Golden Eagle Log Homes: What You Should Know Before Buying a Log Cabin Kit

Golden Eagle Log Homes
(c) Golden Eagle Log and Timber Homes.

Buying your future home is probably one of the biggest costs you’ll ever have.

Therefore, it’s so important that you choose the right home.

We often hear from readers who ask us to recommend who they should buy their log cabin home kits from.

We think it’s important to remain partial to recommendations, and therefore we will not advise our readers who they should choose to buy their log cabin kit from.

However, we do understand that with the hundreds of companies offering different things, it can be difficult to select the right one.

For this reason, we have decided to collaborate with some of the top Log Cabin Kit Companies, and run an interview series in order to help you make a decision about whether they can meet your requirements.

In this interview, we spoke to Tod Parmeter from Golden Eagle Log Homes to help answer some of the questions you need to know the answer to, before you decide to buy your log cabin kit from them.

What materials are included in your kits?

Golden Eagle offers the most complete materials package in the industry. Not only does our price include the exterior of the home but also interior finish items such as kitchen, bath and laundry cabinetry, interior doors, trim, tongue and groove pine for ceilings, fireplace and fireplace stone and more.

Why is this important?
You need to know exactly what is included in your log cabin kit so you can budget properly.

Many companies offer different packages and some only include the shell or exterior items.

This can leave you with unexpected costs, so always make sure you get a full breakdown of what’s included in your log cabin kit.

How much support do you offer during and after the build? 

With Golden Eagle, there is support before, during and after the build; we have a designated team that is available six days a week to service all past and current customers. We keep a file on every home we sell indefinitely in case someone needs to replace a broken window, order more exterior stain, etc.

Why is this important?
You should always choose a company who will offer you support in every single stage of the build. The more support they offer, the more reputable they are.

If a company only offers a drop-off kit, and won’t build the kit for you, we recommend you stay clear of them.

Do you provide pre-building advice, for example on the foundations, etc.?

Yes, Golden Eagle includes code compliant engineered plans with every home. Therefore we are deeply involved with designing foundations, roofs, walls, windows, doors, etc. We typically explain the pros and cons of each to our customers to help them make the decision that is right for them in their build area.

Why is this important?
There is no point having a company design a home for you if they don’t take into account the land you’ll be building on.

Each plot of land is completely different and comes with its own soil types, gradients and local planning codes.

The company you choose should be willing to come out and view your site to help you decide which foundation type is suitable for the log cabin you’re purchasing, and where the best place is, to site your cabin.

Do you offer a custom design; is there an additional cost for this? 

Even though we have over 1000 standard plans, it seems everybody makes changes. All plans custom or semi-custom end up being free of charge when you build with Golden Eagle.

Why is this important?
One size does not fit all. This is true of most things you’ll buy in life – especially your home.

Your home should be specific to you, and your needs. Most log cabin kit companies will offer a custom design or adaptations on their standard kits.

Some companies do this free of charge if you decide to go ahead and buy the kit they have designed.

Can clients come and see the premises in which their log cabin is being built, and can they talk with the builders?

Yes!

Why is this important?

We recommend that you always go and see the place in which your cabin will be built.

It’ll help you to get a good feel for the quality and standard of the kits the company are providing.

It will also give you a chance to talk to the people on the floor, who are building your cabin. They’ll most likely be working on a current project so you’ll be able to look at the level of care and detail which is going into the build.

Are the builder’s skilled craftsmen?

Yes, we find log builders to be some of the most skilled tradespeople in the world.

Why is this important?
Building a log home requires a very specific set of skills. When choosing a company which employs skilled craftsmen, you’ll be benefiting from years of experience and training.

When you buy your kit, you should be confident that your log home is being crafted by someone who understands the properties of woods, and how to use it to its best, in order to have a log home that will stand the test of time.

How long is the warranty you offer on your log cabin kits?

30 years on logs and timbers and the manufacturer’s warranty on windows and such.  What does the warranty include? All components of the home typically have a manufacturer’s warranty.

Why is this important?
A warranty is a guarantee which is provided by the log cabin kit company to assure you that you’re buying a good quality kit, free from defects. Warranty is absolutely vital when you purchase a log cabin kit.

Without it, you’ll have no protection if part of the kit is defective. You should to have at least a ten year warranty, anything above that is ideal.

What are the main types of wood you use?

White-Pine, Cedar, and Douglas Fir.

Why is this important?
Although there are over seven hundred species of tree in the US, only around two dozen of them are used for log homes.

Most types of wood, that log cabin kit companies offer are suitable to build a strong and sturdy home, the type of wood you choose for your log cabin is mainly down to personal preference.

If you’re looking for a breakdown of log appearances, energy efficiency, cost and recay resistance you can read on article on tree selection.

Do you kiln dry your logs and why? 

Yes!  Kiln drying saves our customers money and stress in the long run.

Why is this important?
Whether you choose kiln dried or air dried logs again falls to personal preference.

The benefit of buying a kit which has been kiln dried is that the logs have already done the majority of the shrinking, and that they’ll be strong, stable and uniform.

Kiln-drying sanitizes the logs, and kills off all the mold, fungi and any insects or eggs which could be lurking in the wood.

Is your lumber grade stamped? 

Yes, we also pay for third-party grading inspections to ensure we are doing everything right.

Why is this important?
Ensuring that your wood is grade stamped means that the materials used to build it are structurally sound and meet building regulations and codes.

When you check this out with companies, make sure you find out whether they are ‘grade stamped’, and not just a graded log.

A graded log has no reliability as anyone can just give it a grade and it may have just been done by the company on looks alone.

A grade stamped log will ensure good quality, even though the price will be slightly higher.

Are logs treated for Wood Destroying Insects? 

Treatments offered are based on the location and needs of the build area.

Why is this important?
Depending on the area in which you live, you may need to ensure your cabin is protected and treated against wood destroying insects (WDI).

You should firstly find out whether any of the common insects which like to infest log cabins, are present in your area.

You can then discuss this with the company you’re building with and they should advise you to opt to have your logs treated.

Are kits designed in line with local building regulations? 

Yes, we will engineer your home based on the codes in your specific build area.

Why is this important?
As we mentioned before in relation to designing the log cabin around your land type and gradient, the log cabin should also be compliant with local building codes and regulations.

There is no point designing a log cabin which doesn’t take into account the local zoning and building codes.

Make sure you familiarize yourself with them.

If you’re building in the US you can read about zoning and building codes here, if you’re building in the UK, read about planning permission here.

Are there any tax costs on your cabins? 

We often collect sales tax and submit it for our customers, so they don’t have to deal with it directly.

Why is this important?
Finding out whether tax costs are included in your cabin kit price is imperative.

Some states require you to pay sales tax, and others do not, so firstly you need to find out if you are required to pay any taxes in your area.

The majority of states do require you to pay sales tax; this usually adds around 10% onto the cost of your log cabin kit, which can be a huge chunk if you’re not prepared for it.

What makes your kits stand out from the rest of the log cabin kit companies?

Golden Eagle manufactures and kiln dries their logs and timbers to ensure quality control from start to finish. These (included) quality services along with our complete package eliminate problems and cost overruns.

Golden Eagle has been manufacturing and designing log and timber homes since 1966, with over 5000 homes completed you can rest knowing Golden Eagle will not be practicing on your dream home.

Contact Details for Golden Eagle Log Homes
Phone: 1-800-270-5025
Address: 4421 Plover Road, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494

Summary

We hope you’ve found this interview helpful.

Remember when you select a company to buy a log cabin kit from, the most important things to check with them are:

1. What’s included in the package? (Materials, sales tax etc…)
2. Are the logs grade stamped?
3. Do they offer support throughout the entire build?
4. How long is the warranty they offer (they longer the better.)

We’d love to hear from you below if you’re in the process of buying a log cabin kit. What other factors are you taking into account?

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