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Thread: New to log homes anyone in Michigan?

  1. #1

    New to log homes anyone in Michigan?

    Hello All!! We are completely new to building a log home and are beginning our education process. We would love to build a log home. We have looked into building a regular "stick-built" home. Nothing fancy, just a simple 1400 square foot ranch with full basement. Nothing high-end. We are astounded at the cost of having one built.
    My question is.....is it truly less expensive to build a log home? How realistic is it to do ourselves? We are contemplating purchasing some property in upper lower Michigan and proceeding in an attempt to building a log home.

    Any thoughts, advice.......?

    Is there anyone here in Michigan that has built their own log home?

    Thanks to all!!

    Coleen

  2. #2
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    Welcome Cowbung,

    Comparing the cost of having a stick house built and building your own log home is kinda tough. The septic system will cost about the same, and everything else will be different.

    Speaking for myself, there are companies locally who specialize in inexpensive stick framed homes who could have built a 2,000 square foot home for about twice what our log home will cost. We would have been living in that stick home years ago. That is really important to some folks. Us, we just want to build our own log home with our own hands.

    Look this site over carefully and spend some real time with the photo gallery. You'll either hook yourself on the notion or you'll run away screaming. If, in the end, you have a hankering to build your own log home with your own hands, I think this is the best way top get the job done.

    One thing to consider. My Wife and I would have needed a bank loan to pay someone to build that stick house. Our Son would have inherited that loan. We are paying cash for the real home that we are building. We like it that way.

    Every time I have strayed from the teachings of Skip Ellsworth it has cost me money.

  3. #3
    Hey there Loghousenut!!
    Thanks for the reply! I Love the picture!!!!
    I have always yearned to live in a log home. The logs just seem so majestic and earthy. I feel more centered and connected (if that makes any sense). We just always figured it would be way out of our budget to even consider a log home. But.....during one of my searches for log home packages I happened upon this website. I have visited it over and over and just considered it to be a "scam". "They just want to hook you for some money", I figured. But the more I visited and started reading the forums, I started wondering "could this be for real?"
    I get soooooooo inspired when I read how people are just going for it and they make it happen.
    Are you currently still building your home?
    Our question is how difficult is it and how much "man power" do you need? I don't think I would be of much help as I have some mobility issues.
    We also have some builders in the area that will slap together a stick home and entice you with a lower package price. I have heard some real nightmares. So, you are right. When you do it yourself you have full control in the quality.
    We are contemplating on going to the classes in May. We most likely would not build for a few years but would love to start searching for a nice piece of land if we thought this was something we could really do.
    There is mention of students coming to help build your home. How realistic is this? or is it a rare event.

    Any thoughts you could share.
    You are an inspiration for us!!!
    Have an awesome day!! We are suppose to get into the 60's here today! Woo hoo!!
    Coleen

  4. #4
    hi there Coleen. welcome!
    we do have members building in Michigan. 'upers' comes to mind, but I'm pretty sure he's not the only one
    we are building in MN. we are like Mr Nut and are building it ourselves using a 'pay as you go' model. that way when we're finished, we'll own it free and clear.
    it seems as though by the time money runs out, we're ready for a break anyway!

    it is very possible to have other members help out on your build. I hear about that a lot. we have an other member who's out there helping us one day every week during the building season

    glad you're here

  5. #5
    LHBA Member
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    Cost and manpower for these builds is generally inversely proportional to how long you want to be building. The slower you are willing to go, the more time you have to get items on the cheap and the more time you have to build it one stick at a time. If you don't mind stacking logs for a year, you could easily do it with one person. If you want it done in a few days, you will need more. Your mobility issue and what it limits is up to you. With the right equipment and power of will, you could do the build paralyzed from the waist down I feel. But again, it's all about your commitment and drive to see your dream fulfilled. If you have the will, the LHBA method provides a way.

    People coming to help you, well that is more akin to making friends. If you join the community, live near other likeminded people, and are the friendly sort, then you will probably have some luck getting people to help you occasionally. If you join the forum, never post, and live like a hermit, then don't be surprised when no one shows up to help. But unlike some "learn how to build a log home" websites, LHBA doesn't haul students up to your build for a week of forced labor. Just don't expect to take the class and then have a willing army of people ready to show up anytime you need help. We are a friendly bunch, and like to help each other out, but most everyone here has jobs, families, and obligations that get in the way with us building our own homes, much less being able to help someone else. But I've seen plenty of people that are willing to help out another member of the community. I have had quite a few, and I look forward to paying them back when I am done and they start building.

    Whatever else you hear about LHBA, I will say this, it's not a scam. I paid the money, went to the class, bought some plans, and never felt I was promised anything but what they delivered upon. What they promote on their website is achievable. But we like to say around here that your home can be cheap, fast, or good. But you only get to choose two. And for the vast majority of us, that is most certainly the case. I would encourage you to view the process through that lens. You can certainly have what LHBA advertises, but just remember that most of the guys that built a large log home for $20k, didn't do it in 3 months.

  6. #6
    LHBA Member ivanshayka's Avatar
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    I'm around this area. I live in Traverse City, building in Benzie county. I was like you, questioning everything on this site. Going to other sites, collecting pics of scribed homes, stopping at log home sites (kit and hand scribed) and getting log shel quotes. After few years of that, I took a class, every penny well spent.

    Now I'm in process of building my own log home. Building it with a little cash I've got, and very little. My parents helped. But I can tell you, after I'm done, I'm looking to be 1/2 the price of a stick build. Yes, I did most of work myself, and sourced a lot of raw materials.

    When you are done with class, we will do our best to help you navigate this journey.

    I agree with statements above.

    Every time I stray from teachings and suggestions of LHN it has saved me time and money.

    Don't suck face with no Banker who drives a nicer car than you do... LHN 3:21.7

  7. #7
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowbunga View Post
    Hey there Loghousenut!!
    Thanks for the reply! I Love the picture!!!!

    Are you currently still building your home?
    Our question is how difficult is it and how much "man power" do you need? I don't think I would be of much help as I have some mobility issues.
    We also have some builders in the area that will slap together a stick home and entice you with a lower package price. I have heard some real nightmares. So, you are right. When you do it yourself you have full control in the quality.
    We are contemplating on going to the classes in May. We most likely would not build for a few years but would love to start searching for a nice piece of land if we thought this was something we could really do.
    There is mention of students coming to help build your home. How realistic is this? or is it a rare event.

    Any thoughts you could share.
    You are an inspiration for us!!!
    Have an awesome day!! We are suppose to get into the 60's here today! Woo hoo!!
    Coleen
    Cowbung... Sorry, I am a nickname kinda guy and I have always loved cowbungs.

    Yes we are still building. It is a longterm labor of love for us and we seem to enjoy each phase of the build better than the previous phase. Mostly just us two too old farts and Son and Daughter-inlaw dong it, but we have had a couple of very productive work parties. Few things more satisfying than having LHBA Brothers and Sisters coming from hundreds of miles away to camp and work on our home. Lifelong friends are made that way and I have driven as far as 650 miles away to attend someone else's work party. I can't say I'd count on volunteer labor to build the thing, and if you feed them right, it is not really free labor. Depending on your physical limitations, you may need a hired boost. That can be expensive, as is hiring a contractor to build a stick home.

    The real benefit of taking the class is gaining access to the member's only side of the forum. That's where you learn by asking questions and then learn by answering questions. That's where you meet the neighbors and get the invite to stop by and touch one of these things. A LHBA home looks a lot different when you can smell it and taste the dust from it.

    If you really want to do this thing you can do it. Don't come whining to me if you fail and, if you succeed, that will be your own fault also.



    Front door being built.
    Every time I have strayed from the teachings of Skip Ellsworth it has cost me money.

  8. #8
    LHBA Member Upers's Avatar
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    Coleen - we are on the other side in the UP
    let me know if you want to treck up North
    Yoopers Pat
    "The joy is in the journey - not the destination" - at least that is what I keep telling myself!

  9. #9
    LHBA Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrowman View Post
    Cost and manpower for these builds is generally inversely proportional to how long you want to be building. The slower you are willing to go, the more time you have to get items on the cheap and the more time you have to build it one stick at a time. If you don't mind stacking logs for a year, you could easily do it with one person. If you want it done in a few days, you will need more. Your mobility issue and what it limits is up to you. With the right equipment and power of will, you could do the build paralyzed from the waist down I feel. But again, it's all about your commitment and drive to see your dream fulfilled. If you have the will, the LHBA method provides a way.

    People coming to help you, well that is more akin to making friends. If you join the community, live near other likeminded people, and are the friendly sort, then you will probably have some luck getting people to help you occasionally. If you join the forum, never post, and live like a hermit, then don't be surprised when no one shows up to help. But unlike some "learn how to build a log home" websites, LHBA doesn't haul students up to your build for a week of forced labor. Just don't expect to take the class and then have a willing army of people ready to show up anytime you need help. We are a friendly bunch, and like to help each other out, but most everyone here has jobs, families, and obligations that get in the way with us building our own homes, much less being able to help someone else. But I've seen plenty of people that are willing to help out another member of the community. I have had quite a few, and I look forward to paying them back when I am done and they start building.

    Whatever else you hear about LHBA, I will say this, it's not a scam. I paid the money, went to the class, bought some plans, and never felt I was promised anything but what they delivered upon. What they promote on their website is achievable. But we like to say around here that your home can be cheap, fast, or good. But you only get to choose two. And for the vast majority of us, that is most certainly the case. I would encourage you to view the process through that lens. You can certainly have what LHBA advertises, but just remember that most of the guys that built a large log home for $20k, didn't do it in 3 months.
    Great description, Arrowman!

  10. #10
    LHBA Member mudflap's Avatar
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    I was the same- skeptical but open minded. I took the class in Feb 2016. I consider Ivan, LHN, and a bunch of these people encouraging friends. I'm still on a very tight budget- some months, I don't know how we'll do it. I put about half of a small house payment into a construction account, and use that plus the money from a home I sold 2-3 years ago to do what I'm doing. The home I sold only netted me the amount of a modest telehandler, so that should give you an idea where I'm at. When all is said and done, I think I'm still on track to finish for less than $50k, and I think I'll be finished in another 2 years.

    But money aside- the best thing about this group is really the support. I was pretty depressed about my crooked logs a while back, and a bunch of these guys jumped in and told me to call them- they talked me through some ideas on the phone, and sent positive vibes. My logs are still crooked, but we got great advice on overcoming those issues. I guess what I'm saying is I can't put a price on the support this group will give you during your build.
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    "cutting trees is more important than thinking about cutting trees or planning to cut trees." ~ F. David Stanley

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