The Leelanau Log Home Company LLC

The Leelanau Log Home Company LLC
The Leelanau Log Home Company LLC

Monday, March 23, 2015

Under the Influence of Wood blog has a new home

Blog moving to our website:

We recently updated our website so its now smart phone friendly and as a result our blog, Under the Influence of Wood, has moved to the new website as well.

All past and future blog posts will now be at our website address.  Please find us now at:

Thank you

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Energy Efficiency of Log Homes

My outdoor thermometer read -14 below zero this morning!  As I tossed another log on the fire I thought energy efficiency might be a timely subject for a blog post so please read on.

Its probably no surprise, but one of the most frequently asked questions is how efficient are log homes?  Maybe better stated is how do log homes compare to a conventional constructed home in terms of energy performance.  The simple answer is log homes perform better and many log home owners will confirm that statement.

So if energy efficiency of your new log home is one of your priorities, it's well worth reading the energy performance study performed by the Log Homes Council.  Click here to visit the Log Homes Council website and download The Energy Performance of Log Homes.  While this document is a little technical it does prove the benefits of thermal mass.  Enjoy.

In addition I recently was asked to guest blog for one of our suppliers, Woodhaven Log & Lumber and the topic just happens to be energy efficiency.  It's a general overview and illustrates there are many elements you should consider when designing and building your log home.  To read the post, click on the link:  6 Tips of Making Your Log Home Energy Efficient.

Thanks for stopping by and if the polar vortex is headed in your direction stay safe and warm!

The Leelanau Log Home Company LLC

Copyright 2015 Under the Influence of Wood Blog

Monday, May 26, 2014

A log home builders perspective

Working closely with a client for months to plan, design and build their dream log home you get to know them.  From awkward beginnings evolving to collaborative teamwork, that relationship is cherished and often lasting.  Each project is unique as are the experiences of stacking logs to shingling the roof, quick lunches on a favorite log cut-off to frozen fingers nailing up cedar shakes in January and everything in between. Memories that are etched in our minds.

On a recent visit to a clients home I snapped this photo.  Ah the memories...

The Leelanau Log Home Company LLC

Copyright 2014 Under the Influence of Wood Blog

Monday, April 28, 2014

What's the best time of year to start building my log home?

The best time to start construction in Northern Michigan is during the summer/fall months.  Our winters are very cold and timing the project start can pay off with some advantages.  Lets explore some of the reasons why.

-For most builders and sub-contractors, it's easier and more productive to work in the summer versus the winter months. Productivity is really compromised during the winter months when workers must wear bulky clothing, thus move more slowly and become less efficient.  Some will contend winter construction can impact the overall quality outcome, but that's subject to debate. The bottom-line, the work is more enjoyable and efficient when your not battling your environment.

-Typically there are many more work delays in the winter due to frigid weather temps (Polar Vortex!) and dangerous wind chill.  Plus the days are longer during the summer months so more work can be accomplished.

-It may cost you more to start the build in the winter months.  There are extra precautions when installing footings and foundation in the winter which will require ground heaters, warming blankets or heated enclosures and the associate labor costs.  

-Getting the log home package unloaded and delivered to the construction site can be challenging with snow on the ground.  Also moving and staging the log home package and other materials on the site is much easier during the summer months.

-You'll have additional expense to keep the site and driveway plowed and temporary heat and lighting so work can continue during the dark days of winter.

-There may be additional labor costs for items that are constructed during the winter months, such as roofing, building the weather tight shell, etc.  Ask your builder if there is a winter differential charge for labor.

The Take Away:  If building in a cold weather climate such as ours, work out  a preliminary timetable with your log home dealer and builder very early in the process so you can avoid a winter start. If the majority of the construction is headed for the winter, get your foundation installed during the fall before the snow flies and frost begins to penetrate the ground.  The bottom-line, warm weather starts are the best time of year to start building your log home in Northern Michigan.

The Leelanau Log Home Company LLC

Copyright 2014 Under the Influence of Wood Blog

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Custom Built Log Home - What does it really mean

Recently I was taking a nice couple on a tour through several of our client log homes and a question popped up about the commonly used phrase in the construction industry, "custom-built and semi-custom built log home" and what it really means.

So let's explore the levels of custom.

Spec (speculative) Log Home:  The log home is built to be turn-key ready, however depending on the stage of construction you find the home you may be able to make some personal choices such flooring, counter tops, paint/stain colors, etc. Typically there can be some cost savings because the builder has built the design before and understands the complexities of the construction and costs are known. In most cases the log home will offer an attractive universal design that will appeal to a wide spectrum of potential buyers and most important the builder will have wisely chosen features that are the best value (bang for the buck).  In today's housing market, spec log homes are a very rare find.

Semi-Custom Built Log Home:  This is most common type of log home constructed.  The homeowner chooses a design from a catalog of standard floorplans from the log home manufacturer and works with the dealer and/or builder to make modifications to meet the specific requirements of the homeowner.  These changes can range from adding an attached garage, deck or sunroom, moving interior walls, changing the footprint or roof lines, etc.  Often this is the most cost effective path when working with the builder to determine design, features, amenities and the level of quality materials used in the log home.

Custom Built Log Home:  The custom built home is designed and constructed entirely to the homeowners vision and specifications and is unique, no two log homes are alike.  The homeowner works with the log home dealer and manufacturer to create a clean-sheet design and determines everything that goes into the log home.  From room sizes, shape and style, features, amenities and material quality that are included in the final design.  This type of log home is often the most expensive especially if it's a complicated design and has high end materials and features.

The Leelanau Log Home Company LLC

Copyright 2014 Under the Influence of Wood Blog

Monday, March 3, 2014

Spring Model Home Open House

Spring Model Home Open House 

 If you're planning to build your dream log home we invite you to visit us in beautiful Northern Michigan on Saturday, April 5, 2014 for our model home open house.  

Tour our model log home and see the quality of our craftsmanship for yourself.  Plus were happy to review building costs, explain our log home packages, dealer services including construction and answer all your log home buying and building questions. 

Be our Guest on


11 AM to 4 PM

 1310 S. Lakeshore Drive
Lake Leelanau, Michigan   49653

RSVP to Brad 231-668-1465 

The Leelanau Log Home Company LLC

Copyright 2014 Under the Influence of Wood Blog

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ten Questions to Ask a Log Home Dealer

When you're done researching log home companies and their dealers and ready to call your short list, here's ten questions you can ask during that initial phone call.

1.  Please describe the services your dealership offers (i.e. site planning, custom design assistance, log home construction, etc.).
2.  Do you have a model log home and client log homes in the area that we can tour?
3.  Please explain the log home product(s) you offer:  log profiles and sizes, corner styles, wood species, log wall settling specifications, method of drying the logs, pre-cut log package?, etc.
4.  Please explain and provide me with your log home standard materials package description of whats included.
5.  Please provide me with your standard log home designs and the package prices.
6.  Please explain the custom design services that the log home manufacture offers, is this service included in the price and what part do you play in the design process.
7.  What is the typical time-frame from start of the design through log home package delivery. 
8.  Is the log home package delivery included in the price or is there an additional transportation charge.
9.  Do you offer construction services or can you recommend an experienced log home builder in my area?
10.  Please explain the log home package purchase process.

Take Away:  Yes there are more key questions you'll need to ask, but these ten starter questions will help you evaluate your short list during that initial phone call so you can determine your next move.  Have your questions in writing for each dealer Q&A and take notes on their responses.  The dealers that make the cut, meet with them at their model home to learn more and be prepared to ask your next round of questions.  Good luck.

The Leelanau Log Home Company LLC

Copyright 2012 Under the Influence of Wood Blog