Planning and Design

Planning Your Log or Timber HomeB78W4891

Choosing the log and Timber home producer is only the beginning in planning for your new log or timber home. What is the floor plan? Who is going to build it? How much will it cost? And, what is the source of construction and mortgage financing? These are just some of the questions that you will need to answer in the process of making your log home a reality.

The information on this web page along with the other menu items; Finance and Ordering, and the Delivery and Building Process will hopefully help. We know that not all questions or steps are addressed on this site, but we are hopeful that this information will get you started. Please contact us as you have additional questions.


Construction Budget

Determining your budget to build your log or timber home is the very first step in the home building process. Without taking this important step, all discussions with your log or timber home provider may not be as fruitful as you would like. To determine what you can afford, review your income, monthly expenditures and your long-term debt with your financial advisor or your local banker. They will help you determine what you can afford or what a bank is willing to loan you for your new home. Most likely they will want to know your new home plans along with your current housing situation, your land situation and your financial position. After collecting this information you can start to set your budget.

Once you set your budget, we have found that you need to keep a reserve of approximately 5-10% since what you want to build always seems to cost more then originally planned. We have found, by setting your budget with this level of contingency, it allows you to come in at or under the budget you set up front.

After you have taken the above steps to determine your budget, you are now ready to have your home design discussion with your home provider. Barna Log Homes of Pennsylvania wants to work for you so we ask our customers to share their working budget with us up front. That lets us help you select the right log or timber home without spending a lot of your time or ours.



A lot of our customers come to us with land they own or are in the process of purchasing. As long as you have clear title to the land, it is all you need in order to take the steps to building your log or timber home at your location. If you do not have land, you’ll need to purchase the land outright or you will need to have the land information ready for your lender prior to discussing financing.

As you determine how your new home will fit your property, we suggest the following: Picture how you want your log or timber home positioned on your land; Which direction will it face? How will the sun hit it? What scenery will your deck and windows overlook? How will the landscaping flow? Is there a slope that will allow you to have a walkout basement? Many times our customers would like a second opinion on how to position the home on their land. If you would like us to work with you in orienting your new home, we will be more than happy to support a trip to your property to have that discussion.

Unless your land has access to a sewer system, one of the most important things you need to do is to be sure the land passes a perk test. Basically, the perk test will determine whether or not a traditional septic system will work or not. If your land doesn’t perk, then you may have to take alternative approaches to ensure that your land is buildable. Therefore, if you’re purchasing land, be sure that you get a percolation certification from the landowner in writing.



When our typical customer envisions there new log or timber home, many envision the home from the outside. But we live inside. Therefore, the residence should be designed, first of all, to function the way we want inside – to get the proper flow and to meet the needs of our family and lifestyle. That means designing from the inside out. Once designed for the way you live inside, we’ll help ensure that your home looks the way you dreamed it would from the outside.

To begin your design process, make a prioritized list of the following:

  • Actual needs: Number of bedrooms, baths, floors?
  • Priorities: Master suite, kitchen, dining room, family room, porches?
  • Foundation: slab, crawl space, walk-out basement?
  • Placement of rooms/facilities: Children’s bedrooms in relation to master, utilities?
  • Amenities: garage, spa, mud room?
  • Room and Space: Assign room sizes and space requirements for each room
  • Lot Size: Does your plan fit your lot, or does the lot fit your plan?

Once you reach this point in your home planning process, Barna Log Homes of Pennsylvania can be immensely helpful in helping you maximize the livable space. We can also suggest ideas to fit your lifestyle and needs, and will work all of your priorities to meet your defined budget. Contact us today to set up a home planning discussion appointment.