Log Home Living® Magazines 25 questions, ANSWERED
The Log Home Living® Magazine has published a list of 25 questions they feel that any serious log home shopper should ask of all companies they are considering. Actually, there are over 112 very important questions in the Log Home Living® questionnaire! Since we agree with the magazine's concept that knowing all there is to know about the product and the people you may be dealing with, we are happy to provide you with Ward Cedar Log Homes answers to Log Home Living's® 25 (112) questions.
#1: Are you satisfied that you are dealing with "good people"?
Ward's reputation in the log home industry for high quality materials and service is second to none! Ward realized many years ago that a satisfied customer is worth more than any amount of advertising. Ward works closely with its customers through every phase of the process to insure there are no surprises or problems. You will become a good friend with your Sales Representative, Casto Cedar Log Homes!
A. How long have they been in business?
Ward is the oldest log home manufacturer. Ward started the pre-cut, pre-packaged log home industry in 1923. Over 80 years of experience will help make your home a place of peace, joy and happiness.
B. Do they belong to a trade association?
Ward is a member of the National Association of Home Builders and a charter member of the Log Homes Council. In fact, members of Ward's staff are former officers of this important consumer oriented trade association.
C. Have you checked them with the Better Business Bureau?
We suggest you do check with your Better Business Bureau for both the log home manufacturer and the local sales representative and/or builder of any companies you are considering. In over 80 years in business, we do not have any complaints registered with any Better Business Bureau!
D. Have you spoken with at least six of their former customers?
Casto Cedar Log Homes would be more than happy to provide you with a list of happy Ward homeowners to contact.
#2: Do you fully understand the terms of the purchase contract?
Ward's Purchase Agreement covers all aspects of your log home purchase clearly and in simple language. We have spent over 80 years perfecting our Purchase Agreement to make sure it considers the needs of both the customer and the company. Casto Cedar Log Homes would be happy to provide a sample Purchase Agreement for your review.
A. Are all verbal promises and commitments made to you written into the contract?
All conditions of the sale are clearly stated in the Purchase Agreement. If you require any special considerations, a special "rider" or "contingency" can be drafted and attached to the agreement.
B. Is every item and service you are paying for listed in the contract or the referenced attachments?
Ward's Purchase Agreement is probably the most clear and detailed in the industry. It plainly states every material and service you will receive. It is so exact, it is often used as a materials list for comparison shopping!
C & D. Is the price listed on the contract the full price you expect to pay? What is the schedule of payments?
Both the agreed upon price and a detailed schedule of payments are clearly included in every Purchase Agreement. No surprises, guaranteed!
E. What are the conditions, if any, that allow for cancellation of the contract?
Conditions of cancellation are covered in your Purchase Agreement. In addition, Riders or contingencies can be added to cover your special concerns. Our philosophy is, if you must cancel for any reason, we want to handle it in a way that will cause you to want to continue to work with Ward towards realization of your new home and be able to recommend Ward and Casto Cedar Log Homes to others.
F. What are the conditions, if any, that allow for the return of all or a portion of your deposit upon cancellation?
Our agreements allow for the return of initial investments upon cancellation, less the cost of engineering that may have been done on your behalf. Since Ward provides more free engineering service than most companies, it is also possible for this charge to be avoided. Casto Cedar Log Homes, will cover all of these details with you.
G. How do these terms compare with those of competitors?
You may want a sample Ward Purchase Agreement to help you do your comparison shopping. We are certain that the more you compare and learn, the more likely you are to become a Ward log home owner.
#3: Do you know what is included in the package?
Ward is the industry leader in "educating" the customer in this regard. We firmly believe the more you know about our material and services, the more likely you are to buy from Ward. This process begins right in our brochure. We are proud of our completeness, quality and flexibility.
A. Ask for a complete bill of materials listing all the materials and services that you are buying.
A complete list of materials and specifications is provided in our brochure and in our Purchase Agreements. In both instances, it is the most complete and detailed in the industry.
B. Ask for a second list of materials showing those materials that are needed to complete the home but are not included in the package.
The materials and specifications list in our brochure also clearly lists all materials which must be supplied by the customer or the builder. Casto Cedar Log Homes can also provide you with these materials and services to make your home a "turnkey" job where you simply bring your furniture and clothes, and move in.
C. Compare the two lists to understand exactly what you are buying and what additional materials you will need to buy.
Casto Cedar Log Homes is trained to help you do this job. Ward offers complete package flexibility, so each can be adjusted to meet your needs and expectations.
#4: Do you know the quality of the components being supplied?
Quality materials are the way of life at Ward Cedar Log Homes. As America's oldest manufacturer of log homes, the quality lesson was learned early on. Today you can look at Ward homes over 80 years old where the quality of the construction and materials still shine through. High quality components add expected value to your Ward log home.
A. Are components- windows, door, caulking, wood preservatives, roof shingles, etc.- nationally recognized brand names or of equivalent quality?
Andersen windows, Owens-Corning shingles, Sashco Conceal caulking, Schlage hardware and Morgan doors are a few of the nationally recognized brand name materials normally provided by Ward. If you would like us to use a different name brand component in any area of your home, just let us know. The log home package can be custom designed to fit your needs, not ours.
B. What is the quality or grade of these components?
The high quality and grade of all components are clearly indicated in our materials and specifications in both our brochure and purchase agreements. With every item, product quality, maintenance requirements and company service has been considered. We want your log home to provide you with many years of trouble-free service... value you can count on.
C. Can you specify different brand-name components with higher or lower quality or costs?
We can custom design your package to fit your requirements. Casto Cedar Log Homes can offer you many options that you may not have considered, such as wood finishes and different log wall fasteners.
D. Does the producer have an in-plant quality control procedures manual available for consumer review?
All you need to do is visit a Ward Cedar Log Home to see the quality! Look at several! The quality control measures used in the production of components have been checked and rechecked before being delivered to you. Upon delivery, you have the final say as to whether the quality meets your expectations. If it is not right, we make it right!
#5: Do you know if the logs are completely pre-cut, or linear footage?
Ward takes great pride in our ability to precisely pre-cut our logs and other materials in our factory in Maine and have them assembled beautifully all around the country, by the average “do-it-yourselfer”! Ward does not stop at simply pre-cutting logs. We also pre-cut many other materials to help with speedy, accurate erection of your home, such as window and door rough bucks, interior and exterior window and door trim, gable logs, ceiling joists hangers, ceiling beams, purlins and roof beams and even log stairs and railings. All of this means a higher degree of accuracy and less dependency on the builder’s ability. Also, it costs less in “on-site” labor and time.
A. Do you understand exactly what the cutting of the logs, if any, will be needed on the job site?
No log cutting is required on-site in the normal Ward log home package. Ward’s unique tongue and groove configuration and dadoed end cuts are completely pre-cut. The logs for many models can be erected by a 3-person crew in less than a week!
B. Are any holes pre-drilled for spikes/bolts or electrical wiring?
Since Ward uses only Northern White Cedar logs, which is a porous softwood, and utilizes a specially hardened thin-wired spike, pre-drilling is not required. Any bolts used in our buildings must have the pilot holes drilled on the job. Drilling for electrical wiring is also done on the job to local code requirements. Drilling the logs for either reason is clearly covered in Ward’s detailed Construction Instruction Manual.
#6: Do you know what species of wood will be supplied?
Only the heartwood of Northern White Cedar (Thuja Occidentalis L.) is the wood used exclusively in Ward Cedar Log Homes wall systems. Cedar is also provided in many other areas of the building, such as; door and window rough bucks and trim, tongue and groove paneling and ceilings, posts and railings. White Cedar is an extra cost option with most companies. It is Ward’s only species offered. Log Home Living Magazine states… “Highly resistant to decay”…”A finer grade of wood”.
A. Why does the producer recommend this species?
Northern White Cedar has several characteristics which make it the best wood species to use for log home construction. These include:
Cedar’s characteristics are widely known- in fact, one of the three model building codes in our country, allows the use of cedar anywhere it may require the use of pressure treated lumber!
B. What other species are available?
Ward believes so firmly in cedar, it is the only wood species we offer. The heartwood is used exclusively for our wall logs.
C. What is the cost difference for other species?
If you talk to our competitors, who usually sell the local type of pine in their package and offer cedar as an option; they will tell you why they charge more for cedar. Ward’s package prices are competitive with theirs, if you compare accurately. You can have the quality and durability of cedar from Ward and still have it price comparable to other lower cost woods.
D. What are the characteristics- decay resistance, shrinkage, etc.- of each species?
Do not just take our word about all the reasons to use cedar. Do some research for yourself. Look at cedar and pine log homes that are three to five years old. Talk to owners about each. Visit the library and study the wood technology books. You’ll decide on the value of cedar for your log home too!
#7: Do you know if the logs will be green, air dried, kiln dried or standing dead?
The dryness issue is a very important consideration in selecting your log home supplier. It is important to understand that the issue is the moisture content and not the method of drying or the amount of time dried. Many people feel that the slower, more natural process of air drying is better than kiln drying which tends to create more stress (cracking and warping) in the wood. Again, the important issue is moisture content, not method or amount of time.
A. What will be the moisture content of logs on delivery?
Ward’s cedar logs are slowly air dried to an average moisture content of 15% to 20%, in the center of the log.
B. Will the moisture content be verified by a moisture meter reading immediately prior to delivery?
Ward’s logs are constantly monitored for moisture content throughout the sawing, drying, planing and pre-cutting process.
C. Do you understand how the moisture content of logs affects shrinkage and settling in a wall log?
Moisture content, wood species and log joinery systems are all important factors which affect the amount of shrinkage and settlement a homeowner will deal with. Visit 3 to 5 year old log homes to see how the total system reacts to this process. You will see for yourself how dry cedar logs produce the tightest log homes.
D. What provisions have been made to accommodate this shrinkage, if any, in your log home package?
Using dry cedar is the major factor Ward uses to control shrinkage and settlement. Ward also uses several vertical wood posts (wood doesn’t shrink much lengthwise) against the logs, along with the vertical jambs of rough bucks, to attach the logs to. This minimizes any downward movement in the walls. As a safety margin, all rough openings for doors and windows also have an airspace above them to allow for minor settlement.
E. Does the producer offer kiln drying as an option?
Ward does not offer kiln drying as an option for wall logs. It would typically take over a month in a kiln to dry most softwoods in 6x6 or 6x8 form from green (35%) down to dry (15% to 20%).
#8: Do you know if the logs will be treated with a preservative before delivery?
Ward’s wall logs are naturally insect and moisture resistant, so treatment with harsh chemicals is not necessary.
A. What preservative will be used on your logs?
B. What protection is this treatment intended to provide?
Since Ward uses cedar, the customer then has the option of either doing nothing to his building, in which it will gradually turn to a lovely silver patina that you see on many cedar sided homes or a finish can be applied to achieve a particular color desired.
C. Is this preservative registered with the EPA?
D. What action will producer take in case its logs are affected by mildew, blue stain or insects?
Since Ward supplies cedar logs, they will not be affected by mildew or blue stain. These are primarily problems associated with pine and spruce logs. Cedar is naturally one of the most insect resistant woods there is. It is not, however, insect proof. If it is normal in your area to treat for termites or other pests, we also recommend that you do so with a cedar log building, since there are many components within the building that are not cedar. Other than the occasional carpenter ant or bee, both of which are easily overcome, Ward has never heard of any insect problems in over 80 years!
#9: Do you know if the logs will be pressure treated against rot and decay before delivery?
Since Ward only supplies the heartwood of cedar logs, pressure treatment is not required. Remember, cedar is preferred in place of pressure treated lumber in many areas. Recent health concerns make this an important point.
A. Does the producer offer pressure treating as an option?
Pressure treated framing lumber is offered as framing for porch or deck floor systems. It is not offered or required for cedar log walls.
B. Are you familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of pressure treating?
Do your homework!
#10: Will the producer give you an itemized cost of the package?
Ward will provide you with the costs of several items if you wish. This will allow you to comparison shop locally for generally available items. Ward specializes in providing the most complete package available, of the highest quality components available. Many of the cedar components offered can not be purchased locally. Remember, you’re the customer! We are here to provide you exactly what you want in your log home!
A. Can you get costs for individual components, such as windows, doors, roof system, floor system, interior partitions, etc.?
Individual item pricing can be provided upon request.
B. Do you have a specific list of things for which you will be charged extra, such as delivery, design changes, blueprint costs, etc.?
There are no hidden costs when dealing with Ward. Any charges are clearly presented to you before a Purchase Agreement is completed.
#11: Have you obtained competitive bids on the package?
Ward encourages you to do accurate competitive shopping. Being accurate in your comparison is not as easy as it sounds. Almost every company uses terms such as “shell package”, “starter package”, or “complete package”; but they mean different things to each company. If you have attended a Log Home Living Seminar, included in your workbook is an 11 page “Cost Estimating Worksheet”. Ward recommends you use a form like this to do your comparisons on. This form will help you to organize materials, labor and services for your home, into logical groups for easy comparison. Ward also can help you with this process by providing you with a copy of a “Shopper’s Guide” we have prepared. Casto Cedar Log Homes can also help you with your comparison. We firmly believe that when you compare the completed cost of your log home accurately, you will choose the value and quality of a Ward Cedar Log Home.
A. Ask one or two competing companies that produce very similar log systems to give competitive bids on your floor plan or actual blueprint and materials list.
Ward will provide you with a price estimate and if necessary, a floor plan, loft plan and a detailed package price quotation at No charge! Please remember when you compare, that the log and roof systems should be fairly similar to compare accurately. You can not compare a log purlin roof sytem to trusses or rafters, etc. You can not compare a milled D-shaped log to an 18” hand-peeled system, etc.
B. Ask for suggestions or changes that may result in cost savings.
Casto Cedar Log Homes is happy to offer suggestions that may save you money with your log home package or design. Ward also has an engineering department on staff, at your disposal.
#12: Has the producer or builder provided a fairly close cost estimate for the completed home so you have a good understanding of what your log home will cost when it is completed?
Casto Cedar Log Homes is trained to help you determine the final completed cost of your home. Casto Cedar Log Homes is a full service log home representative of Ward Cedar Log Homes and we are happy to provide you completed cost figures for your log home. It is our job to make your home buying process as easy as possible for you!
#13: Do you understand the cost and conditions of delivery?
Ward takes great pride in the fact that it has never missed a delivery date in its over 80 year history. The trucking company quotes very competitive prices, usually well below the rates of other log home companies and always below common carrier rates.
A. Will the logs be delivered by common carrier or company-owned truck? Will the driver help unload?
All Ward log homes are shipped by a private trucking company. The driver is not allowed to help with the unloading of materials unless they have a truck equipped with a crane.
B. What will you be charged per mile?
Normal rates range from $1.45 to $2.00 per mile, one way. Casto Cedar Log Homes can provide you with exact figures for your package to your destination.
C. Have you agreed on the exact number of miles between the plan and your building site?
The trucking company uses an up-to-date computer program to quote accurate mileage via the shortest route to your building site.
D. Has someone inspected the route for bridge heights, weight limits, etc. to make sure that the truck can get to your building site?
Casto Cedar Log Homes will help to determine if there are any special considerations or possible problems in getting large tractor-trailers to your site. Ward log home packages have been airlifted, barged, rafted, ferried and even driven across frozedn lakes.
E. How much advance notice will you receive of the truck’s arrival?
Usually delivery is within 30 to 90 days from date of order. We will work together to schedule a date that is good for both you and Ward.
F. How much time will you have to unload the logs? Will there be an hourly charge for excess unloading time?
Casto Cedar Log Homes and the customer typically meet the truck at 6:00 AM on the morning of delivery. With a crew of 2 people, the trucks can easily be unloaded within 2 hours. Casto Cedar Log Homes is experienced and trained at efficient unloading and inventorying of Ward’s materials. We will guide you toward making the day a total success.
G. What kind of equipment will be needed to unlaod the logs?
The entire Ward materials package can be completely unloaded by a crane or rough-terrain forklift. Deliveries within 700 miles of Houlton, Maine will included a crane on the truck.
H. Will the truck be loaded so that the first logs off will be the last logs needed for the home?
Most complete Ward log home packages require two truckloads to deliever. The first load will contain all of the components needed on the site until the arrival of the second load. Within each load, materials are carefully packed and nested to prevent damage during transit and to best utilize space. Each group of components is clearly labeled for easy identification.
I. Will there be an extra charge to ship logs covered with a tarpaulin to keep them free of road dirt?
All Ward packages are delivered on flatbed trailers and tarped during winter months or if the site is more than 1 day’s drive, in order to keep your valuable materials spotless during transit. We realize that dirty materials cost money and time to clean.
#14. Will the logs you purchase be graded?
Ward created many of the industry standards used for log grading today. Ward has been actively grading our logs, beams and timbers for decades.
A. Are you familiar with the industry’s log-grading standards program?
There are basically two types of grading within the log home industry today:
1. Independent third party grading- Where an agency is hired by the manufacturer to train “in-plant employees” of the manufacturer to grade logs and then inspect the finished products of the manufacturer to certify that grades are being met. There are two recognized grading agencies within the industry. These are the Log Homes Council and Timber Products Inspection. Both agencies are recognized equally by major model building codes.
2. In house, company grading- where the manufacturer decides on its own standards and claims to meet those standards, without any other industry comparisons.
B. Will the grading be done by an independent third-party grading agency or an in-house grading program?
Ward uses the independent third-party grading system for all wall logs and structural beams and timbers. Grading by Timber Products Inspection assures you that all components meet the structural requirements of your local building code.
C. Do you understand how the logs will be grade marked and what protection the grading program provides?
At Ward, each log, beam and timber is graded by certified graders to assure you that all structural requirements are met. A grade certificate is issued by the company for each building to demonstrate this procedure has been followed. If a question arises in the field about the grade of materials, you may ask the third party inspector to do a field inspection of the materials in question.
#15: Will the home meet local building codes?
The ability of a manufacturer to meet your local building codes is a very important issue. Ward Cedar Log Homes is a member of the International Code Council (ICC). Ward’s homes are designed to meet criteria based on the International Residential Code (IRC). Casto Cedar Log Homes is also familiar with your local codes and can help to advise of any considerations to meet local codes.
A. & B. Does the producer or builder guarantee that the home design will meet or exceed the energy or building code requirements where you intend to build? Will the producer or builder obtain this approval?
It is ultimately the responsibility of the purchaser to obtain building code approval in the form of a building permit being issued. As a purchaser, you may pass this obligation on to your builder, if he is agreeable. Ward and Casto Cedar Log Homes will work with you to make certain all building and energy codes are complied with and permits issued.
C. Are the plans approved (stamped) by a professional engineer or architect?
Ward log home plans are not stamped by a professional engineer or architect. If your state or local building department specifically require the plans to be stamped, either Ward or Casto Cedar Log Homes can assist you in locating this service.
#16: Do you understand the producer’s warranty program?
A warranty is a piece of paper! Keeping happy, satisfied customers is a philosophy. At Ward, everything reasonable is done to make certain you are content with your purchase. Over 80 years of service to our valued customers has taught us well.
A. What exactly is warranted?
Ward’s own warranty covers all of its log components against structural defects for 20 years. We also warranty that all items manufactured by Ward are free from defects in workmanship or design.
B. How exactly is the warranty honored?
Should a warranty claim be made by the customer, Ward will have either Casto Cedar Log Homes or company personnel inspect the concern and work with the customer towards a satisfactory resolution. We understand that your recommendation to others about Ward is the best form of advertising available.
C. & D. Does the producer’s warranty include windows and doors? How will the producer help if warranty assistance is needed from a component supplier?
Andersen, Schlage, Owens-Corning, Sashco, Morgan, Sikkens and Continental Finishes all extend their individual product warranties to you as a Ward customer. Ward has had long term relationships with all of these quality oriented suppliers and insists that each look after any warranty claims promptly and fairly. Ward will assist you in any claims with these companies.
E. What does the warranty cover in the event of insect infestation?
In over 80 years of working with cedar log homes, Ward has never had an insect infestation problem or claim! An occasional displaced carpenter ant or carpenter bee has caused a few phone calls, but with Ward’s advice, either pest has been promptly eliminated. However, even cedar log homes are not insect proof! If soil treatments and other measures are normally required in your area to protect homes, these measures should also be done to protect your Ward log home. Casto Cedar Log Homes will also be able to advise you of local practice concerning insects.
#17: Does the producer have a construction manual?
Ward has the most complete Construction Instruction Manual in the industry. This book is nearly 100 pages and covers all aspects of the erection pf the package. Ward’s building plans and Construction Manual, coupled with the extensive pre-cutting of materials in the package, make the Ward log home the easiest to build. All of the Construction documents are written with the average “do-it-yourselfer” in mind. Clear drawings and instructions also cover topics like: foundations, plumbing, electrical and kitchen layouts to help you do it right. Casto Cedar Log Homes and the home office staff are always available should you have any special construction concerns.
A. Have you or your builder read this manual to determine how helpful it will be?
We certainly urge all potential customers and/or their builders to read Ward’s Construction Manual prior to purchasing any home. It will educate the reader about the completeness of the Ward log home package and the ease of building. It will cause you to ask many probing questions of any other suppliers you may be considering. You can borrow a copy to read from either Ward or Casto Cedar Log Homes.
B. Is there a cost for the manual?
When you purchase your Ward home package, the manual is included. The Construction Instruction Manual may also be purchased outright at a cost of $25.
#18: Does the producer have a construction video?
Due to the completeness of Ward’s Construction Instruction Manual, a construction video is not necessary or available.
A. Have you or your builder reviewed the construction video to see how helpful it is?
Does not apply.
B. Does the producer provide construction seminars?
Casto Cedar Log Homes will conduct your own personal construction seminar as the need arises. Casto Cedar Log Homes is trained at the factory to help you and your builder with all phases of construction of the Ward package.
C. Is there a cost for any of this?
There is never an extra charge for assistance or guidance from Ward or Casto Cedar Log Homes.
#19. Does the producer provide on-site technical assistance?
On-site technical assistance is an important part of Ward’s construction service program. Casto Cedar Log Homes will provide you and your builder with unlimited technical assistance.
A. Do you understand completely how much help you will actually receive?
Many manufacturers quanify exactly how many free hours of on-site technical assistance you will receive. Most seem to make their representative available for 4 hours, after the package is unloaded. This time is usually used up taking inventory. Additional time may be charged to you. At Ward, we use a different approach. Casto Cedar Log Homes is factory trained to guide you and your crew through the unloading process. Casto Cedar Log Homes is also required by Ward to submit 6 service reports during the construction of your log home. Each report requires Casto Cedar Log Homes to inspect the progress of construction, take photos, necessary measurements, and report to Ward your progress. Casto Cedar Log Homes acts as a source of constant communication between the company, the builder and the home owner. Their goal is the same as yours- to make sure your new Ward cedar log home is constructed properly so you will be a satisfied homeowner. There is never a time limit on Ward’s technical assistance.
B. Is the technical assistance specifically included as part of the contract you are signing?
The on-site technical assistance policies outlined above are not part of your Sales Agreement with Ward. These policies are, however, a very detailed part of Casto Cedar Log Homes contractual agreement with Ward. If Casto Cedar Log Homes does not perform the intended on-site inspections, provide the technical assistance, or file the required reports about your job, Ward maintains the right to appoint another Sales Representative for you who will.
C. What are the qualifications or number of years experience of the people who will provide technical assistance? Have you talked with them?
Casto Cedar Log Homes has been in the log home business for almost 30 years. Casto Cedar Log Homes are factory trained to provide you with assistance you need and you have access to the home office support staff. Most have built several Ward homes and understand the process thoroughly. Discussing technical issues with Casto Cedar Log Homes is one of the best ways for you to evaluate our level of expertise.
D. What exactly will they do on the job site?
Short of doing the physical labor to build your log home (we can, if you want us to), Casto Cedar Log Homes will provide you with unlimited on-site technical assistance. This includes, but is not limited to, all of the above mentioned. Again- Ward’s goal, Casto Cedar Log Homes goal and your goals are the same! We will do everything possible to make your project a success!
#20: Do you understand the technical aspects of the producer’s building system?
Ward has developed and improved our systems over our 80 year history. Ward has been the first in the industry to offer many features which have since become standards to compare! Dry, pre-cut, T&G cedar logs, pre-cut dadoed end joints, pre-cut purlin beams, pre-cut gables, gambrel style roofs, pre-assembled truss roofs, complete materials packages, catwalks and porch lofts are but a few systems pioneered by Ward. Casto Cedar Log Homes will be happy to show you how beautifully all of these systems work together to make your Ward log home the best available.
A. Has someone explained in layman’s terms how the joinery system is designed to work?
Casto Cedar Log Homes will be happy to show you how and why our Comfort System 5 and Traditional Comfort System methods of construction are both unique to the industry. All Ward logs are dried, milled and dadoed on the ends to create the tightest log home in the industry.
B. Are you satisfied that the system is equal to or better than other systems you have inspected?
Just a few minutes with Casto Cedar Log Homes will teach you the finer points of log home joinery. Casto Cedar Log Homes has log samples and corner sections of logs to show you exactly how a system should work. We also urge you- challenge you- to compare! Look at Ward log homes in your area that are 3 years or more old, then look at the competition. Look at the results of how each system has worked together. Notice how little settling, warping, twisting and checking has occurred in the Ward log home, compared to our competitors. Talk to homeowners. Compare the low maintenance of Ward’s cedar logs to anyone else’s. You will discover the real value of a Ward cedar log home.
C. What provisions have been made to prevent air and water infiltration?
Dry cedar logs and the precise milling of a special tongue and groove on the top and bottom of the logs are the foundation of Ward’s system. Ward’s unique dado system provides for a tight half-lapped end joint for all logs. Dadoed end joints are also used at all door, window and corner connections. A self adhesive foam gasket is applied to all tongues and end joints during construction. After erection, a second foam gasket is applied to all joints as a sealant and backing material for the ultimate seal… Sashco’s Conceal caulking compound. Look at a 10 year old Ward log home! You will not find a tighter log home, period!
D. What provisions have been made for controlling checking?
Checking in a white cedar log is very minimal. The porous nature of cedar allows it to dry without the ill effects of the process. Again, we urge you to look at Ward and competitor’s log homes that are 5 to 10 years old. All of the drying and checking that will occur is completed by this time. Compare the extreme lack of checking of Ward’s dry cedar logs to the pine logs of most other manufacturers. You will see a big difference! Notice too, how Ward uses only the heartwood for wall logs. If you stand outside of the building and look at the criss-crossing logs at the corner, you will see the heart in every log. With any species, the heartwood is the most stable and resistive to decay. The heart also is a natural checking control feature. When checks do occur, they always stop at the heart. Most pine log home manufacturers can not guarantee a heart in every log, therefore, cracks may develop clear through the log. Compare closely!
E. What provisions have been made for shrinkage and settling?
Ward’s concern for settling and shrinkage begins long before construction ever starts. The exclusive use of cedar logs because of its known dimensional stability, is the initial ingredient. Careful slow air-drying of the logs to an average moisture content, in the center of the log, 15% to 20% insures a stable wall. In addition to these basic concepts, Ward also uses additional methods to control movement. Throughout the building, vertical posts are used to bolt to the log rows and minimize downward log movement. Every interior partition has a 4x4 post against the log wall, bolted solidly, to prevent settling. Every vertical jamb is fastened to each log row to prevent downward log movement. With a Ward home, log movement is kept to an absolute minimum. As a final pre-caution, a 1” air space is built into all door and window openings to allow for any minor settlement that may occur. Dry white cedar logs is the real answer. Once again, we urge you to look carfully at older homes to see the results of how these issues are handled by all manufacturers you are considering. When green pine logs are used, it is not uncommon to plan for 2” to 3” of settlement in log walls!
F. Does the system appear to be easier or more complex to build than other systems?
Ward’s Comfort System 5 has evolved over 80 years of experience. Many other manufacturers use a few of Ward’s techniques, but none use all of the ingredients necessary to duplicate “the system”. Building a Ward wall system is a joy to do for either the experienced builder or the do-it-yourselfer. Completely pre-cut, precision milled wall and gable logs go together quickly to save construction time and money.
#21: Does the producer offer any financing assistance?
Ward realized many years ago, that in order to sell log homes, it is necessary to provide financial assistance to potential customers. It is our goal to make the whole process, from planning to move-in, as easy as possible for you.
A. Does the producer or builder provide assistance in obtaining construction and permanent financing?
Casto Cedar Log Homes has received extensive training to help you obtain financing for your log home. Casto Cedar Log Homes is familiar with the lenders in your area and can save you much time shopping. We know the lender’s requirements to qualify for both construction loans and final mortgages and can help you qualify.
B. Does the producer offer its own financial assistance program?
Ward, as a manufacturer of log homes, does not offer to finance homes for you. It, will, however, either directly or through Casto Cedar Log Homes provide assistance in obtaining local financing.
#22: Does the producer offer any custom-design service?
One thing Ward has learned over the years is that log home buyers each have very definite ideas of what they want in their log home! Most of the homes Ward sells are custom designed for each family… Ward’s materials packages can also be custom designed to fit your needs.
A. What are the qualifications of the design staff?
The custom process usually starts with Casto Cedar Log Homes. Greg Casto is trained by Ward to look over your design and address any major structural or local code issues before your drawing is sent to Ward. A “Request for Estimate” form should be completed and submitted along with your drawings for a free package estimate. Ward has an engineering staff to aid you and Casto Cedar Log Homes in the designing of your new log home. In addition, state-of-the-art computer aided drafting are used to design and draw your home.
B. What are the costs for custom designs?
Custom designs are expected at Ward. The ideas for your home can come from any source. You may want to only slightly modify a standard Ward design or design your home completely from scratch. It doesn’t matter. There is no extra charge for custom designs at Ward Cedar Log Homes.
#23: Will your producer contract to build the shell or completely build the entire home?
Although Ward Cedar Log Homes does not erect the home packages it manufactures, Casto Cedar Log Homes can professionally build your log home or find a local builder that can erect it for you. It is our common goal to make it easy for you!
#24: Do you know what dealer assistance you will receive?
Dealer assistance or “service” is the buzz-word of all sales organizations in the 2000’s. At Ward, however, service has been a way of life for over 80 years. Both Casto Cedar Log Homes and the factory support staff are always available to you to make your log home project a pleasurable experience.
A. Does your local dealer have a model home?
Casto Cedar Log Homes will be building a model home at the start of 2008. They do have models nearby, which are also available for you to visit.
B. Is the local dealer a licensed contractor?
Casto Cedar Log Homes operates a separate building/contracting business.
C. Will the dealer assist with obtaining financing, code approvals, finding local subcontractors, etc?
Casto Cedar Log Homes will certainly help you with all aspects of purchasing and building your home.
#25: Do you understand the dealership opportunities?
A. Is the producer looking for new dealers and offering any incentives, such as discounts, to induce you to become a dealer?
B. Do you fully understand the terms of the dealer agreement?
C. Have you compared the dealership offer to those of other companies?
D. Ask for a list of all dealers in your state or area, pick a few, then call them for a report on the company and their comments on being a log home builder/dealer.
Ward does market most of their homes through Authorized Sales Representatives, often called dealerships. All seriour inquiries for positions as Authorized Sales Representatives should be directed to the home office of Ward Cedar Log Homes. Ward has several programs and classifications of Sales Representatives that can be discussed.
Welcome to Casto Cedar Log Homes and Ward Cedar Log Homes!
Call us @ (330)277-1730 for further information.
Casto Cedar Log Homes and Improvements LLC
31040 Haessly Rd.
Hanoverton, OH 44423
Fax:1(888)261-4206 Email us for more information!!