Log Home Manufacturers vs. Builders: What’s the Difference?
Knowing the difference between log home manufacturers and a log home builder is one of the most important things to understand before you sign ANY contract or buy ANYTHING. A log home builder builds log homes from start to finish, handling everything from procuring the materials to doing the work to complete the home. On the other hand, log home manufacturers put together log home kits with the necessary building materials based on one of many designs. However, log cabin manufacturers do NOT build the log houses for their customers — a third party contractor must be brought in to do that.
At Gingrich Builders, we’re proud to be a log home builder with more than 40 years of experience. In that time, we’ve been called in to build kits made by log home manufacturers and have seen some of the downsides. While log home manufacturers are often good companies, from our perspective, they just aren’t the right choice for most homeowners — that’s what we’re discussing today.
Downsides of Log Cabin Manufacturers
Log cabin manufacturers claim they can get you the home of your dreams at a better price than anyone else. We’re not saying that log cabin manufacturers don’t offer a good product — they often do. But for most future log homeowners there are quite a few unexpected issues that can make it a serious headache.
These are the primary issues we’ve seen with log cabin manufacturers:
- You Have a TON of Work to Do — Essentially if you buy from a manufacturer, you become a general contractor on the project. You think you’re getting the wooded retreat of your dreams — instead you get thrust into the high-pressure role of trying to manage the various subcontractors who will build your home. We offer a full turnkey experience — that’s the #1 reason people choose us as a log home builder, so that WE build your house for you.
- Custom Touches Cost Extra — The custom touches that add unique style and personality to log cabins should be encouraged! However, log cabin manufacturers often impose huge up charges when you try to add custom details. So, while they have a lot of different models, they aren’t flexible in customizing them. They don’t want to change standard plans, instead they will increase the price significantly. This can make buying from a manufacturer MORE expensive than an actual builder.
- Materials Can Cost More — The main reason that prospective buyers consider log kits is they are looking to save money wherever possible. Here’s the kicker though, depending on where you live a log cabin manufacturer can be more expensive — even as the materials are concerned. A lot of times, they are shipping your kit from a few states away which can undo those supposedly great savings. One of the ways we keep costs down is by sourcing our materials close by your building site — we have suppliers in many areas that ensure we get fair pricing. Learn more about how to get the log home you want at an affordable price.
- More Risk is Involved for You — Simply put: there is a risk of your project falling through when you work with a manufacturer over a builder. Some of the things that can go wrong include the material or the contractor you chose struggling with some aspect of the installation. In this case, you assume the risk that it will go well and you have to rectify it if it doesn’t.
- Getting Support/Service Can be Difficult — The log cabin manufacturing business model focuses on shipping out a high-volume of kits nationwide. This can make it very challenging to get your problems resolved whether you have issues with damaged material, installation or something else. To avoid this happening to your building project, Gingrich Builders is able to supply the materials and installations as a turnkey package. Therefore, you have all the support and service needed.
Ready to see more? Check out our most popular log cabin models.
Start the Conversation about Your Custom Log Cabin
Your log cabin is going to be your retreat way from the stress and anxiety of the rest of the world. You want to make sure it’s perfect — from the design to building process, to the finished home. Having the right partner makes that happen.
One of the other main advantages of working with a log home builder like us is that we make ourselves available from the very beginning. Let’s talk through your budget, your decor and needs. We recommend you start the process by visiting our log home showroom to discuss your dream home.