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Thread: A Lot of Trepidation

  1. #11
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brook View Post
    Can I be the voice of caution?

    First of all, you will not learn everything you need to know in class. It's only two days and it is not hands on. There are some big mistakes you can make with this method and there is not enough info in class given to help someone who is not a builder avoid those mistakes. I know because I took the class, I have no background in construction, am building, and am making those mistakes. I can not turn back now, but I would if I could. I would build a stick house if I had it to do over. It would be faster, easier and cheaper. I would be done by now.

    I will love looking at my logs when it is done, but they are making life and house building so much harder than it has to be. Nothing in a house of this type will be straight, square or level ever. Think about that. It means the time and effort to do even simple things will be amplified exponentially. People take years and years to build these houses. House building does not have to be that hard. If you pay someone to help you build and you pay by the hour, you will be paying for that complexity. The time and money involved is more than you are led to expect in class.

    I'm not even entirely convinced that the concept is "without fault". I doubt it can ever be satisfactorily sealed and I suspect that energy efficiency and weather tightness could be lacking. Yes, a log is great insulation, across it widest girth, but what about the chinking? What about the chinking gaps? I have yet to live in my house but I can imagine many potential problems and I hear about them from others.

    I am sorry to sound so negative but this is actually a difficult technique. Yes, you CAN do it. But, you can also possibly get in over your head, be unable to reverse course, and be sorry. I wish you luck with whatever you choose.
    Brook, I'm always on the side of hearing the naysayer minority but I think you have missed the whole LHBA premise. This is not the quickest, cheapest, simplest, longest lastingest, least amount of experience needest, no mortgage necessariest way for a family to build a home. This is all those things for a family to build a log home. If you want a log home and want all those "est's" this is one of (I think the best) the ways for a family to accomplish it.

    The internet is rife with problems and solutions and solutions to the last problem for "log" kit houses. You got off easy by not building a kit. There are other ways to build a real log home but they have their problems also and a certain expertise is required to make them work. Be happy that you are not building a chinkless notched log house. Had you hired a log home contractor to assist you folks in building a chinkless notched home you couldn't afford it and it could easily still turn into one of those internet nightmares that you read about.

    Nothing is square and that happens in any real log home. Yours may be better or worse than mine but it is still a log home and can't be compared to a stick house where everything HAS to be square. This is a handmade house that will show every flaw as a bit of your character... relish it. Your place is you. Any problem with that rascal floor framing is the kind of a rookie mistake that I, or anyone else around here coulda made at some point in their lives. I hammered my first nail long ago and I'll bet I bent it. Now get in there and straighten that thing out like I straightened out that nail. It was built by man/woman and it can be fixed by man/woman.

    Your place is taking longer than it might if you'd built a stick house but it's going up faster than my place is. I still love my place and you will too if I ever get done. I could get on the phone today and have a crew out here next week to make quick work of it and I'd still be way ahead of the money game for a log home. Please don't compare your home or mine to a stick home. They are not... in many ways.

    If this system can't work for you, I think you are the exception.

    Nah... on second thought I think you just hit the wall and got all worried that the world is a mess because of some problem or other and had to hit the pillow a bit. Keep plugging away at it and build a home that your Grandkids will be proud of. You can do it.
    Last edited by loghousenut; 06-18-2014 at 01:43 PM.
    Every time I have strayed from the teachings of Skip Ellsworth it has cost me money.

  2. #12
    LHBA Member blane's Avatar
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    There is no such thing as a perfect house. They all have pluses and minuses. And it just comes down to what you want in the end. I certainly made my share of mistakes on my build and I am sure as time goes along I will find more that I am not aware of now but I can say that even though it was 4 of the toughest years of my life I would do it again.

    My experience with LHBA has been extremely positive and that from someone who has never built more than a few decks. I believe I learned everything I needed from those two days along with the forum to build the best built house I have ever lived in. It is also the most energy efficient house I have ever owned as well. We almost hit 90 yesterday and the inside temperature only reached 77 with no AC.

    The only things I did not learn from class were plumbing and electrical but the forum, YouTube and knowledgable friends got me through all that.

    We had help from church members and LHBA members here and there but mostly my son, wife and myself muddled through our build together.

  3. #13
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    Thank you so much for everyone replying. I truly appreciate the honesty of everyone's answer, including and especially the person who voiced his/her doubts about a project currently underway. All this helps. As someone mentioned, I'm sure the lingering doubts (which may more reside in just contemplating something new rather than in a specific 'genre' of abode) will continue, even if I were to take the class.

    It sounds like many of you may have harbored similar thoughts, even after the excitement of the class itself. It's one thing to get enthused over an idea; it's another to purchase a piece of land and then begin paying others (whether they be earth movers or craftsmen of other sorts) to put the idea into action.

    When I can grab some time, I try to find the best 'deal' in airfare/lodging for the next class to get an idea of what the bottom line looks like. I guess I will always struggle, even if the project were to actually begin, with the idea of: 'Am I capable.' Thanks again, everyone. Believe me, I continue to read as much as I can of the public site.

  4. #14
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    Just (I feel we are on a first name basis), Every one of us had a trepidation or two along the way. We overcome it along the way and just do it.
    Every time I have strayed from the teachings of Skip Ellsworth it has cost me money.

  5. #15
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    We are a 60 something couple doing this from the stump up. No way I would say anything is easy about this. We have made mistakes that make me wanna cry, we have done a lot of good stuff. We have worked hard and will have a lot more work to do. My major goal is to get a roof on asap then take a break but not much. We are approaching retirement in very few years and the little 10x12 shack we live in when at the mountain will get a bit small for all our junk. I don't know what your resources are or your work ability or your willingness to be wet,cold, sore, scratched and blistered hands and legs. bug bites ect, ect but I love doing this and you might to. This is not a project for a "Princess" that can't get her or his hands dirty. The class moto of build as small as you can afford holds true here in a big way. You can always add on but going small so you are less likely to become overwhelmed is a good thing. Good luck whatever you choose.

  6. #16
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    I joined LHBA & went to class 9/2012. True, I was not an experienced builder when done with the class; but I find the resources we do have available from those who have started from scratch (as I am) and built their own home(s) are priceless.
    If you are unsure about any aspect of building, including dirt work, septic, and, as Blane said, electric or plumbing -anything- or just want advice, there are always solid answers from many experienced builders available in the member forum. It is reassuring and immensely educational to read through the thousand of posts there, and when I ask questions I have always got great advice.

  7. #17
    LHBA Member eagle's Avatar
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    As far as the class goes, sure, you won't learn everything you need. I went to a 2 year school to learn collision work, did I learn everything I needed? NO. You have to take the journey and just learn the basics for a good foundation to start from. I havent started mine yet but I embrace the journey and it will be something to be proud of when finished.
    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..."

  8. #18
    LHBA Member ivanshayka's Avatar
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    You won't find me say anything negative about the class or this organization. Yes there are plusses and minuses on this type of build. But, if you like log homes, and you always dreamed of having one, this is the best choice compared to other log home styles of building. This is purely my oppinion. I also trully belive that if you don't mind building one by yourself (which I see you do), than this can come out to be cheaper than regular stick-built house. I want to be encouraging and say that this is very doable, regardless your age. Read as much as you can on public side of the forum. Good luck

  9. #19
    LHBA Member WNYcabinplannin's Avatar
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    Ditto! It is an adventure.
    So glad I'm done, so glad I DID IT! Hardest part is pulling the trigger, in spite of friends and naysayers comments before I did.
    I've thought of the movie shawhank redemption several times along the way!
    Terrifying moments: watching my ICF blocks for basement get delivered (looked like a farm trailer full of styrofoam pulled by a pickup, thought 6k for foam and that's gonna hold 33 yards of concrete?!?)
    Using a LULL on a side hill and seeing the tilt meter at 10degrees while lifting a log (note- get one with outriggers) or use a crane like we did with our big logs.
    I surrounded myself with guys who knew more than me (easy to do) and I did fine. I could do a second one the same for 15% less after learning. The MEMBERS FORUM is priceless. Didn't have to reinvent the wheel. Several engineers and veteran builders that love to help. Again, priceless.
    Two shawshank moments:
    Morgan freeman on the bus, starting a new adventure, on faith- but feeling the joy only a free man can feel.
    Tim Robbins escaping the jail with all the warden's money (me, escaping the 30 yr mortgage trap- I'm 43 and my cabin is PAID!)
    Take the class, Even if you go on to build your own timber frame or ICF home, the wisdom you'll get and access to the best collection of owner builders ever. None of us get commission for saying this, (Ellsworth can still send me an XL shirt if you made too many)
    Good luck,
    Fletcher




  10. #20
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    Thank you, everyone, for such encouragement! I made the plunge this afternoon and signed up for the August class. I feel like that moment, 20 years ago when I was working for a major newspaper in Dallas. I was covering a county commissioner's meeting and had been giving lots of thought to just taking off for Europe. So, during a lull in the proceedings, I went upstairs, stopped by the desk of a secretary I knew, pointed at an office and asked, "Would you mind if I use the phone in the office?" I stepped inside, called American Airlines, bought a one-way ticket to London.

    All I knew was I was going to try to spend at least a year in Europe, back packing, camping, and working along the way. Well, the full truth of quitting my job and just leaving hit me that night as I was flying over the Atlantic. Miles above the ocean, I saw the moon's reflection in the emptiness below and, truly, I thought to myself: "What in the hell have I done." I ended up staying in greater Europe for 18 months, traveling throughout and working at an American air base in northern Italy substitute teaching at the elementary and secondary levels through the winter months. Absolutely fantastic voyage.

    And, so, I'm off on another adventure. By the way, when can I read the member's forum: Only after taking the class?

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