Log, Stick, and Steel of Pie Town, New Mexico  

Frequently-Asked Questions

How long does it take to build a custom home?

That's a loaded question. . . There are so many variables, it is almost impossible to say. We have built custom homes in as little as 4 months, but given the rural location and scheduling difficulties and the compounding effect of a single lapse in scheduling, it has taken as long as 9 months. We make every effort to anticipate the unforeseen.

Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?

Of course we are, and we employ local, home grown family folks. Our license number is 82815. A certificate of insurance is avilable by request.

How much does it cost to build a house in Catron County?

Again, it depends upon many variables, but our prices are competitive with other builders. Between 2005 and 2008, we completed projects in the price range of $85 per square foot to $135.

Are you a "green builder"?

We are not certified as such, but we have experience with a variety of green building techniques and materials such as Structural Insulated Panels and radiant heating.

Photo of radiant floor heat tubing
These PEX tubes will allow warm water to circulate throughout the concrete floor, and may be used either with a boiler, on-demand, or solar water heating system.

Do we need to hire an architect or an engineer?

YES. . . and. . . NO

Yes, if you have a particularly complex plan with lots of custom amenities, extreme heights or if the plan involves large open spans and or non-conventional materials or structural members.

No, not if your plans are properly scaled and each feature of design and placement has been decided, understood, discussed and agreed upon by all parties involved. Even in that scenario, it is preferable that we stay in communication for clarity.

How much advance notice do you need to start a job?

It all depends upon the season, and the nature of the job; the range could be from days to months.

Is it hard to obtain a building permit?

We have received permits on the same day an application was submitted and we have waited as long as three weeks. Permits and inspections are a function of the State of New Mexico; while at times the bureaucratic process can be frustrating, permits and inspections protect everybody involved and help to ensure top-notch results. As your General Contractor, we will handle all phases of the permit and inspection procedure.

What materials and products are available in such a rural area?

We can get almost anything, whether it is custom windows and doors, solid surface countertops, imported tile, solar components, or custom woodwork and cabinets. Delivery schedules and priorities do not normally favor Catron County, but if you are willing to wait and give plenty of advance notice, we'll get it for you.

Kitchen with custom cabinets and solid-surface countertops
This kitchen features custom cabinets and trim, Silestone® Quartz countertops, stained concrete floors, and custom JELD-WEN® windows.

Do you have experience with solar and off-grid homes?

Yes, we have done several off-grid projects. There is significant front-end expense with these projects.

Can I hire your company to build just part of the house so that I can finish it myself?

Yes. Typically that is referred to as a "dry-in" to which there can be varying degrees of completion, all subject to agreement and terms. For this option, we recommend that you obtain an "Owner-Builder" permit; we can assist you with this procedure.

How far from Pie Town will you travel?

We like to work within a one-hour drive of Pie Town. Greater distances involve more complex logistics and result in greater expense and build-time.

Have you ever built an observatory?

Observatories are highly specialized and personalized. . . but YES, we have built the foundations and platforms to accommodate their engineered designs.

Can you recommend an architect?

That's like asking if we could recommend an attorney. . . both add significant cost and complexity to any endeavor. If your interest is in having a clear concise and flexible plan, a draftsman will do just fine and we do have such a resource.

Would it be possible for me to tour some of the homes that you have built?

Sure, you can start with ours right here in Pie Town. It's a custom log home intended for that purpose. . . we also sleep and eat here, so just let us know you’re coming and we’ll be happy to show you some of our handiwork. Also, you may view photographs of a few of our projects on our portfolio page.

As for others, that can be arranged with appropriate notice based on availability and the customer's charitable mood; our clients value their privacy and we respect their wishes.

Who writes your building contracts and will we (or our bank) have any say as to the content?

Contracts are only as good as the folks who sign them. Whatever form, manner or instrument of agreement that all parties can agree to and feel comfortable with. . . that works for us; if it works for you. . . Let’s Go Build Something!

Photo of a log home
Custom log home in Starfire Ranch, Quemado, NM

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