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Log Home Restoration Contractor - Making the Right Choice
Wed 23 Sep 2009 - 09:24
Log Home Restoration Contractor - Making the Right Choice
By [http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Tom_Tydeman]Tom Tydeman
Many home owners are confused by the conflicting information within the log home industry. We hope the following information will assist you in selecting a log home restoration company. Most home owners request 2-3 estimates to compare companies, service and price when choosing a contractor to restore their log home. Contractors may offer various products and solutions such as oil based or water based stains, corn cob blasting or power washing, full log or half log replacement and the list goes on.
The price may greatly vary but keep in mind you are not always comparing "apples to apples". So, where do you begin? Start with the basics by verifying the company is insured and licensed. Also, check references for log homes they have restored in your area. Past clients can offer insight and confidence in your decision. Once this is complete, below are some ideas to consider when reviewing the details of your estimate.
Small Local Company Versus Large Company Based Outside of Your Area
Home owners sometimes mention they only feel comfortable hiring a small, local company; while others state they do not want a "mom & pop operation". We are associated with both large and small companies and have found it is not the size of the company or how far they travel that determines the quality of work. Keep in mind, the larger restoration companies have several crews working in different locations because they have grown, most likely due to their quality of work and good reputation. We encourage you to entertain all your options and not let the size of the company weigh too heavily on your decision.
If you need to restore your home in the near future for a particular reason, ask when they are available to start. The time may vary due to weather conditions but most companies try to be as accurate as possible. Most restoration companies schedule months in advance. If you are interested in only a specific service such as corn cob blasting, maintenance (light wash & top coat), or log repair, they will do their best to schedule around restoration jobs in your area.
Please remember, you may not be comparing identical services and products, so although you would like to spend the least amount possible, there is much more to consider. You may want to start with details regarding the estimates:
Are all estimates from licensed log home professionals with insurance and references?
Do all estimates include decks, porches, railing, etc.?
Are there log outbuildings or log garages included?
Prep work (window covering, electrical, cable wires, etc.) included?
Clean up (removal of debris, media and other work items) included?
All material needed for your project included in the estimates?
Written warranty regarding their work and your satisfaction?
Log Repair or Replacement
If your log home requires log repair or replacement make sure all estimates are calculating the same amount of repair. Many times it is difficult to determine exactly how much decay there is until they begin, but you can get a price of what the approximate cost is per foot. Also, is the estimate for 1/2 log or full log replacement? When a log is more than 50% decayed, full log replacement is usually necessary. If the log is decayed less than 50%, the decayed area can be removed and 1/2 log can be used. Verify the contractor is using the same log species and log profile to match your existing structure. If you are having log repair only, most restoration companies will include staining the new logs to the best of their ability, blending the stain to best match the existing logs and caulk if necessary.
Removing the Existing Finish
There are different methods for removing the existing finish from the logs. Corn cob blasting, chemical stripping and other blasting media such as; glass or walnuts may be used. All methods have pros and cons and are effective when done correctly however; either method can damage your logs when done incorrectly. Please Note: Many log professionals find what works best for them and have years of experience mastering the technique. We encourage you to talk with each company about their specific method. Keep in mind they can be very "opinionated and passionate" about the method they use.
Once the old finish has been removed, verify the logs will be lightly washed to remove mold spores, dirt, media debris, etc.
Borate is applied to clean, dry, bare wood; therefore it can only be applied when the home is first built or after blasting. This is a fairly inexpensive, yet a very important step that we strongly suggest you take advantage of while you have the opportunity. Borate will help protect the wood from insects, fungus and decay. You also have the option of adding Bug Juice to the stain which will help prevent insects.
Log Home Stain
There are many quality log home finishes available. Ask the contractor what product is being quoted and investigate the particular manufacturer. Be sure the suggested number of coats will be applied and are stated in your estimate. If you are uncertain about the color choice, ask if you can receive samples prior to staining. If you plan to stain your log home yourself, it is very important to closely follow the manufacturer's specifications and use the proper technique to avoid lap marks or drips.
Making Your Decision
When choosing a log home contractor, deciding on a log home finish or determining which way is best to remove the existing finish, please remember there are many reputable log professionals, effective methods and quality finishes available. Review your estimate, research the methods and products and talk with the log home professionals. You should feel confident and comfortable with a full understanding regarding the details of your project prior to making your decision.
You share a common goal with your contractor... restoring your log home. Most log professionals are passionate about maintaining log homes and take pride in their work. They want you to be satisfied; after all, you are their next reference!
We do not recommend restoring your log home yourself. However, we realize you may find the project either cost prohibitive or feel confident performing the work on your own. You may decide to have a professional do the more skill oriented tasks such as corn cob blasting, log repair or caulking and most companies are happy to contract a portion of your project. We understand and respect your decision. After much patience and hard work there is great satisfaction. Good luck in the restoration of your log home.
Article written by Tom Tydeman, owner of Log Options, LLC. We network with quality log home professionals throughout the country to help connect log home owners to log professionals. Contact us for free estimates on all log home services to compare companies, service and price. Let us help simply the process of restoring your log home! Visit our web site for information regarding the care and maintenance of your log home at [http://www.logoptions.com]http://www.logoptions.com.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tom_Tydeman http://EzineArticles.com/?Log-Home-Restoration-Contractor---Making-the-Right-Choice&id=2892025
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