Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Log Homes and our Olympic Games Connection

The Olympic Games are all about pride for us. Pride in our country and pride in our elite athletes. There is nothing like the feeling of seeing your fellow countrymen and women standing on the podium while your national anthem plays. I’ve always loved watching the Olympic Games; in fact I remember watching one entire summer Olympics dressed in my gymnastic leotard when I was about 12 or so. While I watched I worked at the perfect dismount - arched back and arms up pose.

So you can imagine the thrill I felt when Sitka Log Homes was awarded the contract to build 3 log lodges for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002 and then when the BC Government hired us to build a log house, BC Canada Place, for the Torino Winter Olympics in 2006.
Both projects began with a true sense of Olympic competition as we were bidding against other qualified builders. BC Canada Place began as a design/build competition through an RFP (Request for Proposal) and had certain criteria (read: hurdles) and a time deadline to make. Both Olympic projects could not be late…the Games have a start date and nothing can change that.
Our 3 lodges for the Salt Lake Games were on Snowbasin Resort where the Men’s downhill and Super G events were held. The 45,000 sq.ft main day lodge was followed by one 11,000 sq.ft and one 19,000 sq.ft lodge located at about 9,000 ft on the steep side of a mountain. The 3 lodges required 38 semi-loads of large diameter logs delivered to the base of the mountain and then D-7 Caterpillars pulled the logs on a wagon up the steep incline to where the buildings were constructed. Making the job work in such limited space and with a limited time frame was a real challenge.

BC Canada Place faced even greater challenges, the least of which was working in a distant country where the language is foreign. Throw in a truckers strike and rail strike around the time the logs were due to travel across Canada to Montreal where the ship awaited them, further delays with paper work to release the logs in the Italian port of Genoa and that was just beginning of our Olympic building marathon.

Each race was won however, and the rewards were great. We may not have a real Olympic gold medal to show for our efforts but the pride we feel for being a small part of the events makes me feel like arching my back and throwing my arms up.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Log Home Floor Plans

We are “customhandcrafted log home builders.
“Custom” as an adjective means “made specially for individual customers” or “doing work to order”.
There are many who come to us with sketches and plans, sometimes even full working blue prints, understanding that we can build according to their own log home plans.
Then there are many more that come to our site looking for a huge book of plans. We have struggled for years about whether to offer generic log home plans or not.

One of the biggest reasons that we resist doing so is because we don’t want to be confused with the many milled log home companies out there that offer “log home kits”. These companies usually offer a large inventory of stock house plans that their milled components will work in.
Our log homes are all handcrafted. There are no pre-milled components that will fit within a variety of log homes from an assortment of different log home plans.
Each log placed in one of our handcrafted log homes is unique in shape and size and so, once positioned and fit, can only ever be used for that specific spot in that specific home. We simply rarely, if ever, build the same design twice.

However, we also realize that most people need somewhere to start…somewhere to get ideas and get their creative juices flowing. Many start with log home magazines for ideas and plans or by searching online. There are thousands of log home and non log home plans out there that can be used to get you started. Once you have a basic idea of what you would like, then you can start tweaking any plan to suit you.
With this in mind we have placed a few log house plans on our web site to help get you started. These plans are also a great way of illustrating what we offer and how our log packages are priced.

We also offer a blue print service which, after all revisions are made, will get you a full set (5 copies) of working plans which include the following:

Foundation Plan: (Typical Scale: 1/4" = 1’)
Drawing showing the layout of footings, stem walls, posts & beams, etc.

Detailed Floor Plans: (Typical Scale: 1/4" = 1’)
Drawings showing the log wall layout of each floor in your log home. As well as detailed information regarding the placement of such things as interior partition walls, windows & doors, appliances, roof lines, etc. The floor plans clearly show necessary dimensions and specifications.

Exterior Elevations: (Typical Scale: 1/4" = 1’)
Drawings showing the exterior views of your log home (typically four). As well as exterior materials such as roofing, log species, windows & doors, stone, trim, etc.

Cross-Sections: (Typical Scale: 1/4"-1/2” = 1’)
Elevation drawings showing the log home as if it were sliced from the foundation to the roof. Typically three sections are provided, but it depends on the size and complexity of the building. These sections are placed at locations that display how various parts of the log home are put together.

Details: (Typical Scales: 1/2"-1” = 1’)
These drawings generally include necessary log to framing connections, settling details, window & door details, a detailed section of a log wall, etc.

All plans will begin with a detailed quotation including the base price of the finished set of plans.

For more information or if you have sketches you would like us to quote on, email or call us at 250-791-6683 or fax your sketch to 250-791-6650.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Log Homes Cost Per Square Foot

Cost per square foot question

The first question most people ask us at Sitka Log Homes is how much do your handcrafted log homes cost per square foot?

The reason this is so difficult to answer is because our log homes are not priced by square foot, but rather by the type of wood used, the amount of notches cut, the complexity of the design, the height of the walls, how many interior walls are log, the complexity of the roof system, etc. There are many different components to be considered when pricing your handcrafted log shell.

When it comes to the price per square foot for a finished log home, the variables grow even more. Do you want a Bosch dishwasher or a Sears Kenmore? They are the same square footage, yet the price is remarkably different. Do you plan on high end finishes (flooring, appliances, built in sound systems, alarm system, wood burning stove, chandeliers, etc.) or will you choose moderately priced finishes? These are all considered when figuring out a “price per square foot”.
It would be like going into a car dealership and asking how much their cars cost per square foot.

I know your heads are going up and down, but you still want an idea of the price of a log home per square foot. When asked all we can do is offer you an estimate based on homes we have built in the past with a range from moderately priced to very high end.

Another option is to look at the prices of our sample plans which can be downloaded at:
Drop us an email asking for the price quotes and we’ll email them right away so you can get an idea of our pricing and what is included in our log shell packages.
Better yet, if you have a sketch or a plan already, we are happy to offer you a price quote on it. We’ll show a complete breakdown of everything we include. This way you can get comparative quotes and know that you are indeed comparing apples to apples.
4,000 sq.ft log house

1643 sq.ft log house
The 4000 sq. ft home is less per square foot than this 1643 sq.ft home which is a more complicated design.