We recently had a student attend our class who had signed up for a “hands on” log home class with another log home building school. This student had already been working with logs and building timber-frame homes for some time, and he had quite a bit of experience, but he had never built a log home before and wanted to learn how. Here’s what he said about the hands on log home class that he took:
“On the first day we went to the building site and there was a giant pile of unpeeled logs. Apparently they wanted everyone to spend the first three days peeling logs in the hot sun. I’ve peeled thousands of logs in my life and I didn’t want to pay $2000 for the privilege of peeling someone else’s logs, so I asked for my money back and got out as soon as I could.”
“I learned more in two days in your class than I have in a whole lifetime of building timber-frame homes with my father and brother, both of whom are professional builders.”
Don’t get us wrong — peeling logs is a necessary skill to learn. But when you’ve peeled a single log you know everything there is to know about peeling logs, and you don’t need to spend three days practicing it, especially if you are paying someone else and you are doing the tedious work. Peeling logs is not hard — but it is boring, and in our class we teach students every trick in the book to get other people to do it for you (hopefully for free).
The benefits of a hands on log home class are dubious if someone else is managing the project
In general, when you take a hands on building class, you will learn most of the skills that are needed to build a log home, such as cutting notches, driving nails, peeling and carrying logs from one place to another. You will get lots of practice at these skills because over the course of the class you will do them over and over.
But the skills themselves aren’t really new — nearly everyone understands how to pound a nail or drive in a screw — you are simply learning a new application for those skills as they are applied to a log home. So why would anyone need to practice them over and over? If you are going to be putting in all that time driving nails and such, shouldn’t you be spending that time building your own house, instead of building a house for someone else?
Furthermore, when you take a hands on class the project is probably going to be managed by the teacher of the class. That’s fine, except it is a skill that you need to know about before you build your own home. We give our students loads of tips and tricks for managing their log home building project, and you don’t need to pound nails to get that information.
You build a log home for someone else and pay them for the privilege
We aren’t quite sure why anyone would want to pay someone else and then build that person a log home. The idea seems a bit silly to us. What happens to the home you build after the class is over? Most of the time, the teacher sells it and pockets the money! Shouldn’t they be paying you to come help build their log home?
If you ever look into taking a hands on log home class, you will discover that most of the log home schools out there offer 4-8 week programs that cost in the neighborhood of $2000 (US). How are you going to make a living during that time? And if you are a builder or contractor, the class will most likely be scheduled during the building season — your busiest time of year.
If you happen to be rich and have the ability to take a couple of months off to pound nails on someone else’s project, more power to you. But our students are smarter than that.
Bring your own tools
In addition, most of the schools require students to bring their own tools. Some of them even have “deals” with log cabin tool retailers. The student buys the “class bundle” specified for that school and the teacher can get a kickback on the sale.
This process of acquiring tools is backwards. First you should learn about the tools you need and the positives and negatives of each brand or type of tool. Then you should have the ability to go out and find those tools at flea markets, on eBay, at salvage dealers, etc. This is exactly the way we tell our students to acquire their tools, and they usually save a bundle of money doing it. This is another reason we recommend that potential students take our class two years before they start to build. That will give them time to save huge amounts of money on tools and building supplies that they will need.
Most people can learn the same thing in just two days
We have had literally thousands of testimonials from members who have taken our class, many of whom had never picked up a hammer before taking our class, and many of whom are now living in their own “mortgage free” log home. If it is impossible to learn to build a log home during a two-day log home class, how did these people do it? We would have closed our doors after just a few months, since most of our students are referred by other students who have taken our class.
Instead, we have been teaching the true and pure craft of log home building from scratch since 1965. More and more people come to us to learn the craft each year because they heard “the truth” from one of our members.
Hands on practice is easy and free
After your class, if you feel you need hands on practice, no problem. On our members forums, you can volunteer to help someone who is currently building a house for free. That’s a great way to practice your skills, make new friends, and gain confidence you’ll appreciate when it comes time to build your own house. Plus, building a log home is lots of fun.
This is also a great way to get your own house built — get on the members forums and ask for volunteers.
Why we give this information away for so little money
First of all, we feel that a two day class is all you need to learn how to build a log home. And we feel that our lifetime membership fee is about right for a two-day class. Our goal is to spread the word about the true freedom that can be achieved by building a log home or log cabin without a mortgage. Given that goal, we set our fees at the lowest possible price that we can.
With the cost of insurance, instructors, travel, property taxes, etc., the current membership fee is just about as low as it can be. Since most of our students come from out of town (or out of the country), we understand that these students will probably pay more for their airfare than for the cost of our membership. That’s the way it should be if we are to achieve our goal of getting our message of freedom out to the maximum number of people.
We hope you will join us in spreading that message!
Former students Jeff and Jessica said:
“Best class I’ve ever taken!
We hope to start building our second log home in the next year or two. Built #1, lived in it for 4 great years, & recently sold it.
Knowing what I know now about everything (class, forum, LHBA in general), the class is a steal.”