|How do we build?
We purchase raw "cabin logs" from loggers working in the woods. We truck the
logs to our prefabrication site located in Grand Marais, Minnesota. There we hand peel the
logs using draw knives, and hand fit the logs into walls, beams, and roof trusses using
handcrafted full scribe methods. All logs retain their natural taper as a tree. We do no
milling of our logs. We are building in the tradition of scribe fit construction, a
construction technique centuries old, using both traditional and modern hand held tools.
Your building will be fully fitted at our log prefabrication yard, then on completion of
the fitting, the logs will be tagged and numbered. The building will be disassembled,
loaded onto trucks, shipped to your building site, and reassembled in one to four days.
Do we general contract?
We are oriented to both log shell construction and general contracting within one hour
travel radius of Grand Marais, Minnesota. Beyond that radius, we tend to be the log shell
subcontractor, and provide a log shell package complete with freight, assembly, and full
detailing services included.
How much does it cost?
There are many variables, including choice of logs, design specifications, complexity of
the building, and the amount of services requested from us. Within these variables, log
shell costs, including a full detailing package, freight, crane, and set up on your
foundation run between $38 and $50 per square foot. Many of our customers choose a very
complete log package from us. Where the owner or general contractor provide the crane and
crew to set up the logs, and also request a more modest detailing package, costs charged
by Senty Handcrafted Log Homes are reduced significantly. Turn key costs, including logs,
foundation, excavation, and all interior and exterior construction through move in time
generally run between $100 and $200 per square foot. We have a lot of experience with
planning and budgeting, and will meet with you to give you a cost idea, based on your
plans or sketches.
How do I get started building a log home?
The process of construction includes first the planning, and then the actual construction.
During the planning, the owner typically meets with us to look at some of our completed
work and discuss plans and costs. If the owner has a sketch, we can review it to its
feasibility and approximate cost during the initial meeting. We go through several stages
of developing initial costs with the customer, so when the final plans are developed, the
cost of the construction will be closely in line with the anticipated budget. After the
budgeting process is initiated, we start drawing the blueprints. The owner, Senty
Handcrafted Log Homes, and the General Contractor are very involved with this process. We
want your new log home to be designed exactly the way you want it. Then, with the
completion of the final blueprints, the work is let out for the final bids, and
construction is ready to go.
What about financing?
Except for availability of other personal funds, financing of the log construction and the
general construction typically goes through a bank. Both the Grand Marais State Bank and
the Cook County State Bank in Grand Marais finance our work in this area. We have other
resources for financing beyond our local resources. During
the planning stage of the construction, you, the owner, will need to arrange for the
financing. The construction phase is typically paid through a "construction
loan", which is similar to a short term secured loan. Once the construction is
completed, and the home is ready for occupancy, then the construction loan is rolled over
mortgage. The mortgage is your long term financing. Some banks will allow the owner to
complete some of the construction, others will not. Banker willingness to take this avenue
depends on a number of variables, including bank policies, your skills, and the time
required for completion.
Can I see any of your completed work?
We have a number of buildings in the Grand Marais, MN and the Cook County area that we
show. These include the owner's residence, two commercial projects within the town of
Grand Marais, along with other private residences near by. In addition, you can "test
drive" a Senty Handcrafted Log Home at one of several resorts for whom we have built
rental units. These include Lutsen
Resort, Cascade Lodge, Bearskin Lodge, and Heston's Lodge.
Do you offer log gables?
It is very possible to build with log gables, using handcrafted scribe fit construction,
and also addressing the shrinkage very effectively. Two methods are available, the first
being full length logs, the second being piece 'en piece (post and fill). For full length
log gables, the roof needs to be a lower pitch, 6/12 or under in my opinion. The roof,
however, needs to be fastened to the purlins and plate log in a manner such that it is
allowed to slip, or change its pitch, with the shrinkage of the gables. The second, piece
'en piece, uses posts to support the purlins and roof structure. In this method there is
no shrinkage of the roof. The spaces between the posts are filled with scribe fit
horizontal logs. Spring tensioned fasteners are used to keep pressure on the horizontal
logs, so they stay tight. The settling gap of the horizontal
logs is treated with a frieze board detail at the top, where the soffit meets the gable
logs. I have work completed using both methods.
Do you use green logs or dry logs?
Both, depending on the budget and preference of the owner. For years we have built with
both dry and green logs. In those years, green logs offered us close to, but not quite
absolute perfection. Dry logs were better than green at that time. Over the years, we have
tweaked our green log fitting systems, until we were able to offer a construction system
that offers tight wood on wood joinery, after drying and settling is completed, using
green logs. We still offer both green and dry logs, but our green log construction has the
joint quality of dry log construction after drying and settling is completed. We have
fully settled log homes to show you, many of them over 5 years old and heated all the
time. This is the absolute proof of any claim I can make, performance that you can view
Your next move . . .