Getting Started

Fulfilling your log home dream is a journey. It will end with a beautiful, quality building – a legacy that you and your family will enjoy for decades.

Your journey begins with a number of important decisions. Siting, floor plans, and construction styles  are among the preliminary considerations.

A new half log home allows more flexibility in design and interior finish options, requires less maintenance, and provides the authenticity and warmth of full logs. A full log home, on the other hand, creates a more “green” home, close to nature and true to the American pioneering spirit. Hand-crafted logs, a third log option, are full tree sections that are peeled and scribed to fit each other when stacked and  are left round to maintain a traditional appearance.

Surprisingly,  your log home dream need not start from scratch. Virtually any existing building can be turned into the rustic log home of your dreams by using half-logs and other materials to transform it. Retrofitting is an affordable solution for people who dream of owning a log home but love the property they currently own which may be on a lake but are unable to build new because of cost or zoning restrictions.

These decisions need not cause stress. On the contrary, when you work with an experienced builder with a reputation for collaborative customer relationships, the journey itself can be almost as exciting and satisfying as move-in day.

Choosing the right builder

Custom Craft Carpentry Inc. has 33 years of experience fulfilling log home dreams. Whether you’re building a new home from the ground up, seeking maintenance and rehabilitation, or retrofitting an existing structure, we pride ourselves on maintaining cooperative, worry-free relationships with clients. We have built homes from 900 square feet to 20,000 square feet. Your dream is our mission.

Custom Craft encourages your understanding and participation in the design and building processes and helps you implement your dream. We will guide you through decisions such as siting, foundation considerations, structural factors, log types, notching techniques, and even landscaping.

By limiting our work to building only two or three homes a year, we can focus on individual attention and attentively navigate you through the process. This also ensures that we maintain good relationships with our subcontractors, resulting in excellent service during construction, fair prices, and effective maintenance long after the home is complete.


Gary and Karen were enthusiastic, responsive, and great to work with.  Gary’s craftsmanship is outstanding and we couldn’t be happier with the entire experience.

Robert and Shelley Haiges


Siting

Most of our customers come to us with a home site in mind. For those who don’t, we have relationships with a number of real estate agents very familiar with the needs and goals of customers who are building log homes.

In any case, there are many factors to keep in mind when choosing where to build, including zoning, special rules regarding waterfront property, structural factors, and water and sewer needs.

Custom Craft has decades of experience with all of these issues, so tapping our experience with siting is one critical part of getting started.

Onsite meetings

Once a customer has a location in mind, we like to start by meeting the property owner at the site, to simply listen. We love to hear our customers dream out loud, and to get a feel for their vision.

After that, we can sit down and look at specifics like size, floor plans, and building types. Although a number of standard designs are available, we also enjoy working with clients who like to dream. Some of our finest homes started as a customer’s sketch on a napkin!

Free to dream

Once a floor plan is finalized, we can produce cost estimates. It’s at this point customers appreciate our flexibility. For some, we work together to find was to reduce costs. For others, it’s a matter of seeing where their creativity will take them. And often, it’s both.

We’ll gladly work with you to revise your plans until we get it just right. Oftentimes we work with our primary log and timber supplier, Golden Eagle Log & Timber Homes, and their professional design and engineering team to develop a plan that starts with your dream.  Always, we’re with you every step of they way, to help you understand your options, and what each option means in terms of cost and the functionality of your home.

From dream to reality

Once a firm plan is in place, we’ll arrange a firm cost and set a deposit amount – typically 10 percent. Then we get permits, and make arrangement with subcontractors, and your dream will start to take shape.

But your involvement after work begins is as important as ever. We like to have our clients closely involved with the work, to be on site as often as they like, and to ask questions. If issues come up – even if you just change your mind about something – it’s our job to clearly explore the options and how they might affect things, whether it’s cost or the functionality and integrity of the home.

A long-term relationship

One day soon you’ll move in to your beautiful dream home. Nothing’s more satisfying for us than to see a customer’s dream come true! But at that point our relationship is far from over. Even after we have your final sign off, we’ll return to the home after a year to make any necessary adjustments.

We’ve found that when we use a quality kiln dried log package, like the ones supplied by Golden Eagle Timber & Log Homes, there are very few things that may need adjustment.

Nevertheless, if for example, doors need some minor adjustments due to the settling that can occur with  any new home, we’ll be there to carefully inspect and make all necessary adjustments, at no additional cost.

We maintain relationships with most of our customers for many years, and if maintenance issues come up over time, they count us to take care of them with the same dedication and expertise we bring to new construction. In fact, we’re often called on to do maintenance on logs homes built years ago by other log home builders.


“You worked so hard to make our dream come true, and we LOVE our “little house on the prairie.”

Bud and Sara


Let’s go!

If you have a site and drawing on a napkin, or you’re just at the dreaming stage, don’t hesitate to call Karen or Gary at their office 262-534-6280 or contact Gary directly on his cell 414-659-5026. We’re always happy to schedule an appointment or a site visit, or just chat about your vision.

Also, know that you can experience our attention to detail and steadfast focus on quality craftsmanship firsthand by viewing our past projects from the road at any time. To see the insides of homes, naturally, we need to make arrangements with their owners. Just give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you see the homes we’ve have the pleasure build across southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois.

We look forward to talking to you!