FAQ

Below is a list of our frequently asked questions. If your question isn't answered below, please don't hesitate to contact us.

1. Cost per square foot?

Most of our standard shells average between $35 and $65 per square foot. Customers should spend about the same on the finished project as a brick veneer, if both are finished the same on the interior. However, custom plans with a lot of extras can run more per square foot. Cost also depends on building location. Your sales representative can assist you with an accurate estimate.

2. How do you run the electrical?

Most electrical wiring in the log walls is run behind the interior window and door trim. Holes are drilled from these openings to outlet locations, and from tops of windows and doors through upper logs to the attic. Wire is run through this chase, leaving enough wire in the attic for your finish electrician to run to the nearest junction box. However, in walls with no window or door openings, outlets are cut and the wiring is routed between log courses. This wire is taken to an interior wall for connection.

3. What about bugs, especially termites?

Even though it is a common concern when living in a wood home, termites are really not a prevalent problem. Termites are no more likely to infest log walls than they are studs in a more conventional house. Pretreat the foundation and have periodic inspections.

4. Are log homes hard to insure? Does it cost more to insure a log home?

No, log homes are not hard to insure. Some companies may have more difficult underwriting guidelines than others, but obtaining reasonable rates should not be difficult. Log homes can typically be insured for the same cost as a frame house. Using a company that does a lot of rural properties will help keep rates low.

5. Are the logs precut in your material packages?

No, we do not precut. By not having the logs precut, the customer has more flexibility regarding log placement and design. This method is at least as fast and easy as trying to find the correct numbered log in a precut package, not to mention the cost savings of not having to pay for additional handling of the logs.

6. How much settling or shrinking should I expect in the walls?

By using dead-standing timber, the shrinkage is minimal. Wood is not perfect and will always move some, but the movement is insignificant enough that no special allowances have to be made for settling. Generally, caulking will remedy any cosmetic blemishes caused by movement.

7. What is the moisture content of your logs?

Our logs are moisture tested at several stages during our manufacturing process. Our grading agency requires 19% or less. We have found that the logs perform better at 16% or less. Our dead-standing timber is usually in the 12- 15% range as opposed to 19-22% for kiln-dried timber.

8. What kind of wood do you use? Where do the logs come from?

Engelman Spruce and Lodgepole Pine are the predominant species of wood used by Satterwhite Log Homes. We also have Douglas Fir. All of our house logs originated in the higher altitudes of the Rocky Mountains, from New Mexico and Utah to British Columbia. By harvesting the dead timber, we are clearing the way for replanting. Our manufacturing plants are in Gunnison, Utah, and Longview, Texas.

9. What type of foundation is better: slab or pier and beam? Can a log home be built on a basement?

Log homes can be built on any foundation that other homes are built on, including basements. Floor plan size, customer preference, and building site (soil and slope) are all important factors in determining which foundation is best suited and most economical for each job. The majority of our houses are built on slab foundations.

10. How energy efficient are log homes? What is the R-factor?

Because of the thermal mass of the logs, log homes are very energy efficient. Proper building techniques are an important contributor to this energy efficiency. Even though the R-factor of wood is 1.25 per inch, when using 5- 1/2" - diameter house logs you can expect to have walls equivalent to R-19 or better.

11. Where do you Build?

We currently construct shells in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. Many times we are able to help you locate a builder experienced with our logs who can build outside this area. Ask your sales representative. Satterwhite Log Homes delivers materials all over the continental U.S. Overseas shipments are delivered to the nearest U.S. port. The customer ls responsible for containerizing and shipping beyond this point.

12. How are shipping costs calculated?

Delivery charges on material sales are calculated per loaded mile per truck from our Longview, Texas headquarters or our Western Division in Gunnison, Utah. Shipping costs are included in shell construction.

13. Can we use our own plans, or can we make changes to your plans?

The answer is yes to both questions. We are totally custom. We welcome modifications to any of our standard plans. Our in-house design department is available for a nominal fee to make these changes or design a home to fit your family's needs and budget.

14. What is included in your shell construction?

Within 300 miles from our Texas headquarters, we do the roughed-in plumbing, concrete slab, exterior log walls, interior partition framing, roof system, decking, tarpaper, shingles, exterior doors and windows, and all exterior trim. Shingle installation is included within a 70-mile radius of Longview, Texas. Satterwhite Log Homes does not do any masonry work. When your shell is complete, you are ready to apply the protective coating to the logs and begin interior finish work.

15. Are your logs treated with chemicals?

No, we do not treat our logs with chemicals. We believe that your home should provide a safe environment for you and your family by being free of potentially harmful substances.

16. What kind of maintenance is required? How often should you reseal? How long will a log home last?

Wood must have an exterior protective coating.Translucent coatings are affected by the sun's ultraviolet rays, so the more exposure to sunlight, the more often the need for recoating. In extreme cases with heavy exposure to the elements, recoating may be required every two to three years. However, in areas protected by porches, a maintenance coat is required as little as every five to six years. We still recommend an annual cleaning of your logs to remove dust. Porches not only decrease the need for maintenance, they also improve the energy efficiency of your home and add outdoor living space. A well-maintained log home will last indefinitely.

17. How difficult is it to obtain financing?

Today, log home financing is readily available at very competitive rates. Mortgage companies, local banks, and private investors are normal sources for financing. There are even several nationwide mortgage companies specializing in log home financing with whom we closely work.

18. Do you do "turn-key" construction?

No, we only build the exterior shell. A local general contractor is the most efficient and cost-effective means of completing your home. Our sales force may be able to refer you to a contractor that is experienced in completing our shells. Many of our customers act as their own contractors, and most do some of the interior finishing themselves.

19. How do you insulate the roof?

Most of our roof systems allow for conventional batted and blown insulation to be used. Attic insulation is not provided by Satterwhite Log Homes. In some cases the style of roof construction requires the use of rigid foam insulation to be incorporated into the roof system.

20. Can we buy Just the materials and build the home ourselves? Can our builder do the construction?

Yes. Of the approximately 450 homes we sell each year, only one-third of them are actually constructed by Satterwhite Log Homes' crews. The remaining two-thirds are built by other contractors and individuals. Satterwhite offers a very comprehensive "Material Package," which includes a construction manual and video covering the erection of the exterior log walls.

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