Aker Woods: Why Our House Logs Cost Less
The House Log page featured a 1,680 square foot log home and listed the price of the house logs at $19,584. We've heard from many customers that this price seems low to them. It is low compared to others, and we're proud of that. However, we don't want you to think there's anything wrong with our house logs, or with our math. Regarding our quality, there are several...
Ways Our House Logs Are Better Than Other Milled Logs:
They're bigger. We start with sawlogs which are a minimum of 11.5" inside the bark. After we mill three sides, your wall is a minimum of 8" thick everywhere. It's like an 8x8" timber with one round slab left on the outside. At the middle, our house logs are about 10" thick. We can mill other sizes, but that's the size we recommend, and that's the size in the photos featured on this page.
Starting a Log Home
Hand-peeled on the outside
They're hand-peeled on the outside. Most milled house logs are made from a square or rectangular timber that has a round side planed into it. To us, they look like D-shaped power poles. They have none of the irregularities and flecks of bark you'd see on a hand-crafted log home.
The have no tongue and groove. We're still having trouble understanding why some manufacturers cut tongues and grooves into their house logs. To us, the corners of these logs look a little more "busy" or "industrial" than you'd want a log home to look. Please go to our "frequently asked questions" page for information on tongue-and-groove logs.
They're milled from the centers of slow - growing, straight trees. The benefits of this are not visible in any photos we can give you, because they're the things you won't see in our logs: bowing and twisting.
House Log Picture
They're not kiln dried. Look at how small the cracks are on our logs. That's because they dried slowly, in the open air. The faster a log dries, the more it cracks. Unfortunately, many companies have convinced log home buyers that kiln drying adds value to a log. Please look at our "frequently asked questions" page for information on kiln drying.
They're hand-planed on the inside. On the inside surface, they're planed with a hand-held power tool which gives them a slightly hand-hewn look.
Picture of House Logs on the Log Home
So, if we've convinced you we have great logs, you may still be wondering about our math skills. How can the logs in a 1,680 square foot house cost only $19,584? First, remember all the things not included in that price: delivery, foundation, joists, interior lumber, drywall, roof, porch, windows, doors, plumbing, electrical, etc. But that's also true for other companies charging two to four times what we do for the logs. Here are some of the...
Reasons We Can Sell You A Great House Log At Such A Low Price:
We don't inventory many logs. We're selling them as fast as we mill them. Sometimes we have dry logs on hand, but if you want well-cured, thoroughly-dried house logs, please place your order 3-5 months ahead of time. We'll set your logs aside, guaranteeing that they'll be ready when you need them.
We don't have a network of local distributors. We have nothing against distributors. They allow you to look at the product up-close, and can help you make decisions on design and how much of the labor you want to take on. But they also add a lot of cost to your logs. We have a sister company that builds log homes here in the Black Hills, and you're welcome to visit a construction site to get pointers on which tools and techniques have worked best for us. You'll learn a lot more about building a log home from visiting a building site than from sipping coffee in a distributor's model home. For some customers, it's a long trip to the Black Hills, but we're a great place to visit. Aside from Mt. Rushmore, we have two national parks, two national monuments, a huge national forest, two national grasslands, world-class rodeos, American Indian powwows, museums, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, great back-country trails, fly-fishing, and historic gold-mining sites. If you're accustomed to crowds, traffic jams, smog, neon lights, stress, noise, and rudeness, you might not feel comfortable here.
We don't send out free samples. We charge $40 for samples, and credit that to any eventual purchase. For us, this weeds out people who are just dreaming about building a log home several years in the future and allows us to concentrate our attention on paying customers who have already decided to build a log home. It saves a whole lot of time and money.
We don't have a sales force pestering you to buy our logs. We don't mind spending time answering your questions, but if we don't hear back from you, we're not going to keep calling and emailing you. After we respond to your call or email, the next move is yours. It saves everybody a lot of time and money.
We don't advertise in the log home magazines. We also don't send out glossy brochures. We're an internet-based company. Adds and brochures cost thousands of dollars we'd rather spend on developing a better website and search engine ranking. We probably miss out on some good customers, but we believe that customers who search the internet for house logs are a good target for us. They're likely to be intelligent, self-starting people who've already made a decision to build a log home.
The $19,584 price is for random-length logs. We can sell you your logs pre-cut to lengths you specify for an additional 33%. We can cut you an entire kit in which we determine the quantities and lengths needed for your entire home for a 66% additional cost. But if you have a chainsaw, a pencil, a square, and a fairly steady hand, you can cut your logs on-site and save some money.
Picture of a Log Home in Progress