    using whole unmilled logs protects the integrity of the house for generations and this method requires no floor jacks to compensate for settling. We learned that overbuilding the roof protects logs from moisture and rot.
    My blog gives a good overview of the methods you will learn in class.

  5. #5
    LHBA Member rocklock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Aiea, Hi or when it's warm Camano Island, Washington
    Blog Entries
    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Dugan View Post
    I am currently researching various methods of building log homes
    I live on Camano Island when its warm... It ain't warm there now... If we knew where you live we could direct you to where you could see a Skip Style log home.

    You need to look at the student built homes or you could look at mine... But walking up to and realizing that my home weighs way over 200,000 pounds... Talk about thermal mass... Anyway, seeing is believing... and just walking into one will blow you away...

    My son's and I have done 99% of the work. I will be 70 next month so age should not be a factor... it's just hard work...
    --> The unaimed arrow never misses....
    --> If can, can. If no can, no can... Hawaiian Pidgin
    2011 video
    2006 to 2009 video
    If you are gonna be dumb, you better be TOUGH!

  6. #6

    Cabin kits are for the most part designed, built by individuals who do it for income. Should you decide to build by the butt and pass method. You will build for yourself. You will put your very best effort into the cabin. You will care deeply if the window or door frame is square and true. Will the kit builder care? Nope. He just wants you to get it off his hands so he can go on to the next one. Engineers frequently state that a butt and pass cabin is over engineered. That it surpasses the minimum state code. Our cabins are built to last. Not just for 10 or so years, like a kit but to last through the next generation. Our cabins have not been marked up by several different individuals before they are sold. You deal with the lumber man, the cement man etc, not a general contract that will mark it up 30% for his activity.

    Yes, the two day class is expensive. But with other classes, the info is common and is available on the internet or other publication. Butt and Pass theory is only available per the class. When the "other" class is over, you wave "goodbye" and fade into the sunset. Here you join and active group of fascinating individuals who share their experiences. They help with common problems and share your difficulties. It is not for the duration of your cabin build but is always here.

    Is it worth it? Well, to my knowledge no one has asked for their money back


  7. #7
    1- Easier to build mortgage free.
    2- High R-Value.
    3- Stronger, more durable than most, if not all other methods.
    4- Cost- many different options during your build that can save you 1000's of dollars.
    5- Authenticity- I love the look of a B&P home

    Lastly, the cost of the class is worth it. Make a few sacrifices and go. Best of all, you'll know what you want to do when you are completed with the class.

    I took the class in 2007.
    I started my build in 2010
    I should be completed in July of this year.

  8. #8
    LHBA Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Roy, Wa
    Thank you everyone for your feedback. After talking to several people with their own cabins and looking at different methods..the butte and pass method is the only way to go. I wish I could attend the next seminar, but it is during finals week for me and I will have to wait for the one after. However I plan on building a shed for practice this summer, I purchased a book that claims to teach the butt and pass method and I hope it will be enough to get started. I have been rebuilding homes since I could pick up a hammer and I have experience setting forms and pouring concrete so I think this project is within my grasp. I plan on building a 10ftx10ft structure and I hope to keep my budget under a thousand dollars. Since I have free access to logs, this should be achievable.

    again thank you for all your feedback, and good luck with your projects!

  9. #9
    LHBA Member WNYcabinplannin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Fingerlakes Region, NY
    Single best reason to take the class is the members forum and what that brings. No reinventing the wheel. Think of trying something that strays from the taught path? Someone else has tried it and will provide pix and experience and pros n cons. Advice that can save you THOUSANDS of dollars or keep you from making a mistake you couldn't have foreseen.
    You're in lhba heartland and have close access to a LOT of guys, that can share tools, labor, advice.
    The class sets you on the path. The Community of owner builders here is amazing. I make nothing by advising you to take it (send me a xxl shirt Ellsworth???) but STRONGLY advise taking the class!

  10. #10
    LHBA Member ivanshayka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Northern Michigan
    If you end up building this cabin out of the book, keep in mind that it is not Skip's style, you may run into some snags. If that happens, do not be discouraged, make it your goal to come to class eventually. Do not attempt to build big until after class, you will have all of us (including Ellsworth and RockEngineer) to rely on if you run into the snag. Member's side is like a family, truly. I trust everyone with their suggestions, pick the one I like the best, and give advice if it's worth something. All of this is for the dream of having my own log home, and to help others to achieve their dream too. Non of us make a penny for getting you to go to class, the enjoyment of seeing you succeed is worth $1000000 (that's a lot of doe). Enjoy the pics.
    Last edited by ivanshayka; 01-06-2014 at 10:05 PM.

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