Today was the day we got to take the factory tour at Blue Ridge Log Cabins. We had arrived after dark last night and settled in. We first discovered Blue Ridge at the Log and Timber Home Show in Chantilly, VA.
Matt Phillips, our sales rep, came down to where we were parked and picked us up so we wouldn't be late. He escorted us to the break room in the factory where the presentation had just started.
We learned more about Blue Ridge and its history, then we met Chip Smith, the Owner and President. Blue Ridge Log homes are modular homes...built inside this state of the art facility. Once complete, which includes all electrical, plumbing, cabinets, appliances - in other words a turnkey product, it is trucked down the road for delivery to the final site. Be sure to view their Day One Building Process video on this page.
From there we were divided up into groups and we started the tour. Our group began at the beginning....from the floor up. The facility, the process, the quality, the employees were all amazing! They answered all questions and even went out of their way to be sure everyone was satisfied with the answers. Our tour guide was Doug Terrell, Vice President of Manufacturing, and he did a great job!
I took a lot of photos and can't even begin to explain them all. If you have questions, post them in comments and I will get Stu to write a reply blog (about time he wrote something...LOL!).
Then it was back for lunch, a really nice spread, a little more talk from company officials and a few more folks to meet. We got to meet Bo Hodge, the service technician...who from all accounts is kind of like the Maytag repairman. He doesn't get called much...LOL! The fact that these homes are built indoors in a controlled environment dramatically reduced problems with shrinkage and the high level of quality control ensures that things "fit" and "work".
Next came David Berk...a Blue Ridge homeowner. This was the 6th home they have had built and it was pretty apparent that he won't go any other way if there is a 7th. He passed out his cell phone number and a personal invitation from him and his wife, Gail, to come visit their Blue Ridge Log home.
Matt gave us a ride back to the rig, knowing that Sadie had been crated for 3.5 hours. We took her out and played for 30 minutes or so before heading over to the model homes beside us.
There were three models to walk through, one of them ten years old and looking like new! In the basement of another model we saw all the decor choices from cabinets to counters to flooring to shingles and more. We were impressed and liked what we saw. No skimping on lower quality products to save money. In addition, once assembled these homes look just like a site-built log home...inside and out!
We ended the day with Matt coming over to see our RV setup...oh, and meeting Miss Sadie (she'll give us her view of the day tomorrow at Sadie Speaks). LOL!
Were we impressed? Absolutely! Everything we saw exceeded our expectations right down to the safety/fire procedures for the factory (it was spotless, no dust, no clutter). At this point we plan to look no further at other log home builders. This process works....we are sold.
We love the model, Columbus VI, that Matt initially showed us back in Virginia. It's a 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath single level with a vaulted great room. We hope to have Raymond Massey visit our land this spring and help us choose the best spot for it. Here is Raymond and Stu posing for me and a photo of a cabin similar to the Columbus VI (photo from the Blue Ridge Log Cabins website).
We still don't plan to build for another 5-8 years but it's nice to know that we have come this far in the decision making.
You can see all the photos we took today in our SmugMug albums:
If you are at all interested in building a log cabin, it is well worth your while to check out Blue Ridge Log Cabins...talk to current home owners who have bought one or more homes from them, some for investment and some as a primary home. Visit the factory in Campobello, SC. Call and talk to them. I think you'll come away as impressed as we did.
Stu and Donna