log home plan and design.
Stop Dreaming About It.
There is nothing like planning you’re own log home, It says everything about you, and it is a real custom log home. Something no one else has. Not some generic floor plan that you just liked in a book that you just bought, and then have to go back and pay for a set of generic plans that may or may not get through the planning department without a thousand changes because the plans you got are out-of-date and don’t meet the new building code requirements anymore. There is nothing wrong with taking this route, but I would recommend picking a plan you like, customize it to what you want, then have your log home kit company draw the plans for you.
Even a traditional house plan can be turned into a log home.
Remember when planning, the less complicated the exterior walls are, the less expensive it will be to erect
Make it Happen.
Never forget the golden rule of marriage “Happy Wife, Happy Life”. The silent partner has the last say in it, be prepared to agree or compromise, it takes a joint effort to make this dream a reality. How do you like my spiral staircase, this was not on the original plans that the inspector lookd at and passed (I will explain later, OMG!).
Here are some helpful tips on designing your perfect custom log home.
Start with thinking about where you grew up, the house you lived in, how was the house, too small, tiny, cramped, boxy and not enough space or even too big, etc.
Look at where you are now are you comfortable, does it feel like home, it’s probably closer to where you want to be, but not quite, base your plans and ideas on what you consider to be home. Look at what you have for space now and very important, what you might need in the years to come, the chances are this will be one thing off your bucket list (everyone one at some point in life wants their own custom home) and you have no plans to be moving again, so this is you’re last chance to get it right.
At least, that was my thinking, but I still have some regrets and wishes that I would like to have done whilst still in the planning stage, sure you can always add on later but will you, I should have done it or at least had it on the plans from the get-go.
What I did as far as coming up with my final square footage for my log home was to come up with a floor plan that we both agreed on, yes I said “BOTH”. Bigger than where we were at the start of this, but smaller than what we have had in the past, and having it now might still be too big for the future, I don’t know yet!
Where do the bedrooms need to be and how many, The Living room, Kitchen, Bathrooms, Laundry Room, Office, Den, upstairs-downstairs no stairs, it’s your home design it how you want, do what you want with it, it’s all yours.
But to help you on the planning stage if you’re not sure where to begin, think of where you are now, do you like the design, do you have the space you need, what would you do different, think ahead, look at some older folk (maybe you’re parents) and think about what you don’t want to be doing in 10/20 years from now, like climbing stairs or trying to get in and out of a tub etc.
Ask them what their needs would be now if they could make some changes to where they live, being up there in their years they don’t like stairs, make it practical for YOU and your future needs, not just a show home to show off. Think of the future too it creeps up on you real fast after you hit 50+.
Also, when planing try to keep all the plumbing as close to the water heater as you can, or at least keep it on one side of your home, this helps keep down some of the cost on future energy bills, and you won’t be wasting too much getting the hot water to its destination as you will see from my plans. All the hotlines are as close as I could get them on one side of the home from the water heater.
Closets are also a major factor in planing, even now with all my closet space that I do have, it’s not enough, our walk-in closet is now hers. My Loving wife likes to accumulate things (girly stuff, like clothes and shoes) that can’t be thrown away, LOL ! 🙂 Bless her loving little heart.
Looking back, in the planning stages, my “Should’a Would’a Could’a” done and now kind’a regret, is not having a full wrap-around porch included in the plans along with a car-port or garage of some sort, (with storage space, lol!) it should not make the plans cost any more to produce if you want to include all of your future wants and needs, this should be included in your price for the kit/package, only the construction cost will change if you don’t do it now, and you don’t have to build it now if it’s not in the budget It could be something you add later, but you will have the plans for it.
This was the original plan we decided on but we made a lot of changes along the way.
But be sure to let the salesperson for your log home kit/package know your intentions of what you might or might not do right now. As it might reflect on the final price of the log home kit itself, as it will require additional logs and log siding to do this. In this situation get a price separate on the extra logs or siding to do this part of the build. Some changes may also be made during construction if something isn’t working out as you planned, so long as it doesn’t change anything structural,(consult the inspector in this situation).
Another idea on my plans was to have three covered porches, the front of the home faces east for the sunrise, one of the porches on the north end front, one on the south end front and one on the west, backside.
These work really good for when the wind blows in all directions as it does anywhere, you simply move to a different porch,now I need to get porch furniture for three porch’s, BUT if I could change anything I would have made a recessed three-sided covered porch on the back and screened or closed it in. I can still do it that way with some additional work to the back porch but it won’t be recessed (the “Happy wife” is still not keen on the idea of closing it in, YET!)
Another point to think about in the plans, If you don’t intend to have a wrap-around porch is trying not to have windows on the north or south end of your home, they really get a beating from the rain and straight-line winds, and can contribute to leakage. TRUST ME ON THIS ONE.
This could have been avoided
This picture is of a window on my north wall and the damage you see was caused by a hairline crack in a log near the top of the window not visible to the naked eye, after seeing water dripping down my inside wall I re-did all the caulking around it and added a storm window (and had to paint the storm window to match the rest of the trim) the water was still coming in !!!!! So I took the outside trim off and found this rotten lining, I had to take the window out and replace the lining.(this where I found where the water was getting in) My advice is, build a wrap-around porch or do not put windows in North or South facing walls. This only took 5 years to do this kind of damage, and luckily for some reason, it had not started rotting the logs or the window.
Another point to think about, I don’t know about you, but I have been under enough houses in my time to know that my crawl space needed to be high enough off the ground to actually get under the house and move around comfortably, this worked out great for me, for reasons that will be revealed later in the construction process. Keep reading all you self build fans. We are not out of the ground yet. There are a few more things that need to happen before you can break ground.
OK, quick re-cap on where we’re at.
You have the land, had it surveyed, checked with zoning, registered the deed/title at the courthouse, figured out what you want on the plans, found a log home kit company, negotiated a deal and now have your full sets of plans and you are ready to get started, yes.
Not so fast Bud, there are still some things that you need to get straight before you start.
Jumping ahead to the finish line, (see financing/ permits) it would be a great idea to know how much you can afford on a mortgage payment, do you know how much you qualify for, keeping in mind the 80/20 Loan to value rule to avoid mortgage insurance, and this can cost you an extra $300 or more p/m, this will ultimately set your budget limits for you depending on your financial situation and how much cash you can get your hands on or have available to you to work with and not forgetting how much of your own time and sweat equity you can put in to keep costs down.