Ways to Reduce Costs

PERHAPS YOUR CURRENT HOME doesn’t appraise for as much as it did a few years ago. Or the kids’ college tuition is taking a hefty bite out of your bank account. Or that promotion and salary increase you were hoping for hasn’t come through.

Whatever the financial reason, you don’t have the budget that you’d once hoped for but that doesn’t mean your dream of a log home is derailed. You can still get into a log home if you adjust your expectations and budget.


Start by sitting down with a lender who specializes in log homes to discuss creative financing. As long as you have good credit there are ways to reduce your monthly mortgage payment. Ute Country Homes has relationships with lenders that offer a single-close construction-permanent loan to reduce rates and fees.


Once you have a firm budget in your hand, your goal should be to get the most house for your money. Let us know that you are interested in saving money, we can bring a wealth of knowledge to bear (especially if you are honest about your budget).


If you do not own your land already, look to purchase property in an area that has utilities available, saving on the cost of water well and septic systems. Investigate town, county, HOA permit and impact fees. Ute Country Homes can be very helpful during this process if you are looking for property in or near Pagosa Springs, CO.; we know the area and the different HOA restrictions.


Instead of a custom design, opt for a stock plan from Ute Country Homes. A stock design has been built many times before, so construction errors have been eliminated, saving you both time and money. Our stock plans can be altered to fit your needs providing you considerable savings over a new design.


A simple rectangular design with four corners is the most economical design. Add more corners and you’ll add more costs; it takes 18 feet of logs to create one butt-and-pass corner with an eight-foot wall height.


A roof is one of the most expensive features of a home. Reduce its cost by employing a simple, single ridgeline in your roof system. More complicated roof systems, called multiple roof planes, or hips and valleys, cost more in design time, materials and labor.


Reducing square-footage needs will go a long way in trimming your cost. Build upward (two story) rather than outward (ranch design). By adding dormers within the roof cavity or attic area, you’ll gain a second story.


Utilize built-in storage and shelving wherever possible to save on square footage that would otherwise be given over to furniture to store your stuff.


Add a full basement that includes roughed-in plumbing and electrical lines. This space will be the least expensive area to expand square footage. If you can afford it, add 10-foot high sidewalls in the basement to add volume to this space when you finish it.


It’s unwise to skimp in all areas. Designers recommend that you invest in the best you can afford in these categories:

  • Energy-efficient windows and exterior doors. How do you compare products? They come with U-value ratings. The lower the U-value the more energy-efficient the window or door.
  • An energy-efficient HVAC system. These units are rated on the AFUE system (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). Least efficient, 78 AFUE; most efficient, 98.6 AFUE. An energy-efficient unit will increase your comfort and pay for itself in just a few years.
  • Abundant light sources. Logs absorb light, so you’ll need roughly twice the lumens of a conventional home. Plus, wiring is inexpensive and it needs to be installed during construction. Specify low-cost fixtures to keep your budget in line.
  • Oversize garage. With vehicles becoming larger and the need for more storage increasing as well, many buyers are opting for an oversize garage.