The House On Evergreen Road
The house on Evergreen Road was listed for sale for months. Not really surprising since it had a price tag just over 1 million dollars. The pictures we bought from the photographer clearly indicated the logs had not been well maintained. When the new owner called into Caribou Creek earlier this week he was asking where we got the T&G because the home was missing some. I advised that we did not act as the general contractor on that project – that we had only supplied the logs. He thought it strange that the house had been advertised as a “Caribou Creek Home.”
“Yes,” I answered. “Many of the homes we sell are listed as Caribou Creek homes because we do the log work. It seems to be considered an asset because Caribou Creek has a reputation for building high quality homes.”
He agreed and went on to mention that the original owner had died during construction and the home was never finished completely. He said materials were left in the garage. He had numerous contractors come in to give him a bid on finishing the work and all had commented on how well the house had been constructed.
I have been the Office Manager here at Caribou Creek for about a year and to me, this conversation epitomized the reputation Caribou Creek Log Homes offers. The owners tried to explain this to me during my initial interview, but I really did not fully understand it until having this phone conversation. To me, any company that offers a product that can sit unfinished for nearly 10 years with little maintinance and still brings remarks of superior quality, leaves me speechless.
Things That Make Caribou Different
These differences are specific to Caribou Creek, and not all handcrafted log home companies have these standards, although some may.
- No butt-joints or butt and pass corner joints: When we craft a home we make sure the logs go the full length of the wall without any splices. In our opinion these splices not only deter from the aesthetics of the home but can also become bothersome later on because the logs don’t always settle the same, which can cause a lip at the joint.
- Log home companies typically use the wood species that is easiest for them to acquire. Caribou Creek will build with any species if a customer truly has a preference; however, whenever possible, we recommend Douglas fir from the Oregon coast. Although coastal Douglas fir is 800 miles round trip from our facility, we go the extra mile to acquire it because we have found, for full log diameter structures, it is higher-quality, straighter logs with minimal flaws.
- We are extremely picky about the logs we buy. So much so, we don’t even use the standard grading system because we found we still threw out many of the logs we were getting. Over time, we have found log suppliers who understand our standard, only offer us the highest quality fiber and who use the most sustainable forestry practices.
- Our trend-setting non-settling design is unique in the industry.
- We take immense pride in our product, and , as a result, our attention to detail is impeccable.
- Upgrades such as cut-out windows and doors, electrical and plumbing outlets, and even roof structures are standard in our log structures and bids.
- We don’t price our log package low and then “make up” for it in the bid to restack the logs. We quote our best and honest price up front.
Integrity Equals Reputation
My previous career was in the automotive dealership industry. I spent nearly 20 years working my way up the ladder. I have seen a variety of solicitation tactics that foster dis-trust. Frankly, it is no surprise dealerships have a bad reputation – they created this reputation themselves by lacking integrity.
Working for Caribou Creek has been like a breath of fresh air. As is the case in any business, there are opportunities to short cut things to elicit higher profit margins, yet, time and again, I have seen the owners make decision that are “the right thing to do,” even if it was not the most profitable. The owners that run Caribou Creek treat this company as an extension of themselves. Even though they aren’t the guys crafting the log homes, they expect the end product to exemplify the work as if they had done it themselves. It has been a true pleasure working for a company that is in alignment with my personal values for a change.