Log Home Preliminary Planning Basics: Needs vs. Wants

We're amazed how even the most educated log home buyer struggles  to articulate clearly their design ideas and vision for their log home.  Maybe it's the complexity and unknowns of building.  

Before you sit down with your log home dealer and/or builder, we recommend completing a “Needs and Wants” list based on your log home vision.  This exercise can be revealing and help get you started to define your new log home.  Think of it as an assessment...compare your living conditions now, what works, what doesn't and how will you design elements into your new home that fit your lifestyle needs more effectively and efficiently.  

The better prepared you are to share this vision in some detail, the better your dealer or builder will be able to serve your needs.  

Here are some tips to develop your Needs and Wish list.   

  1. It’s best if you can create two lists side-by-side in an Excel spreadsheet.  If you don’t want to use a computer, use two sheets of paper which will work just fine.

  2. Create 3 columns for your Needs and Wants list.  The first column is for the item, the second column is for notes or references and the third column is for a priority rating (keep it simple and use numbers such as a 1 through 5 scale).

  3. A Need should be defined as an element that you must have in your log home.  For example:  ranch design, hardwood floors in the great room, tile master shower, large deck, etc.  A Wish is an element you would like to have if the budget allows.  For example: granite counter tops or 3-car garage or additional bathroom or gourmet kitchen, etc.   

  4. If you already have a design in mind, start by listing needs and wants room by room.

  5. Often times when you are working with your list and learning more about costs, items will start moving from one list to another.  So keep an open mind.

  6. Use photos from log home magazines or the internet to help you communicate your ideas to the dealer and builder.  Start a file folder by room (i.e. great room, kitchen, etc.) to organize your ideas and photos.

  7. If you are 2-3 years away from building your log home, it’s a good idea to do this exercise now.  As you get closer and become more knowledgeable about costs, you’ll want to make adjustments to your lists.

Tip:  a good dealer and builder will review your lists with you and help you prioritize the items on the list based on your budget and design.  Then outline optional choices based on cost, type of material and quality of materials. 

By The Leelanau Log Home Company LLC


Copyright 2011 Under the Influence of Wood Blog