The Oak Leaf - May 2018

By Lynn Gastineau
President of Gastineau Log Homes, Inc.

Welcome to the May 2018 issue of The Oak Leaf! For new readers, this is a monthly newsletter that is sent by e-mail to those that have expressed an interest in Gastineau Log Homes. We use this as a way of communicating technical, design and industry information. For more information, check out our web site at

Please "Like" Gastineau Log Homes on Facebook! There are LOTS of photographs of our homes in the Photo section!

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The view from the loft through the front custom glass is spectacular. The black iron railing, black plates for the trusses and intricate light fixtures all combine into a cohesive presentation sure to astound all visitors.

Price Increase May 15th: Although I hate to start our newsletter with information about a price increase, we feel an obligation to let you know. (In case you did not receive the email we sent out two weeks ago.) If you want to build in the next three years, call our office to find out how you can lock in todays prices.

This Month: Should you build a new home or should you buy an existing home?: This is probably the first decision you should make in your journey toward a different home. To help you, we will compare the pros and cons of both options below.

Trivia Question: In honor of the spring flowers: Which kind of bulbs were once exchanged as a form of currency? (See the answer at the end of the newsletter.)

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The view down into the living room from the loft. The light fixtures were rescued out of an old church,

You can purchase property in your ideal location or build on land you already own. Then you can place your home on the property exactly where you want it. BUY: You are limited to existing real estate inventory. Finding the house you want on land you like in a location you prefer can be a challenge.

CUSTOMIZATION: BUILD: A new custom home is completely customizable for your style, floorplan, amenities, finishes and more. You can select from customizable floorplans or create one of your own. You can build your new home to fit your needs and how your family lives. BUY: The style, floor plan and features are set and the finishes may be getting outdated. Many homes require a lot of remodeling to make them fit your family, which can mean significant cost.

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View from the foyer looking up to the loft area. The double sided rock fireplace is the centerpiece of the home.

TIMELINE: BUILD: A new custom home typically takes 8 to 12 months. There can be delays during construction due to weather. It can take time to find the right land, builder or permitting. BUY: Choosing a home from existing inventory can be quick or it can take up to a year. Depends on the local market and what you are looking for in your new home.

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The Master Suite has a private porch area that connects to the rear deck. The balcony above is for one of the two bedrooms suites on the second floor.

COST OF OWNERSHIP: BUILD: When evaluating the price of a new home. consider what you will spend each year on utilities and upkeep. Generally, new homes have a lower cost of ownership over time, since all materials and appliances are new and utility bills are lower. Also consider what the resell value will be in 10 or 20 years when you will be selling your home. A home that is "older" now will have a much lower value at that time. BUY: It is not uncommon for the purchase price of a pre-owned home to be lower than a new home. But you may end up spending more on the older home over time. New HVAC systems, repairs to plumbing and electrical, even foundation issues can be very expensive items that must be included in your evaluation of the true cost.

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These custom metal brackets conceal the settling space jacks and match the other ironwork in the home.

DURABILITY OR LONGEVITY: BUILD: A new home is built to last, especially a log home! Using the latest construction materials and techniques, a new home will provide you with a safe, efficient home for many years. BUY: A pre-built home may be constructed of lower quality materials plus may have developed problems over the years such as termites and foundation issues. Since you were not involved in the construction, you have less insight into the quality of the home.

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The Oak girder beams were stained black to provide contrast to the Oak beams and Pine decking.

UTILITY COSTS: BUILD: Energy bills are typically lower in a new home, especially with todays code requirements. Plus, better insulation and new building techniques and materials minimize heating and cooling costs. BUY: Energy bills tend to be higher in an older home, since features such as HVAC equipment, windows, and insulation are older and less energy-efficient.

Turkey hunt Sand Spring Lodge 2

Sand Spring Lodge is a 40 year old Gastineau Log Home that has been remodeled into a hunting retreat for Wounded Warriors. This home has been lovingly restored with features such as handicap bathrooms to accommodate any wounded warrior.

FINANCING: BUILD: When you build a home, you may be able to gain some "sweat equity" by doing some of the work yourself. You can choose to do simple projects like painting and exterior landscaping, allowing you to save money. Or some people choose to build the entire home themselves, greatly reducing the total cost. BUY: For most pre-built homes, lenders will require 20% down as a minimum and you do not have the opportunity to save money by doing work yourself.

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The carport/patio/entertaining area is built with timber frame trusses and stamped concrete floor to look like wood planks.

LANDSCAPING: BUILD: A new home allows you the ability to choose your landscaping based on your preference for appearance, maintenance requirements and amount of water needed. BUY: Many homes include well established trees, bushes or perennials. Of course, you may have to do landscaping work to keep them healthy and to make it fit your style.

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The rear of the home has a wrap around deck, large rear porch and entrance into the finished basement.

INSURANCE: BUILD: Homeowners insurance is typically lower for new homes since they generally have fewer problems than older homes. In addition, everything is built in accordance with the current codes, which also helps to keep rates lower. BUY: The age and condition of an older home can affect the premiums required for insurance.

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Don't you love this light fixtures? Such a contrast to the heavy metal accents throughout the home. Beautiful!

COMFORT: BUILD: New, more advanced building materials and techniques ensure a higher level of comfort in a newly built home. BUY: Drafts, temperature imbalances and poor energy efficiency is common in older homes as well as windows and doors that are not energy efficient. Older insulation does not perform the same as it did when it was new, especially fiberglass which is found in many prebuilt homes.

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The porch posts were painted black for contrast to the rock and concrete.

YOUR DECISION:... is personal and what is best for your family. The process of finding land and building a custom home may seem daunting but in the end, the result is satisfying and rewarding for you and your family.

Home Shows:
None of the agenda until Fall 2018.

Construction Seminar Schedule for 2018:

September 15, 2018

Click here for information on our one day construction seminars.

Open Houses:

Remember that the GLH Model Home Center on I 70 in central MO is open seven days a week now! We are open 9 - 5 Monday to Saturday and 12 to 5 on Sunday. We have three houses there that you can tour!

Answer to Trivia Question: Tulips.

Quote of the Month: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit" - Aristotle

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