Category
How-To

Big Trend: Small Homes

In November 2010, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported that the median size of new home construction continued to decline during the latter half of the decade, peaking at 2,268 square feet in 2006 and settling to an even 2,100 square feet in 2009. According to the report, a similar trend occurred in the early 1980s, when interest rates climbed to astronomical heights, but this reduction in square footage was only temporary. The 1990s saw t…

Thing We Love

Are you looking for a unique bathtub for your master suite? High-tech audio that blends with your décor? A fire pit that enhances your property? We did a little shopping for things we think will complement your logs. The Clay’s the Thing Clayworks Studio/Gallery has been practicing the art and craft of architectural ceramics in Austin, Texas, for over 30 years. Established by John and Chris Gray in 1978, the studio is known for custom architectural work, including historic tile restoration and large-sca…

What You Need to Know – Designing

Artistic architectural elements, a spectacular view, or even classic décor elements can combine to create a home of unspeakable beauty and functionality. But one element knits it all together: the floorplan. Whether the floorplan is selected from a design book or created as a one-of-a-kind design by a homeowner and architect team, it tells a story about a family and how they live in a home. “When considering your floorplan, think about your personal preference in regard to style. …

Tile for Style

Tile has been transforming living spaces, both interior and exterior, since ancient times. Simple, functional clay tiles were in use more than 7,000 years ago in what is now known as the Holy Land. Early Egyptians were the first to use glazed tile to enhance their architecture. Tile making eventually made its way to Europe, notably to Spain and the Low Countries, via Persia and North Africa. The Spanish conquistadors brought decorative tile to Colonial America…

The Stain and Finish Game

The ravages of time take their toll on the exterior of a log or timber home. Although the wear of weather and climate are inevitable, finding the appropriate stain and finish combination preserves and protects the integrity of exposed wood surfaces while maintaining the good look that is so essential to the enjoyment of the home. Choosing the right stain and finish involves an assessment of several factors, including climate, weather pattern, manufacturer warranties, application, …

Kitchen Design Tips

No matter what floorplan you choose, you will need a kitchen. Here are ideas to consider when you are designing your brand-new log home kitchen. Kitchens, like homes, reflect the personality of the person using them. When a homeowner answers the question of his or her basic needs, a design can take shape that fits that lifestyle. “Survey your lifestyle. Ask: Who lives in the home?” says Stephanie Gauthier, interior designer for Wisconsin Log Homes in Green Bay, Wisconsin. “What are…

Designing & Decorating Great Rooms

Natural light pours into this great room from all directions, showing off the log walls and staircase. Windows in the open loft add more light at the ceiling level. The white cabinets in the open kitchen make the great room look even more spacious. The reclaimed wood beams in the ceiling and on the walls and the gorgeous natural stonework contrast beautifully with the more contemporary …

Finding the Right Builder

You’ve spent years dreaming about living in a log home: collecting magazine pictures, touring model homes, fleshing out designs, and scoping out the perfect site with a view. Now you’re ready to find the right builder who can transform your dream into reality.  Building a new log home is a significant investment, and you’ll want to take the time to find a reputable, experienced builder. The task may seem daunting, but with careful research you should be able to find the builder who matches your nee…

New Materials, New Trends

Not crazy about the idea of a solar array on the roof of your log home? Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are designed to replace standard construction materials with PV systems that produce clean energy, increase home value, and protect the environment. BIPV is not added to the home, but is an integral part of its structure. For example, instead of putting a typical roof on your home and adding a solar array on top of it, the roofing material becomes the solar collector. There are two basic type…

Stock Plan vs. Custom Design

All log cabin homes begin with the same two things: a dream and a floorplan. The dream of owning a log home is pretty straightforward, but choosing a plan? Not so much. You’re faced with a host of considerations from determining how large of a home you really require for the ebb and flow of your family’s daily lifestyle and a thousand other needs in between.  But one of the most important choices you’ll make when it comes to your home’s floorplan is whether…

Going Off the Grid

People choose to build off-grid homes for a variety of reasons. Some are committed to reducing their impact on the planet, while others are interested in a simpler way of life. And some have no choice—the remoteness of their property makes building an off-grid home the only option. For David Jakubowski and his family, a number of factors contributed to their decision to build an off-grid log cabin on their 82-acre Vermont vacation property. “First was our love of nat…

Choosing the Perfect Floorplan

You’ve been dreaming of your perfect home for years, and if you close your eyes you can visualize the grand entryway, the soaring cathedral ceilings, and the views from the wraparound porch. So when it comes time to select a floorplan, you might think you have it all figured out. Think again! There are many factors that go into selecting a floorplan that you might not even consider until you start making decisions on the specifics. This…