Alabama Log Homes
By Ed Simkins

Foothills of the Appalachian Chain

Alabama is home to the southern most foothill, or "wrinkle" of the Appalachian Mountain chain,
Double Oak Mountain. Therefore, for all intents and purposes, Double Oak Mountain. could
be referred to as the anchor of the Appalachian Chain. Regardless, the proximity of
Birmingham to the "wrinkles" of the Appalachian Mountains affords residents looking for a
mountain retreat or log home, a natural woodland environment in which to build.

Building a Log Home

Building a log home in Birmingham, Alabama is similar to building a log home off in the
mountains or even building a "traditional" home in Birmingham. For instance, you will need to
secure financing, locate a lot, find a builder, then wait for the home to be completed. Recently,
I have been receiving information requests involving the purchase of log homes in Birmingham
and beyond, so I thought I would give a short detail of the steps involved to help people get

Log Home Financing

Like other pre-construction loans, you will need to contact your mortgage professional
regarding financing your log home. This loan should be similarly structured to any other new
construction loan, but your mortgage lender will be able to assist you. Our best advice is the
same as any home shopping scenario. Get Pre-Approved prior to shopping. This will greatly
assist in your negotiating when working out the details on your log home's build cost.

Finding Land in Birmingham:

Locating the right piece of property for sale on which to build a log home can be tricky.
Especially if you are attempting to buy land in Birmingham, Alabama or in one of the
surrounding areas. Your best bet would be to contact a local Realtor ® that understands your
real estate needs and can assist you in locating property. Many neighborhoods in Birmingham
have strict restrictions on the types of homes allowed to be built in that particular
neighborhood, so be prepared to look for land outside of established neighborhoods. Parcels
of land in varying sizes are for sale throughout the Birmingham area, yet a thorough search of
the Birmingham MLS may be needed to ensure success. If starting a search without the help
of a real estate agent, I would recommend beginning with lots or parcels of land greater than 1
acre in size. This should eliminate most neighborhoods in the Birmingham area and eliminate
the need to sift through unavailable lots.

Log Home Builders:

Once you locate the right lot, find a builder that is familiar with the construction of log homes.
Although some log home manufacturers, such as Southerland Log Homes, offer
pre-numbered "kits" that can be built by the purchaser, I would recommend hiring a
professional licensed contractor to get the job done. (Unless, of course, if you are going for
the extreme log home experience, then all you need is a few twigs, some strings, and mud so
there isn't much need for a contractor). A professional builder will overlook the project to
ensure everything is built to code.

When you have located a builder or two that has experience building log homes, even if it is
from a kit, interview them. Get to know them. Get references. This process should be no
different than if you are building a spec house or a custom home. If hiring a person to
overlook and build your log home, ensure that they are qualified by checking their references,
past jobs, and current builds. If the quality is acceptable on their other jobs, odds are in your
favor that they will put forth the effort to ensure your home is built at the same level of quality.

Building a Log Home

Once you have secured your financing, land, and builder, building the log home should seem
like a breeze. But, prepare for the unexpected. Like many residential builds, the building of
your log home can experience delays that can interfere with the original schedule. Inspections
will need to be completed by the city, or county, along with any that your mortgage lender
requests. Rain can slow things down as well. Be patient though, these types of occurrences
are why we recommended the experienced log home builder. For when delays happen, an
experienced home builder will be able to navigate through the delays and obstacles by
coordinating his subcontractors to maximize their efforts while sticking to the timeline.

Live the Log Home Dream

Ok, it may not be everyone's dream to live in a log home in Birmingham, Alabama, but why
not? Basically, building a log home in Birmingham is really no different than building a custom
home in a distinguished neighborhood. The basic outline of building a home is the same,
except that in the end, you have a log home instead of brick or hardy plank exterior home.
About the only difficulty I have discovered is finding the right piece of land for sale in
Birmingham that could "hold" a log home and not look silly.

That being said, if you have ever thought about building a log home, go shop the Birmingham
MLS for land to see if you can locate a good lot or simply contact us here. One of our
Birmingham real estate agents will be glad to assist you!

Working as a free lance writer and photojournalist, I developed a passion for real estate while
covering new construction market trends in the southeast. Currently, mostly what I write is
Birmingham Alabama real estate.

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