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While Lindal Cedar Homes are undeniably beautiful to behold, their business model appears to have been borrowed from a used car lot, mattress store or cheap pawn shop. This is a painful review for me to write because I have dreamed of owning a Lindal "Prow Front" cabin since I was a teenager... And now that I am a position to build multiple homes, I have found getting a straight answer out of Lindal to be absolutely impossible.
I have repeatedly asked for straightforward pricing information and all I get are absolutely useless broad estimate ranges of $280,000 to $450,000 for the same home. I have unsuccessfully tried getting a price for the home I am interested in built on site by their dealer with no upgrades. I have unsuccessfully tried to get pricing for the home I am interested in delivered as a kit for me to build on site. I have tried unsuccessfully to get the foundation requirements for the home I am interested in. I have tried unsuccessfully to get confirmation that the home I am interested in is designed to meet current code requirements for the state I live in. In fact, I have tried unsuccessfully to get any meaningful information needed to decide if a Lindal Cedar Home is a practical alternative for me.
It appears that their business model is designed to suck consumers into a long and complicated process with a dealer you are forced to work with where you are expected to get steadily more and more invested/committed without having any idea what the the final pricing is going to look like... Doesn't this sound like a jewelry store or pawnshop where they are trying to size you up and figure out how much they can gouge you for? The last time I felt this uneasy shopping, it was running from jeweler to jeweler in my 20's trying to figure out how an engagement ring was going to cost.
Check out their website (Lindal.com) and let me know if you can find prices or price ranges for any home or kit anywhere... Not even their "Quick Ship" homes have any pricing information... Worse yet, the dealer I dealt with couldn't provide me with any delivery time estimates either... I do not know for sure if my experience is the result of a rogue dealer or if this is the way Lindal wants their business run. Unfortunately, I have written Lindal corporate several times and each time they just refer me back to dealer without answering any of my questions. As a result, I am left to conclude that the dealer is doing exactly what Lindal wants them to do... Truly sad.
Made contact with the local Lindal designer in Seattle to talk very ballpark numbers regarding our new home. This was to start planning our financing and what our budget for land would be. She said she wouldn't talk pricing until we had a piece of land she could look at. Understanding that costs can vary based on environmental conditions, I get it. But I was just looking for a range so we could plan accordingly. So months go by and we find a couple of properties we're interested in (flying blind, since we don’t really know what we should be budgeting) and contact the designer but get no response. Then I call, no response. I call again, no response. We got tired of waiting so we did our due diligence and pulled the trigger on a property anyway.
After we closed, I contacted the designer AGAIN and leave a message telling her that we are now property owners and are ready to move forward. I get an email back the next day asking about the plans I might be interested in. I explain that we are looking at something small, likely one of their non-customizable "quick-ship" homes because we likely went over budget on the land. Again, no response. I followed up with a call/voicemail and still, no response. All in all, from first contact to last was nearly 8 months with no follow up. They claim they have homes for any budget, but they clearly only want to work with people who have very deep pockets and will pay for all of their "design services", IF you can get them to call you back, that is. We found another builder who wants our money and returns our calls.
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We worked with Lindal architect dealer. Their program is not as advertised. They put together a plan that is poorly detailed, then deliver a package of lumber and materials, with much missing and much borderline - minimum spec material. Siding split and warped. Very thin. Much framing material missing and wrong sized. Nothing precut. Their recommended contractor built foundation at wrong level and off-square walls (by 6 inches per side). The company overcharges for all the material, and did not stand by any of their inferior materials. Stay away from this outfit.
I see some negative reviews for Lindal Cedar Homes but I bought a used one several years back and I love it! No matter what the weather, wind and season it's a joy to come home to. We have never had any structural issues. I think other reviews must be personality conflicts and building a house is truly stressful but at the end of every day I am thrilled with the light and the views. Nothing beats watching the moon-rise from the sofa, turning off the lights and watching meteor showers and airplanes, watching the moon or sun shadows through all the crazy windows, surrounding myself in wall to wall fall color and enjoying 3 feet of snow in my pajamas. No cabin fever here. I wouldn't trade this for anything! Now if I win the lottery my only plan to add on!
My home ended up being slightly less expensive than some of the stick-builders were offering in my local area. I live in Raleigh, NC and wanted a home in Aspen on land I had purchased in the early 2000's. This wasn't a problem for my Lindal Dealer! Dave was one of the nicest company representatives I have ever worked with and he truly gave me my dream second home. I was even able to get the sunken living room I had wanted. So happy! I'm heading out there again next week to stay for a month. Dave at Lindal made my second home dream come true.
My experience was back in 1989. I gave the sales Representative $5,000. Cash. It has been so long ago that I had asked for a refund. And I never to this day received my refund or no materials. This company, Lindal Cedar Homes is a rip-off company. I would advise anyone to never consider doing any business with Lindal Cedar Homes. The Representative was a con artist to the max. I believe that this company needs to be put out of business. Actually I am so surprised that they are still in business. Very Dissatisfied Customer.
We had dreamed of building a Lindal Home for decades, and our time finally arrived. We were fortunate to have the help of the experienced and professional Dealers in Montrose, CO. Both are Civil Engineers and the design process was very organized and fun. Best of all the materials provided were very high quality. The warmth of the western red cedar trim and the exposed beams is noticed every time we enter the house. We love it, we love coming home. Our builder was excellent and advised Lindal 'made it easy,' with the detailed plans and itemized materials. Our experience was great. We'd highly recommend building a home with both Lindal and the Dealers in Montrose, CO.
We were rookie builders but both are attorneys. We were wary of the Lindal Rep and used our own common sense. The rep gave us Lindal builders BUT told us to keep an EYE on our materials.
Reading all these reviews filled with problems, I have to assume the Lindal has drastically changed since we built our chalet style home in 1994-95. I don't recall any of the problems discussed so thoroughly in these reviews. However, one important aspect of cedar homes isn't mentioned by Lindal. We tend to think that our beautiful cedar siding will last forever, always looking beautiful.
But cedar has to be repeatedly stained, it tends to wear unevenly, and eventually it turns very dark. Areas where rain water has dripped will be dark and stained. Then those of us with older cedar homes are faced with the question: Is it time to paint over our cedar clapboard? The answer will probably be "Yes," especially since after 20 years we are in the older age group and maintaining stained cedar is either too much trouble for us or too expensive to have the work done by someone else.
So now I'm the proud (?) owner of a painted Lindal Cedar Chalet. But the house and windows have worn well. Only one window clouded up within the 10-year warranty period, and was replaced by Lindal. A large window in a store door failed after 17 years with water leaking between the glass panes.. I'm living with it. I've read that all double or triple paned windows will ultimately fail, so I can be grateful that my large prow windows are still all "good." At least they were good before the recent power washing prior to the paint job. The rainy season is yet to come here in California.
Oh, one more problem for California residents. The oil stain we originally put on our cedar is now illegal, and often no longer manufactured. This is the main reason to transition from oil based stain to latex paint. Here is a video of the process: **. But I still think it's best to keep the original unpainted cedar if the homeowner can maintain it with cleanings and repeated stain jobs. We weren't able to do that.
My husband & I purchased a Lindal Cedar Home package. We thought we were getting a fantastic deal at the time. We ran into two major difficulties: Early delivery of home package & less-than-qualified builder. I will address the builder: Our contractor was recommended by the local Lindal dealer. We found out after we had signed the papers and made our payment for the Lindal package that the contractor, due to financial problems, did not own his own equipment, he did not have a crew, and he had no credit. Space does not allow me to relate how many problems we ran into. I will generally say that expensive mistakes were made & a lot of the quality of construction was below average. The bottom line is do not depend on the Lindal dealer to recommend your builder.
Early delivery: Although we asked the Lindal dealer to delay delivery of the home package because our contractor was not getting the site prepared in a timely manner, he insisted on getting it shipped. The result was that material sat on the construction site for months before they were needed. We ended up with damaged material. So, if you decide to go with a Lindal home, no matter what you are told, you need covered space for your product away from the main construction site. Otherwise, even though it is covered, it will get abused. Cedar is a soft wood that does not hold up well to repeated moving, especially when done without much regard for the product.
We are living in our home now. Whether it is due to poor workmanship or the product itself, I have noted that the house emits loud pops when the temperature changes. If I had it to do over again, I would be careful about who I contract with to build a house & I would definitely not go with Lindal. In the end what looks like a good deal isn't so good after all. Check references, ask around about the product.
Lindal Cedar Homes Company Information
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- Lindal Cedar Homes
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