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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys,

My dad and I are considering building a logcabin from scratch in the port jervis area, is there anyone that would know of a good place around there to get logs?
What to look for? how much to expect to pay? What kind of equipment we'll need (ie. chainsaw, atv's, tractors, trailers etc...)
Right now I don't know too much about building log cabins at all - so any advice will help.
Should we consider a kit instead?
Are there any books I can get to help me understand more about this?

Thanks in advance
Steve
 

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Andrew Close
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my dad has several books on building log homes. i know you have a lot of options these days; kits, complete DIY... depends on what you're looking for. just the look of a cabin? all the features of a modern 21st century home?
i'll give my dad a call tonight and see if i can get the titles he has for you.
 

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Andrew Close
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Steve,

my Dad had three books that may be of interest:

1. COMPLETE GUIDE TO BUILDING LOG CABINS by Monte - highly recommended

2. THE TIMBER-FRAME HOME,Design-Construction-Finishing

3. THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO FACTORY-MADE HOUSES by A.M. Watkins & Tedd BensonBurch

There also used to be a magazine, 'LOG CABIN LIVING', that he subscribed to. not sure if that's still around or not.

hopefully you can find one or two of those at your library. i'm sure they're available on Amazon or some other online book retailer...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
We're definitely looking for the look of the cabin - but more importantly the least expensive solution.
 

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My wife and I took this course 3 years ago. Maybe it was 4 can't remember but I do know it was December. When you complete it, you are dubbed "Certified Log Home Builder" with certificate, patches, the whole schmeal.

You are entering a very deep subject with a whole lot of land mines. If you try and build a log home from books alone you are asking for it. Some of the authors of those books have never even built a log home and they name names at the course. We figured out, partly from taking the course, and partly because our vision of what we wanted changed that a log home was not a good idea for this part of the country. At least not for us. The course was worth it for that decision alone. It saved us from making what would have been a big mistake for us in the long run.

Of course up there in NY it makes sense. However, you would save yourself a WHOLE lot of time and money and possibly a lifetime of regret if you took the course too. The "certification" is really TIC because when you are done with the course you aren't under the illusion you are some Log Home "Expert", but you sure as heck will know what to do, and more importantly you will be aware of the common pitfalls and myths surrounding log home construction; you will know what NOT to do. I would hate to think what would have happened, had we not taken that course and decided to build one from books ar heaven for bid 99% of the "kits" out there.

Well that's my take on it. Yes I have some log home books that I bought before we took the course, but mostly they are good for giving you general ideas. Many of the construction methods and materials they suggest you use are bad advice.

Read the website and look at some of the homes that have been built from students. That tells the tale better than all my many words.

One last thing. There is a 3 month no-questions-asked guarantee. You won't even think of asking for it once you complete the course.
 

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Steve I gave you the link to the old site. I hadn' tbeen there in years here is the new website with current info etc.

You can go to the forums and get alot of free info. After you take the course and become a member you will have access to the Member's Forum. That's where the real info is. And all kinds of resources and thousands of other members who have stuff to trade and sell after their log homes are finished. Plus you can then network with other members in your area that you didn't know existed who have already done alot of legwork that would save you time i.e. you can find out where to get logs etc.

New Website
 

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Discussion Starter #7
:eek: Sheesh...thats expensive - I guess the money it would save you would be worth it tho'???

Would you recommend we take the classes and membership?
 

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Would you recommend we take the classes and membership?
I thought I emphasized that already. ;)

Anyone wanting to build a log home, or thinking of buying a kit from one of the "Dowel" manufacturers as we call them, should not even think about it unless they first take this course. $600 or whatever it is, is not much money at all. For instance, just one of the problems with a kit home is that the logs have had their all-important cambium layer removed when they went through the giant peeler and lathe. There is no better preservative or natural bug defense than this layer God put on the tree. And you don't have to treat the log every 3 - 5 years with volatile chemicals or "green" chemicals that don't work anyway. This is but one example but there are hundreds of other things to learn many even more imprtant.

Don't mean to sound harsh here, but if someone can't afford a couple of thousand dollars for airfare room and board and tutition they ought not even think of building a log home. There is a course coming up in Feb I believe and then no more for a long while maybe not this year. They may be sold out too. That's the only drawback the whole thing. They might schedule 10 courses one year and then take a year to 18 months off while they go globe-trotting. :glare:

If you can't get into a course before you want to start your home at least read every scrap of material on their website and join the public forum. My wife took a notebook full of notes. I could make copies and send them to you if you guys decide to go forward. Although I don't feel entirely cool about it, but if they are not going to teach another course for an eon and y'all are actually going to try and build one I guess I would feel worse for allowing y'all to build a money pit without knowing all the nuances of the Butt and Pass method and the whole body of knowledge that goes with it.

I am not exaggerating when I say there is a minefield of dis-information and just plain bad advice out there regarding building a log home.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well even before reading your post I had talked to my parents and now it looks like were flying to seatle in february to go to the classes:yes:
 

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YEHAWWW, were goin' ta seatle - My brother and my dad and I :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Thanks TT
 

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Awesome! It's going to be an experience you will never forget. Whether you end up building a log home or not the knowledge you gain will stay with you a lifetime. If my wife and I ever found ourselves in the wilderness and decided not to come back out, we could build a log home that would stay dry, draft-free, and last generations with the knowledge we took from that course. :thumbsup:

We'll expect a full report when you get back! :yes:
 

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johnep
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Perhaps you could interest Discovery to fund the course for you and then make TV progs of the whole process from start to finish. seeing a log home built would make good TV.
johnep
 

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. . . Perhaps you could interest Discovery to fund the course for you and then make TV progs of the whole process from start to finish . .
Skip (This guy) would not even entertain the idea. :no: While he did allow the producers of the 90s TV series Northern Exposure film many episodes in his log home where the course is taught I doubt Bob Villa would be allowed in unless he paid his course tuition like everyone else, and then no camer's thank you very much. If you ever saw that TV show (I didn't but evidently it was pretty popular) and one of the episodes happened at a huge log cabin with a 120' long ridge pole holding up the monstrosity then you saw Skip Ellswoths log home.

But I think I can say for a fact he wouldn't allow one of the DIY shows come in and film any of the actual course presentation. He has a rather eccentric side to him. Read the link and you'll get just a small sampling.
Steve, you will get the full tour of the home as you first arrive, after a pretty good walk up a very large steep "hill". People who cannot make the climb (smokers who are obese should not attempt it) are given a ferry ride in the back of an old Datsun truck.

One of the rooms you'll get to enter is basically a shrine to Bruce Lee, full of stuff that used to belong to him. That kind of thing don't normally impress me all that much but I admit it was kind of interesting with lots of magazine and newspaper articles to read with him and Skip etc.

Make sure to take an umbrella. :yes:
 
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