Zook Cabins Project Diary - Fred Eibling

The best way to explain the entire process of your dream cabin is in the words of one of our customers. Below is the story of Fred, an actual customer who recently finished the log cabin building process. We picked this story because it's a great true to life experience-some ups and some downs.

Tuesday Evening September 13th

Had another conversation with Renee last night about a vacation home. She has been poking around on websites and told me that the Zook Cabins website was worth checking out. She said it she wasn't quite sure but it seemed like their Amish workers complete 85% of cabin in their facility then send their crew out to finish the rest on site. This was a new way of looking at it. I'll have to look it up myself.


Saturday Morning October 18th

Checked out ZookCabins.com. The photographs were exactly what we wanted. Their pre-built approach was something I never considered, and was excited to learn more about. Went back to visit the site several times. The Mountaineer Deluxe Style is my favorite. Plugged in my zip code and was able to pull up a floor plans that were fully customizable.


Wednesday, November 3rd

Renee and I talked and decided to take the next step with Zook Cabins. Contacted them regarding a price for their Mountaineer style cabins.

Also, filled out an online quote request regarding a 28’ x 48’ Mountaineer Deluxe – Matt with Zook Cabins was quick to respond with starting pricing and even supplying a starter floor plan for us to look over.

Planning on visiting their office on 11/5. I want to see this in person and tick the tires. They currently have a model similar to ours to walk through.

This is what Matt sent me to get us thinking. It's his standard 24 x 48 floor plan.


Monday November 11th

I have been emailing back and forth with Matt. We have been going over the Plan Project page on their website. Looks like we are on Step #5. Renee was thinking we should contact some referrals from Zook Cabins – I contacted Matt and he was able to get right back to me with a list of three name. I was able to get a hold of two of them right away, they had nothing but great things to say about Zook, and one of the customers, Jason, had a few suggestions that he did that are great ideas


Monday, November 24th

After visiting Zook Cabins , decided on the size that would work for us – a 28’ x 52’ to get the maximum about of square footage. Still debating about the deck, Renee really wants one and I’m not sure if we would use it. We also need to decide whether to do it now or at a later date. Matt went over a list of about 15 options we have. A little overwhelmed but it’s just one bite at a time. Matt was able to work up a customized floor plan and formal detailed estimate right away. Ball is clearly in our court.

This is the first draft of the customized floor plan we worked on. Check out the bump out off the kitchen we can use as a solarium.


Wednesday November 26th

Made all of the preliminary changes and have gone over all of the options. We are in love with the dormers, so we are sticking with that option. However, we had to sacrifice doing the extended log corners on the dormers. We are very happy with what Zook is going to be able to provide at a great price – next step would be a $3,000 deposit to start the engineer drawings for the permit process, which I did right away.

I have contacted both Superior Walls and a local foundation contractor who would use poured concrete, planning on choosing between the two. Zook Cabins has no problem setting our new Home on either.

I don’t know if I would have had the same patience Zook Cabins did throughout all our changes and revisions.


Saturday, December 12th



Worried a little bit about the delivery of our cabin. The website has a great video showing a real life delivery. My concern is a turn into our lane – emailed Matt some pictures to have him take a look at the site. After looking over the pictures we both decided it would be best to visit the site in person. The owner, Jonathan, made a special visit and came to the conclusion that getting the cabin in would be no problem at all. Relieved!

Zook Cabins Delivery Team needs a 16 foot wide clearance. I wasn't sure, so I called them for specific advice.


Thursday, January 5th

Zook Cabins is working on finalizing our drawings, they are taking a little bit longer than expected, but because I added so many extras and went with so much customization, Zook was being really cautious to ensure nothing was overlooked. Excited to see the final prints.

Here is what the solarium off the bedroom we did. Well worth it!


January 27th

Preliminary Drawings are done! Finally I have something I can start showing folks to get the ball rolling. I'll need this for the township, the foundation and site guys and the permit process. Looks great, this is where we make any final changes to the plans before we give the “ok” to have them finalized and stamped with the state seal, so I really want to go over them with a fine tooth comb. Because once I make the final “ok”, I won’t be able to make any changes. So, I have sent them onto my site guy and also Sam, who is our professional land surveyor helping me out with our project.


Thursday, March 3rd

After going over the plans in detail, also with the state of Maryland there is a lot of township legwork... My state was...particular. I needed an energy letter – and a letter saying I am aware the house needs a working sprinkler and blower door test...only in Maryland!I was finally able to make my final changes and give Zook Cabins the “ok” to finalize the drawings and go ahead and get them stamped.

The Stamped Drawings come with State Seal. I needed this before I could really start moving head.


Monday, June 22nd



So, I know it’s been a while but it has been a lot of busy work...with the energy letter, the state certifications, the foundation contractor, the sprinkler system, the blower door test, ect... I was a little disappointed and frustrated that we are going this long. I was hoping to be sitting on the front porch sipping Iced T by this time. Oh well, live and learn. But now, I am happy to say all of those Maryland issues have been dealt with and we are finally good to go!

If I knew then what I know now, I would have researched all the state and local requirements months ago.


July 9th



Mailed out our 50% deposit to Zook to get in the Build schedule. That was the biggest check I've ever written but I know in my gut that we have done enough research and and listen to Matt’s expertise and honesty that this is still the best decision for our family. Mailed out our 50% deposit to Zook to get in the Build schedule.

The lead time is currently 16 weeks. Wow! That was better than expected. I was talking to Renee that a stick built home would have taken another year. On my end, I need to set a goal to have foundation and site preparation done 30 days prior to this so it has time to cure.


August 4th

We have good news this morning. we have the Building Permits approved through Harford County this morning for the cabin and the foundation of the garage.

Here is the preliminary Schedule;
*Excavators to start the dig on August 24th
*Foundations will be dug and walls poured starting September 7th

Matt reminded me to get the other vendors line up The Electrician, HVAC guy ,and Plumber have all be lined up for their efforts.


September 14th

Cabin is in construction, made a visit to the shop to see how things were going – looks great! So excited!!


October 12th

We are good to go on my side for the delivery of the cabin on Oct 19th. This week we got the Steel I-Beam and post installed. Also, this weekend we got the porch Piers, Posts and girders put in place. This should be the only remaining things needed for the delivery of the cabin. YEA!!!!!!! Gave Zook the next 30% deposit before the delivery of the cabin.


October 19th

DELIVERY DAY!!!!!!

8:58 Crane Truck Arrived and set up
11:00 Zook Cabins Crews arrived
11:28 The 3 Trucks arrived with our cabin
2:00 All House pieces are set, Crane departed
5:00 The Zook Employees finally took their first break
7:00 End of Day. Roof is up and our house is weather tight.


November 17th

Zook Cabins is all wrapped up, they delivered a most beautiful and wonderful cabin – we are excited to see what kind of memories we can make in our new getaway! We got our blower test results back for the lovely state of Maryland, and “The Eibling Residence was the most energy efficient house he has ever seen”