1. Everything in your new home does not have to be new. Incorporating lighting, sinks, toilets, mirrors, stained or textured glass and other fixtures from thrift stores like Goodwill or architectural salvage stores like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore can create an interesting aesthetic as well as preserving money for items that must be new.
  2. Explore which alternative energy sources are feasible for the area. Though there may be additional costs initially, harnessing the power of the sun or wind to supplement electricity can save money for years to come.
  3. If the home is situated where a sustainable supply of firewood is available, consider installing an outdoor furnace for heating the home and supplying hot water.
  4. Designate a clean, dry place for storage and tell the contractor not to discard or remove from the jobsite extra or unused logs, trim, siding, flooring and other wood components that could be used in future projects.
  5. Love the look of real hand-hewn logs but can’t justify the extra expense? Just choose the most strategic spots for hand-hewn accents like exposed beams or mantle pieces.
  6. Don’t confine shopping for appliances, lighting, hardware and kitchen and bathroom fixtures to physical stores. Many retailers, large and small, offer hundreds of items online that aren’t inventoried at the local store but can be shipped at no charge to the store for pickup.
  7. Often it’s worth buying a small storage building for the jobsite or renting a storage unit or pod early in the planning/construction process to store items bought on sale that will be used to finish out the house.
  8. If the property has an abundance of native stones and rocks, begin collecting those for use in construction of the chimney, fireplace, accent walls, porch pillars, etc.
  9. If clearing forested land for a home site, identify trees worthy of harvesting for lumber that can be kiln dried and used for construction of cabinetry, trim, custom-made furniture, flooring and other items that add beauty and pay homage to the land itself.
  10. Don’t assume ordering items like cabinetry, specialty iron work, stained glass, etc., is less expensive from big box retailers. Many local craftsmen are competitively priced, flexible with design customizations and provide the advantage of being accessible because of their proximity.


This original article was written by Claudia Johnson and published in Log Cabin Homes Magazine’s July 2018 issue.

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