Picking the right contractor to work on your log home is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Making that decision based on cost alone is not that way to go. Choosing someone who offers a cheap big can in fact end up damaging the home you care so much about and costing you much more in the long run. As a licensed, professional log home repair and restoration expert, we’ve been working with owners throughout California and the Western states for more than 30 years. We’ve heard lots of stories, and seen the damage done, when unsuspecting log home owners hire the wrong contractor. So we’ve put together this 1-2-3 strategy to get you on the right track for finding a reputable and reliable log home professional to do the right work – at the right price.
#1 Do your research
Make sure that they person or company you choose to work on your log home has experience and references to back them up. The best way to gauge a builder’s qualifications and ability to perform exceptional work on your log home is to talk to other people who have worked with them. Check testimonials on their website and any social media sites they may have. Reach out to those people to see if they are willing to share their experiences working with the company.
Also, when you choose a log home contractor, make sure they are familiar with the local codes and environment of where your log home is located. Make sure they are licensed and bonded for log repair work. And check with the local contractor’s board or similar state or regional authority, including your state’s attorney general’s office, to see if they have any fines, litigations or other negatives on file.
#2: Get more than one estimate
This advice is a classic, and there’s a few good reasons why. By asking for estimates from a few different log home contractors, you’ll find the zone that costs for your specific job should fall in. Anyone whose estimate falls way over or under that zone should be culled out right away, helping you to focus in on your selection.
A good price isn’t an indicator of good service. What’s important to know is if the person your hire is doing the job correctly. For example, one of our clients came to us recently for help replacing logs with extreme rot. The wood was so damaged that it could be torn away from the walls by hand and was literally falling off in places. (If you follow our Instagram account, we posted a video so you can see what this looks like.)
This happened when the owner, new to log homes, was quoted a very low price by a local painting company to paint the logs when they started to look like they needed some TLC. Paint experts are not log home experts. Logs have unique structural and material characteristics that make the application and long-term effects of paint very different from traditional structures. Paint essentially can smother the logs, causing moisture build-up that vastly boosts the rate of rot from the inside out – and costing the owner a lot more in the long run for extensive repair and replacement of his logs. An experienced log home professional knows how to maintain and repair logs, helping log home owners keep their homes looking good, and their costs down, for the long term.
#3 Meet them in person
When you hire a log home contractor for anything beyond routine maintenance, it’s likely they will visit your site in person to prepare their bid. This is a great chance to meet with them in person and learn more about other factors that can affect their performance. You can learn more about their skills and passion for the work they do. Building, restoring, and maintaining log homes requires unique skills and dedication for these one-of-a-kind structures. It makes sense to hire a builder with a background in log home construction and maintenance. Look for a contractor that appreciates or understands log homes, with a solid background in general construction, experience with log home building and restoration, as well as a passion for what he does.
Something else to discuss is how they will communicate with you, the owner, during the project. This is one quality in a log home builder that you cannot compromise on. Make sure that the person or company you choose to build your log home provides an open line of communication throughout the process, is willing to answer your questions, provide updates and listen to your ideas. If you own a getaway log cabin and won’t be in the area when the work is done, make arrangements for regular conversations about progress, and see if they can send digital photos of the work in progress.
If you own a log home, and are in need of maintenance, repair or restoration work, we hope you’ll think of us. Prolog Restorations is a family-owned business dedicated to preserving and maintaining log homes and structures. For the last 30 years, we’ve been the go-to resource for professional log home construction, restoration and maintenance services throughout California.
We provide unsurpassed experience, superior craftsmanship and extensive knowledge for building and preserving log homes and structures. We are a state licensed contractor, are professionally certified, bonded, and insured and our work is 100% satisfaction guaranteed! For free estimates or advice, give us a call at 877-477-6564. We love log homes and are here to help.