Jonathan Cassaday talks about his business restoring log homes

Jonathan Cassaday
Jonathan Cassaday, ProLog Restorations Inc.

Jonathan Cassaday is the owner of ProLog Restorations, a business that specialises in refurbishing log homes. With 93 years combined construction experience and over 530 refinishing jobs behind them, Jonathan’s team sets itself apart as one of the most experienced and effective in California and Idaho.

ProLog offers a comprehensive array of restoration options for log home owners. The business has all of the necessary expertise to handle any and all log home restoration jobs.

Jonathan answered some questions about his business.

How have you been doing this type of work?

I started my long career of log home restoration back in the early 1990s. My family has been in the business of construction long before I was born and once I found that there was a need for this type of building trade, I was immediately attracted to the idea of working on log homes.

I found myself drawn to log homes because they are unique in their construction methods, in the history of designing them and in the various methods of restoration available today. It also doesn’t hurt that often log homes are in some really enjoyable locations.

What made you decide you wanted to get your start in log home restoration?

As I mentioned, it is a very specific field of work that offers extremely rewarding results. Often a log home owner is looking to you as their contractor for help in repairing a home that holds memories for them and as a place with meaning to them.

Owning a log home is lifestyle choice based on the feelings and mindset of an owner. I enjoy restoring these types of homes very much and helping owners to further enjoy a log home for many more years to come. Log home owners are wonderful people who truly love living in their home. They are a some of the best folks you can meet and work for.

What services does Pro Log offer?

We are a full-service company and bring with us decades of experience to every project we are involved with. We offer everything from chinking and weatherproofing to media blasting, staining, sealing and not to forget, log repair.

We also offer thermographic camera assessments, inspections for existing owners and potential new buyers. We also have extensive experience in interior renovations and additions to existing floorplans.

Do you do the work yourself in the field?

I have crews in place that I manage from the pre-construction planning phase, to the milling of materials and logs for a project as well as onsite management and I do still involve myself with the hands-on work. I spend most of my time between speaking personally with homeowners and providing field supervision to the crews.

I do enjoy jumping in and physically doing the work myself when it is required or if a situation requires my expertise. I wear a lot of hats, let’s just say that.

But I always have my eyes on a hand in every aspect of the work we do as well as in the communication with the owners.

What areas do you provide service?

Believe it or not, we work in the entire State of California. From the San Diego area up to the top of the state and everyplace in between. We rack up countless miles on our trucks but this is the nature of the work.

We consider ourselves to be the best in the business and we will go where we are needed. We have also recently started an outward expansion into Idaho and have our sights set on Nevada in the near future. The best thing for anyone to do is to just reach out to us and we will make time to come to you.

What are some of the most common questions log home owners will ask you?

In all my years in this trade I have heard just about every type of question imaginable. It is like the old adage says, “there is no such thing and a dumb question”.

This is so true. Reason being is that questions lead to discovery and the more a homeowner knows about their individual log home the more they can feel confident about their ownership and can enjoy their home all that much more.

I am available to any person who owns a long home or is thinking about purchasing a log home who has questions. The more knowledge I can provide the more likely they will reach out to me again in the future for any assistance ProLog Restorations can provide.

What was the worst log home you recall working on?

Well that’s a tough question because I have seen a lot of log homes in all stages of their repair needs. That’s why we are here and why we have been able to help so many folks over the years. As I’ve mentioned, log homes are unique and have unique needs for maintenance and on-going repairs. The longer the needed work is deferred the more it will require to get a log home back in good shape.

With that said, the worst home that comes to mind would be one that I decided to not work on in Southern California. I was happy to have not been involved in that project.

Every home can ultimately be restored but when a log structure is severely neglected and the budget for the repairs is will not allow for quality workmanship, I have to take a pass. Ultimately, it is my name on the finished project as well as the reputation of the company I have worked so hard to build so ProLog cannot take shortcuts to save a few bucks.

Especially if it means that a potential problem is going to band-aided to conceal problems with the idea that it can be passed onto an unsuspecting new owner. We will kindly decline those jobs and encourage a proper inspection be completed to call out the true scope of the work that is needed.

What does it require to be a log home specialist?

It requires an extensive knowledge of log home construction methods and a great amount of experience in all types of field best practices. It is one thing to simply say that a chain saw, some epoxy and a bit of sweat is all that is needed.

The reality, in truth is  that if someone such as some other contractor without the required experience simply jumps in without any foresight concerning potential issues, there could be bigger problems ahead of you. There are so many scenarios types of construction and home designs out there that have to be looked at with a plan for proper shoring, demolition, recreating the replacement logs, any foundational concerns and so forth, that without knowing how to the work properly and safely that the process as a whole can have many pitfalls. My suggestion would be to hire a professional.

It will save you headaches, time and money in the end. If someone contacts ProLog Restorations, we are more than happy to look at a home and provide our review.

How many log homes do you estimate you have work in your career?

I would have to estimate well over 500 and probably closer to 600 log homes. I have seen all types of log home construction and all types of needs. The largest home I have been a part of was about 20,000 square feet and I have also worked on the smallest of cabins hidden away in a remote places.

What are the biggest challenges that you have to overcome working as a log home contractor?

The first challenge is honestly just getting out the word to potential log home homeowners of who we are and what services ProLog Restorations can provide before they purchase a log home. This one key point is so important.

The first consideration a potential owner has to make is to be made an aware of the potential issues that can be common for these types of homes. Log homes are constructed from trees that once had natural defenses from weather and the environment but now need an expert set of eyes and the knowledge needed to care for them.

The second challenge is to provide log home owners with ways in which to continually view and track potential maintenance concerns. I would suggest periodically walking around the home and order to observe spots for future discussion. I suggest keeping a journal of noted areas and issues for later discussion with an expert, that way a homeowner can accurately provide as much information as possible and get the answers to as many questions as possible.

We love to help log home owners at ProLog but we also don’t enjoy having to pass on bad news because of prolonged maintenance or issues.

What are we doing as a small business to be green since it is a concern these days.

We try to be fuel as fuel efficient as possible by driving fuel efficient cars for daily driving and site reviews not our large work trucks. When we do have to drive our work trucks we work to minimize our travel to reduce carbon emissions.

Another large point to pass onto our customers is that the tree we use for milling our stock all come from are dead standing forest trees. In other words, these are trees that were already dead and slated for removal, not down arbitrarily.

Thank you Jonathan for sharing your thoughts!
You can follow up with Jonathan Cassaday at https://prologrestoration.com

What do you think about it?