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A Log Home Community in Florida

Darian Estates is a ‘Log Home Community’ in Florida, owned by David Di Massino of DDM Developing, Inc.  David and I have been exchanging emails for a few months and I suggested recently that we do an interview because of his unique approach to this log home project. What follows is the result of our discussion… 

Tell us a little about your company

The idea for Darian Estates originally started with the idea of making the financing process easier for the log home purchaser, or person wanting to refinance their existing log home mortgage. If you’ve ever tried to finance or re-finance a Log Home, you know just what I am talking about.

I was able to obtain a mortgage through a small, local bank in my (now) home town, but not until after a long hard battle. I remember after signing the majority of the closing papers during the closing process, I inquired as to when I would receive the check for the delivery of the Log Home package? (It was scheduled to arrive in less than 2 days.)

As you know with a log home, the delivery package can be as much as 80% of the loan, if not more. After the long blank stare…, and the headlights turned off.., the chief loan officer pulled the loan agent I had been working with (Mike), into another room. I could see and hear him telling Mike ‘he can not do this, he’ll never get this done.’ Obviously he did not know me, and one and a half yrs. later, with a lot of sweat equity, and buying the finish materials from paycheck to paycheck. I received my C.O. and moved my family of 4, into our new Log Home.

Roughly six years later, I applied for a second mortgage. A home equity line of credit. I was then told by my own Credit Union, ‘this is not going to be easy, there are no other homes like yours in the area to compare to yours.’ Here we go again, I said to myself. I then called original Log Home supplier (Mark), and joked with him ‘I’m going to split my 40 acres up into eight 5 acre tracks, and build all log homes on them so we’ll never have to hear ‘we don’t have any comps to base your appraisal on’ again. Well, Mark didn’t laugh, and after a few seconds of silence he said, ‘David, I get at least 2 to 3 phone calls a month from people asking, ‘Are there any Log Home Communities in Florida?’ and I have to tell them ‘no, there are none in Florida.’ And that’s when the wheels started turning.

My wife and I spent quite a while discussing the idea. There were cookie cutter communities, zero lot line sub-divisions, etc… popping up all over the area. In our opinion, ruining the scenic, rural, countryside that made up Lake County, Florida. And with all that in mind, the idea kept making more sense. The 5 acre lots would help preserve the areas rural settings, the Log Homes are made of natural, sustainable materials. Including Solar PV (photovoltaic) electric systems in each Log Home, using Solar water heating systems for the homes and pools, implementing waterwise landscaping, etc…

The possibilities and list goes on. Not only could we develop the first ‘Log Home Community’, but also the first ‘Green Solar Log Home Community’ in Florida. It has taken us approximately three, almost four years. But we now have all the engineering, designs and permits approved and are beginning to build the ‘Green Solar Community, Darian Estates’. We are very excited and look forward to living and sharing this idea with 6 other lucky families.

What do you do better than your competitors?

I think people who want to live in a ‘green’ community. Will agree that the use of ‘Solar Power’ is essential for the true meaning of ‘living green.’ There are so many communities in Florida to choose from but only one, Green Solar Community. A lot of builders are starting to get into the green aspect of building now and being conscious of using sustainable materials, the air quality, how to dispose of the construction waste and so forth.

We are all for this and agree with this concept, but why not take it a step further and implement the clean, natural use of solar power. I believe Solar Power is an integral part of creating and maintaining a GREEN community. Natural energy from the sun will reduce your carbon footprint and help to reduce our dependency on oil and other potential sources harmful to our environment. Solar power is a renewable energy source that does not deplete the earth’s natural resources or contribute to global warming. It is not only an ideal solution but is vital to our future. Florida is an ideal location to take advantage of this free natural source of energy and we include this with each Log Home. We have taken the decision out of the equation, it’s included in the price.

What is your choice of wood?

Cypress is the only ‘wood of choice’ for Florida in my opinion. Cypress has been around since the beginning of time. Cypress has a natural oil preservative, cypresseine, which helps protect it from insects and decay. The cypress tree’s growth rings grow really close together, which makes the wood very dense. It also allows smaller air pockets within the wood, which allows less moisture and that means less shrinkage. These smaller air pockets also act as a great insulator, which in turn makes cypress more energy efficient for building purposes.

Can one customize the floor plans you display on your site?

Yes, we have a full time drafting and Architectural design team that can take the design of your home through to the completion of Architectural Blue Prints. We can change any of the floor plans to meet your needs. WE will design and provide the materials for any floor plan you can find. So, whether the floor plan is one of ours, one you draw up, or one you find somewhere else, we can design a plan to be your next dream home. We will spend all the time necessary to help you in designing your log home, allowing you to make the best decision for you and your family.

What log profiles and corner styles do you offer?

We offer 17 Different Cypress Log Styles And 3 Different Corner Systems. We also can create Authentic Hand Hewning, Cypress Half Log Stairs, Hand Peeled Decorative Cypress Tree Center Post, Hand Peeled Cypress Rafters & Posts For That Rustic appearance. Keep in mind that this is YOUR home, and you may veer off from our ideas as much as you wish. We will be more than happy to help you accomplish your goals and see you through the process to completion.

What does your company recommend for internal and exterior finishes?

We take great pride in providing our customers with the very best service and the product they deserve. Permachink is the only brand we trust and use on our all log homes. Perma-Chink Systems, Inc is the largest manufacturer of log home chinking, sealants, wood stains and finishes, wood preservatives and restoration products. They stand behind their products and offer an eco-friendly alternative product to satisfy today’s log home buyers.

What advice would you give to a new buyer?

Take your time, spend as much time as you need to make the right choices for you and your family. There are a lot of things to consider and we will help you throughout every step to make sure you make the right choices.

How have the changes in our economy affected your company?

Lets face it, the economy has had an effect on everyone. New home construction has slowed down everywhere and everyone has had to make some kind adjustments and cutbacks to survive. Some of our competitors have had to even shut their doors, not because they were not a good company, or did not offer a good product, they just were not able to adjust to the times.

We in the other hand, are able to offer the buyer a niche. We not only can supply a great product, but we also are able to offer the option of building the log home to the stage of desire. If you wish to perform sweat equity and do some of the work yourself to save money, we will complete the process to any stage of building you desire. Not only can we provide the materials for your dream log home, but we can build it to any stage of completion as well!

We are proud of the work we do, and our long list of satisfied customers attests to the fact the we are, quite simply, THE BEST! From dry in construction to turn key, the choice is yours. The one thing we did not cut back on though, is quality. You will receive the best service and materials available in the industry.

Are you a member of any trade or consumer groups?

Darian Estates is owned and operated by DDM Developing, Inc. DDM Developing is a proud member of: Home Builder Association of Lake County, Florida Home Builders Association, National Association of Home Builders, and Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce. DDM Developing In conjunction with Suwannee River Log Homes and Suwannee River Construction Company a proud member of: T.P.I (Timber Products Inspection, Inc) and the Log Home Council and the National Association of Home Builders.

Suwannee River Log Homes first priority is to insure the highest level of structural safety for all its homes. Not only do we comply with the grading standards set forth by the ‘Log Home Council’ we have taken an extra step using the services provided by Timber Products Inspections Inc. (T.P.I). This ensures you peace of mind that all structural rafters, beams, Post and timbers have been inspected and stamped. Don’t settle for less. The TP log gradestamp provides the buyer with the assurance of receiving material from a quality-oriented company who is manufacturing his product under a meaningful quality audit program.

Do you offer any products or services that are exclusive to your company?

Here are some services we provide that other builders do not tend to offer:

  1. Insurance – we provide you with general liability and workman’s comp. If a worker gets hurt on your property, workers comp pays – not you.
  2. All exterior trim is installed.
  3. All interior framing installed.
  4. We offload all trucks, and provide loader.
  5. We provide our own crane at our expense.
  6. We will keep your materials covered and protected.
  7. We will install all exterior handrails at no extra expense.
  8. We will provide all strapping and nail it in place, to meet wind load specifications.
  9. Our crews do not rotate from job to job. When they start your job, they finish.
  10. Our Project Managers will inspect your home during the different phases of the dry in.
  11. When the dry in is complete, we will meet with you to do a walk through to make sure our job is satisfactory to you.
  12. Provide you with well-trained crews.
  13. We will make all delivery arrangements with your log home provider and stay in communication with them throughout the dry in of your home.

Contact Info:

DDM Developing, Inc.
25149 County Rd.44A
Eustis, Fl. 32736
Phone: 352-223-0391

5 comments to A Log Home Community in Florida

  • […] A Log Home Community in Florida Keeps Site Free by Tom on September 3, 2009 Darian Estates is a ‘Log Home Community’ in Florida, owned by David Di Massino of DDM Developing, Inc.  David and I have been exchanging emails for a few months and I suggested recently that we do an interview because of his unique approach to this log home project. What follows is the result of our discussion… Tell us a little about your companyThe idea for Darian Estates originally started with the idea of making the financing process easier for the log home purchas Keeps Site Free See the original post: A Log Home Community in Florida […]

  • That is a great log cabin. Is there any pictures of the insides to see the type of designs?

  • Dorothy Roberts

    I have some land close to Bell, Fl and would like to build a cabin like yours on it. Could you help me?

  • Hello Log Home Enthusiast,
    As much as I would love to see Darian Estates transform into a community of Custom Solar Log Home Castles, due to today’s hard economic times I realize that a 4000 minimum sq. ft. log home may not be in the best interest of everyone at this time. I will be reducing the minimum sq. footage to 2500 Sq. Ft under air, if I do not see any interests soon.
    I will however reintroduce the “high end” Custom Solar Log Home Community in Florida concept on another site, when the economy improves.
    Please do not hesitate to contact me with any of your questions, opinions, comments, or suggestions, etc… in regards to Darian Estates, the future site of Lauren Lela Estates, or whatever is on your log home mind.
    Thanks for listening,
    David Di Massino
    DDM Developing,Inc.

  • Bob

    If we can help with any ones design requirements please give us a call at 1-877-832-0165 or check out our web site . Thanks bob

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