“I think people are most surprised at the size of the company,” says Ted Ciolli, owner and president of BigLog homes, in Jefferson City, Missouri. “The company itself is very tiny – only two people – and only handles the design and erecting of the log part of the house most of the time, although we occasionally handle turn-key projects.”
Ted has spent most of his professional career involved in different aspects of construction and building, working construction sites, building wooden, timber-frame, milled log and big log homes.
Here, he explains the industry from the inside out, and offers tips for aspiring log home builders.
Log Home Builders – Job Description
Because his building company is so small, Ted does a little bit of everything. As the sole proprietor of the company, he has to handle financial and legal obligations in addition to “helping clients design houses that meet their needs and fit their budgets, (mis)managing the office, and supervising construction.”
He explains that “because our log homes are hand-peeled and cut to fit perfectly together in the log yard, the log structure is reassembled with a crane, and doesn’t require a full construction crew.”
To learn more about building log homes, read The Illustrated Guide to Log Home Construction – From Log Shell to Finished Home.
How Much Does a Log Home Builder Make?
“My salary varies from year to year depending on how many houses I can build and sell,” he says. “Wages will vary a lot depending on the type of construction and where the builder is located and does most of his or her building.” A similar career is working as an architect.
The Satisfaction of Seeing a Design Succeed
“The best part of this job is seeing a design succeed,” says Ted. “There’s nothing better than watching clients’ excitement upon delivery of the final product — their new home.” He explains that while building a house is very stressful for most people (log home or not!), their happiness and relief when their “building project” finally becomes a home makes the whole process worthwhile.
He smiles and adds, “Most of our clients have been planning their dream for years. Making that dream a reality is truly amazing.” That’s the best part of this job description! Cool.
The Difficulty of Building Log Homes
Ted confides that “It can be truly difficult to find enough clients. Even while you’re busy building one client’s house, you should be looking for your next project.” According to Ted, certain times of year are really busy, and other times are much slower. This can create cash flow problems because business expenses are year-round, non-stop.
Are you making a mid life career change? Read 7 Cautions for a Career Change at 40.
Career Tips for Aspiring Log Home Builders
People who are interested in building log homes should have good visualization and communication skills – and organizational and financial planning skills are a must (like with any small business owner). Ted recommends degrees in drafting, engineering, and construction for potential builders, and suggests working in building trades part-time while getting an education. “Get a feel for the industry and see if it’s for you,” he says.
If you have any thoughts on log home builders, job descriptions, and working in construction please comment below.
And if you’re looking for work, read 30 Home Business Ideas – Plus “How To” Guides.
Ted Ciolli is the sole proprietor of BigLog Homes and has over 30 years of building experience. Contact him at email@example.com or look him up at biglog.com. Chris Ciolli is a freelance writer and translator. She is the St. Louis Europe Travel Examiner at Examiner.com, visit her at her Barcelona for Idiots and Barcelona for Tourists sites.