Welcome back to Trade Tip Tuesdays! We hope you’ve been enjoying this series so far, we certainly have. Let’s get right into this week’s tip: Read Your Contract Carefully.

Contracts aren’t the most fun part of the log home experience…but they may be the most important.

If you’re like me, you have hit many an “accept” button on a phone or app’s Terms of Service without actually reading it. And who could blame you? Most contracts are long and difficult to decipher and, at least as far as your phone is concerned, don’t affect your day to day life very much. But the contract for your log home package is different.

First, the contract for your log home package will contain a lot of important information. What percentage of your package total is owed as a deposit and by when? What is the expected timeframe for delivery? Are there fees for changing the delivery date after it has been set? These and other questions should be answered in your contract. Which brings me to the second reason why contracts are so important.

Milled logs air-drying at our Oakfield headquarters.

How the log home company answers these questions can also raise potential issues that could be costly to miss. A company asking for a 50% deposit (instead of the more standard 10-25%) may be waiting to place their wood orders until then. This can risk the structural integrity of the wood if it has to be rapidly dried (or not at all) before shipping it to you. Other companies can have unreasonable timeframes for delivery with penalties and fees (like warehouse storage charges) if you aren’t able to abide by them. The most common red flag though is a lack of detail or definition. The contract should clearly sum up the agreement between you and the log home company and exactly what is required from both parties to fulfill it. If your contract is confusing or unclear, you will want to take a closer look at who you’re working with before you sign on the dotted line.

Thanks for tuning in to this week’s Trade Tip Tuesday. We’ll see you next week as we start to get into the design process!