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Ever dream of living in a log home?

By: Bob G.

The information detailed below was provided courtesy of The Log Homes Council.

When a consumer has so many choices of log home manufacturers, log styles, and floor plans, the process of buying and building a log home can be confusing. However, with a little forethought and research, you can realize exactly the right log home to meet your needs and budget.

It all starts with the right design considerations. But, before you start going through plan books in search of the "perfect floor plan," begin by making list of all the features you need and want in your new home. Start with the number of bedrooms and baths, whether you prefer a one-story home or multiple levels, and other "must haves," which may include a garage, basement, porches, or decks. Include anything that is important to you to make your home livable and comfortable. Give thought to room sizes and locations, such as whether you want your master suite on the main level or upper level, the basic layout of the home, and how the home will lie on your building site. Your goal should be to have a working idea of a floor plan so that you'll be able to properly evaluate plans you see, or to explain your needs concisely to a designer.

As you define your needs, have in mind a realistic budget and be prepared to share that with those that you work with throughout the design/build process. With your design ideas and budget firmly in mind, you are ready to start interviewing log home manufacturers.

The Log Homes Council Web site, www.loghomes.org, will connect you with over 50 major log home companies from around the country. Each company's Web site will give you an overview of their products and services, areas of the country they serve, and at least a sample of their floor plans. Pay particular attention to the log styles and species, services, and company profiles, as most log home companies will offer custom design services to help you design exactly the floor plan and style that you need.

You can meet with companies in person by visiting their closest sales model or dealer. Dealers' locations and contact information usually are listed on a company's Web site. Log home publications, such as Country's Best Log Homes, Log Home Design Ideas, Log Homes Illustrated, and Log Home Living, often list dealers by state and can be a useful source of general information. Or, you can look in your local yellow pages under "Log Buildings, Homes, and Structures."

In addition, log home shows and seminars are held each year around the country featuring product displays and informative seminars. These shows give buyers an opportunity to spend time with several manufacturers under one roof.

Log home living offers the ultimate opportunity to experience beautifully constructed log homes with their own unique style and splendor. To learn more, visit: http://www.yourloghomecenter.com/

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