Log Home Design Ideas - March 2005
Dentist Larry Warren enjoys building bridges. Not too unusual, unless you consider that his most recent construction runs across a stream. That bridge is just one of many stellar views that. Larry and his wife Donna now enjoy from their log home in Greer, Arizona.
"Building a log cabin just fit our personalities," explains Larry. "We love the outdoors and that 'woodsy' lifestyle - you know, wearing jeans and being casual."
They decided on a package from Expedition Log Homes, with a knife-drawn half-log shell of northern white and northern red pine with extended full-log ends. The interior tongue-and-groove ceilings with ridge beams are pine as well. But the full-log posts, stairs and rails are white cedar.
"We chose half-logs for design flexibility inside the home," says Donna. "I've been in cabins with huge logs. They're just gorgeous, but I prefer having some light walls where I can hang pictures and decorations without feeling overwhelmed."
Design at First Site As with many hillside properties, siting played a large role in the design. "that's why it's critical to get the architect and the builder to the site early." Says Expedition representative Greg Grimes.
For this crucial phase, the Warrens turned to local architect Tom Terry and contractor Dan Rotvold, who also happens to be a field representative for the log company. "the biggest challenge for us was maximizing the view out back, while allowing for easy car access and foot traffic to the front," Tom says.
The Warrens also had a few specific design requests. "There were two huge, beautiful Ponderosa pines on the lot. The Forest Service told us they were probably between 250 and 300 years old," says Donna. "We wanted our entry to be between those two trees." Fortunately, the builders accomplished that task - and fulfilled the couples' wish for an outdoor hot tub with panoramic views of the valley.
This southeast view has residual benefits, too. "the sun streams in each morning - making the home more efficient with passive solar energy," says Tom.
Perfect Pitch Donna and Larry chose half-logs for design flexibility - and they took full advantage of it. "We changed the floorplan as construction progressed and the half-log design allowed us to move windows and doors around easily," says Larry.
The couple originally planned to have two bedrooms and a bath in the loft area above the great room. "but while we were building, we decided not to obstruct the loft's beautiful pitched ceiling," says Donna. "So we cut out one of the bedrooms, added a hallway and put the bath where the bedroom was supposed to be." There's also a rec room with a pool table, a bar and a nice sitting area with a window seat.
To make up for the lost living space, they decided to exploit the area above the garage. Larry has a den up there, and Donna plans to set up a sewing room. They also added a family-friendly bunkroom where you'll find a queen bed, four twin beds, lots of floor space - and, on many occasions, more grandkids than you can count on one hand.
"The house can sleep at least 13 - plus the dogs," jokes Larry, who adds that his grown kids and grandkids also love to invite friends to hang out at the cabin and explore the great outdoors. "We've got the world's best base camp right here."
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