We have included some of our most frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions or need more information about our process, please give us a call.
How much does a log home cost?
A custom built log home is very similar in price to a custom built conventional home. Most times, the log home will be a small percentage higher because some homeowners can complete more work on a conventional home themselves. The price of a log package, which is the log work shell, ranges from $75 – $80 per square foot, on average. The price range reflects options like dormers, log gables, amount of usable loft space, garages, and covered porches.
Can I come to you with my own floor plans?
Absolutely! There are very few designs that cannot be built. Most plans can be slightly modified to accommodate log design. We encourage prospective log home owners to design their log home to match their specific tastes and desires, since most “pre-designed” log plans need to be altered to be more cost efficient and practical.
Am I limited to one log home design or floor plan?
No! As with the above question, we encourage looking through as many plans as you can find. This allows you to blend the ideas you like into the plan that works best for you.
Do you have blueprinting and design services available?
Yes. We can draw your blueprints utilizing our architectural, engineering, and drafting services, or we can work with your architect or draftsman to create the perfect log home design by incorporating the features that you want into your home.
Do you have a design studio to help me make decisions regarding my log home?
Yes. We will walk you through almost any option you would consider for your new home. Plumbing fixtures, light fixtures, electrical features, heating system analysis, windows, doors, cabinetry, interior wood & trim selection, kitchen design, carpeting, tile, marble, granite, hardwoods, and stereo systems are just some of the areas that can be addressed.
Which kinds of trees do you use?
We primarily use Lodgepole Pine, both green and dry. Use of other species, such as Western Larch and Spruce, is also not uncommon.
What size logs are available?
The most common log we use has a 12 inch average diameter. However, we can use a 10 inch average diameter for cost savings. Our smallest log has a 9 inch average diameter, yet we have used Spruce with a 14 – 15 inch average diameter. These bigger logs can be 18 – 20 inches on the large end!
Where do the logs come from?
Most of our logs come from the northern Rocky Mountains.
Where are the log homes constructed?
All the log work is produced in our own log yard located in Box Elder, South Dakota. The completed log work is then loaded onto trucks and taken to the job site for resetting.
How long does it take to build a log home?
Depending on the size of the home, the log work will take an average of 60 days. Once the log work is completed, the home can be completed in about 90 days; again, this depends on the size of the home.
How long does it take to “set” a log home?
Once the logs are on site, setting the logs can be completed within one to three days.
Are log homes as energy efficient as conventional homes?
Log homes, in many cases, are more energy efficient than conventional homes. The thermal mass of the logs acts as an insulating barrier to temperature changes. The mass of the logs does not allow air (both hot and cold) to be transferred to or from the home as quickly as most conventional insulation. This results in a home that is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Ceiling insulation is also very important and several options are available from either Handcrafted Log Homes or your general contractor.
Do you just build the log structure, or could you finish off my home as well?
In the Black Hills area we will do as much work as you would like us to do. We also do projects where the homeowners finish the home themselves or hire a separate general contractor.
How do you protect logs from weathering?
We use a variety of different log finishes based on the color and finish selection of the homeowner.
How often do the logs need to be sealed?
Each product has its own recommendations. One should apply a fresh coat of finish at least every other year. We recommend, however, that you finish your logs every year instead. If you wait longer than every other year, the possibility of problems is greatly increased.
Will there be a problem with rotting wood or insect infestations?
Rotting and insect infestation is uncommon in the Black Hills area. If the homeowner would like protection, or if the home is going to be built in another part of the country, we recommend a product called “Penetreat” for protection against rot and insect infestation.
What do you do to allow for the settling?
All windows, doors, and interior walls must be built with settling pockets above. One of the most crucial elements of good log home construction is knowing how to handle the movement that occurs in ALL log homes.
Where does the plumbing and wiring go in a log home?
All plumbing and electrical lines are run through interior walls or through the logs themselves. Proper planning is essential so that all necessary lines are run as the home is assembled.
Do you build log homes outside of western South Dakota?
We will build and assemble a log package anywhere in the world. We will complete the entire home primarily in western South Dakota.
How long have you been building log homes?
Kaz Kunishige has been building log homes since 1996.
Are you licensed builders?
Yes, we are licensed and insured.
May I ask for references from previous home buyers?
Absolutely!! We will provide you with a listing of past clients, present projects, and any other information you may need in your decision-making process.
May I see some of the Handcrafted Log Homes that have been built?
Yes!! We can set up appointments to visit any of the unique homes we have constructed. There are many homes in the Black Hills area for us to show you!